Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
There is a theory going around that the U.S.A. was and still is a gigantic Masonic plot under the ultimate control of the group known as the Illuminati. It is difficult to look for long at the strange single eye crowning the pyramid which is found on every dollar bill and not begin to believe the story, a little. Too many anarchists in 19th-century Europe—Bakunin, Proudhon, Salverio Friscia—were Masons for it to be pure chance. Lovers of global conspiracy, not all of them Catholic, can count on the Masons for a few good shivers and voids when all else fails. –Thomas Pynchon
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART THIRTY-SEVEN: DAYS OF WRATH
“Like I said before, Yob, the Masons are a pretty handy bunch to know,” said Count Victor Justin to Cadger Tandy. “You know, Jesus was a Mason. Or could have been. He was a carpenter, after all. A pretty handy guy with tools. I once partnered up with a flim-flam man who called himself Dick Earningtum. He was a Mason and one time when I got him drunk he told me on the q.t. what the Masons were all about.
“It’s not what you think. It’s not some big secret organization that controls everything. Masonic Halls are just gathering spots for men as want to get away from their nagging wives and smoke cheap cigars, drink beer, and play 500 and other card games with their rummed-up cronies. All because their daddies never paid any attention to them when they were youngsters, so they have to go and seek solace in the company of other more friendly he-men. Some of whom just happen to be sword-swallowers, if you get my drift. But never mind that. All the so-called fraternal organizations are in the same racket and pretty much all do the same thing. It’s just that the Masons have pride of place in being there first. There are all sorts of these outfits, like The Woodsmen of the World and The Oddfellows, not to mention the ones we’ve all heard of, like the Rotary and the Elks and the Moose. The difference being, the Masons like to give themselves airs. They describe their stupid little club as a Peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.
“The thing about the Masons is, they think they’re so high and mighty when in reality, in their utter credulity, they’re no better than wide-eyes sprats you drag off to a two-bit circus. Look, Yob! Watch bears chained to stakes being tormented by hot pokers shoved up their assholes to make ’em dance! Observe the spiteful monkeys hiss at one another, and throw their shit around! See the wonderful elephants trumpet their disdain while depositing heaping piles of steaming dung on the sawdust, and every now and again mauling an introspective clown who gave them a rotten peanut in Cincinnati back in 1893. Meanwhile, be aware that, behind the scenes, the sideshow midget is in love with the haughty lady equestrienne, and the cruel strong man spurns the lovesick fat lady and runs off with the beautiful trapeze artist. A sad-faced Joey gives the crippled blind girl a beautiful flower and makes her smile for the very first time. And the worried owner will do anything to keep the circus going–he’ll even allow a con man onto the midway to fleece the rubes in exchange for a cut of the loot–so he can meet his payroll and pay his overhead. A Beautiful system of morality? Huh! More like the morality of the circus tent. Morality is just a fancy word to cover up what the Masons really like to do, which is to get drunk and play practical jokes on each other. Especially during their idiotic initiation rites.
“A Mason’s insipid idea of grand and glorious fun is to lead the prospect into a room with a blindfold on and tell them to stick out their tongue. Once the prospect does so, the ringleader sings out, ‘Diabolo! Fetch the red-hot branding iron!’ And, quick as a wink, the prospect’s tongue goes right back in his mouth. Bug haw-haws all around. Or they have him kneel at an altar, also blindfolded, and they give him a hotfoot. Or else, a man who pretends to be a billy goat comes up behind him and butts him on the ass. Mason’s find this kind of bawdy agfay humor to be simply hilarious.
“Now, the Masons is got all kind of gew-gaws to advertise to the world that they just happen to be Masons, which is pretty suspicious seeing as how they’re supposed to be a secret organization and whatnot. They have Masonic cuff links and Masonic belt-buckles and Masonic collar tabs and even Masonic money clips and Masonic aprons. I’m guessing that’s in case they have to bake a fucking cake or something. God knows they sure do like their sweets. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a skinny Mason. But I guess ‘Masonic Lodge’ sounds better and a whole lot grander than ‘Fraternal Order of Fatsos’ or ‘The Mysterious Gathering of the Pinguid and Benevolent Jellybellies.’
“I suppose that one reason to want to pass yourself off as a Mason is that a lot of Judges and lawyers are Masons. That’s supposed to give you an advantage when you’re up agin it, and on trial for your life, and you make a secret sign, and the Judge says ‘Innocent,’ because he supposedly knows that any man who is a Mason can’t be a murderer. No, Yob–no Mason has ever been executed for murder, or so the story goes. But I have it on good authority that this is more or less a true fact. Masons are pledged to help each other out. Like, if a howling mob is after my scalp and about to tar and feather me, if you’re a Mason and I give you the secret sign, you’re supposed to hide me, and do so free and gratis. Or if I’m a Hobo and you’re a farmer, and I give you the magic handshake, you’re supposed at the very least to let me sleep in the barn, and send me off with a piece of Maw’s homemade pie wrapped in a lump.
“I can well believe that most judges are also Masons. Because most judges are also fat. They eat well, while the poor wretches they sentence to prison are forced to subsist on bread and water. I’ll tell you something else about judges, too. Many of them are just plain incompetent. Did you ever hear of Judge Rance Sniffle? They call him’Old Necessity’–because he knows no law.
“Tell me something, Yob: Do you really think that judges, once they’re appointed or elected to the bench–do you really think they pay any attention whatsoever to their law books? No–most of them are as idle as the day is long. Or else they’re political hacks appointed as part of an urban machine, and as corrupt as Satan himself. Those types of judges I can do business with. They accomplish no good, but nor do they do any real harm. No–it’s the judges who take a more active role that you have to watch out for. They tend to be tyrants. Power-drunk. Power-mad. Proud of their greasy eminence.
“I’ll tell you one thing that all Masons and all judges have in common–whether they be Masons or not. They are all drunks. All of them. Just like cooks, and painters. Why, I know one judge who kept a flower vase in his chambers. It was filled with gin. He’d retire to his back room every now and again and, quick as a wink, he would empty that vase down his capacious gullet. And then he’d chew a clove, so that nobody could smell it on his breath.
“The only people who become judges are by and large burnt-out lawyers. Keep that in mind, the next time you’re up on charges and they give you a choice between a judge and a jury trial. Better yet–always keep about 200 bucks sewed up in your clothes in case you take a fall. If you’re slick, you can eliminate the bail bondsman and the lawyer and the crooked judge altogether. And simply bribe the jailer with it. It’s a very modern and compact system.
“Eliminate the middleman. That’s my motto. “
“Can you imagine what this man would have been had somebody loved him?”–Kissinger, on Nixon
THREE RING CIRCUS (1954)
STARRING DEAN MARTIN & JERRY LEWIS
This movie is a horrible, maudlin piece of shit.
The overwhelming impression I receive from this film is that people who attend circuses are morons.
And circus performers are scarcely more intelligent than the animals they train to perform degrading tricks.
32:38 into the movie. Jerry Christ is being kicked in the ass by a drunken clown. A little girl stands up to protest this mistreatment. JESUS, JERRY LEWIS IS SUCH AN ASSHOLE.
40:51. Jerry talks to elephants and they respond. Saint Jerry of Asissi? O Christ what a shit-show.
55:53. Dean talks to a Raven. Later, he sings “You’re a gay Santa Claus.”
58:10. Two chimps kiss. Dean mugs.
1:36:20. A crippled little girl laughs because “The clown is crying.” OH JESUS GOD SOMEBODY PLUCK OUT MY EYES!
At least we now know where Jerry got the idea for “The Day the Clown Cried.”
(The clown’s name in that unreleased masterpiece is ‘Helmut Doork’. Oh–I get it. “Dick Head.” Some more of that sophisticated Jerome Levitz humor.)
Dean (allegedly at Jerry’s insistence) gets all of the unfunny lines. In this film Dean is little more than a beefcake gigolo for the already long-in-the-tooth Zha Zha Gabor.
It must be a pretty shitty circus when the star attraction is a 37-year-old trapeze artist.
What this movie teaches us, first and foremost, is that anybody who gets in the way of Jerry Lewis gets their well-deserved comeuppance at the hands of a just God.
And that Jerry is so greedy for laffs that if there happens to be just one hold-out who doesn’t respond with hilarity to Jerry’s inane bumbling antics–say, a crippled little girl wearing leg braces–then Jerry will bend heaven and earth to subject that person to his will.
Don McGuire, who wrote the script, has written much better scripts than this gawdawful piece o’ shit–notably “Bad Day at Black Rock” and “Tootsie.” He has a service background, incidentally. This comes in handy.
Because the entire film can be read as a (largely spurious) foundation myth for the origins of the celebrated team of Martin and Lewis.
In the film, Jerry’s alias is ” Jerricho the Wonder Clown.” Or just plain “Jerry.”
Dean’s alias is “Paul.” Which also happens to be his actual irl middle name.
They met in the service. (Not so. Neither of them served.)
Jerry was a bumbling asshole. (True. Incidentally, in middle and junior high school, Jerry used to be called “Ug” and “Id”, short for “idiot”.)
Dean was a somewhat louche gambler from Steubenville Ohio. (True.)
They honed their world-renowned act in a circus and carnival setting. (Not true. They honed it in mobbed-up nightclubs.)
I have recently thought that a father need say only this one thing to his boy children to ensure their mental health.
“You’re a good boy, and I love you very much.”
It is clear that nobody ever said this to Jerry Lewis.
His entire career was a futile search to earn that elusive love.
And it made him a monster.
The 1974 original spawned comic book “heroes” such as The Punisher. And the Punisher, in turn, seems to have influenced this remake.
It’s a recursive loop!