The parables of Jesus are rug pulling nuggets, the equivalent of intellectual pratfalls which suddenly illuminate and give us another angle, another way of seeing. In some ways you might call them Palestinian humour.
We need some today particularly in the Roman Church as it flails away in the gap between the clerical world that is dying and the newer, more dEmocartic church needed to serve humankind.
In the broader culture there have always been wags, comics, pranksters which serve the purpose of Shakepeare’s fool—wisdom coming from another location.
For example Adbusters Magazine has promoted culture jamming, subverting those pompous lifestyle ads of corporate advertising we see everywhere, those awful deadly serious hymns to consumption. It’s like drawing a moustache on a model in a billboard or tweaking texts. Teahers should be doing this regularly in media studies classes and yes, religion classes.. Jam the toxic culture by all means.
In the USA mid the shocking 20 years of consumer madness and wretched excess under Reagan/Bush there were some delightful send ups.My favourite was Billionaires for Bush who described themselves as “ a grasswork network of corporate lobbyists,decadent heiresses. Haliburton CEOs( Cheney) and other winners under George Busg’s policies.” They actually had 60 chapters across the US. They would show up in pin stripes, conservatively dressed in dark suits and take over press conferences with their antics . Signs like “4 more years of putting profits over people” and chanting at Bush rallies, “Four more wars”. Another fave was “Inequality isn’t growing fast enough.”
People loved it.
Now with the economic downturn caused by Wall Street, these secular jeers should be but a prelude for massive demonstrations.