THE INFORMATION #893
There is no substitute for hard work. –Thomas A. Edison
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART SEVENTY-FIVE: KINGDOM COME
“Do you want to know why I honestly don’t hanker after working at any commonplace occupation,” said Count Victor Justin, “like so many of the poor slobs who have to earn their daily bread in remunerative toil? Here’s my rationale. Hard work is just another name for letting yourself be played for a sucker. You don’t see the pluty-crats with all the ooftish dripping from their fat and sweaty fists engaged in any sort back-breaking labor, do you? That’s strictly for chumps. Confidentially? A lot of those gumps may clear brush on their ranches and dig holes for fence posts because it makes them feel good to finally get some exercise for a change–not because back-breaking labor is a valuable thing in and of itself. Why, they’d drop over stone cold dead if they actually had to exert themselves in order to earn a living. Not that I’m any better. I never said as much. Oh, I think I might last fifteen minutes in the kind of job they have on offer in the average factory, where you get to do the same thing over and over for hour after hour. Nix! Funny thing is, I’ll stand on my feet all day and all night hour pretending to be a racing wire tout or a stockbroker–but that doesn’t mean I would like to do those things in actual earnest, instead of as part of a long con. It’s like fishing, you see. If you told a man he actually HAD to fish, it would be the most onerous chore on six continents to him. It’s only because he thinks of it as FUN that he’ll engage in that asinine practice. Same thing with cooking dinner. Convince yourself that you’re accomplishing something worthwhile, and the process becomes entertaining. But if you had to do it day after day–why, there can be no worse hell, I think, then having to sweat and strain in front of hot ovens in a smoky kitchen, all for the dubitable privilege of feeding hordes of fatsos and loochers. I’d rather stand in line in front of a soup kitchen! I’d rather beg on the street like a common mendicant! I think I’d even rather wrestle a dirty soup-bone from the maw of a starveling cur!”
“All these things that people do for so-called fun seem like an awful lot of hard work to me, and for what purpose I have yet to gather. Gardening? Pfaugh! Why should I get my hands dirty just to have a nice-looking front yard? I don’t even own a house, so what’s the sense of it? I would rather rummage for scraps in back of a flophouse, or commandeer the shell game at a two-bit country fair than engage in that kind of weak sister activity. Then, of course, there are the sorts of people who like to pitch horseshoes and play shuffleboard, and even, God help us, engage in sports like baseball. Standing around in the blistering sun wearing a loathsome cap like some sort of monkey at the circus and watching for hours as a man tries to beat a india-rubber ball with a big stick? And–every once in while–trying to accomplish the same trick yourself with the ball and bat and getting a hit and rounding the bases and sliding into home plate and possibly breaking your durn fool leg in the process? No thank you–that sort of horseplay is not my idea of a good time. And golf? Still more foolishness. A bunch of greedy-guts waddling around with a bag full of clubs trying to whack a teeny tiny ball into a teeny tiny hole? No thanks. I’ll take vanilla. I suspect that the whole notion of sport as being somehow ‘pleasurable’ must have been invented by some malevolent demon who took delight in watching us waste away the short span of our lives in purposeless enjoyment. I would rather be accomplishing something with my spare moments, thank you very much.
“You may well ask–What awakens me from my stupor of self-regard and gives ME enjoyment? Good food, and plentiful drink. Edifying conversation. Failing any of that –a good book. And taking a sucker for all he’s worth with the old razzle dazzle is, of course, which is always for me a highly salubrious endeavor. Quite naturally, for most grifters, the money is easy come and easy go. Hardly one in twenty has the sense to sock any of it away as a nest egg in view of enjoying a comfortable old age. No–for those characters, they’re always convinced that they’re going to hit it big with one last enormous score–one that will set them up for life. But it never happens. Either they lose their nerve, or the opportunity never materializes in the first place. Bad ‘cess to them, I say, if they haven’t the sense to save their money in a wonderful tin box and bury it away deep, somewhere far from the crash and bang of the civilized world. A little cabin up in the woods…yess…plenty of firewood…a large stock of canned goods…because you never know. Or maybe you could buy yourself a farm, and hire you someone to milk the cows and chickens while you bask in living the good life of a country squire or baron. Summers spent setting in the porch in an old rocking chair, and sleeping in a hammock. Winters spent perusing the papers in front of a braw wood-burning stove. A nice vacation–a life spent amongst the plain folk…it would be boring, sure, but ‘home comes the sailor home from the sea’ and all that. I could see living the life of Reilly in some swell city like Madport, or even Belle Avon–living off the interest income earned by my piles and piles of ill-gotten moolah.
“Fate never intended me for a piker clerk. I’d rather take my chances in the great byways and thoroughfares of the city, and retire to a tranquil rural life when I am old and grey and full of sleep, rather than sweat my life away as an underling in the toils of some self-styled worshipper of Moloch.
“Let’s face it–some men were born to sing for their supper, or be slaves, and to drop dead in the traces–while nature’s true aristocrats were intended to sit back and relax and enjoy life. Can I help it if I am one of the latter class?”
JEFFREY I HEAR YOU
THE CRIMINAL ORIGINS OF COMIC BOOKS
THE DEATH OF LOIS LANE
NY POST DROPS ITS COMICS SECTION
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
PEOPLE OVERDOSING ON ANTI-DIARRHEA DRUGS
Time to get your shit together.
6* DAILY UTILITY
COMMUNISM, HYPNOTISM, AND THE BEATLES
Presented By Testimony Press Publications
HAPPY HOBOES (1933)
ANIMATED SOVIET PROPAGANDA
UBER IS IN THE SUB-PRIME AUTO BUSINESS
PHIL CROW TRIO
i’M A-GITTIN READY TO GO
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
The Devil’s Chessboard
By David Talbot
Reviewed by Jim DiEugenio, December 15, 2015
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
852. THE ROLE OF THE BIBLE IN DONALD TRUMP’S TOOLBELT
BY RICHARD SMOLEY