Saturday, May 08, 2004

Ship of Fools
I Report -- You Decide.

In the 15th century Hironymous Bosch painted his "Ship of Fools":

Bosch imagined "the whole of mankind is voyaging through the seas of time on a ship, a small ship, that is representative of humanity. Sadly, every one of the representatives is a fool. This is how we live, says Bosch--we eat, dring, flirt, cheat, play silly games, pursue unattainable objectives. Meanwhile our ship drifts aimlessly and we never reach the harbour. The fools are not the irreligious, since promiment among them are a monk and a nun, but they are all those who live ``in stupidity''. Bosch laughs, and it is sad laugh."

Which one of us does not sail in the wretched discomfort of the ship of human folly? Genius that he was, Bosch not only moved the heart but scandalized it into full awareness. The sinister and monstrous things that he brought forth are the hidden creatures human beings' inward self-love. His misshapen demons have an effect beyond curiosity. We feel a hateful kinship with them. "The Ship of Fools" is not about other people, it is about us, or ... some of us.

We joke about periodically rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic or the "Lietanic" as Richard calls it. As we see in Bosch ... the follies of our kind are not new people ... and I'm guessing not new to those who think often about reality TV and ultimate wrestling smack-downs, and stock car races.

I report. You decide. Or not. The choice is yours.