THE INFORMATION #917 DECEMBER 2, 2016

THE INFORMATION #917
DECEMBER 2, 2016

…but these backwaters of existence sometimes breed, in their sluggish depths, strange acuities of emotion….― Edith Wharton

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART NINETY-NINE: KINGDOM COME
 
“Of course, Yob” said Count Justin Victor to me, as we walked through the now-empty and snow-covered park where all the hoboes camped out in the summer, “there’s a difference between a Yellof who plays dumb, and one who is a certified stupe. Usually, that Yellof is a rube. A hayseed, a gawk. A clodhopper. A cornball. A hick, a yokel. a chawbacon,a rustic oaf. Why all this animosity, you ask? Me, personally, I don’t mind ’em none. They’re easy to fool. And so much fun to watch! I’ll tell you Yob, that watching the ways of some of these bone-ignorant country folk is oftentimes more fun than being in the front row of a dog fight.”
 
“You can always tell right away that you’re dealing with your garden-variety backwoods hick because they are prone to consider intelligent people as evil godless queers, and educated fools. And to say things like ‘That there’s tainty taint meat–taint mine and taint yourn.’ And they also talk about God, and especially their good pal Jesus, every day, as though Jesus were some cousin or pet dog of theirs. Jesus cured mah rheumatiz’, and Jesus got me to stop drinkin’ whiskey in public, Hallelujah, I’m saved, and now I only get loaded when I take several sly nips of Peruna every night, which is eighteen per cent alcohol by volume, but who cares! It’s mah special secret medicine!
 
“These country lads and lasses seem to be operating under the delusion that a long-dead hallucinating desert nomad is alive and well, and cares so much as one jot or tittle about their everyday doings. Which goes to show that in certain matters of intellection, they have the mental capacity of a five year old. They seem to actually think that Jesus is not only watching them, but that he also really cares if they play cards, or excel in sports, or fornicate with their cousin under the bleachers, or go dancing in a shit-smelling hay barn. Jesus stands in relation to the everyday doings of these chuckleheads as the good policeman stands in relation to You or I. ‘Mustn’t spark with a purty gal–Jesus wouldn’t like it.’ ‘Mustn’t Sass my Mammy–hit will make Jesus cry bitter tears of pain.’ ‘When I think of that faithful back, scourged with whips and clubs, and that faithful head, running with rivulets of blood on account of a crown of piercing thorns, it gives me the inside meemies, and makes my every bad deed loom large, because he was beaten to a pulp specifically for MY SINS.’  And the hell of it is, the most educated man in the whole community–the only man with book-learnin’ at all–is the country preacher, who is the one who spreads these very same superstitious nostrums both far and wide. Their whole religion is based on fear, and punishment, and dread of eternal torment. And those snake-handling, hellfire-spouting, Bible-pounding preachers are in back of all of it. You can bet that none of the big plantation owners give any more than lip service to such cretinous rot. But they’ll always invite the preacher-man in for a chicken dinner–because he keeps the work force temperate, and lulls the Negroes into a god-besotted stupor.  
 
“Don’t even get me started about the way they treat their sharecroppers. Good God! The only folks more ignorant and downtrodden than the smallholder is the sharecropper. Imagine if the boundary of your entire life, and your Pappy’s life, and his pappy’s life before him, consisted of staring at a mule’s ass as you guide a plough over worn out soil with rocks the size of goose eggs. Imagine having no money at all. None. Imagine looking at the account book used by the white man who runs the company grocery store–staring at the cover with a can of W.E. Garrett Scotch Snuff on it–and knowing that with every purchase you are somehow being cheated and falling further and further behind. Imagine your bairns having to walk to the well in bare feet in the snow because you can’t afford to buy ’em any shoes. Imagine them leaving off schoolin’ after the 4th grade on account of having to work on the farm chopping cotton. Imagine indulging your wife by buying for her a nickel feed sack so she can sew it into a dress. Imagine having no prospects other than that–for as long as you live. And for generation after generation. No wonder they are so lacking in civilized refinements! The have no civilization to speak of, at all. they live in the same way as savages always have, since time immemorial. 
 
“Of course, these country Younkers don’t have a great many of the more sophisticated botherations which afflict every man of affairs in the big city. There’s no gangs, no movin’ picture shows, and no pool halls and taverns on every corner. About the biggest thing they have to worry about  out there in the big stick country is boll weevils eating up all their cotton, or tornadoes and hailstorms destroying their wheat, or rats and weevils getting into the flour, or hogs eatin’ the baby, or swallowing their own chaw of tobacco, or getting kicked in the head by a consarn mule, or having their kiddies drown on account of their goin’ swimmin’ down at the gravel quarry even after you told them not to. Nor do they ever have to worry overmuch about getting nutted on the head by a snowbird and waking up naked in a filthy alley with a missing wallet. and an aching lump on the back of their noggin. Sure–every now and again one of these fine country denizens will get a bad batch of moonshine or will catch cabin fever or will accidentally ingest locoweed and go a little nutty and maybe shoot up someone’s house up with buckshot, but all in all, country life ain’t anywhere near as dangerous as city livin’. All they have to care about is working from can until can’t, and laying in provender for the livestock come winter, and sowing and tilling in the spring, and haying in the summer and harvesting in the fall. 
 
“If only for all the reasons I mentioned, they are among the most fearful and closed-minded people in God’s green earth. Would you count on them in a pinch if you needed to have a hoss shoed, or to catch a rabbit? Sure you would! But they ain’t too much for thinkin’ on the intellectual level. Sure, you might have a schoolmaster here and there who has read a book, but you can bet that all the pretty damozels are fixin’ instead to be married off to that husky hired hand from the farm just down the road. 
 
“Why? Because ”Too much book-learnin’ ruins your shootin’ eye.’
 
“Unless, of course, it’s The Good Book.”
 
1*SALUTATION
JOHN’S CHILDREN
MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCENE
 

SARA CRAZY CHILD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2rRPyN0zG8

2*REFERENCE
THE WORST TASTING FLAVOR IN THE WORLD
3*HUMOR
RODNEY DANGERFIELD ON JOHNNY CARSON (1983)
4*NOVELTY

A History of Music Bootlegs, Told Through 25 of the Most Significant Recordings

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
THE NORTH POLE IS AN INSANE 36 DEGREES WARMER THAN NORMAL
 
ALSO SEE:
WHAT’S REALLY WARMING THE WORLD?
6* DAILY UTILITY
TINEYE IMAGE SEARCH
“Go to the TinEye website and install the TinEye extension to your browser. Then you can right-click on any image and instantly search TinEye for matches. I do this almost every day to find larger, smaller, or clearer versions.”
7*CARTOON
THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL
 
ALSO SEE:
THE DARK SIDE: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL
9*RUMOR PATROL
AVOIDING FAKE NEWS SITES
10* LAGNIAPPE
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
MITCH O’CONNELL: NOT-SO-SUBLIMINAL ADS
 
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
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THE INFORMATION #916 NOVEMBER 25, 2016

THE INFORMATION #916
NOVEMBER 25, 2016

 

“Compared to the dullest human casting his shadow on earth, the most brilliantly drawn character is a bag of bones.”–Thomas Hardy

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART NINETY-EIGHT: KINGDOM COME


“I dinnae wish to claim any great distinction owing to the details of my personal history,” said Count Justin Victor, as he flipped me a fifty-cent piece as a prelude to my accompanying him on his evening constitutional Through the grimy alleys of Blowtown. “But ever since I was run over by a wagon wheel when I was but a mere tot, I have had what I account to be ‘The Second Sight’. It’s funny, when you think about it–how almost dying–more than once!–so wonderfully clarifies the mind. It gives you a better idea of what’s important and what is minor–as well as what is completely beyond your control. Politics? Pfaugh–I leave that to the colorless and unimaginative types who clutter up the corridors of City Hall and fill it with the stale reek of cheap cigars. Religion? That is a matter to be debated by clerics and other charlatans–people who smell of old fish and mothballs–y’see, Yob, I operate by a certain moral code, believe it or not, so I try to never step in on another man’s racket, or, for that matter, rub another man’s rhubarb. 

 
“If you think that the political issues of the day or the eternal questions of religion are important, then you’re barking up the wrong tree, me fine Bucko. They’re only consequential on the rarest of occasions. At every other time it is always best to leave such questions alone. Because there’s no sense in gettin’ aggimated over the imponderables. Trying to argue with a fool is like trying to master Chinese arithmetic–it’s possible, but why do you want to waste your time? People will believe whatever they want to, which usually means they’ll fall for any damn thing that just ain’t so–and 99 times out of 100 there’s no convincing them otherwise. 
 
“The reason that mucking about with politics and religion is such a losing proposition is that it distracts you from the real business and main purpose of life, which is to make all the money as you can in as short a time as humanly possible. Don’t worry about being a great sculptor or any other kind of artist. Better that you should be a noted surgeon or a smooth-tongued lawyer. That’s where the money is. Because let me tell you this right now, Yob: a poor man stinks in the nostrils of heaven. In this man’s country, poor people and other such rabble have mostly outlived their usefulness.You can let your factory smokestacks run full blast and turn the sky a leaden gray. I would gladly watch my starched white shirts turn sooty black, and birdies fall dead out of the sky. So what if the air is thick and hard to breathe, and it smells like rubber tires and burning dogshit? That factory smoke is the smell of money, Yob; and, as a wise man said, many centuries ago, ‘Money does not stink.’ 
 
“You need a friend? Get a dog. Otherwise, having dosh, and lots of it, is the only friend you’ll ever need, in this lifetime, and quite possibly in the so-called afterlife as well. Because the man of money is welcome everywhere he goes, and respected. When he opens his mouth to speak, people listen. Anyone who tells you different is simply pulling your leg, Greenie. The man who speaks out against money is playing you for a fool. Money is power. Jesus knew it. The founding fathers knew it. And you had better know it too. 
 
“And the best way to spend your money? The best way of all? Buying real estate. Set yourself up as a slumlord, and watch as all your worries disappear. Sure, you’ll still have to donate to the crooked politicians, and the crooked police, and it might also behoove you to sit in the front pew of the church and hand out ten dollar bills for the collection basket–doing so in such a way that everybody can see you. But once you own that property, you can set back and watch the money roll in. If you don’t feel like tending to it yourself, then for a small share of your profits you can pay a property manager to do the dirty work on your behalf. 
 
“Animals have instincts which inform their priorities. And so do people. And, in a lot of ways? Those priorities…are exactly the same. Find food. Build a nest. Sleep. 
 

“Except that when animals are unhappy, they have never learned to lie about it. That there’s the great difference. Back when people didn’t know how to talk, they didn’t lie either. But as soon as they were able to form words, you can bet that they also formed the most outrageous lies. 

 
“The ability to plausibly lie is quite valuable, as it is virtually worth money in the bank. There are, however, shades of deception. Trimming your sails just enough to ride the current is the best way I know to get one over.
 
“Let me give you an example. Say some loudmouth gink wants to start an argument about politics in some low dive or another. The only thing you have to do to deflate the blowhard is to be non-committal and be willing to sway in the general direction that the wind blows. To do that, you must say things like, ‘I’m for reform–but not TOO MUCH reform.’ And ‘I don’t vote the party–I vote the man.’ And, of course, the ever popular ‘My country–right or wrong.’ People who mouth that line of palaver aren’t really thinking straight, for what they’re really admitting to is that they ain’t any too bright. But that’s OK! You must take the advice of an old riverboat gambler of my acquaintance–when in mixed company, or among strangers, you must never show your hand. Never!
 
“And I’ll tell you one more thing I learned. It’s this: Nobody wants a genius. They say that genius is revered–but it really isn’t. Keep it to yourself–THAT’s the smart thing to do.
 
“Folks are frightened of people who think original thoughts. Especially when it comes to religion. Don’t ever let anybody pin you down when it comes to your personal beliefs–or lack thereof. Again, it’s always wisest to trim your sails to suit the prevailing breeze. Best to say that you used to be a Catholic. If you happen to meet a Catholic, then you can always turn around and say that you’re thinking of returning to the Good Old Mother Church. Of course, if you’re dealing with a Protestant, you can say that you have long ago repented of your Papish ways, and that you are no longer a snapper after mackerels.
 
“Above all: Whenever you’re in a tight spot, the best way to wiggle out of a difficulty is to play dumb. You can stupid your way out of nearly any situation, with a little practice. And that’s because people don’t want to believe that you might be smarter than they are, but they are always happy to think that they are smarter than you. So if you want to make friends wherever you go, the best way to go about it is to act a little dim. A lovable goof is always popular in any crowd. But don’t overdo it–you don’t want people to think you’re a clown. All you really have to do is to learn the party line, and parrot it faithfully and assiduously. Whatever it might be. Remember: To get along, all you have to do is lick your finger, stick it up, and chart your course. 
 
“Any way the wind blows.”
 
1*SALUTATION

WIRE

REUTERS
2*REFERENCE
AMERICA IS FIGHTING FIVE WARS
 
3*HUMOR
WHITE MEN EXCITED THINGS FINALLY GOING THEIR WAY FOR ONCE
 
4*NOVELTY
THE WURZELS
COMBINE HARVESTER
 
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

SNOPES’ FIELD GUIDE TO FAKE NEWS SITES 

 
6* DAILY UTILITY
OVEN-CRISP CHICKEN WINGS
 
7*CARTOON

1994 SCIENTOLOGY HANDBOOK

9*RUMOR PATROL
A DIVIDED COUNTRY
 
ALSO SEE:
APE IN HEELS
 
SEE ALSO:
ABILENE BLACKFACE FLAP
 

Nota bene: “An important symbolic step was taken in 1999 when the president of Abilene Christian University “confessed the sin of racism in the school’s past segregationist policies” and asked black Christians for forgiveness during a lectureship at Southwestern Christian College, a historically black school affiliated with the churches of Christ.”

10* LAGNIAPPE
13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS
I’VE GOT LEVITATION
 
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

An Occasional Poem

Cold air in trembling day,
And evil in the lulling showers.
Today the world is old and full of tears;
Its people made of clay; they only love today
To entertain themselves for endless hours.
Romance? A toy; a game of joy
Remembered dimly down the frozen years.

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
875. TOM LEHRER
I WANNA GO BACK TO DIXIE
 

Well, what I like to do on formal occasions like this is to take some of the various types of songs that we all know and presumably love, and, as it were, to kick them when they’re down. I find that if you take the various popular song forms to their logical extremes, you can arrive at almost anything from the ridiculous to the obscene, or – as they say in New York – “sophisticated”. I’d like to illustrate with several hundred examples for you this evening, first of all, the southern type song about the wonders of the American south. But it’s always seemed to me that most of these songs really don’t go far enough. The following song, on the other hand, goes too far. It’s called I Want to Go Back To Dixie.

I want to go back to Dixie,
Take me back to dear ol’ Dixie,
That’s the only li’l ol’ place for li’l ol’ me.
Old times there are not forgotten,
Whuppin’ slaves and sellin’ cotton,
And waitin’ for the Robert E. Lee.
(It was never there on time.)

I’ll go back to the Swanee,
Where pellagra makes you scrawny,
And the honeysuckle clutters up the vine.1
I really am a-fixin’
To go home and start a-mixin’
Down below that Mason-Dixon line.

Oh, poll tax,
How I love ya, how I love ya,
My dear ol’ poll tax.

Won’tcha come with me to Alabammy,
Back to the arms of my dear ol’ Mammy,
Her cookin’s lousy and her hands are clammy,
But what the hell, it’s home.

Yes, for paradise the Southland is my nominee.
Jes’ give me a ham hock and a grit of hominy.

I want to go back to Dixie,
I want to be a Dixie pixie
And eat corn pone till it’s comin’ outta my ears.
I want to talk with Southern gentlemen
And put that white sheet on again,
I ain’t seen one good lynchin’ in years.

The land of the boll weevil,
Where the laws are medieval,
Is callin’ me to come and nevermore roam.
I want to go back to the Southland,
That “y’all” and “shet-ma-mouth” land,
Be it ever so decadent,
There’s no place like home.

THE INFORMATION #915 NOVEMBER 18, 2016

THE INFORMATION #915
NOVEMBER 18, 2016

 

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies. –Groucho Marx

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART NINETY-SEVEN: KINGDOM COME

“I often think,” said Count Justin Victor, “that one day the party of the South will utterly bury all its scruples and, instead of basking in the sunshine and then crawling back under their rock, maybe someday they will nominate a real strong man for President. And no, I don’t mean a muscular moron with leopard-skin tights and a spit-curl; I mean a real Autocrat. A blubber-bellied bully-boy. A despot, if you will. A Simon Legree as will crack the whip and make the poor old Congress heed his every admonition. I’m surprised that it hasn’t already happened. But that’s on account of the fact that blowhards and bloviators are seldom in short supply in the vaunted halls of Congress, but hardly ever shall you come across a man of iron will. Now, you may say that The Money Power would never let it happen. And you would be a fool. The Money Power would like nothing better than to pull one over on the savages who comprise nine-tenths of this benighted population. Bleeding, rotting sods and bleating lambs waiting to be led to the slaughter. Once you get more than about twenty miles out of the big cities, most of the population consists of brutes and blutos who care only for three things: plenty of greasy fatback to eat, a tolerably warm place to sleep, and a twitchet willing to service their every depraved desire. Lord help us all if this mob ever manages to gain the upper hand. I suppose the first thing they would do is to agitate for to outlaw the Negro and the Mexican, just on general principle.

“And I’m thinking of some other charming things a genuine herald of the mobile vulgus would perpetrate. First, he would nominate the sorriest passel of owlhoots ever assembled in one place to serve on his cabinet. Next, he would pack the Supreme Court with his corrupt stooges. And then, I imagine, he would throw all the sissies and lavender lads in prison, so as to keep the byways of our country free of contaminating influences. I suppose he would also take care of all the big-city cosmopolitans he could get his hands on, and ship ’em back to the Europe they fled from to escape the knout. The same would go for all the Socialists who like to stir up so much trouble with their marches and demonstrations. Socialists always make a good rag doll to blame the country’s troubles on. That’s because most ordinary people see them as nutty. Furthermore, they’re scruffy and they look like vagabonds and they don’t like to wash. Take it from me, Yob: a Socialist is just a Hobo with a PhD.

“But that wouldn’t be the end of it, oh no. President Scarechild would have thousands of posters made, and he would plaster them everywhere. He’d have legions of spies in all the taverns and barbershops–just like it was two millennia ago, in the long-gone days of Tiberius. Picture an army of Pinkertons, who are everywhere all at once. A bunch of thieving coppers who can bust into your domicile any time of the day and night and shake you down. I’m well-endowed with ooftish; I can stand the gaff. But what about the smaller fry? They’ll all of them end up in the hoosegow. And then–they will dance a Newgate hornpipe without music. From the end of a hempen necklace.

“I can tell you this much: There will be no more wild women running around in long pants demanding equal rights or other such nonsense. No–the woman’s place is right there in her home, and the new leader would make that plain from the get-go. In fact, I’m guessing that the new President will be addicted to straight talk, and will refuse to pussyfoot around. He’ll call a spade a spade, by God. And he’ll say a lot of other things too, and not all of them will be to the people’s liking, but he won’t care. He’ll say, ‘The people be damned! Ain’t I got the power?” That’s what all politicians say, you know, in private. Even the ones who bleat about caring for the poor and the sick and the hard-to-help and like that.

“When we get a man like that in power, then all the fat-cats and plutocrats will be well chuffed. He’ll be just like a Jesus for the rich–he’ll magically give them everything they want, and more. He’ll wage war on small countries that are easy pushovers for our brand of two-fisted diplomacy. He’ll make the Spanish-American War look like a slapping party between pantywaists. All the money for poor relief will get shoveled down an endless rathole of armaments buying and there will be plenty of sword-rattling, you can rest assured of that. All the ploughshares will be beaten back into swords, by the double-barrelled jumping jiminetty!

“And the newspapers will toe the party line or be squashed. Right down to the funny papers. The afflicted will be afflicted some more; the comfortable will continue to be comforted. The newspapers will focus on optimistic messages. Recipes, puzzles, games. Literature will be reduced to the level of a mere congregation for the propagation of the faith. There will be one religion; and that one faith will be compulsory. Think you hate church-going now? Just wait until you have to go to church, or end up in jail. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if the new leader overreached himself with that one. People take their religious faith a darned sight seriously. He might have to make a little wiggle room with the Bible stuff. I see a seal of state that incorporates a cross, but with none of the messy Jesus-style platitudes that make rich men so uneasy. No–it’ll be a brawny, Old Testament faith that downplays the love-thy-neighbor stuff. There will be all sorts of changes implemented. Every schoolchild will be compelled to wear the same uniform, for which the President and his cronies will provide the contract. Membership in the Boy Scouts will be compulsory, and there will be a land-office business in supplying those uniforms as well.The great prisons of our land will be filled to bursting with the elderly and insane, and there will be plenty of splendid little wars to distract the populace and occupy the idle hands of the poor and unemployed young men who currently clog the gutters of the great cities. Oh, by Jingo!

“All in all, Yob, from one point of view we would have us a paradise. And yet–it is a prospect profoundly to be despised. Say what you will about us Confidence Men–but even WE have some scruples.”

1*SALUTATION

THE WHO
“HAD ENOUGH”
https://youtu.be/yEAdhs9tKv4

2*REFERENCE
NON-HUMAN ELECTORAL CANDIDATES
 
ALSO SEE:

 Eric Barnouw archly observed that J. Fred Muggs was an honored guest at “I Am an American Day,”– “although really a native of Cameroon.”

3*HUMOR
TERRIBLE REAL ESTATE PHOTOS
4*NOVELTY
NY MAN WHO FATALLY PUNCHED STRANGER SURRENDERS
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

SO HIPSTER IT HURTS

6* DAILY UTILITY
HOW TO PICK UP GIRLS: A GUIDE BY GIRLS FOR BOYS
ALSO SEE: WIKIHOW’S ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO PICKING UP GIRLS IN THE CLUB
7*CARTOON

FLETCHER HANKS

TURN LOOSE THE DEATH RAYS

ALSO SEE:
THE FANTOMAS WEBSITE
9*RUMOR PATROL
HAUNTING PHOTOS OF LIFE INSIDE NEW YORK’S TENEMENTS
 
ALSO SEE:
IMMIGRANT SLUMS
 
IMMIGRANT LIFE
 
SEE ALSO:
THE SUN BRIGHT HOTEL
10* LAGNIAPPE
ELECTION 2016: YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN!
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

The Difference Between Men and Women.
Men will eat greasy take-out even if they forgot to ask for a napkin.
Women would rather starve than eat messy food with their fingers.
Men will seldom kiss a dog on the lips.
Women never bite the dog to show it who’s boss.
Men don’t care if her shoes match her handbag.
Women will react in horror to mismatched socks.
Men aren’t really interested in depilatories.
Women never eat their own toenails.
Men will often drum their hands on the steering wheel in time to the music.
Women seldom play air guitar.
Men will never admit they are afraid to do something.
Women seldom play practical jokes.
Men will never say, “I had a good cry.”
Women will never say, “Pull my finger.”
Men will spend half an hour reading on the toilet.
Women will spend half an hour talking in the rest room.
Men seldom scream at the sight of a spider.
Women seldom yell at the television.
Men will seldom hesitate to describe their bowel movements.
Women will seldom blow their nose into their shorts.
Men will interrupt what you were saying.
Women will help you finish a sentence.
Men will seldom initiate an air kiss.
Women will seldom exert crushing pressure in a handshake.
Men love the sound of their own voice.
Women are oblivious to the sound of their own voice.
Men will always lie.
Women will seldom tell the whole truth.

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
874.  IS “IMAGINE” THE WORST SONG OF ALL TIME?

THE INFORMATION #914 NOVEMBER 11, 2016

THE INFORMATION #914
NOVEMBER 11, 2016

Thrust ivrybody—but cut th’ ca-ards. –Finley Peter Dunne

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART NINETY-SIX: KINGDOM COME

“Yobbo, it does not behoove a la-ad of your tender years to talk of political matters better suited to be discussed among the sober councils of serious grown men.”

Count Victor Justin was in a jocular and an avuncular mood, and was, I think, mildly teasing me.

“But just let me ask you this–what do you think of our two great parties?”

“The Demmycrats is full of rats,” I blurted, reflexively, having heard this taunt chanted among my schoolmates many a time. “I’m a Republican, and proud of it.”

“Indeed,” said the Count, who I suspect was a Democrat his own self. “There’s a world of difference between the adherents of one party and another, though it usually takes a wiser head, and an American born, to suss it out. The difference is basically this: since time immemorial, the Democrats have been the party of the slavemasters. And the Republican Party, during its comparatively brief life-span, during which it has been ascendant more often than not, is the party of the slave-makers. A difference without a distinction, you say? Very well. There’s a certain Providence, it is said, which looks out for fools, drunkards, and the United States. And it is very true that we have yet to elect as president a totally worthless drunken fool, or a completely devious crook, or both. That may change. Our luck is bound to run out, and I suspect it will be sooner rather than later. I mean, not to indulge in loose talk, but along with our Stovepipe Daddy, who everyone up North reveres and everyone down South secretly despises, we’ve had a swish, a sot, a sot, a fatbelly, and a cowboy, along with the usual colorful parade of adulterers and spoilsmen.”

 “But, God be praised, because, fortuitously,  the Presidency hardly even matters. The system is so constructed that the whip hand is held by the Congress, and the Courts. Of course, the Congress is perfectly worthless, and always has been and perhaps always will be. It’s jam-packed full of crooked bloviators who will borrow your gloves so they can steal a hot stove–and then never return the gloves. Among members of Congress, an honest man is one who, once he is bought, will stay bought. Of course, being a United States Congressman implies a certain gravitas, which means that many of the deals get done behind the closed doors of fancy men’s clubs, where women and non-members ain’t allowed. Like Mr. Dooley says, ‘Politics ain’t bean-bag.’

“Don’t never listen to no Yellof as says, ‘T’ain’t the money; it’s the principle of the thing.’ Trust me, Yob: It’s the fucking money, sho nuff, and yes indeedy-do. And that’s all that politics is, the world over–it’s men fighting over who controls the ooftish. Don’t let no one tell you otherwise. It’s the law of the jungle. Might makes more might, and heaven favors the largest battalions. In spite of anything Voltaire may have had to say about it.  Wiseacre. Where does he get off? ‘Once a philosopher, twice–a pervert.’ I do agree with that.

“In the end, it all comes down to how determined you are to make your pile; to lie for a living; to live for lying; to stab your friends–what friends?–in the back; to impersonate a swell by day and play the cad when out comes the Hooty Owl. When you’re talking about that level of power, then you lose all perspective. The so-called electorate –what a grim farce; anyone can buy an office if they have the oofish to carry off the grift–the electorate, people you supposedly represent, begin to look like cattle. You give ’em your brand and you expect ’em to say ‘Moo’. Listen, little Yob: I would rather kiss a Goon than have anything to do with any of those grafters and racketeers.

 “Of course, a man in my situation can’t completely avoid party politics. Let me say this: The art is politics is simple, when you come right down to it. It is the art of looking dignified when you are caught stealing the wonderful tin box with all the payroll money. If you’re really good at playing the pompous ass, you can get away with nearly anything. People are half-blind, is what I am trying to say. They see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe. And they won’t believe their own eyes even when the truth is staring them right in the face.

“There’s plenty of rapscality going on in Washington D.C., which is the land where all the lushes congregate. Don’t you know that  Washington is where all the best Whiskey goes? Dasright. Straight from the still and direct to the District of Columbia. If I was a serious boozehound, I would head down there on the first thing smoking. Plenty of drunken rascals, and Pimps, and Johns. But if you want to see human nature at its worst, then the State Legislature is where you have to be. That’s the place where the small fry are even more jealous of their prerogatives–because the stakes are so much lower. I don’t even want to tell you what goes on in the State House, because you’re still too green to take it all in. But I will say this much–some of the best customers at that wee cathouse you bide in are legislators and the lawyers and other rascals as do their bidding.

“There’s two parties in this country, sure enough, but they’re not the two parties you think they are. There’s the party of the North, and the Party of the South. Slavemasters and Slavemakers. Down South, at least, if you work then you’ll never starve. Someone down there will always feed you, at the very least. Even if you’re an old Darkey without a tooth in your head. You mought have to walk around in rags, with no shoes on your feet, but for most of the year the weather is tolerable, and when it rains you kin sleep in a hollow log. But it’s not like that up North. No, Sir–down South, everyone is your friend, as long as you know your place. Up North, no one is your friend. If you’re a stranger, they treat you lower than any dog. If you want to get fat you had best find you a hidey-hole for those cold winter nights. because, the fact is, you can work harder than any slave; you can work 14 hours a day, every day–and you can still freeze, or starve. Unless you’re willing to throw yourself on the mercy of the goo-goos and prohibitionists–and I’ve known many a man to say that in preference to doing that, they druther be dead and buried in their grave.”

1*SALUTATION
FRIEND AND LOVER
REACH OUT IN THE DARKNESS
2*REFERENCE
Scientifically, What’s the Best Way to Die (Without Killing Yourself)?
9*RUMOR PATROL
The 19 Absolute Craziest Conspiracy Theories About America’s Founding Fathers
http://offbeat.topix.com/slideshow/17834/

10* LAGNIAPPE
SEX PISTOLS
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN (SYMPHONY)

https://youtu.be/9dL04FiF4iM

 
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
EVANGELICAL CARTOONIST JACK CHICK WAS THE DR. SEUSS OF ‘HATE LIT’
 
ALSO SEE:

R.I.P. Jack Chick, comics scaremonger
http://www.avclub.com/article/rip-jack-chick-comics-scaremonger-244738

Died: Jack Chick, Cartoonist Whose Controversial Tracts Became Cult Hits
 

Jack Chick Was Right: How ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Made Me an Occultist

 
JACK CHICK WAS THE LENI RIEFENSTAHL OF AMERICAN CARTOONING
 
RIP JACK CHICK, FATHER OF THE SATANIC PANIC
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.