Monday, February 06, 2006

Politicians as Famous Fools

You must love them as long as they dont take from you

Our mayor-for-life (actually a Washington DC council member now) is on the front page of the the local free rag for having drug problems again. Marion Barry is a charismatic person who united the blacks in DC at a time when it was needed during the human-rights struggle and when the city was having an identity crisis during the 60s protests and concoment destruction of, and flight from, the city. Barry stayed in there and fought for what he thought was right.

There is an old axiom that politics is entertainment for the boring (not to mention that people not voting is simply rational ignorance). Shostakovich, arguably the 20th Century's greatest composer, more or less pulled the same trick. He made a conscious decision to play the (famous) fool so Stalin would not have him killed or banished to one of the USSR Republics as was the fate of so many of his friends and colleagues.

The difference is that you enjoy music on your own time on your own dime. Politicians (especially charismatic ones) are more dangerous as they can take your money and use it (give it to others) for what they think best. Politics should be about ideas not personalities. A fool politician may be best as that may mean less power to take from you. Barry has done much good and much bad, the jury is out, a true jester in the classical sense, and I mean this with all respect.