Other than the King himself, who held the most important position in the King’s court? The Queen? The Prime Minister? The Exchequer? The Archbishop?
I believe it was the Jester.
It was he who had the unenviable task of being the Conscience of the King.
Depending on the quality of the person holding the highest office of cleric, and on how religious His Majesty was, the Church should have also been risking that dance on the guillotine’s edge. But history shows that far too often the inner workings of the royal court often rendered the Guiding Light that should have been the King’s spiritual leader either totally silent, quite impotent, or even worse, more corrupt than the King himself.
It was therefore left to the the humble Jester to be the King’s conscience, his better self, his thorn-in-the-side.
A dangerous task, to be sure.
It still is today.
While I don’t place myself in the same arena as our current spate of late-night talk show hosts, political comedians/comediennes, and parody news sites (I lo-o-ve The Onion!) who skewer and lambaste those who so richly deserve it, I am thankful they are there, and admire the work they perform so adroitly.
To be sure, I have my own share of sarcastic and sardonic wit, though I marvel at the professional Jesters’ speedy and laser-accurate assessments of our politician’s foibles, hypocrisies, and outright blatant sins. It is truly a shame that like the Kings of Old, our leaders still hold the Jester with a disdain stronger than Drano, and ignore their sage advice.
The modern equivalent of The Jester certainly irritates those who have voted for these corrupt and/or brain-dead political flunkies. How else can it be explained that I find myself the target of wrath when I chime in with The Jesters? Time and time again, I have been blasted with the withering sanctimony, “He/She holds the office, he/she deserves your respect, so shaddap!”
Sometimes the name of God is also invoked by those same flapping lips.
They need to understand one thing about myself — and hopefully I speak for the professional Jesters as well — It is precisely because I respect the Office, that I lambaste the waste of protoplasm that infects said Office.
Needless to say, some of this acerbic attitude and witticism is bound to show up in my writings.
My epic fantasy, Pindlebryth, has its share. Take a peek and see for yourself!