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The Fool, featured in The Germ #2

The Fool.

Straining towards the light of the sun, and moon, carrying his paltry few possessions in a hobo-bag slung over his shoulder.

What is that, a tea bag with an image of the sun on it? Then there’s a bowl for drawing water and a fish on a line. Taking no heed of the morrow. Living strictly for today, with utter faith that Life will provide.

Is the fish on a line a subtle reference to Jesus? I’m not sure, though I wouldn’t be surprised.

Notice the date on the cover of the ‘zine, April of ’97. Over fourteen years ago now. Where did all that time go?

I’ve forgotten where I copied the image of the fool from. Perhaps a tarot card. Of course I added a few extra details, such as the standing on a pair of books.

Very labour intensive, those old ‘zines. Write the articles, print them, cut them out and paste them on a page alongside a hand drawn image, then photocopy, collate and staple. Distribute around fifty or so, if I remember correctly. Readership of…I’m afraid to ask. As I said, it only lasted two issues. I forget what it all cost me.

Ideas only half baked, you might say. It would take fourteen more years and a few more technological advances before I would be ready to share the Omphalos Cafe with you.

Had to kick the books out from under my feet too, I suppose. Put them back up on the shelves where they belong.

I still remember where I gleaned A Canadian Prayer. It was from Robertson Davies’ novel ‘The Lyre of Orpheus,’ and I believe it ran:

God grant me security and comfort                                                                                 And protect me from the radiance of Your light


And then there is that pesky pseudomorphosis thing again. I made reference to it in my last post, in the caption below the image.

I first picked that one up in Oswald Spengler’s massive ‘Decline of the West’. Google it and you’re liable to end up at a white supremacist site. That’s doing gloomy old Oswald a disservice. Certainly his world-view took a turn for the darker towards the end, but he was writing the bulk of it during the First World War.

Henry Miller turned me on to Spengler. He was something of a rage back in the early middle decades of the twentieth century. Both Miller and Spengler are fine examples of the Fool, though one is a tad cheerier than the other.

When introduced to Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs made him a gift of ‘The Decline of the West.’

Joseph Campbell, author of ‘The Power of Myth’, ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces’, and ‘The Masks of God’ series, to name just a few, read ‘The Decline of the West’ seven times! I believe he called it the most important event of his intellectual career.

Will Durant, the author of ‘The Story of Philosophy’, ‘Mansions of Philosophy’, and of a monumental ten volume ‘Story of Civilization’, called Spengler the greatest German thinker of the twentieth century.

So don’t buy what the supremacists have to say.

I am fool enough to believe one day history will be rewritten, and dour old bachelor Oswald will have his day in the sun.

Hail to the Fools! Hail to the dreamers! Fecundaters of the future.