by LT

Joseph Stalin believed that communism, or his idea of it, was right for him and right for the rest of the world. Shunned by the west and welcomed by others he would be a prime example of a joker of the pack. He changed a situation in an unexpected way; he changed the reputation of Russia from an uncivilised country of no threat, to a country that could potentially have taken down one of the world's super powers.


The joker of the pack can be interpreted as someone or something that cannot conform to one suit or set. It is a wild card; useful, unexpected yet unreliable. It is a term that can define the very nature of a person. The behaviour associated with it polarises opinion; welcomed and glorified by some and tarnished by others.


At the heart of the joker is curiosity. Two basic human instincts that have carried us through evolution yet distinguish us as animals. These two traits, basic building blocks in the make-up of man are the same things that we share with the most primitive of animals.


The role of the joker is debatable. For some it could be the wild card, kookie and hedonistic but it could be that the jokers of the pack are there purely for entertainment; their role in a social group would be to provide humour and to lighten the mood.

If you were to take into the account where the idiom came from, however, it would be clear to see that the first reason is more fitting. The joker was brought into the pack of cards around the 1860's in order to trump all other cards; it is supreme and when played to your advantage the effects are tremendous. The joker has another side, however, a side that in a card game could ruin the run and defeat even the flushest of hand.


True to form the joker of the pack would also have this ability to stand out from the crowd. Their unique thirst for the new and unexpected makes them an oddity. Though every human is individual many will ultimately become a reproduction of someone they have seen or inspired to be. The joker does not follow the monotony of day-to-day life. In most, there will be a clear joker of the pack in friendship groups. Perhaps ostracised for their thought-process or revered as the alpha. The natural desire to be different, physiological hedonism and the optimal-arousal model (keeping the brain stimulated) are all very simple yet effective reasons as to why a human may find them self being given the title of the joker of the pack.


The impacts of this role would seem to be positive, by thinking differently and being perhaps reckless allows humans to expand their knowledge and evolve. However,


there is a more sinister side. When the joker's thinking perhaps ignore basic human instinct it can become dangerous and the additional of thrill can sometimes become addictive to the joker.


The level of influence sometimes held by the joker can often play a part in their demise. It is clear to see that in modern history there have been people of power that have abused and misused their influence held over a mass audience, hence the Stalin example.


On the other hand there are those such as entrepreneurs, inventors and artists who harbour the power of being the joker of the pack and being slightly unusual in a creative way. After all, the position of a joker of the pack relies on being a concoction of qualities that all humans possess but knowing which card to play at that precise moment in time.


Are you the joker?