The Joker – The Latest Installment of CMAL

My latest installment for CMAL (hosted by is about subversion in music. Here’s an excerpt:

There’s something freaky about the Joker. Not necessarily the character from the Batman franchise, but the actual playing card. You know that image has been in our collective consciousness for a very long time. He’s in Shakespeare (King Lear), countless songs, poems and countless creepy medieval woodcut prints.

It’s unsettling – the way he smirks at us, knowingly.

Carl Jung declared the Trickster (or the Fox, Jester, Clown, Fool, Joker or whatever you want to call him) an archetype found throughout human culture. He is both stupid and observant, foolish but wise – a rebel.

Frank Zappa (1940-1993) believed that stupidity is so prevalent in society that it ought to be examined, in his autobiography, The Real Frank Zappa Book (1989) he proclaimed:

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it’s so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe…I say there’s more stupidity than hydrogen and that that is the basic building block of the universe.”

[Click here to read the rest of this installment]