Trickster No. 7: ?


OK, so I lied about pre-posting all these Trickster posts… Didn’t quite get it done before flying out to Italy, so I’m standing coining Euros at some t’Internet machine at Pisa Airport waiting for my flight. It’s RyanAir. I could be a while.

So who is my last Trickster going to be? I’ve been mulling over the past week as I’ve basted gently on the sands of Viareggio: Saul Williams, Michael Franti, Gil Scott Heron, Chuck D? Or A N Wilson? Or Thomas Pynchon? Or Bill Viola?

All have enriched me at some point making me feel uncomfortable about some boundary I thought was fixed: muscially, textually, artistically.

While I’ve been cooking, I’ve also been reading ‘The Meaning of Jesus’ by Marcus Borg and NT Wright (sorry, can’t face hyperlinking all this stuff) – huge thanks to Andy Thornton for putting me on to it. More about why I’ve loved it another time, but in one of Borg’s chapters he really set me thinking about Christ as Trickster again – and just how important it is that we who claim to follow him do the same. So the Trickster I want to end with is us: the body, mind, walking, breathing, blood and guts of Christ. Unfortunately, I just don’t think that the Church in general is doing a very good job of playing Trickster to society that hosts it; my prayer is that those of us who are looking for something new to emerge – whatever that is – feel brave enough, confident in the example of our Tricky-kid leader, to get out there are engage in some serious subversion – to challenge boundaries, to throw some dirt around, to break comforts…. Not as an act of destruction, but, like all good Tricksters, to ‘make this world’ – as a creative act of faith and hope and love.

Last call… Better go fly.


3 responses to “Trickster No. 7: ?”

  1. It strikes me that the nearest “Judaeo-Christian-equivalent” to the Trickster is the prophet – the one whose lives and actions portray the very mind and longings of God, even when the manner in which that is done could be seen to run against, even contradict the established “divinely ordained” pattern. You can see it pretty well in the Old Testament, and the tendency to institutionalise even the body that exists to critique and stir-up the institution.
    As I understand it prophets and tricksters alike are people of the periphery. Edge-people, never quite on the inside, but not on the outside either.
    This poses a problem for the “body” metaphor of Chrsitian belonging, not to mention enabling the Trickster-Prophet to introduce the breath of the Spirit into any version of our churches. They are welcome yet unwelcome. They unsettle and disturb. They state the blatantly obvious, which is sometimes the most dangerous of all.

    And, of course, we all know what happens to the nail that sticks up. It is in danger of being hammered. So… how much are we willing to rise out of the throng, and receive all the welcome yet unwelcome blessings that can follow? I know I could be trying harder in My Little Part of Kent too….

  2. Fringe. It’s always important to be able to step outside of a situation in order to see it differently. Hell, on my summer hols now I almost feel like I may actually be able to teach my nutter pupils something, instead of just baby-sitting them for the Term. At the same time I am bombarded by them on MSN when I loggin, and I see enthusiastic, likeable persons… I guess it’s true that a person is reasonale and approachable, where as ‘people’ are stubborn and self-centred (I don’t agree with Korn(y) that PEOPLE=SHIT, but maybe SOCIETY=SHIT). In order to Trix people (Church, society), we must Trix ‘persons’, and that means ‘seeing the wood for the trees’… Damn Out.

  3. Thanks for your reflections on Trickster characters Kester.
    I was thinking today about Tricker figures when they were talking about graffitti artist Banksy on the radio. He’s been up to ‘tricks’ by spraying images of children looking through windows on the security wall in the west bank in israel/palestine…