As Herzog says, the cunning learn how to mimic the virtuous. And the clever mimic the dull ("Do you suppose you fellows could teach me a bit about this game of poker you're playing?") That creates layers of ambiguous identities, like the mirrored personalities of double agents. Groucho Marx, as Rufus T. Firefly in Duck Soup, offers reassurance: "Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot." To what extent, Herzog asks, does Tammy Faye Bakker's elaborately contrived make-up define her? Would she still be Tammy if her face were unadorned?I haven't read the book. But I have seen "Duck Soup"! And I've seen "The Eyes of Tammy Faye." I wonder how deeply Herzog delved into the infinite complexities of Tammy Faye. Don't take that woman lightly. She means something!
March 1, 2006
An essay about a book on the subject of "cunning." (Via A&L Daily.) The book is by a lawprof, Don Herzog.