The Allure of Fuddy Duddy……

As life passes,
dressed in illusions of grace,
we sit upon our thrones of offal,
ignoring the smell in favor of delusion,
twisted souls blighted by ignorance, laughing,
oblivious to impending doom, until the end………

Perhaps it isn’t great poetry, but it works for me…..up early today, a natural result of going to bed early, & thought I’d try my hand at a line or two….no rhyming going on, but not a bad data compression ratio. Who knows, maybe one day all I learned sophomore year of high school about iambic pentameter will come back to me, and I’ll become a famous poet. Stranger things have happened, for sure….meantime, lets discuss some heavy s__t…..

“Yes, evil comes in many forms, whether it be a man-eating cow or Joseph Stalin, but you can’t let the package hide the pudding! Evil is just plain bad! You don’t cotton to it. You gotta smack it in the nose with the rolled-up newspaper of goodness! Bad dog. Bad dog.” — The Tick

Throughout history, literature, and the people who create it, have been the gadflies of society. Teaching morals and customs through humorous stories and fables goes back to the time even before the Greeks began producing theater, bringing us stories and plays that were both humorous and dramatic, passing on to later generations the public mindset that was prevalent at the time. Prior to theaters and formalized acting out of plays, minstrels and bards, often nomadic, were responsible for the passing on of knowledge to the next generation, teaching nursery rhymes to children, and singing the news to the adults.

     In the 19th century, the advancement in technology for the writing down of history, law, culture, etc. had gotten to the point that books could be produced fairly cheaply. Newspapers were even cheaper, and were able to carry the news from far away even more efficiently. It was about this era when political cartoons made their way into the consciousness of society at large, and cartoons became one more very powerful method for transmitting vitally important information to large numbers of people all at once. This has had some good effects, and some not so good…..

The primary effect, of course, is the ability of cartoon media to spread information to large numbers of people. People have learned to use the information presented there since childhood, from reading comics in the newspaper to watching Saturday morning cartoons all their lives, and have become accustomed to processing the information given in that format with no difficulty. In fact, I have observed that people will often trust a cartoon figure more than a live one, having a greater degree of confidence that they will get a straight answer from the cartoon, while the live person may lie. But the trust that people feel for cartoons carries over as well, and a great deal of information is now given using a “talking head” format. This format is what you see almost everywhere on TV, where a person’s head and shoulders are shown as they deliver some piece of news, or concept, or documentary; it has been refined over the years until today, we very seldom even think about it.

And that is the bad effect…..people have come to trust the talking heads, to believe that what they tell us is the truth, when in fact, probably more than 50% of what you see presented is a lie, always presented in such a fashion as to have us believe it is true, when it is not. Everything you see on TV, especially commercials, is intended to make you think a certain way, to believe certain things are true. There is even a name for the process, called putting the ‘spin’ on truth, meaning to twist and turn the truth into such a shape that it looks true, but is not. This misplaced trust is one of Evil’s most powerful tools, for it gives those who would do us harm a clear path into the control center of public consciousness, where they can adjust belief at their whim. It allows the PTB (Powers That Be) to control what the public hears, and how they hear it. “True power is control of the routes of perception.” — gigoid.

What is the answer to fighting this usurpation of the truth by our beloved ruling class? It lies in the same information media in which it is secured, with a small twist to the other direction. Parody and caricature, when applied by an artist of wit and style, can prick the balloon of lies we are given, and watch them shrivel, their demise hastened by our laughter. The Tick, whose philosophy is summarized above, is a good example of how the literati in society may fight back against the forces of darkness. Sheathed in apparent idiocy, the Tick blunders through the universe righting wrongs, because his heart is pure, and his writers are genius. Fortunately, though the percentage of humanity that sees the truth and brings it to light is small indeed, it has the advantage of the use of the same tool used by those whose self-interest is of primary importance. Used properly, we can laugh those nasty suckers right out of power……

When I’m not thank’d at all, I’m thank’d enough;
I’ve done my duty, and I’ve done no more.
— Henry Fielding (1707-1754)
— Tom Thumb the Great, Act i, Sc. 3

Duty is a word whose meaning has been somewhat obscured in this last century. Before about 1950 or 60, people in this country understood the word, and it’s true meaning. That understanding is what drove the millions of men who volunteered to go to war in WWII and Korea. These men assumed their duty to protect their home and families, and had no expectation of any reward beyond staying alive (the possibility of death is trivial to any man whose life is based on honor). Those men CHOSE to go to war; no threat was needed to obtain recruits. An army of volunteers is much more powerful and dangerous than one comprised of conscripts, a point proven by the war’s outcome.

But somewhere along the line, the concept of duty got perverted, and people apparently came to accept that government had the right to determine what our duty is, without consultation or consent from us. Duty is defined in most dictionaries as “moral obligation”, and as such is an obligation we must decide for ourselves whether or not to assume. No government is either responsible for, nor entitled to dictate, my morals, or anyone else’s.

     Morals are based on our personal beliefs, and as such is not subject to governmental authority. Hell, I don’t even give a religion that power; my morals are mine, and are not the business of anyone else, unless I choose to share them. You can rest assured, I will never allow any government, or church, or any other person to determine my duty for me. Only I make that choice, and any who would try to take that decision away from me should beware…..I get testy…..

“Noise proves nothing.  Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.” — Mark Twain

I included this one as a light-hearted attempt at describing the current political scene here in the good ol’ USA, After a few moments though, what I thought about it looked as if it would be good for a couple thousand words all by itself, and though I got an early start on the day, that may be a bit much. So, we’ll just let it speak for itself, and I will merely point out the tendency of Ms. Bachmann, Mr. Cain, Mr. Perry, Mr. Hunt, Mr. Romney, et al, to insist on giving us a daily report on how many asteroids they have laid in the past week…..

On that note, I will bid thee adieu. I hope my verbosity didn’t put anyone off, but hey, if you think it’s too much, just let me know, ‘kay? In the meantime, y’all take care out there……

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.