One of the things that I noticed this year was that people really do dumb stuff.  Now, this does not make me the arbiter of what is smart and what is dumb, but I do believe that I have a pretty good handle on what is.  I say so because, in the spirit of good ol’ Hil’ry, of my track record and my experience: I’ve sucessfully navigated 23 years of life, somewhat on my own and a lot with the help of the community–be they my parents, my extended family, various teachers and professors, others at my church and not to mention from my friends.  I believe that friends are the best tell-tale sign of one who has participated in a Fool Fest, for any year that is.  Generally those that are alone are participants in Fool Fest: this means that there is not community of believers that will endorse their outlandish behavior.

Well, what do I mean by Fool Fest?

Fool Fest participants must first be oblivious.  They must be oblivious to what’s going on around them for them to continue doing what they’re doing as though it is alright.  It also does help someone in the nomination process if they happen to have a funny odor, look like Jim Carrey’s character from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events for example.

Fool Fest participants must be convicted by what they do.  There should be nothing or no one able to convince a Fool Fest participant that they were wrong.  If someone admits wrongdoing, or ignorance, then they have disqualified themseleves from Fool Fest.  This means that even after the main event (see below for details concerning the main event), and someone tries to inform the participant how bad it was, and the participant invokes a deity or a spirit as their reason for acting why they did, and convinced that they are right, then they are a perfect candidate.

Fool Fest participants must cause shock and awe.  The shock and awe must occur at the main event.  The main event is when the Fool Fest participant has caused a public spectacle of themselves.  Because they are oblivious and convinced that they have a right to do what they are doing, it generally causes shock by the audience member.  If it is a one-on-one interaction, then that person is a mere runner-up for Fool Fest, they may actually have a vendetta against the opposite party.  Shock-and-awe at the main event occurs, for example if during a church service an individual believes that they are qualified to play, sing or even preach and in-fact what spews from their mouth and emits from their body is a “hot mess.”  When audience members are laughing out loud or leaving the room or totally shocked at the proceedings then, one has officially participated in Fool Fest.

#1 ITC Late Night/Chapel Service

Even though this is my school, I must say that once I got to the seminary level that people were better trained and educated than what they really were.  Now this nomination does not diminish the wonderful and exellent classroom experience that I am receiving–it is bar none in the world as far as I’m concerned, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go.  The late-night experience is supposed to be one training and practice, not one of showing off and being seen.  This is where us seminarians are supposed to take what we’ve learned in our practicums and classrooms`and  bring them to a community of positive criticism before we take the foolishness back to our respective churches.  But I’ve heard and seen people this last year who were simply atrocious get up and preach, sing and run service.  And this was not just late-night services, this was also from the Tuesday-Thursday chapel services.

#2 Hazel O’Leary, President of Fisk University

As a proud graduate of Fisk University, ‘o6, I fail to see how has Ms. O’Leary not been able to garner nationwide support for the Fisk University?  Any time a board of directors or president of an institution fails to garner money and support means that the donors are hesitant about the direction of the institution.  If Ms. O’Leary could  suggest the portion of the sale of the Georgia O’Keefe collection and proceed to do so and drag Fisk through a year long court battle with the estate of Ms. O’Keefe and spend money that the school could have used for other purposes.  She acted with impunity and seemed oblivious to the outside world, and based on some students, seemed oblivious to some student concerns and she showed herself capable of being a member of the “whew! we barely made it” group, as she limped the school’s budget to the end of the fall 2007 semester.  She has convinced herself that she is right, and no doubt has surrounded herself with yes women and yes men who do not ask for outside help.  But, by now, that bridge has been crossed and washed away disabling the option to hire outside help because of the shoe-string outfit cutting costs in all areas possible.

#3 Britney Spears

Well, need I say more?

#4 State of Georgia concerning the Genarlow Wilson case

The fact that the Attorney General of the state attends Ebenezer Baptist Church which is not shy about its heritage as being the home church of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his father, and that he listened to the pastor speak against the injustice of keeping Mr. Wilson incarcerated and still did nothing!  While the rest of the country was looking stunned that such a public case was continuing, especially with a black state attorney general, Mr. Thurbert Baker was looking quite the fool.

#5 Sean Hannity et. al.

Hannity was the spokesperson for fooldom following the announcement of Barack Obama’s run the presidency in February 2007.  This was on the basis of opposition research in the form of FOXNews and MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson (who I will deal with in a moment) and their reactions towards Obama’s church’s Black Value system.  Aside from the fact that Hannity did not deal with the issues counterpointed by Obama’s pastor, Hannity looked quite the fool by spouting his random knowledge in the area of theology–however not liberation theology as Obama’s pastor, and my senior pastor as well, pointed out.

Tucker Carlson also in an MSNBC clip mentioned Barack Obama as not being a “scary guy” and yet again, this plays into the notion that he normally should be a scary guy.  Now in all fairness, I don’t watch MSNBC, let alone Tucker Carlson, however, such a comment can definitely be interpreted as one about Obama being a black man, and that in fact black men are inherently scary and that’s an idea that I outright reject and will no longer entertain such foolishness from bottom feeders such as Hannity and Carlson.

Finally, following the March 1st interview of Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright by Hannity and Colmes there was a follow-up to that interview with Jesse Lee Peterson and Michael Brown, a Democratic strategist.  I don’t know how Christopher Hitchens could allow his fingers to type about how Jeremiah Wright being “demagogue…with reverend in front of his name” but not talk about Jesse Lee Peterson, who has his own website and is the founder of some crack pot organization on which Sean Hannity is a board member.  Jesse Lee Peterson, upon review to this website has no visible resume of his academic acheivements, but yet it is a public fact that Jeremiah Wright has earned masters and doctorate degrees.  Anyway, Jesse Lee is the one being nominated for Fool Fest on the basis that he called Trinity United Church of Christ a racist church and other inane accusations rounding them out by saying “they even call themselves black.”

Need I say more?  I think not!

Now, I’m sure other’s have more to say.  If you have other’s you’d like to nominate, please send in your comment, and I’ll post my final thoughts later.

 Keep it uppity, JLL

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