A View From “The Balcony”

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Jean Genet’s play, “The Balcony,” is an entertaining political and social satire centered around a brothel whose customers are men playing the roles of such institutional icons as a corporate official, a general, an archbishop, a judge, and a revolutionary leader. The villain in the play is the police chief who, in response to the question “who’s in charge?” provides the article of faith of every statist: “the police are always in charge!”

The brothel’s madam is Irma, ably assisted by her bookkeeper, Carmen. After witnessing what appears to her as the exciting life within the brothel, Carmen informs Irma that she would like to give up her present job and join the team of prostitutes. Irma rejects her request, saying “the world is full of whores; what it really needs is a good bookkeeper.”

There was a news report on today’s Internet informing us of the results of a survey that showed the number one college major this year is accounting.

Perhaps Genet had it right all along.

11:57 pm on April 6, 2005