Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?"

On July 21, 2017, Anthony "the Mooch" Scaramucci was named as White House Communications Director, to take office on July 25. Tweets and headlines asked the question...

Anthony Scaramucci, Will you do the Fandango?

Which is a clever word play on a line from the song Bohemian Rhapsody, "Scaramouche, Scaramouche, you will you do the fandango?" I don't think anyone quite realized at the time how truly apropos that characterization would turn out to be. 

I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning,
Very, very frightening me.

Scaramuccia means "little skirmisher", brief fight or controversy of little importance. Scaramouche or Scaramouch, is a stock character of the Italian commedia dell'arte.  He was often beaten for his boasting and cowardice. Scaramouche entertains the audience with grimaces and affected language. Scaramouche can be clever or stupid—as the actor sees fit to portray him. A fandango is a lively Spanish dance typically accompanied by guitars, castanets, hand-clapping or tambourine. A fandango is also a foolish or useless act or thing. In the Urban Dictionary a fandango is described as trying hard to be cool, in an ostentatious overly obvious way, usually with style of dress but also can include mannerisms or behavior. Yep, that about sums it up.

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality

In a true blurring of the lines between life and art we had a summer fling with "the Mooch" that was over almost as soon as it began.  The summer lovin' had me a blast, summer lovin' happened so fast whirlwind of a fandango lasted only ten days and by July 31 Scaramlucci's stint as White House Communications Director had come to an end. 

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances...

Ok, so I'm mixing my Will Shakespeare with my Freddie Mercury. Even so, Anthony Scaramucci exits stage right having played a  fandangoing Scaramouche to the hilt as he saw fit to portray him and holding the record for the shortest stint as White House Communications Director. If indeed he actually was, having never been sworn in as White House staff. After a profanity laced rant, that he thought was off the record, Scaramucci was beaten for his arrogance and boasting.

I am not usually interested in political commentary and analysis. It's not really my forte. What I am interested in is the moral of the story. As a Catholic blogger I am also interested in applying that moral in my life as a Christian. The moral of this story, as I see it, is that you are always representing. There is no such thing as off the record. So the question is not WILL you do a fandango. There is going to be a dance not matter what. The real question is what kind of fandango do you want it to be? Will it be a little skirmish, a brief fight over a controversy of little importance? Or will it have substance and be of lasting value? Will it be a lively dance or a foolish, useless thing? Will it be obvious, ostentatious, self-serving, boasting and arrogant? Or will it humbly serve God and others?

23Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Lk 11:23

As we go about our daily lives, I don' t think we are always aware of the fact that no matter what, as Catholics, we are representing. We are representing the Church, we are representing other Catholics but most of all we are representing Jesus Christ. We don't always realize that in everything we do and say, whether publically or in private, we are either gathering with him or scattering against him. There really is no neutral ground, nothing that is off the record. It isn't a question of whether or not we will give a face to the Gospel but only a matter of what that face will be.

Many of us communicate, as Catholics, on the internet with blogs, in comments sections and on Facebook. We can sometimes hide behind a certain anonymity. We forget that because others can't see our face that we are still representing something, giving a face to something with our words. We forget to ask ourselves whether our affect is that of Jesus Christ. We don't stop to consider if  the language we are using is what he would use. We don't stop to realize that an encounter with us is someone else's encounter with Christ. Often we are representing our own bitterness, anger or fear. We are sometimes getting a kick out off our own cleverness. We belittle those who disagree with us. Our pride and a sense of superiority won't let us see someone else's side. We can often go to the mat to vindicate and justify ourselves. We don't think that we have to answer for our behavior to others.We forget to be cognizant of the fact that because we say we are Catholic there are only two options as to what others will see in that encounter. Either they will see a true representation of Christ or a misrepresentation of him and his gospel. There are really only two outcomes. Either we will gather for Christ or we will scatter against him.

No matter what we are always representing.

There really isn't any question that there will be a fandango. The only question before each of us today is what kind of a fandango will it be?

For what it's worth.