Twilight razors, filled with ample screams of delighted salmon fillets, turned backward flips in the parlor, while the Doge Imperius strolled through the garden. Abby didn’t want hers, so I put her squiggly first course of lamprey eel down the bodice of the queen. But, that was only the first time. Afterwards, we all went into the big blue room to play charades. It was a good party…..
Sorry ’bout that. Before I sat down to begin, I was reading the Bathroom Reader, about the Bullwer-Lytton Writing Contest. That’s the one held each year to pick the best (worst) opening paragraph of the world’s worst novel, as patterned after the opening of the book “Paul Clifford” by Edward Bullwer-Lytton, which began, “It was a dark and stormy night…..”. What I wrote above is certainly bad enough, but I think it’s actually TOO bad, even for that contest. Too much surrealism, and more than one run-on sentence….
Surreal isn’t unknown in this venue; I actually depend on it a lot, for contrast. Exploring reality can be somewhat stultifying to the mind, if one isn’t careful, so I take a dose of surreal before I try to deal with it directly. Kind of a prophylactic, eh? I suppose one could call it a literary condom…. that is, if one were so inclined. Me, I’m too classy for that….
Now that we have entered Fantasy Land, I think it would be best to start our morning task. In fact, I think that if we don’t, we could conceivably get stuck here for a long time…. shall we Pearl?…..
“We live in a time when man would rather be envied than esteemed.” — G. Trudeau
One of the characteristics of the English language that I appreciate is adroitly demonstrated here by Mssr. Trudeau (Doonesbury’s creator…). That characteristic is the precision of meaning that can be found by using just the right words. This statement, because of that very precision, becomes extremely insightful, accurately putting its finger on the nature of society, and on the nature of the people who make up that society. This desire to be envied, to be looked up to, to be the object of jealousy, was very aptly labeled by my uncle, Russell Smith, back in the early 1960’s, when he dubbed this state “Me-Firsterism”. (The title should be delivered with a slightly smug sneer….)
“Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.” — Frank Leahy
Personally, I think the word “selfish” describes the issue just fine. “Entitlement” is another word that comes to mind, especially if paired with a descriptive adjective that implies that the entitlement is completely undeserved. The word “delusional” comes to mind in that respect….. These people see no conflict in claiming they love America, while also making it clear that they cannot stand Americans.
They love being able to hop down to the market to pick up fresh veggies any time, but would faint if they were asked to go out into the fields to harvest those veggies. At the same time, they want to send all the illegal immigrants home…. these are the same immigrants who harvest the fields for the veggies, at half the rate any American would demand.
“Character is a victory, not a gift.” — Smart Bee
These are the same people who will shout out at the top of their lungs how proud they are of being an American. Whenever I hear that, I am tempted to ask them, “Oh? You’re proud you are American? Tell me, what exactly did you do, to become one? What is it you did that should make you proud of yourself? Oh, your parents were living here when you were born? So, you didn’t do anything to become an American….” I’ve done this in reality a couple of times, and it’s amazing how angry these folks get when confronted. It’s rather entertaining, actually, to see them turn all those different colors….
This is rigorous. Well, it’s rigorous in the sense that … All right, it’s not rigorous. — Smart Bee
No, this isn’t a rigorous argument. This issue doesn’t require a rigorous argument; it’s too obvious. Our society is bursting at the seams with people who are both ignorant and arrogant, filled with a sense of entitlement and eliteness that is completely unconnected to anything in reality; there is no real basis for their pride, or for their belief in their own supremacy. But, since they believe they are the “Lords of Creation”, they carry on with their ignorant, destructive patterns of behavior, and, in the process, pull the rest of humanity along with them on their trip to the deeper regions of Hades….
Maybe I can’t stop them. Maybe I can’t turn the tide of historical events toward a safer shore. Maybe I’m shouting into the wind; it seems that way a lot of the time. None of these maybes are enough to keep me from trying, or to keep me from ranting about it. Maybe one of my rants will fall upon the right ears, and inspire someone to act. If not, well, at least I have the opportunity to sling a few darts in the direction of the pundits and the preachers. Or mud…. slinging mud is always fun…. and it’s not like getting muddy would be something with which they are unfamiliar….
“He probably just wants to take over my CELLS and then EXPLODE inside me like a BARREL of runny CHOPPED LIVER! Or maybe he’d like to PSYCHOLOGICALLY TERRORIZE ME until I have no objection to a RIGHT-WING MILITARY TAKEOVER of my apartment!! I guess I should call AL PACINO!” — Zippy the Pinhead
We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.
I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.
Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.
I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.
Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?
The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.
Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.
The images this brings to my inner eye are compelling, if a bit ambiguous. I found it to be a refreshing read, though I really have no clue as to its true meaning; it seemed very personal, like I’d feel embarrassed for the poet if I actually knew what he meant. So, it’s okay that I don’t. If you do follow what he’s saying, or think I’m missing something, please feel free to comment….
Old school Pearl alert: Below are six quotations, all on the same topic. No adornment is possible, or desirable, other than to say that each one makes sense to me, and all are accurate reflections of reality…..
Blasphemy: When a religious person dares to think. — Smart Bee
“All great truths begin as blasphemies.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), “Annajanska”
‘God says in the Bible’ carries as much moral imperative to me as saying ‘Dr. Seuss says in Green Eggs and Ham.’ Both are interesting books with some good messages, nothing more. — Smart Bee (I almost claimed this one as my own; it states my view perfectly. Integrity won, but it was a hard fight….)
“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.” — Aldous Huxley
“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
“Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.” — George Bernard Shaw
Editorial note: To be fair, one may place the name of any other religion in the spots where it says “Christianity”. None of the quotation’s meaning will be changed at all…..
Time drags on, day by day, bringing me closer to…. now. While typing that phrase, it occurred to me that Now is all we really have, and I’m no closer to tomorrow at this moment than I was before, or will be after. All I’ll be is more confused about the implied paradoxes….. Hmm… be careful, please. Don’t think about that last part too long; I think it could turn into an infinite loop, and who knows what might happen…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.