Chapter 16: The Big Stink Bomb

Rabelais and Bakhtin strike in this chapter, as we highlight the “lower-stratum” humor of Rabelais and its power to bring the high and mighty down to earth. Although, a very different and less grotesque “upper-stratum” style, we see something similar in Jesus and His parables. The contrast of heaven and hell, or heaven and earth is the narrative behind these stories. My simple attempt at a Rabelaisian tall tale is an example of the power of humor to speak into the high places of corruption. Yet, I present this as a dangerous space from which to speak. Why is this such a dangerous place? And, why did it become more dangerous for Jesus, than most other people in history?

2 thoughts on “Chapter 16: The Big Stink Bomb

  1. Reading this section, I could not help but think about the purpose of the theatre in ancient Greek society. We all know that tragedies were performed in order for the audience to experience the catharsis of emotions the Greeks felt were dangerous in a society (i.e. fear and pity), but comedies were also performed at these festivals and served an important function as well. In their comedies, the Greeks mocked and questioned their government and even their gods with impunity. That won’t kill you if you make them laugh!

    1. Yes! 🙂 I find that surprisingly, there may be as much catharsis in the mocking as there is in the crying. Well, at least if we can learn to do it from the proper frame of reference.

      “Lenny Bruce is dead, but his spirit lives on and on…” – Bob Dylan

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