The best comments overheard at the recent International convention of Court Jesters: 

*A seven year-old girl, explaining why her daddy, a Ph.D in philosophy could not give medical advice: “He is a doctor, but not the kind that can do anyone any good.” 

*Anonymous remark in the corridor: “Nero thought he had defeated the Christians but ever since he died there have been millions of dogs named Nero and millions of people called Paul.”

*Mary to Jesus, as he arrives dressed as the Infant of Prague: “I don’t care who you are, you’re not going out dressed like that!”

*A Dene Native, to an American tourist who asked him whether the Dene thought their way of life was a good one: ‘We don’t know. We’ve never had anything worse to compare it to!”

*Professor to a student: “Even though you’re exceptionally well qualified, I’d say that ‘Victim’ is not a good career choice.

*The author of 2 Kings laying the biblical foundation for men being asked to do the dishes: “I will scour Jerusalem as a man scours a dish and, having scoured it, turns it upside down.” (21, 13)

*A narcissist on his over-powering propensity for revenge: “It’s an I for an I!”

*Saul Bellow to the academy of learning: “The visions of genius always seem to become the canned goods of the intellectuals.”

*Christina Crawford on the poor man’s dark night of the soul: “Lost is a place too!”

*Tim Allen on the difficulties of gender: ”You can’t turn a man into a woman; well, actually you can, but it is expensive, and in the end you still can’t do anything about the large hands and Adam’s apple.”

*Albert Camus on taking revenge against intellectual critics: “The best revenge you can have on intellectuals is to be madly happy!”

*David Tracy on the mixed blessing of the internet: “On the one hand, modern communications can cross all boundaries and disrupt and level all totalitarian regimes and oppressive structures and subvert all political, cultural, and ecclesial hegemonies. But on the other hand,  they  can also  cross all boundaries  and level all traditions,  subvert  all communities, and dis-empower all memory of suffering.

*D.H. Lawrence on the naiveté of our faith in modern technique for solving relational questions: “I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various section. And it not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.”

*A feminist philosopher with another take on the old metaphysical conundrum: If a tree falls in the woods and there is nobody present to hear it fall, does it still make a sound? … “If a man speaks and there is no woman there to correct him – is he still wrong?

*A contemporary theologian explaining some of the new options being given in hell: ‘‘you have a choice between the classical hell fire … or watching Golf videos for all eternity!”

*Neurotic explaining himself: “I always feel bad when I feel good for fear that when I don’t feel this good I will feel worse!”

* James Hillman on the achievements of pop culture: “When the tradition of Romantic grandeur, with its cast of lunatics, lovers, and poets, is down-sized by egalitarianism deconstructed by academic cynicism or labeled grandiosity by psychoanalytic diagnostics, then the vacancy in the culture is occupied by pop-star squatters, trumped­ up magnificoes, and Batman, civilization left with only tinsel celebrities to model its culture.”

*Post-feminist philosopher, Camille Paglia, to the culture: “Prozac is the drug of choice for glum politically correct sentimentalists unable to face the spiritual deficiencies at the heart of their own decaying liberalism … what a bore.”

Soren Kierkegaard gave the keynote address and he closed with these words: “Something wonderful has happened to me. I was caught up in the seventh heaven. There sat all the gods in assembly. By special grace, I was granted the privilege of making a wish. ‘Wilt thou,’ said Mercury, ‘have youth or beauty or power or a long life or the most beautiful maiden or any of the other glories we have in the chest? Choose, but only one thing.’ For a moment I was at a loss. Then I addressed myself to the gods as follows: ‘Most honorable contemporaries, I choose this one thing, that I may always have the laugh on my side.’ Not one of the gods said a word; on the contrary, they all began to laugh. From that I concluded that my wish was granted, and found that the gods knew how to express themselves with taste; for it would barely have been suitable to have answered gravely. ‘Thy wish is granted.”‘