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.

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