“Compared to the dullest human casting his shadow on earth, the most brilliantly drawn character is a bag of bones.”–Thomas Hardy
“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.
“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.
SNOPES’ FIELD GUIDE TO FAKE NEWS SITES
1994 SCIENTOLOGY HANDBOOK
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.”
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.
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.