Destroy his fib or sophistry–in vain!
The creature ‘s at his dirty work again.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, Prologue to the Satires, Line 91
Aye, he is, indeed. Up, that is, and at his dirty work, again…. Well, I am, anyway, even if the creature isn’t quite awake yet…. Actually, it’s a good sign, being up early, considering how early I fell asleep. I felt like a little kid, falling asleep before dark, afraid I was going to miss something. I didn’t, though, so it was okay to fall out that early, as I had already done everything there was to do, up to, and including, dinner with my lady. Eating well, good company, and a double shot of Jack will put me under every time, especially now that I’m old and frail….
Hah! Caught ya! Old and frail, indeed…. While I must admit that I am old, and I do get tired pretty fast these days, I don’t think I’m quite ready to join the Geezer Society, or to become a member of the “let’s go sit down for that” group of senior citizens, who never get out to do anything, spending their time rocking on the porch, watching the world go by…. Thanks, but I’d rather be part of the parade marching past, even if I must limp, and, even if it means getting tired all the time, eh? Fatigue is a small price to pay, for not turning into a slug…. Besides, as a slug, you’ve got to always be on the lookout for salt….
I should know better than to start writing before I drink some of my coffee…. I AM up early again, at 0500, but, since I fell out at 8:30 last night, that is quite enough sleep, and I’ve got no worries there…. But, the content of anything that streams out of my pre-caffeinated brain is suspect, at the very least, and, potentially, toxic, at the worst. This, I think, falls in between, and isn’t dangerous, by any means….. But, then, neither is it particularly interesting, or gut-bustingly funny, and it certainly isn’t going to make anyone run out and wake up the Pulitzer Committee members…. Hell, it may not even hold anyone’s interest as far as this paragraph, and that is sad, indeed….
I must try to overcome my sadness, though, and go on…. nothing else would be honorable. Okay, well, you’re right, it doesn’t have anything to do with honor, but, I’m human, and I, too, occasionally fall prey to those human foibles, of making things up, or more plainly, lying to suit my own purposes, in this case, just getting on with it…. This lie, intended to speed things along, like the lies our beloved leaders tell us, aren’t BAD lies, they’re little white lies, and won’t hurt anyone…. right? Right? Lying CAN be a good thing, yes?….
Well, no, it can’t…. It isn’t really a good idea, even to spare someone’s feelings…. The truth, painful as it can sometimes be, is always best. We tend to forget that, because we sometimes wish we hadn’t known the truth…. But, knowing the truth, unpalatable as it may be, will never poison us, whereas lies will cause us toxic pain, one way or another, every time they are used, either as a passive recipient, or as a guilty perpetrator….. We all hate the fact that pain is our best teacher, but, we all know it is true, which is the source of the old adage about “sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind”, one we all acknowledge as truth, though we don’t always like it….
There I go again, ranting in the intro section…. SIGH…. I wish I could get a solid handle on this stuff; it’s getting a bit frustrating….. Though, that, of course, totally ignores the fact that I do it to myself…. Ah well, I guess we’re all Bozos on this bus, so, I may as well let my humongous proboscis do its thing, and honk away…. meanwhile….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“King Arthur and his armored goons of the Round Table functioned as the Politburo of a slave state: Camelot. Of all who have written on the Matter of Arthur, from Malory to White, only Mark Twain understood this. But Mark Twain was a great writer.” — Edward Abbey
Which means, by implication, all the others were not good writers….. I happen to agree with this assessment, but, then, I’m curmudgeon by nature, and by training, so accepting an unpopular truth comes easy to me. It’s unpopular because all those other authors have agents, too, and hate to see their charges maligned, even posthumously.
Then, there is also the fact that the lies, of which the history of any historical period are comprised, are considered to be the truth of the matter, as decided by the ruling faction at the time, and with the approval of the priestly hierarchies…. Historical writings are notorious for being colored by the wishes and desires of the church leaders and kings of the periods in question; an adage commonly held by all ages is, “history is written by the winners….”
This is not supposition, by the way…. This is a proven historical fact, and one that, though everyone seems to know it, and accept it, nobody seems to want to do anything about it. Not only that, but, our modern leaders, in both the governments, and, the churches, lie to us on a daily basis, and nobody seems to care about that, either….
It’s as if over half the human race just gives up all hope of understanding the universe, or having any overt personal control over their own lives, and gives up their right to make up their own minds to those in authority, allowing them to do all their thinking for them, and accepting whatever lies they choose to tell, implicitly….. It quite simply makes me crazy….
Those in power KNOW this, of course, and encourage it shamelessly…. The church leaders all preach tolerance, and submission to temporal authority, while at the same time accepting the kickbacks and privileges afforded them by their sanctified status, with no taxes, and all the other perks that go along with being a church.
The government leaders are more obvious in their machinations, but still are allowed to lie, and cheat, and steal, right out in the open, with the full approval of those who elect them…. Until, of course, someone points out the immorality or unethical nature of something, then there is a huge outcry, and some other idiot with a glib tongue is shoved into the limelight, in favor of the liar who got caught… which, in our culture, is the ultimate crime…
Yep…. killing, stealing, violence, lying, all are socially acceptable activities, provided one does not commit the ultimate crime of getting caught doing any of it…. Our culture REWARDS this kind of behavior, with laws that protect anyone who lives within its parameters.
We have, on the books, laws that allow for discrimination, cheating others, and/or outright violence, provided one a) has a legally approved reason (i.e., government or societal sanction, such as for the police entitlements, or, such as “stand your ground” laws, or, most egregiously, laws stating that corporations are “persons”….), or b) doesn’t get caught doing it…. According to the law, if no one saw you do it, it didn’t get done…. I guess that makes sense, in an unreal sort of way…. It sure doesn’t account for reality very well, though….
Okay, I’m done ranting for now…. I rant and rave about this stuff regularly, but, very seldom does it have any real effect out in the real world, which sort of puts it in the “useless wind” category of literature. Maybe someday, someone will listen, or read it, and get a clue, and spread it around a little wider….
It would be, in my estimation, a very good thing for a lot of people to know this stuff, because, believe me, none of your teachers, or preachers, or politicians, or policemen, are ever going to tell you any of this stuff, for the simple reason that they would rather you didn’t know, and would prefer that you didn’t even think about this kind of thing…. They’re better off when you don’t….
Me, I say, fuck ’em…. I prefer to live in Reality, as it exists, to “tell the truth, and shame the Devil,” as much as I possibly can…. the Devil being defined as that part of humanity that lies to the rest of us…. Maybe I’ll just call it The Asshole Syndrome, and let it go at that…. In conclusion, I have only these comments….
“Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.” — Smart Bee
“Who cannot give good counsel? ‘T is cheap, it costs them nothing.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part ii, Sect. 2, Memb. 3
“If voting could change the system it would be illegal. If not voting could change the system it would be illegal.” — Schroedinger’s Cat
“Forbid a man to think for himself or to act for himself and you may add the joy of piracy and the zest of smuggling to his life.” — Elbert Hubbard
“A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” — Mark Twain
“Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I’m rich.” — Daffy Duck, from Looney Tunes Ali Baba Bunny (1957, Chuck Jones)
And, of course, the kicker….
“History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.” — George Santayana
What better way to show how the subject of the above rant has affected society, than to exhibit a poet who rejected the lies he heard, and insisted on describing reality the way he saw it, much to the chagrin of the powers that be…..
In the Quarter of the Negroes
Where the doors are doors of paper
Dust of dingy atoms
Blows a scratchy sound.
Amorphous jack-o’-Lanterns caper
And the wind won’t wait for midnight
For fun to blow doors down.
By the river and the railroad
With fluid far-off going
Boundaries bind unbinding
A whirl of whistles blowing.
No trains or steamboats going–
Yet Leontyne’s unpacking.
In the Quarter of the Negroes
Where the doorknob lets in Lieder
More than German ever bore,
Her yesterday past grandpa–
Not of her own doing–
In a pot of collard greens
Is gently stewing.
Pushcarts fold and unfold
In a supermarket sea.
And we better find out, mama,
Where is the colored laundromat
Since we move dup to Mount Vernon.
In the pot behind the paper doors
on the old iron stove what’s cooking?
What’s smelling, Leontyne?
Lieder, lovely Lieder
And a leaf of collard green.
Lovely Lieder, Leontyne.
You know, right at Christmas
They asked me if my blackness,
Would it rub off?
I said, Ask your mama.
Dreams and nightmares!
Nightmares, dreams, oh!
Dreaming that the Negroes
Of the South have taken over–
Voted all the Dixiecrats
Right out of power–
Comes the COLORED HOUR:
Martin Luther King is Governor of Georgia,
Dr. Rufus Clement his Chief Adviser,
A. Philip Randolph the High Grand Worthy.
In white pillared mansions
Sitting on their wide verandas,
Wealthy Negroes have white servants,
White sharecroppers work the black plantations,
And colored children have white mammies:
Dear, dear darling old white mammies–
Sometimes even buried with our family.
Culture, they say, is a two-way street:
Hand me my mint julep, mammny.
~~ Langston Hughes ~~
“That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!” — Calvin & Hobbes (Bill Watterson)
Now, THAT’S what I’m talking about! This is an excellent approach to living life, as it deserves to be lived (whew, almost said “should”….see yesterday’s Pearl….), one that provides a lot of good insulation against the lies and general run of bad stuff life can bring…. Well, maybe not QUITE that excellent, but, it does show a good, strong, positive ego, with all the chutzpah Calvin will ever need to get by…
Actually, I just like it, because it’s typical Calvin, and, as such, is a contains many sharp metaphors for society at large… I know, sometimes my imagination takes me right up to the edge of sanity, and peers over to view the long fall, fearlessly…. It’s the only way I can do that without suffering vertigo….
Any who, I’m feeling a bit silly, and since my own writing currently seems unequal to the task of being achingly funny, I’ll leave it to Smart Bee to find some mild hilarity for me…. I depend heavily on SB these days, and, so what? What’s it to ya? You don’t like that? Are you talkin’ to ME?….. Pardon me, while I do a Bob Hoskins in Good Fellows on you……
No, so, anyway, the following will be a randomly chosen pearl, with only a vague concept in mind, a vision of a big, goofy-looking face bearing a huge smile, and a mirthful, yet vacuous expression…. Strait, sparse little spikes of red hair on his cone-shaped head, sky-blue eyes, and a scruffy, unshaven, sparse beard…. big, ruffly clown collar…. you got the picture? Okay, let’s pearl….
“When I met th’POPE back in ’58, I scrubbed him with a MILD SOAP or DETERGENT for 15 minutes. He seemed to enjoy it..” — Zippy the Pinhead
“We ain’t got hold of culture yet, but when we do get hold of her, we will adjust her and settler her down and make her hum and run like crazy.” — Smart Bee
“If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.” — Voltaire (1694-1778) — Epitre a l’Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs, cxi
“Remember what the dormouse said… FEED YOUR HEAD…” — Grace Slick
“You boys lookin’ for trouble?” “Sure. Whaddya got?” — Marlon Brando, “The Wild Ones”
“You can’t fall off the floor.” — Paul’s Law “It takes children three years to learn Paul’s Law.” — Chapman’s Commentary on Paul’s Law
“It don’t mean a THING if you ain’t got that SWING!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
If you believe that I have crossed any lines, or used an excessive number of Zippy quotes (Thanks, Bill….), you are free to file a complaint with the Board of Outraged Citizens; I think you can get the form online now…. Let’s see how it came out, in toto….
Well, it’s certainly long enough, and has its moments, so, we’ll let it fly…. I suppose they can’t all be masterpieces, but, though this makes it partway there, (it DOES have rants, and pearls, and good poetry….), it’s just not worthy of that sobriquet, and, I have to admit it would be nice to see ONE of them achieve that exalted status…. SIGH…. Frustrated ambition is the pits…. I guess I’ll give it up, and save myself the angst for something more accessible…
Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.