Perfect Moment Monday: The Greater Fool

by Kathy on August 27, 2012 · 9 comments

in Blog Hops, Bob, Change, Family, Friends, Hope, Optimism, Perfect Moments, Quotes, TV Shows

It’s the last Monday of the month which means its time to share our Perfect Moments from August with Lori from Write Mind Open Heart.


“‘The greater fool’ is actually an economic term. It’s a patsy… For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool, someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their lives trying not to be the greater fool. We toss him the hot potato. We dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools.” ~ Sloan Sabbith on The Newsroom

Tonight was the season finale of one of my new favorite television shows called The Newsroom. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s Aaron Sorkin’s latest brain child (a.k.a. a cable news show version of The West Wing). It’s far from perfect and very idealistic. It speaks directly to greater fools. I should know, because I am one. It’s part of why I blog, why I volunteer in our parish and at my children’s schools. It’s why I do whatever I can to reach out to others who are bereaved and blessed and try to make my corner of the world a better place.

All weekend I was anticipating this post and what would become my Perfect Moment Monday for August. I know it’s been a really good month for my family and me when I have a hard time choosing which perfect moment(s) to highlight here.

I could have written about a great date Bob and I had last night going to see American English (a Beatles cover band) play at a local minor league baseball park. I might have talked about how much the band looked and sounded like the Beatles and how nostalgic it was to hear some of their greatest hits and sing along. I would have told you how much fun we had with the two couples who joined us — one pair being old and dear friends and the other being newer in our life, who we are so enjoying getting to know.

I could have written about the baby shower that I attended this afternoon for a college friend. I might have talked about how I enjoyed reconnecting and spending time with my sorority sisters and how surreal it is to see how far we have all come since our college days, yet in other ways how little has changed. I would have told you how happy I am for my friend and her husband who are expecting and how bittersweet it is to reflect on that time in my life, nine years ago, when Bob and I were preparing for the birth of our first child.

I could have written about the family game night we had after dinner this evening, including a few rounds of Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. I might have talked about how cool it was that Abby is getting old enough to play for and by herself for the most part (not needing a partner anymore). I would have told you how proud I am of Sean for being patient with his younger sister as she learns and how fun it was for all four of us to be able to play board games together.

But then the kids went to bed and Bob and I watched The Newsroom. I was frustrated by parts of the storyline tonight. I didn’t like some of the ways the I felt Aaron Sorkin was trying to manipulate viewers with his agenda, even though I agree with his perspective more often than not. Bob argued that he thinks most of those who watch the show can see through what Sorkin is doing. Either way, I still respect and admire what this greater fool is attempting with his writing and this television show. I appreciate the way he imagines news media can and should be.

Sometimes we are the most critical of people who we see pieces of ourselves in. Maybe that is why, as an idealist, I get worked up at times when I see others’ approaches to portraying the world as they believe it can be. But I give them credit for putting themselves out there and offering an alternative to the status quo.

Towards the end of The Newsroom tonight a character, who posed a pivotal question in the pilot episode, returned to the help the season’s storyline come full circle. I loved how Sorkin brought her back and the way he wove her into the season finale. The woman, who is simply known as “sorority girl” (for now), said to fictitious News Night anchor Will McAvoy and executive producer MacKenzie McHale:

“I watch the show and I read the New York magazine article and I know what a greater fool is, and I want to be one.”

One of my perfect moments this month is realizing what it means to be a greater fool and knowing that I am proud to be one.

Do you know any greater fools?

Do you consider yourself to be one?


Lori from Write Mind Open Heart says that “Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.” I love the idea of being mindful of and blogging about perfect moments. Over the years I have often used my blog more to write about things I am struggling with and though I know that is valid and important for me at times, I appreciate the idea of being intentional about also sharing the simple and very special moments in our lives. Many thanks to Lori for this wonderful opportunity to focus on what is right in our life, instead of what is wrong. 

Click here to read about and comment on more Perfect Moments (there are links to others’ posts at the bottom of Lori’s blog entry) and/or add a link to one of your own. Thank you for reading. I hope that you have a wonderful week and that you are aware of, as well as able to notice, many perfect moments in your own lives.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jjiraffe August 27, 2012 at 12:39 am

Great questions. I try to be a greater fool by trying to tell the truth in my small way on my blog, profiling the faces of ALI. Sorkin often does appeal to our better angels, which I like. Instead of the usual divisive discourse, I like that this show ended on this question.


2 Mud Hut Mama August 27, 2012 at 4:10 am

I’ve never heard of that show but it sounds intriguing. I also don’t know that I’ve ever heard the term greater fool before so thank you for introducing me to that. I think I probably am one too. My husband most certainly is one and that is one of the things I love most about him.
Mud Hut Mama recently posted..Power Outage: A Perfect MomentMy Profile


3 Suzy August 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

I love that you have so many perfect moments to choose from over the past month. It’s a lovely feeling isn’t it, having too many to put into one post.

I’ve never seen The Newsroom, but it sounds so interesting.

Cheers to many more perfect moments over the next month.
Suzy recently posted..Fairy Godmothers: PMMMy Profile


4 Lori Lavender Luz August 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I, too, liked reading about all the moments that were in the running for your perfect one.

Hmmm…I think I am a greater fool in that I am an idealist. I think people are basically good and I tend to appeal to that part. And somewhat audacious. The project I’m working on now required a certain greater foolishness to get off the ground — to make open adoptions easier and better for the parents and children involved.

My dad is a total greater fool. Even more so than I. Thanks for introducing me to this Sorkin show!
Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..Perfect Moment Monday: Good enough?My Profile


5 Molly Jo August 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I don’t get to watch The Newsroom; it’s not available online and I don’t subscribe to HBO. But I was able to see the pilot episode, and I do indeed like it. And yes, I want to be a Greater Fool, too.
Molly Jo recently posted..My Top Ten Disaster MoviesMy Profile


6 Justine August 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I love the idea of the Greater Fool! Sometimes, I confess, I wait for that person to step up before I become brave enough to act. But sometimes I can be brave enough to play that role, myself. I love that you are able to see yourself in that role!
Justine recently posted..Perfect Moment Monday: Cookie DoughMy Profile


7 Ryan Chang September 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

Hey, I just through that episode and carzy for it too. What a great voice from people’s depth. BTW, your article is cool too!
RyanChang from China.
Best wishes.


8 amy September 10, 2012 at 9:00 am

I just wanted to stop by and thank you for the thoughtful review. I read it a few days ago, and it inspired me to check out The Newsroom. Prior to seeing your post, I had been hearing such terrible things about the show, so I never bothered to give it a chance. I’m just lucky that my roommate is addicted to it, so we had every episode stockpiled on our DVR, because I’m hooked now! It’s also lucky that we have the Hopper DVR, which has loads of memory space, so we never had to delete the season to make room for new recordings. I just wanted to let you know how eloquently you described the greater fool. I was trying to explain the concept to my Dish coworker and just couldn’t come up with the right words. Thanks again for the great post!


9 February 1, 2013 at 11:19 pm

You rock. Thank you for posting this. I will check again to find out more and recommend my coworkers about it.


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