The Dependent Magazine is a Vancouver-based publication of daring and creative works of journalism and entertainment.
Want to get involved?
Send text, pictures, videos, and crude drawings to email@example.com.
“Fool let off – but with a warning,” reads an article in the Vancouver Province, reporting on the arrest of Joachim Foikis, the city’s official Town Fool, on the charge of “creating a disturbance”.
“Drum-beating Town Fool Joachim Foikis was cleared Friday of a charge of creating a disturbance but was told he should cool ‘silly symphonies’ in the downtown area in the future,” reports the paper. “Foikis was arrested at Granville and Broadway last Saturday as he stood in the midst of a crowd of 200 people who spilled out of a meditation session with Zen Buddhist philosopher Alan Watts. Police picked Foikis out as the leader of the crowd as he waved his fool’s baton in tune to the sounds of bass and snare drums, cymbals, flutes and tambourines.”
Fokis, who conducted his own defense at the proceedings, called a number of witnesses, all of whom called the affair “a happy, spontaneous and innocent gathering.” The Crown, however, was not so convinced, alleging, according to the paper “although there was no viciousness attached to the gathering, it had not been a ‘happy happening’, but rather a ‘silly happening’.”
Joachim Foikis is a familiar figure in the city of Vancouver, having received, in 1968, a Canada Council Grant to serve as the city’s official “Town Fool”, and to “promote self-awareness of the entire community”. Previous activites have included attending city council meetings in a jester’s outfit (his customary attire), snarling up traffic by travelling down Main Street in a cart pulled by donkeys, and hosting spontaneous street parties – activities which will eventually get him profiled in the New York Times.
“There’s a time and place for most things,” Magistrate Morris Mulligan tells Foikis. “I don’t think the corner of Granville and Broadway between 10 and 11 at night is the right time or the right place for this thing of yours. But on the whole of the evidence I must dismiss the charge and you are free to go.”
Less than a month later, Foikis will use the last $500 of his grant to host a street party for downtown eastside residents.
IMAGE: Joachim Fokis, from a Province file photo.