THE INFORMATION #1059 AUGUST 23, 2019

THE INFORMATION #1059  

AUGUST 23, 2019
Copyright 2019 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com


Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.–Gertrude Stein


WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART SEVENTY-SIX: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE  
Everyone but Doc and the Judge were shocked by the appearance of a black slave in their midst, and took no pins to conceal their mingled curiosity and dismay. They watched as Shadwell Shass cautioned young Mingo by saying, “I want you to be nice today, and not full of sass. Speak only when spoken to, do ye hear? Unless you want a few more stripes.”

Mingo said nothing, but nodded his head in miserable dumb acquiescence.He was dressed in a pair of tattered short pantaloons and a tow-linen shirt, and he wore no shoes.

Shadwell Shass turns to the assembled and said, with a crooked smile, “I hate to have to whip the boy. I do. But how else will he ever learn to comport himself in polite society?”

Mountain Man  Wray, from off in his corner, mutters, “Well…it WAS per’lite sassiety…until you walked in.”

Shadwell Shass turns to Mountain man Wray and said, “Why, surely you, of all people, know of the old saying: ‘A dog, a slave, and a hickory tree, the more you beat ’em, the better they be.'”

“Seems to me he ain’t no dog.”

“Why, sure he is, MISTER Wray. And don’t you know, Sir, that dogs love you the better for kickin’ ’em?”

While this exchange was going on, most of the assembled have gotten over their numb shock at seeing a genuine blackamoor and begin to comment on the phenomenon aloud, in the way of unsophisticated back-country people. 

Dorn whispers to Hack, “Why, he’s as black as a crow.”

Hack whispers back, “As black as the parson’s hat.”

Sam Tyler the apothecary, who was sometimes possessed of a poetic turn, says, “Why, he’s as black as melted midnight.”

Looking to promote a ruckus, the sharp-tongued Norm Norman deems Mingo, “As black as the devil’s arse,”

“As black as God’s Ape,” says trapper Gibson Gloeckner, not to be outdone.  

“Black as raven,” mutters Dunc Duncan, the bootmaker, cobbler, and secret bootlegger

“As black as Black Betty,” says Ezekial Teal the tapster, referring to the dark stock of an old-time musket.

“As black as death,” says the funereal horse-doctor Andy Struck, whose joints were bothering him.

“As dark as Egypt,” says Doc Sheldrake.

“As black as ebony,” says old Judge Ross, who adds, fixing a weather eye on Shadwell Shass,”Crine ruber, niger ore, brevis pede, lumine laesus,
rem magnam praestas, Zoile, si bonus es.’

Shass figures he’s been insulted, but, rather than reveal his utter unfamiliarity with the savage wit of Martial, pleasantly replies, “And I’m sure, Judge, that the same goes for you.”

At this, the judge smiles, for he is neither red-haired nor black-mouthed nor lame-footed nor squint-eyed; and, as a proud man, he also considers himself to be thoroughly honorable.

“I say–he’s as black as a very printer’s devil!” says the irrepressible Ezekial Teal the tapster, who fancied himself something of a bon vivant.

“Eww,” squeals the Widow Alice Bune, “He’s black as PITCH. And he SMELLS!”

Not to be out-done, the daring young Miz Dora Norflus, seeking to entice the bachelors into flirting with her, says “He’s black as soot. May I touch his hair, Mister Shass?”

“Sure you can Miz Norflus,” says Shadwell Shass with a laugh, flirting right back, “But just make sure that none o’ that thar soot rubs off on them pretty little hands o’ yourn.”  

Dora Norflus tiptoes up to Mingo, touches his matted, nappy hair, and squeals, draws her hand back, and retreats backward as few steps, as though she has just touched an exceptionally cold chunk of ice.  

Judge Ross wryly comments, quoting Horace, “pudicitiam, et pudorem, et sedatam cupidinem.”

“Are you making fun of me?” says Dora Norflus.

“No, Madam, I am merely complimenting you on your modesty and restraint,” says the sardonic Judge. 
Dora Norflus unleashes her most dazzling smile. The old Judge winks and nods. 

As though a gate were suddenly left unhitched, members of the assembled company, with the conspicuous exception of the Widow Bune, all approach Mingo and begin touching his head. Mingo, humiliated, but fearful of a whipping, bows his head and says nothing.

“It’s dry,” says Zeke Teal.

“It’s dirty,” says Dorn Purson.

“It’s thick,” says Sam Tyler.

“It feels like uncarded wool,” says Hack Purson.

“Does it ever grow out ?” says Andy Struck.

“That’s a curious question for a horse-doctor,” says Doc Sheldrake. “Of course it grows out! Let us see, Doctor, if you recollect your Virgil: “Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco.”

Andy Struck, of course, knows no Virgil, or any Latin at all, but he puffs himself up and says “Yes, Doctor, quite so, quite so.” Noting the look of pleased surprise on Doc Sheldrake’s face, Struck is well-chuffed at his own shrewd guess.

“Ain’t it somethin’,” says Norm Norman. “It’s rather…oily. Why won’t you come and touch it, Mrs. Bune?”

“Eww! No! It might have bugs in it!” she replies, and shrinks back.

“Well, I, for one, wouldn’t touch a hair of that black rascal’s head,” says Gibson Gloeckner. “Who knows but that he might have some kind of damn disease he brought over from darkest Africa.”

Shadwell Shass allows himself to appear affronted. “Why, no, Gib, upon my honor, this boy was born right here in Amerikay!”

“What is he, Shad–your bastard?” says Norm Norman, and instantly regrets it, for Shadwell, quick as lightning, pulls out a flintlock pistol and levels it directly in a line with Norman’s heart.

“Oh, you WOULD say so, would you?” says Shad.

“Um, er…” says the flustered Norm Norman.

“I’m sure he meant no harm of it,” booms Judge Ross.

Shad lowers his pistol.

“I find myself inclined to defer to your wisdom, Judge,” says he.

“Aquila non capit muscas” mutters the judge, with a friendly smile for which he does not, however, show his teeth.

Norm Norman says no more, for the interim.

To break the ice, Sam Tyler, the pharmacist, rubs his hand over the slave’s head, feeling the bumps. “A decidedly thick skull. Indicates to me a lack of gray matter. A diminished faculty for perspicacity or forethought. I can tell you no more than that. The wool gets in the way.”

And then Andy Struck makes bold enough to stride over to the boy and pull his gums apart to examine his teeth. “A good strong set of gums. Teeth are pretty good.”

If Shadwell Shass is offended by the two men pawing over his property in such a way, then under the benign jurisdiction of Judge Ross, he is quite circumspect and does not show it.  

Doc Sheldrake rather rudely pushes the pharmacist and the horse-doctor aside and commences his own examination of the boy. First, he feel his ribs. Then he says, softly and soothingly, “Breathe, my lad.” Mingo takes a deep breath, and lets it out again, with a perturbed sigh. Next, Doc lifts the boy’s shirt and puts his ear up to the his chest and listens to his heart. From the corner, the Widow Bune squeals, “Eww!”

Shadwell Shass looks inquiringly at the Doctor, who loses no time in delivering his verdict. “Sound heart. Good lungs. He’ll likely outlive us all. But he seems a bit undernourished.”

“Why, Doc, he eats the same things I eat!”

“Mmm, and what would that be? Hog and hominy? Try feeding him some fresh fruits and vegetables every once in a while. It wouldn’t hurt you any either to try some.”

“You’re the Doctor,” says Shadwell Shass, with a baleful look at Mingo.

Mingo knows well what this look portends, and shivers, ever so slightly.

Neither Doc nor the old Judge fail to notice the slave’s distress.

But they say nothing; for there is nothing to be said.

 
*1 SALUTATION

THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR

BIKE RIDE TO THE MOON

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDKZqZ8bsDs  


*2 REFERENCE  

COOKIE PUSHER
https://enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/11576515  

CAKE EATER
https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/54/messages/498.html

FUDGE PACKER
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fudge_packer


3*HUMOR

HORROR MOVIES FOR DOGS

Lightning Never Bites Twice In the Same Place
The Thing in the Garbage Disposal
The Day the Treats Stood Still.
The Man With the Rolled-Up Newspaper
Attack of the Six-foot Pom
Thunder and Lightning
I Am A Fugitive from a Municipal Dog Pound
Old Yeller Returns
Dawg Day Afternoon
The Dogs Must Be Crazy
Heel!
The Vacuum Cleaner Monster. –rms
The Invasion Of The Tennis Ball Snatchers –mr. shh
Final Defecation –mr. shh
The Lords Of Peopletown –mr. shh
Training Day –mr. shh
Night of the Living Vet –in the woods
The Blair Bitch Project –in the woods
The Ringworm –in the woods
The Last Car Ride –inthewoods
“N” is for Neuter –rick o’shea
Kennel of 1000 Corpses –rick o’shea
I Piss On Your Hydrant –rick o’shea
The Bitches of Eastwick –wtfjones
The Howling –wtfjones
The Boneyard –wtfjones
Rin Tin Tinman –wtfjones
Damian: The Owner –wtfjones
The Hump Leg of Notre Dame –wtfjones
The Beast Beneath the Stairs –wtfjones
I know What Skunk You Killed Last Summer –wtfjones
The Big Sleep –woodymg
Kennel Coffin –danpm
Dude Where’s My Balls? –danpm
I Pull On Your Tail –danpm
Paws –danpm
Chuck Wagon’s Revenge –danpm
The Postman always Kicks Twice –jujuagogo
The Last Vet on the Left –jujuagogo
People Cemetary –jujuagogo  

4*NOVELTY

BEST OSCAR PICTURE WINNERS, RANKED

https://www.newsweek.com/all-best-picture-oscar-winners-ranked-according-critics-1022819?fbclid=IwAR2eET3Ls1c_bqvdU6GiN5oan59mdEAQ8GMYcChT9T3KwtTIKV5rkn0XVTo  


5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

RICE A RONI THE SAN FRANCISCO TREAT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qV2Pkq1ltA

6* DAILY UTILITY

PERSONAL ADS TRANSLATED

ENERGETIC = So manic it will set your teeth on edge
LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST = Multiple substance abuser
SEXY = Preens like a crow strutting in the gutter
EASY-GOING = Prescription meds a-plenty; will share
NICE GUY = Won’t criticize your appearance in public
SINCERE = Lying sack of shit
PASSIONATE = Will ejaculate in under 30 seconds guaranteed
RESPECTFUL = Utterly dull
WITTY = Loves to hear self talk
FLEXIBLE = Has no life of their own
SELF-ASSURED/CONFIDENT = Boorish and overbearing
ANIMAL-LOVER = Has no human friends
CLEVER = Knows how to suck a subway token out of a slot
JOYFUL/HAPPY = Inane
LOYAL = Desperate
AFFECTIONATE = Slavish
KIND-HEARTED = Dopey
FAMILY-ORIENTED = Kowtows to Mom
INTERESTING/INTRIGUING = Wanted in at least two states
TALENTED = Frustrated intellectual who will only talk about self
INVIGORATING/INSPIRING = Manic
POLITE = Introverted along every point of the scale
ANIMATED = Extra-manic
ACTIVE = Loves his truck more than people
OUTGOING = Drunk every night
SINGLE = Probably married
FUN GUY = Lager lout
OUTDOOR PERSON = Clumsy as an ox
GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR = Loves the Three Stooges; hopes you do too
I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M DOING THIS = Definitely married
SHY = Likes to set fires
WORKING OUT = Narcissist
MOVIES =Smuggles own candy into theater
SPORTS = Will ignore you 9 months of the year
Sophisticated = I’m so ugly I haven’t had a date in ten years
Loving = You will need a restraining order to get rid of me
Generous = I deal drugs
Cute = Age 40 and still have “baby fat”
Reliable = Will always arrive in time for dinner
My colleagues describe me as handsome = I’m their boss
Great legs = Face like Lena the Hyena
Petite = I am 4’6″
Curvaceous = Morbidly obese
Hourglass figure =Will fuck for crack
Affectionate = Will cling to you for dear life
Likes to cuddle = Forget about oral sex
Interested in a committed relationship =Unemployed & about to be evicted
Sensitive = Irritable and neurotic
Great cook = It takes two people to hug me
Romantic = Indifferent to making a living
Caring = Dumb as a bag of rocks
Monogamous = Will fuck for food
Down to earth = Rude, crude and socially unacceptable
Looking for best friend = Don’t expect much sex
Educated = Laughably pretentious
Gentleman = Male chauvinist extraordinaire
Well hung = Bring tweezers
Great in bed = I have the I.Q. of a ceiling fan
I’d love to satisfy you = Haven’t had a woman in three years
Sexually insatiable = Will fuck rocks, moss, lichen
Animal = Will bully you and your friends for favors
Great lover = Monosyllabic grunts constitute conversation
Uninhibited = A stone-cold certified triple-X freak
Romantic = psycho
Rubenesque = fat
I’ve been told I’m attractive = ugly
Great personality = ugly+fat
Old-fashioned = frigid and/or born again christian
Easygoing = desperate
adventurous = slut
will try anything once = slut
open minded = slut
cute recent college grad = middle aged fat dude from Duluth
I enjoy the finer things in life = You will pay.
Professional = my job description has a title.
Friendship and possible LTR = Dear God why am I so lonely?*

7 CARTOON

WALT DISNEY

ALICE AND THE DOG CATCHER (1924)

SOUNDTRACK: GID TANNER & THE SKILLET LICKERS

YA GOTTA QUIT QUICKIN’ MY DOG AROUND

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ3rXbFn8qE  


8*PRESCRIPTION

ANALYSIS OF FLAUBERT’S DICTIONARY OF RECEIVED IDEAS

https://web.archive.org/web/20120308154041/http://www.robotwisdom.com/flaubert/bouvard/ideas.html  

ALSO SEE:GREASY KID STUFF AND MIDDLE MANAGEMENT 
The clean smart look of 1957. God help you if you work in one of the service industries and your boss is a Brylcreem man. He will constantly be asking himself why he employs such a young slob. Service work in general is a huge drag. You’re at the beck and call of crackpot customers who pull the same sort of trick I used to pull on my mother when I was ten years old: “I just want to see something.” On the other side of the equation, there’s the sales personnel who are expected by management to be always smiling and happy and thrilled to serve the customer–some are–but they are rare. Of course, when you’re middle management, you are expected to always be on call, have to work long hours for no added pay, have to deal with policies and regulations, have to deal with disgruntled employees, and are the court of last resort for dealing with irate customers. You can’t win! It’s my theory that adult children of alcoholics are drawn to middle management–specifically, the type known as “the hero child.” To quote Richard Wright: “Shorty, how can you let them kick you for a quarter?” Shorty: “My ass is tough, and quarters is scarce.”  


9* RUMOR PATROL

HOAX: WOMAN ARRESTED FOR SHITTING ON BOSS’ DESK

https://thevalleyreport.com/2016/04/25/woman-arrested-for-defecating-on-boss-desk-after-winning-the-lottery/?fbclid=IwAR1dAIoCvMdvt5Ycq_8ysyRipN9BuYyy3GwRP5QPtdkmHFMhWqLVNAhkdaM  
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/woman-quits-winning-lottery/ https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/the-desk-pooper-is-not-real-yall 

10*LAGNIAPPE

PAUL MCCARTNEY
GOODBYE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eyet4WxAmpM

MARY HOPKIN
GOODBYE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZqtwwo_0qc  


THE MONKEES
THE PORPOISE SONG
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKmPmZoKeP0 

STEAM
NA NA HEY HEY GOODBYE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaG2Acg8n60  


11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

THE GREATEST MENACE TO THE WRITER IS THE READER

https://lithub.com/the-greatest-menace-to-the-writer-is-the-reader-and-other-advice-from-shirley-jackson/  
 
12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

READ THE STORY THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT!!!

FACT: The UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT has teamed up with the CIA, jealous Homosexual men, and Scientologists to produce a horde of mind-controlled zombies (J.D. Salinger, Charlie Manson, Frank Sinatra) who have infiltrated the entertainment industry at all levels. 

FACT: The jealous Homosexual men in high government have been pushing a Trilateralist gay agenda since 1977, which has resulted in such innovation as AIDS, women smoking cigars, and rainbow suspenders, previously only worn by jugglers, circus clowns and Robin Williams. (That the latter actually wrote forty-two of the plays of William Shakespeare has been debated, but not confirmed.) 

FACT: Furthermore, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow was based on a true story, although the real truth is that the Government perfected time-travel in 1776 and has been using it since that time to alter world events in scattered locales such as Waterloo, Sarajevo, and Ford’s Theatre. Is it a coincidence, then, that Henry FORD widely publicized the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his bid for a second Presidential term? (Calvin Coolidge was, of course, a mere cut-out. This has been confirmed by none other than President Boxcar Willie, who, with Bob Hope, maintained a stable of willing young male and female prostitutes as sex slaves. One of these nightwalkers, known as the Argentine Firecracker (from a country where Hitler is alive and well)  deliberately undermined presidential candidate Wilbur Mills, formerly the Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, who retired in 1977, the year of Carter’s Trilateralist accession and, not coincidentally, the beginning of the jealous Homosexual man conspiracy to undermine the nuclear family.)

 Are we beginning to see a pattern here? 

FACT: Masons, jealous Homosexual men, and robots killed John F. Kennedy because he wanted to abrogate the power of the Jeckyll Island cabal known as the Federal Reserve Bank. (It is surely not a coincidence that, in 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, in a cocaine-fueled frenzy, his tale of Dr. JECKYLL and Mr. HYDE–Henry HYDE, as we all know, was Chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, and for many years represented Illinois, home of Chicago syndicate boss Sam “Momo” Giancana, whose girlfriend was none other than the lusty Judith Exner Campbell, who serviced the randy sex-and-drug addict John F. Kennedy. NOW DO YOU GET IT?? 

Wait–it gets better. FACT: Sam “Momo” Giancana was a member of Chicago’s notorious “Forty-two Gang”. Have we seen this number somewhere before? It is the sum of the first 6 positive even numbers!  


Furthermore, in Egyptian mythology, there are 42 questions asked of persons making their journey through Death.  42 is the number with which God creates the Universe in Kabbalistic tradition.  There are 42 generations in the Gospel of Matthew’s version of the Genealogy of Jesus. It is prophesied that for 42 months the Beast will hold dominion over the Earth (Revelation 13:5). The ASCII code 42 is for the asterisk symbol, being a wildcard for everything. Furthermore, it is a scientifically proven FACT that in 79 years Mars orbits the Sun almost exactly 42 times! Note that it was in 1979 that 42 American hostages were kidnapped and held hostages by students in Iran. Coincidence? Or something FAR MORE DEADLY?? EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, 42 is the angle rounded to whole degrees for which a rainbow appears! That’s right, jealous Homosexual man–a RAINBOW!!

NOW DO YOU GET IT???

CONCLUSION: Homosexual men, Jew-haters, robots, and time-travelers have been monkeying around with OUR destiny since The Declaration of Independence.

A lot of people are saying it, so it must be so. It may not all be true–but it’s TRUE ENOUGH.  

ISN’T IT TIME WE PUT A HALT TO THIS MADNESS???

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/dc/14/3a/dc143a5b2ecf74fc237aa6b6aec77ff9.jpg
https://dimenno.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/a8dac-batman680-9.jpg

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THE INFORMATION #1058 AUGUST 16, 2019

THE INFORMATION #1058  AUGUST 16, 2019
Copyright 2019 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com


My native land is a slave of heathenism, men’s god is their belly, and they live only for the present. The richer a man, the holier. –St. Jerome

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART SEVENTY-FIVE: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE  

Billy Batchelder Tallent related to Glen Phillips the tale of what took place at the old time husking bee, in the Town of Mallingham, as told to him by his Grandfather, William Batchelder. ‘Gramps,’ as Billy Calls him, was then a young lad known as Billy, or ‘Silly Billy’ behind his back, for he, like many people who were not yet full-fledged adults, had a tendency to sometimes do foolish things. Billy was at the husking bee because he worked as a farmhand, at scant pay, for the two farmers, Dornaker, also known as Dorn, and Hack Purson. So Billy was present as the two brothere began to usher the visitors into their old barn, which, if it had ever been painted red, bore no trace of that long-ago innovation. 

First to the husking bee comes Simon Sheldrake, also known as Old Doc, since he was the town of Mallingham’s only practicing physician. Doc says how’s the farm, and Dorn, who was known to rise at a feather, said it was better’n the bettering house, by which he meant the Poor House. “But not by much.” Doc gives him a level look, then  crosses the room. Next, along comes Old Judge Ross, who specifically asks after Dorn’s well-being; not surprising, since Dorn had been hauled before him more than once on account of some mischief of another. “Nice crop you got in there,” says the Judge to Hack, the older of the two brothers, a big beefy man who dwarfed the compact but muscular Dorn. Hack replies, “Plough deep while sluggards sleep, and thou shalt have corn to sell and keep.” The Judge looks around at the ears of corn waiting to be shucked, and mildly replies, “You can say that again.” Then he turns to Dorn with an ingratiating smile, showing him that the great man bore him no ill will. “Lots of rich soil around here, eh, Dornaker?” “Yea, Judge–but you know the saying–the richer the soil, the ranker the weeds.” “That’s a good ‘un,” says the Judge, ignoring or at least overlooking the slightly contemptuous tone in which this hoary old adage was served up. “How be you, Dorn,” says the judge. “Busier than a bee in a tar barrel, Judge,” says Dorn, who is becoming slightly mollified and gentled by the attention the Judge is paying him. “It takes a bushel of corn to fatten a pig’s tail,” he adds, and the Judge smiles in the grave way of an old man, without showing his teeth, and passes over in silence to the other side of the barn to talk to Doc Sheldrake and await the other guests. 

They are not long in arriving. Next is Samuel Tyler, the local apothecary, who, upon entering, darts a look across the dirt floor of the barn and gives the Doc a withering look of contempt, as if to say, “I know what your game is, and you don’t fool me any.” He opines to his hosts, the Purson brothers, by way of greeting that since the winter was snowy, that Hack and Dorn ought to be able to bring in a plentiful harvest. Hack avers that the harvest should be bountiful, “Unless Dorn here gets climate-struck and keeps to his bed.” Dorn’s hackles rise at this harmless jest. “When have I ever–?” But a warning look from his brother quiets him down, if only temporarily. 

Ezekiel Teal, the excessively fat, frog-faced local tapster, is the next to make his entrance. He is accompanied by the local veterinarian, Andy Struck, a hypochondriacal  young man who is a frequent customer of both the doctor, who feeds him sugar pills, and the pharmacist, who generally does the same. He is all business, however, as he asks after Hack and Dorn’s livestock. “If we need a sow-gelder, Doc, we’ll let you know,” says the mischievous Dorn. This, of course, is in the nature of a mild insult, as sows have no need of gelding. Eugene Wray next bumbles into the room. The Trapper and Mountain Man is unused to what he calls “perlite si’ety,” and quickly retreats to a far corner and begins clumsily shucking ears of ripe corn in contemplative silence. Gibson Gloeckner slinks in next. He is known, among other things, as a wigmaker, taxidemist, trapper, and all-around troublemaker, but he tries to put on his best company manners as he inquires of Hack and Dorn “after the crop.” “Should be a good one,” says Hack, but he’s interrupted by Dorn, who says, almost accusingly, that “Here on our plantation, Sir, there are two things we don’t abide–Mr. After and Mr. By-and-By.” Gib Gloeckner nods his head as though the wisdom of this adage made perfect sense to him, then takes his place far away from Mountain Man Wray, whom he detests–and, judging from how Wray silently sizes him up, the feeling is mutual.

In rapid succession there then come the nondescript but sharp-tongued Norm Norman, the quiet young cobbler and wainwright (and secret bootlegger) Dunc Duncan, and two of the local ladies, Miz Norflus, a flighty, dark-haired young flibbertigibbet who seldom bathed, and the Widow Bune, fat and blond, who was rumored to be very wealthy.

Behind the barn door, Dorn and Hack hold a whispered colloquy:

Dorn says, “How old is that Widow Bune, anyway? She looks to be on the wrong side of thirty.” “Ssh!” says Hack. “And what about that other one–Miz Norflus? She smells like the devil’s chamberpot.” “Shh!” says Hack. “It’s enough to knock a horse down,” says Dorn. “Hst! Under the thistle,” cautions Hack. “Thrum her? Hell! I wouldn’t touch her with a pair of hot tongs,” says Dorn. “Stick a pin there!” says Hack. “Although…they do say that pigs that sleep together become fond.” “Enough!” says Hack. 

But Dorn isn’t finished yet. 

“That Widow Bune! Why, look at her! She’s plain as the snout on a grunter’s face!” “Hush, you,” says Hack, and one can tell that his temperature is rising. “All the same,” says Dorn, “I’d flourish her oyster basket, if only for them Spanish Dollars I hear she’s got hid away in some hidey-hole.” Hack has had enough. “Do ye think she’s deef, ye looby? Can’t you be on the reserve for one blessed minute?” 

Hearing this rebuke, Dorn goes into a sulk, and sullenly sets about distributing hard cider to his guests from wooden cups, while Hack wipes his forehead with a handkerchief and begins whistling the air “Adams and Liberty.”  

And then in walks Shadwell Shass, the horse-dealer, regarded by many, including the judge, as a low-born character–“quales ex humili,” as the judge himself would put it. He is dressed from head to foot in black, and makes a grand entrance–“Strutting and preening like a crow in the gutter,” says the ever-irascible Norm Norman.

 But what Shad does next is more shocking still. He shouts, “Ho, Mingo–come!” as though calling a dog.

 And in walks Mingo. He is not a dog. His is an apparition many of the assembled company of backwoods people had never seen before–a black boy of about eighteen years of age–a tall, bony young African slave.         


*1 SALUTATION

JEFFERSON STARSHIP

RUNAWAY

https://youtu.be/sNSygqogpls  

DARLENE LOVE
RUN RUN RUN RUNAWAY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oA0awabQXs  

PAUL MCCARTNEY 
RUN DEVIL RUN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1bSmAw_opA  

DEL SHANNON
RUNAWAY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziLagAgoPCE  

SOUL ASYLUM
RUNAWAY TRAIN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRtvqT_wMeY 

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART
RUN PAINT RUN RUN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPGmgE0hlEI 

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
RUN RUN RUN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bp-ihtgzdE  

*2 REFERENCE  
SLAVE NAMES IN COLONIAL SOUTH CAROLINA
http://latinamericanstudies.org/slavery/AS-1952.pdf  

3*HUMOR
RICHARD PRYOR
CHINESE FOOD
“Who you think you are–Buster Brown?”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyeUyb7jGtY  

4*NOVELTY
RANKING THE MOST MISERABLE FAN BASES IN THE NFL
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/24402996/ranking-most-miserable-fan-bases-nfl  
Is there anything worse than calling yourself a “fan”? It seems rather vulgar. Say, rather, that you are an aficionado or a connoisseur. (Everything always sounds more impressive when you say it in Spanish or French.)   

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
THESE KIDS TODAY!
https://www.businessinsider.com/colleges-that-smoke-the-most-weed-2019-8  
My grad school alma mater the fabled You Are High only makes the List at #3. They’re slipping!

6* DAILY UTILITY
MARTY THE STORE ROBOT
There is a button on the side of the thing about five feet up that will deactivate the thing. Just sayin’. 
https://mashable.com/article/stop-and-shop-marty-robots/

*7 CARTOON
Ocasio-Cortez confronts McConnell over photo of men in ‘Team Mitch’ shirts ‘groping & choking’ her cutout
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/06/aoc-mcconnell-cardboard-cut-out-groping-choking/  

8*PRESCRIPTION
PAUL MCCARTNEY
SECRET FRIEND
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w40MUrFq3xM 

9* RUMOR PATROL
NYT HEADLINE BACKLASH
“This is the ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’ of racism,” Rolling Stone writer Jamil Smith tweeted Monday about the Times’ front page, referencing the Chicago Daily Tribune’s infamous headline gaffe that incorrectly reported the results of the 1948 presidential election.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/06/new-york-times-headline-trump-backlash/

10*LAGNIAPPE
RANDY NEWMAN
DAYTON OHIO 1903

Sing a song of long ago
When things were green and movin’ slow
And people’d stop to say hello
Or they’d say “hi” to you

Would you like to come over for tea
With the missus and me?
It’s a real nice way
To spend the day
In Dayton, Ohio
On a lazy Sunday afternoon in 1903

Sing a song of long ago
When things could grow
And days flowed quietly
The air was clean and you could see
And folks were nice to you

Would you like to come over for tea
With the missus and me?
It’s a real nice way
To spend the day
In Dayton, Ohio
On a lazy Sunday afternoon in 1903  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrTdiNkhnOc 
 
11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA


THE SUPERMAX DIGEST
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2 Shanks for the Memories 
6 Humor in Orange Uniform
10 My Most Unforgettable Turnkey
12 Life in These Here Maximum Security Cells
15 15 Cartoon: Jail Hi-Jinks and Penitentiary Pranks

FEATURE ARTICLES
17 Which Stale Green Baloney Sandwiches Go Best With Which Thin Watery Slop?
24 I Am Joe’s Crude Home-made Swastika Tattoo
29 Priuno: #1 Big House Health Menace
33. Twenty Secrets Your Cellmate Wishes He Could Tell You
38 How Meeting Martha Stewart Completely Changed My Life 
48 Poem: Sing-Sing a Song by Karen Carpenter
49 Twelve Fun Facts About The Warden
51 How to Improve Your Appeal Brief Writing Skills in 10 Minutes a Night
55 Is it Time to Tell  the Guard Where You Hid the Contraband?
60 Are You “Penitent” Yet? 
64 Fifteen Dumb Things the Screws at Dannemorra Do
68 Why We Must Build More County Jails  
72 How The Surveillance Cameras Keep Us Safe 
74 Five Glorious Vacation Photos of Argentina
79 The New For-Profit Prison System and How It Improves Efficiency
82 Unforgettable, Hilarious Charlie Manson
85 Ten Things You Didn’t Know About The Warden’s Wife
88 Whistle While You March in Lockstep
92 Condensed Book Selection: The Birdman of Alcatraz  

See:
https://www.cnn.com/2013/02/20/opinion/sharp-readers-digest/index.html  
 
12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

Woman Uses Metallica Song to Scare Away Wild Cougar
www.msn.com/en-us/video/lifestyle/canadian-woman-uses-metallicas-dont-tread-on-me-to-scare-away-wild-cougar-billboard-news/vi-AAFbO9x

THE INFORMATION #1057 AUGUST 9, 2019

THE INFORMATION #1057  AUGUST 9, 2019
Copyright 2019 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com


Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.–Edgar Allen Poe

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART SEVENTY-FOUR: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE

 Billy Batchelder Tallent told to Glen Phillips the story of Mallinghem, a wild and swampy settlement south of Hickory Hollow where many of the village’s most disreputable fanatics had decamped. Quakers, Shakers, Adamites, Sodomites, Ranters, Seekers, Freethinkers, Transgressors, Restitutionists, New Lighters, and Outlivers and Standaways–all flocked to Mallinghem.


Formerly, this parcel of rogues, standing far from the fast lands, was comprised of various small villages known as the waif lands: hamlets extending along a stream bank ever deeper into the wilderness with names such as Galesbury Park, Freshet Draft, Dingle Chop, Cripple Slash, Dismal Nook…and the remote settlement of Haslet Head. There was no surgeon to be had in Mallinghem but a sorry country barber named Simon Sheldrake, though everyone called him Doc. To cover for his grievous lack of medical knowledge, he did his very best on all occasions to treat the sick by merely administering sugared pills made mainly of ground peas, although he would also saw off the occasional limb when the need arose. There was no blacksmith, no cabinet-maker, no gunsmith, no cooper, no wheelwright: the community’s denizens either performed these chores themselves, or else they traveled to Hickory Hollow to have them done, or, more likely, they made do with what they had or else they simply did without.
In Mallinghem there was a controversy about the new Pastor, the preacher man Crispin Brown Garner Goode. These scoundrels were fearful that a cold wind was about to sweep down on all their activities due to the meddling interference of a mere black coated clerk. The eminent merchants of the town gathered to discuss their concerns one Saturday night at an impromptu husking bee that was held in a weathered old barn owned by two brothers, Dornacker and Hack Purson. 


Dornaker Purson was a moody man, an excitable, miffy little fellow prone to sudden fits of violence which were usually visited upon his patient older brother Hack, who calmly bore his assaults with a magnanimous equanimity which the elderly local judge, sleepy-eyed John Ross, might envy. In fact, the two of them were frequently hauled before that very same magistrate, owing to Dornacker’s drunken depredations, which usually involved aiming a long rifle on a freak and taking pot-shots at the neighborhood dogs, cats, rats, and sometimes children. Judge Ross, who was no fool, always remanded the scapegrace to the custody of his calm but also potentially dangerous brother Hack. When in doubt on a point of law, Judge John Ross nearly always resorted to cheek music, consisting largely of the Latin tags he had so assiduously memorized during his distant youth, when he attended an Eastern School and thought himself destined for greatness, or at least some degree of notoriety.

Also present was Ezekiel Teal, a frog-faced tapster, storekeeper and tallow chandler. He came to the husking bee with the avowed intention of finding a red ear of corn and therefore getting to kiss the pretty widder woman. In that, at least, he was honest. Billy’s grandfather,  William Batchelder, whom Billy called Gramps,  was a bachelor farmhand in those days, along with most of the men in Malleghem, and he also went to then husking bee with much the same intention.  
The widder woman in question was named Alice Bune, and she was a rather thick-set lass, to put it charitably, with long blond hair. She was no looker, to be sure, but the love-starved inhabitants of that outcast camp would have ravished a Saint Bernard dog if she were friendly enough. To some of those malfeasors, bunagates, paced rascals, runaway convict servants, coasters, jackanapes, coxcombs, jugglers, rope dancers, crimps, skipjacks, sparks, soul drivers, man stealers, coin-clippers, disgraced stock jobbers, disordered teagues, fortune biters, gallows and wheel customers, Tyburn tulips, and other such sundry riffraff and mobility, Alice Bune must of looked like a Princess—albeit a Princess of Hell. The wench was a bunter, it was rumored. A company keeper. Every man in the community was convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that she was a slut, a vulgar woman, and quite possibly a jilt or even a doxy. 


Dunc Duncan was also there. He was the community’s cooper, cobbler, and cordwainer, and he also distilled a kill devil variety of home-brewed rum, or what he called rum, though it was largely grain alcohol heavily flavored with sugar and colored with a generous dollop of cochineal. He consequently hated Revenuers, street rollers, and shire reeves. He also had a peculiar penchant, it was whispered, for smacking horses, and women, on their bare bottoms. He too was one of Goody Bune’s most ardent admirers. The local horse-dealer, Shadwell Shass, was there as well, hoping to drum up some customers for his nags: a sorry collection of spavined, flanking mares, galled jades, farcy strumpet colts, and wobbling starveling foals. However, he too was not wholly immune to the charms of Goody Bune, whose maiden name, it  is said, was Forcas. Rumor had it that she was a snug lady, in spite of her sluttishness, on account of how her daddy or maybe it was her granddaddy or maybe it wasn’t her daddy at all had located some Spanish treasure buried by the Conquistadors, or maybe it was the picaroons, down on the Mosquito Coast back in the romantic days of the Privateers.


Hard money, and how to get it, was always very much on the mind of women like Dora Norflus, and men like Andy Struck, Mountain Man Wray, Gibson Gloeckner, and Norm Norman. Miz Norflus was a lady who no man in his right mind would go anywhere near. Although she was lovely, in the fidgety sort of way that flighty little tuftaffety ladies tend to be, she never bathed and gave off at all times a strong aroma of turpentine and piss. Andy Struck was a sort of horse leech, feist-wormer, and even a boar-gelder when the need arose, but he was a brockle-faced, sickly fellow, always whining about how he’d have to go all the way to Noxtown one of these days and find a chirurgeon such as the celebrated physician Benjamin Rush or someone like him who could cure him of his various ailments, nearly all imaginary, as Samuel Tyler, the local apothecary, well knew. Tyler was a draggle-tailed, dry-boned sort of fellow who kept a veritable arsenal of patent medicines on hand, many of them containing sassafras for sweetness, as well as opium, for efficaciousness. Mountain Man Wray, a trapper whose given name was Eugene, although nobody dast call him that, was a great big bear of a man who hung from strings little pouches of tea and gunpowder and tobacco all around the brim of his floppy leathern hat, for reasons unknown to all. Gibson Gloekner was a ghoulish fellow, a wigmaker and taxidermist by trade, who also set wolf hooks, which is to say traps, all around the wilderness. Some of these, it was whispered, were actually man-traps. Ordinarily, he steered well clear of Mountain Man Wray, but for some reason Gloeckner found it incumbent on him to attend the husking bee, also in the hopes of getting close to the fidgety Miz Norflus, whom he had taken a shine to. Rounding out this ensemble, Norm Norman was an entirely undistinguished man—medium height, brown hair, green eyes which sometimes glittered, and a tiny, hog-like nose. Some say the local heathens slit his nostrils when he was a boy. And yet, in spite of his meek demeanor, when he rose to speak his mind, a stream of violent profanities and insults would issue from his tiny pinched mouth–a veritable tide of vulgarities which no community other than Mallinghem would have tolerated…or even allowed.  


1* SALUTATION

VINE STREET

VAN DYKE PARKS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUMj8Otywoc 

RANDY NEWMAN (DEMO)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH5shyFIpl0  

HARRY NILSSON 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYh9lpfzQ-Y  

HARPER’S BIZARRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEkbPrsoX_c 

2*REFERENCE
ESL ENGLISH IDIOMS
https://www.ef.edu/english-resources/english-idioms/

ALSO SEE:
https://www.amazon.com/Colonial-American-English-Richard-Lederer/dp/0930454197 
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674219816  
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674437364 
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674335875


3*HUMOR

BILL HICKS

WORKING IN A WAFFLE HOUSE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwkdGr9JYmE   

ALSO SEE:
Passenger in clown suit prompted mass cruise ship brawl
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/27/passenger-in-clown-suit-prompts-mass-brawl-on-po-cruise-ship  


4*NOVELTY

Eyesight to the Blind
https://news.google.com/articles/CBMiW2h0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lm5ld3Nlci5jb20vc3RvcnkvMjc4Mjk3L2xhbmRtYXJrLWdlbmUtZWRpdGluZy13b3JrLW1heS1oZWxwLXJlc3RvcmUtdmlzaW9uLmh0bWzSAQA?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen


5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

A WORLD WITHOUT MAD MAGAZINE

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/a-world-without-mad-magazine  


6* DAILY UTILITY

PERPETUAL CALENDARS
https://www.accuracyproject.org/perpetualcalendars.html 

ON THIS DAY
https://www.infoplease.com/calendar

*7 CARTOON

JOHN DILLINGER’S BODY

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/30/us/john-dillinger-grave-exhumed-indiana-trnd/index.html 

ALSO SEE: THE HIERARCHY OF EVIL

BASELINE: JIMMY BUFFET

JIMMY PAGE
CHARLES MANSON
WALT DISNEY
THE CHURCH OF SATAN
ALEISTER CROWLEY
AYN RAND
ADOLF EICHMANN
LUCIFER
DIANETICS  


8*PRESCRIPTION

26 VALUABLE RECORDS YOU MIGHT HAVE AT HOME

https://www.lovemoney.com/gallerylist/56291/26-valuable-records-you-might-have-at-home  


9* RUMOR PATROL
CLOSETED MITCH

https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/columns/the-sexist/blog/13117161/new-closeted-gay-target-senator-mitch-mcconnell   

ALSO SEE:
BONFIRE OF THE TRANNITIES AT HARVARD
https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/bonfire-of-the-trannities-at-harvard/  


10*LAGNIAPPE
PAUL MCCARTNEY

MY VALENTINE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAApccf11hs 


TOO MUCH RAIN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZeUNwsiOnY&list=PL2DD4E846F21287A1&index=7

RINSE THE RAINDROPS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW6fJnrx3ik&list=PLF1936770607C4270&index=15

GREAT DAY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTQy4aEhEbI&list=PLE063B4BC912B47CA&index=14 


11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
DOG TREATS FOR HUMANSYahoo! We’re going to have an Epic party tonight, Brosephus! First, we’re going to read Epictetus, and then we’re gonna eat Epic Liver Snaps for humans!  
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=epic+beef+liver+bites&gclid=CjwKCAjwpuXpBRAAEiwAyRRPgWrgVKF38Pt1s8_La9bBztEKXa6NjicU4eExbduDcsigRe_RG6VEjRoCzNoQAvD_BwE&hvadid=198222164367&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9002244&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=8129814258342234573&hvtargid=kwd-321312400559&hydadcr=3387_9943922&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_7kph9uphly_e  


*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED

THE ADVENTURES OF BARRY & JOE. REID AT AL. **

ALIENATION. ESTRADA. ****1/2

THE ALLURE OF PREMEDITATED MURDER. LEVIN & WIEST. ****

ARTEMIS FOWL: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL. COLFER, ET AL. ***1/2

BART SIMPSON BREAKS OUT. ***

BATMAN 9. THE TYRANT WING. ****

BATMAN VS. DEATHSTROKE. ***

THE BIG BOOK OF WEIRDOS. ****

THE BOOK OF WEIRDO. COOKE, ED. ****1/2

BONE PARISH 1. ***

CANNONBALL. WROTEN. ****

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER. ****

CAPTAIN AMERICA:ROAD TO REBORN. ***1/2

CAPTAIN AMERICA: REBORN. ***1/2

CAPTAIN AMERICA:TWO AMERICAS. ***1/2

CAPTAIN AMERICA: 1. BRUBAKER & MCNIVEN. ****

CLYDE FANS. SETH. *****

DARWIN: AN EXCEPTIONAL VOYAGE. GROLLEAU & ROYER. ****1/2

GUANTANAMO KID. TUBIANA & FRANC. ****

HAROLD GRAY’S COMPLETE LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE 9. 1940-41. *****

HAROLD GRAY’S COMPLETE LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE 10. 1941-43. ****

HAROLD GRAY’S COMPLETE LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE 9. 1943-45. ****1/2

HEARTSTOPPER 1. OSEMAN. ***

JUST PEACHY. CHISHOLM. ***1/2

HOT COMB. FLOWERS. ***1/2

THE IMMORTAL HULK 3. HULK IN HELL. ****

THE KILLER ACROSS THE TABLE. DOUGLAS & OLSHAKER. ***1/2

MAD AS HELL. SANDBROOK. ****

THE MAGIC ORDER 1. MILLAR. ****

MEG JO BETH & AMY. TERCIERO & INDIGO. ***1/2

MIDDLEWEST. YOUNG & CORONA. ****

MOONBOUND. FETTER-VORM. ****1/2

THE NIGHT WITCHES. ENNIS & BRAUN. ****1/2

NIGHTHAWK. HATE MAKES HATE. ***1/2

O JOSEPHINE! JASON. ****1/2

OLD SOULS. MCDONALD & MCCLAINE. ****1/2

SCARFACE & THE UNTOUCHABLE. COLLINS & SCHWARTZ. ****

SMASHED. ITO. ****

SO YOU’VE BEEN PUBLICALLY SHAMED. RONSON. ****1/2

SHADOW COUNTRY. MATTHEISSEN. *****

SHOWCASE PRESENTS LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 2. ***

SPRINGFIELD CONFIDENTIAL. REISS & KLICKSTEIN. ***1/2

SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN BY JACK KIRBY. ***1/2 

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTUREI HATE MY VEGETABLES
“It has been a common saying of physicians in England, that a cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.” –Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

Broccoli: Like eating highfalutin’ little trees that tastes like crud.Turnips: The evil opposite of potatoes. 
Asparagus: I wouldn’t feed it to a cat. 
Beets: I’d sooner eat dirt.
Spinach: I, too, say it’s spinach and I too say to hell with it. 
Eggplant: Like eating a filth-permeated soggy sponge. 
Zucchini: Invented as punishment for our crimes. 
Squash: See zucchini.
Green Beans: Nasty little twigs that taste like yard debris.
Cauliflower: Tasteless, odorless, and causes deadly gasses.Brussels Sprouts. Sinister little cabbages. If they were men they’d be executed as spies. 
Artichokes: Evil green boluses; lumps of shit savored by the likes of Thurston Howell III which look and taste like they came from the surface of Venus.  Cabbage: Only old people voluntarily eat it. Unless it’s fermented and heavily salted, and even then it’s favored largely by confirmed drunkards and querulous bohunks.


DISHONORABLE MENTION:Cilantro: Like having your mouth washed out with soapy parsley.

MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 253 AUGUST 2019

MODERN WISDOM
NUMBER 253
AUGUST 2019
 
Copyright 2019 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com  

1. NOIR MISFORTUNE COOKIES
SECOND SERIES
901. Your innocence is a joke and the detectives have no sense of humor.
902. All for one and one for all–but nothing for you, loner.
903. You thought you were reasonable. You were actually treasonable, spy.
904. Sorry, Son–the world has no need for a retarded detective.
905. You are honest in everything but The One Big Lie.
906. They say you’re a clever crook, but they’re just being kind.
907. You are a liar and at the trial the truth machine will grind you fine.
908. Even Nixon would think you are a no-good crook.
909. You are perpetually embarrassed and have every reason to be. 
910. You are addicted to blowing hot air so hell will suit you just fine.
911. You have never tried, simply so you can tell yourself you never failed.
912. Your learned talk does not conceal your crafty criminality.
913. Your wife is a lying whore, but so what? So are you.
914. You committed the crime of the century–but the century is young. 
915. The mob always knows when a sparrow falls. Or a stool-pigeon.
916. Your explanations are too short to be convincing and too long to be true.
917. You don’t have what it takes to hold on to what you took.
918. You claim to be an anarchist but you are merely a thief with a PhD.
919. You have fully lived up to your reputation–for untrustworthiness.
920. You are the epitome of the common man. In other words, an idiot.
921. You can’t do the right thing. You can’t even do the wrong thing.
922. You threw your paradise away–and kept the snake.
923. Come great disaster, many sparrows will fall. You will be the first.
924. They all call you the “Go-to Man”–for evil.
925. They will praise you to your face, and blame you in secret.
926. The things you’ve swept under the rug have taken on a life of their own.
927. Don’t waste money on Doctors–the Mob has vowed to see you die.
928. The Players are angry because you served them cheap champagne.
929. Everyone has their ritual. Yours is ritual murder.
930. Keep right on reading–but books won’t save you now.
931. The detective who pursues you is the most obstinate man alive.
932. Even criminals shun you for your wicked crimes.
933. You are a jealous man and you have every reason to be. 
934. You have perfected the art of murder–but you will not be hung in a museum.
935. You think your wife exceptional. She is. An exceptional whore.
936. You let the final witness live. That will be your final mistake.
937. Chatter all you like. A machine gun chatters louder.
938. Even a blind man could tell that you are up to no good.
939. All bets are squared in heaven–but you aren’t going there.
940. You are so insane even crazy whores steer clear of you.
941. Do not take comfort in your innocence. They will frame you. 942. Crazed one–even murder won’t make the gibbering voices go away.
943. Fear, jealousy, revenge–these should be on your Coat of Arms.
944. Murder was your shortcut. And now you are lost forever.
945. You mother, poverty; your father, stupidity; you should have been an orphan.
946. You’ve betrayed all the people you hate; time now to turn on the ones you love.
947. You are an old man with no experience–what chance do you have?
948. The only thing complete about you is your complete disdain for everybody.
949. Your dreams will all come true–but only in your dreams.
950. Murder may be necessary–but why do you enjoy it so much?

2. MODERN WISDOM
1. Blues songs are still very popular because they speak to the human condition and are relevant even today. “I got a yellow gal I can’t keep.” Yeah, Leadbelly, I got the same problem. “The bees made honey in the lion’s head.” Yup, I see that every day. Reverend Gary Davis. 

2. The moon is capitalism: big, white, & it has a lot of pull. The sun is communism: big, red, & everybody gets burned.   


3. Be kind to animals. Kindness makes their flesh more succulent and tender.  


4. Knowledge is power. But what do I know?    

5. The family that prays together stays together.But what if what you’re praying for is to escape your family?   

6. My favorite excuse to a highway patrolman as to why I was speeding: “I ATE A BAD MUSHROOM! I ATE A BAD MUSHROOM!”


7. As we age, brain shrinkage leads to archaic tribalism…stranger.  

8. Whew! Gomorrah really got a bad break! All the volcanic ash and none of the fame! I mean, nobody talks about “Gomorrahmy”.Which sounds like an ancient Irish cuss word.   

 
9. If Elvis were on the sun, he’d weigh 80,700 pounds. That’s a REAL hunka hunka burning love!    

10. Build a better mousetrap. And very soon your happy home will be filled with the pleasing aroma of rancid mouse cadavers.  

11. Hell is just one thing damned after another. 


12. We only like novel ideas if they are old; we only like revolutionary ideas if they are non-threatening. 


13. Q: How many punk rockers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two. One to start to change it, and one to snatch it up and drunkenly shout “Oh, fuck this shit!” and smash it to the floor, then start sobbing and pissing their pants amid the broken shards while muttering I love you man to a nearby collie that wandered in upon hearing the sound of breaking glass. 


14. I just want somebody who’s genuine—someone who will force me to be myself. 


15. Blood is thicker than water. But I think I would rather have a nice cup of tea. 

 
16. I suppose that whenever a bell was rung, Pavlov’s cat went and sucked the breath out of a baby. 


17. If we’re not suffering, how do we know we’re really alive?  

18. God’s curse is on the man who always says what needs to be said. 


19. I don’t believe, but I don’t really believe that I don’t believe. 

  
20. My Five Simple Rules:
Don’t hate 
Don’t worry 
Live simply 
Enjoy the moment 
Give me money   


3. I DON’T CARE: A CURMUDGEON’S MANIFESTO
1. I’ve been thinking. I know that nothing good ever came from that. But it’s not a problem until I start typing. And you start trying to read.
2. I don’t care about graphic novels filled with fake manga. Learn how to draw! And from any story with vampires or zombies. Learn how to write! And from obsessive naval-gazing of any sort. Learn how to tell a story! 
3. I don’t care about your derivative artwork, home movie, music, or fiction. Don’t expect me to praise your feeble attempts at creativity generated second-hand from swipe files, stock footage, stolen hooks and borrowed genre conventions. My life is too short to concern myself with your pathetically weak attempts to copy others.  
4. I don’t care about your second-hand political opinions. Is it really so hard to think for yourself? Or to think at all? 
5. Self-appointed experts are a dime a dozen. Learn how to swim before you call yourself a lifeguard.    
6. You got drunk last night. Good for you. You poisoned yourself. Again. Bravo! Nobody has ever poisoned themselves quite as well as you managed to do it. You must be a big man. If they gave a Nobel prize for auto-intoxication, you’d be the front runner. You can really hold your liquor. You are a sterling example to all the young aspiring poisonees. You smell like french fries, cheap cologne, and death. No, I can’t lend you twenty dollars.  
7. I have been given to understand that an idiotic sitcom was a formative influence on your intellectual development. A mass-produced shadow show geared to the lowest common denominator still has a profound influence over your thinking. Feel free to talk about it incessantly. Write articles divulging your fascination with every detail of the ephemeral trash you dote upon. But don’t expect me to care. 
8. I don’t care about your top ten lists of the Best Ever anything. They are seldom about anything even remotely edifying. They are usually about mass-produced shit. “Sir, there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea.” That is essentially why I just don’t care.
9. I don’t care about advertising. It is a vampire art. False propaganda in the service of purblind consumption. Distorted dream images in the service of sly perversions. People are starving all over the world. I don’t care about them, either, but somebody should. Instead, we accept an obscene spectacle of greed and glorify it.
10. I don’t care about Hollywood. It is the bonfire of the inanities. Its scriptwriters knock twenty I.Q. point off of every script they touch. And sometimes forty points. Its films are socially acceptable nonsense shamefully disguised. Above its fabled sign should be written the words “Abandon Thought, All Ye Who Enter here.” 
11. I don’t care about your propaganda. Any of it. In any form or format. All of it sickens me. These works of faction are always in the service of the status quo. Propaganda is the evil opposite of reason. It is meme warfare that drops logic bombs on the field of discourse and leaves only a vast wasteland. It promotes beautiful stereotypes for fallen apes. It is tyranny in its purest modern form, a fount of useful disinformation. It employs weapons of mass distraction. It is black information; the apotheosis of ugliness; a magnet for scoundrels and fools. The fact wranglers and elite content providers who perpetrate it ought to be regarded as spoiled priests in the service of a psychic enemies network. 
12. I don’t care about political conventions. They are covered in the media with all the reverence of a horse race featuring doped horses and crooked jockeys. Its candidates are designer myths. They feature spin master generals strutting and fretting in a geography of quagmire. These ghoulish conclaves are a show of farce; an American travesty. Yet every four years the powers that be prepare once more to call forth the ringmasters and strike up the bland.
13. I don’t see the point of Fundamentalism. I don’t much care about mystical claptrap and magical thinking first invented by superstitious cavemen to keep away the demon-haunted darkness. My dead dog is not in heaven or hell or anyone else; the ghost of my dead kitten does not talk to God. I don’t care for gibbering preachments masquerading as deep thought. The frightened hooting and jabbering of proto-hominoids waving sharpened sticks at solar eclipses portends no vasty insights. The ancient, kaleidoscopic delusions of incoherent savages do not impress me one iota. And so the modernday hermeneutic hoochy-koo and end-times babbling of slack-jawed jackleg bumpkins is no concern of mine. I don’t live my life based upon the fiction of what a hallucinating nomad would suppositiously do if magically transported 2000 years into a future filled with rocket sleds and naugahyde. Me no ignorant. I need evidence. I don’t need conjectures, theories, presumptions, or spurious conclusions based on counterfeit evidence. The appeal to faith is a circular argument. It’s all a part of God’s plan? The reason is…because? Not good enough. Your conspicuous presumptions are odious. You biblically-based principles are often simply preposterous.  Please go and hector somebody else with them. My advice? Somebody who flunked Logic 101. Better still: Go to a place far, far away from here—preferably, off-planet– and endlessly scream the name of your imaginary hobo deity to the indifferent stars.
14. I trust the evidence of my senses. And that is why I do not go for the goofy preachings of that humorless ratchet-jawed witch known as Ayn Rand. Her hideous chimp objectivism leaves me cold; it is merely a code word for consecrated grabbiness. It is the boxcutter morality of a newly-hatched chick. Message: Cram my gaping beak with squirming grub. Her garbled novels and vile, hypocritical maxims are the ravings of a disappointed automaton with an amputated imagination; a mechanical imitation of conventional thought. Her deeply flawed Bizarro Solipsism smells like a carny swindle and it belongs in the dustbin of history, along with Dianetics, Three-card Monte, and phrenology. It’s chump fodder, plain and simple. Go tell it to the zombies.
15. Social media? Look upon these works, ye mighty, and despair. Social Media is rapidly becoming a breeding ground for one-horse demagogues;  a sociopathic soapbox for soi-disant polymathic generalizers;  a bottomless moronic Sargasso of cultural rubbish; an electrifying mixture of malice and cupidity; a cathedral of erotic misery; a vicarious peep show of vicious celebrities and rhetorical demon-slayers who proudly fawn upon the In Crowd and sedulously assassinate the villain du jour with hackneyed phrases.  Now that public hangings are no longer de rigueur I suppose the unqualified experts of the apocalyptic zeitgeist with a relish for Armageddon must have a soothing outlet to tamp down those vexing inside voices telling them to kill and kill again.  
16. I don’t care about your obsession with celebrities. Don’t bother telling me how much you admire people you don’t know, people you never will know, and people who do not know you and will never want to know you. At best, your obsessive celebrity fixations are an unsuccessful simulation of unironic enjoyment. I’m sick of reading about interminable controversies regarding minor semi-entities. Try talking about real people whom you actually know and love–if there are any.
17. Unless you are Proust or someone like him, I don’t care about your fond but inaccurate remembrances of things past or your endlessly regurgitated fables about the good old days. Please–just for once–drop the nostalgia and slowly back away. Spare me your chronicles of Tragic Eden and your lurid tales about the Happy Valley Ghetto. Don’t you know that virtually everybody on earth despises your highly sanitized unsolicited testimonials to an old, dead world? Your stories are rehearsals for cremation. Gear up to the now. It’s what’s happenin’ Baby; it’s where it’s at, Daddy. You want something to remember? Remember this: There’s nothing sadder than a superannuated raconteur.
18. I implicitly believe in all conspiracy internet rhetoric, particularly if it is posted by a person with a name like Zeke, jasper or Cooter, and offers up unverified claims by unnamed government sources.  I implicitly believe it is fiction. And I don’t care. Even if it turns out to be true. It changes nothing. People will talk. Let them talk. It’s all they’re good for.
19. You have an opinion about a late-breaking news item. One in a concatenation of roughly one million massacres which take place yearly. You, and 800,000,000 other people have an opinion. 999,999 times in 1,000,000, it is the precise same opinion as everybody else has. Why are you not able to offer an original opinion? Why do you have to ceaselessly chirp and chatter like a cage full of birds trapped in a juddering Subaru Forester with a defective fan belt? Endless blather ensues. “People like that should be killed.” Or, “Now everybody is going to have to be extra careful.” Or, “What is this crazy world coming to?” You know what? I DON’T CARE. Your insipid opinions do not demand attention. Your knee-jerk responses confirm the mediocrity of your media-saturated consciousness. Let us instead all mourn for all those headless John Does and Jane Does who have predeceased us. Let us instead all murmur benedictions which will usher their souls to paradise. But let us do it in respectful silence, and honor the dignity of those who have perished.  
20. Since when has it become normative to be at the beck and call of every freak who has my phone number, at any hour of the day or night? If I don’t answer you within nanoseconds of your faux-urgent communique, it’s for a very important reason: I am busily engaged in human pursuits and do not choose to drop what I happen to be doing like a hot potato to answer the shrill summons of a mindless machine with an inappropriately impatient adjunct at the other end. In the future, and for the posterity of unborn generations cascading endlessly forward, please note, observe, mark carefully, and recognize this basic fact.  
21. I don’t care about the writing bêtes noires of you or anybody else. A comprehensive knowledge of the rules of grammar is obviously important. But an obsessive need to always push your own favorite rules–about passive constructions, or rhetorical questions, or split infinitives–and to judge others on the basis of a rigid, gridlike adherence to same–is an unfailing sign of your own insecurity and lack of originality or talent. They are ultimately a screaming red neon sign which points to your inability to think for yourself. 
22. The relentless expanse of minimalism. Bothers me.  Wordless books. Featureless vistas. Where will it all e–

4. I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD….

“I look at that fellow. I watch his smart-aleck manner and his British clothes and that New Dealism in everything he says and does, and I want to shout, ‘Get out, get out. You stand for everything that has been wrong with the United States for years!'” — Hugh Butler, on Dean Acheson

Now, me, I’m just a country boy. I don’t go for none of them highfalutin’ big words or abstract concepts. I’m just one of a legion of unpretentious, salt-of-the-earth working-class Joes who will “give you a piece of their mind” and “tell it like it is” with “the bark off”.

You don’t have to listen to me.

Shucks, I expect you to ignore me.

I ain’t got them there fancy degrees from Oxford or the Sorbonne.

But can I tell you for a minute or two about the kind of world I’d
like to live in?

And maybe even leave to my children, if’n I can afford to have any?

Well, here it is.

I’d like to live in a world in which people who wear striped pants and use Bristishisms such as “Cor, blimey” are put to death.

A world in which hard working ordinary folk run Wal-Mart while venal fat-cats are forced to work the registers and mop up the vomit in aisle four.

Where people who use sea salt are coated in the stuff and left to dry up like immiserated snails.

Where people decide to stay home and be with their families instead of rushing out to patronize December 26th sales.

Where products are so well-made that service warranties are not required.

But wait, you cry. These are merely the revenge fantasies and wishful thoughts of an despicable superannuated recluse. Not so!

Listen!

If I ran the world, only midgets would be allowed to own Bonsai trees.

All political advertisements would use Supermarionation.

Genuine ventriloquists would stand in for news broadcasters.

Elementary school principals would be replaced by colorful Parrots.

No child actors would be permitted to perform without rigid oversight from ruthless squadrons of ironic but lacklustre thespians.

I would nationalize salad bars.

And anyone citing the Old Testament would be shipped out on an ice floe.

OK, so maybe I’m bitter. But tell me–does the world really, truly
need any of the following?

1) The Atlantic Monthly.
2) Any folk music sung by toothless hillbillies.
3) Any folk music not sung by toothless hillbillies.
4) Gatorade.
5) Presidential Libraries.
6) Jell-o brand gelatin and other gelatin desserts.

Well–does it?

And I’m as liberal-minded as the next fellow, but haven’t we all grown just a little bit sick and tired of paying lip service to adherents of:

1) The Kama Sutra.
2) Yoga.
3) Jazzercise.
4) Model U.N.s.
5) Debate societies.
6) Arthurian legend.

You know that funny falling feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you hear about any of the following?

1) Brainstorming.
2) Novels with false and lying narrators.
3) Orson Welles as genius.
4) Detectives with exotic handicaps.
5) Informal staff meetings.
6) Presidential Pardons.

That’s not something to be taken lightly. That’s your body–rejecting the poison!! Are you with me? Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we stop indulging in the promiscuous and indiscriminate use of:

1) PVCs and Vinyl Siding.
2) Zinc lozenges.
3) Hard-luck memoirs.
4) Very Special Episodes.
5) Tribute albums.
6) Bidis.

Come on–work with me here! Wouldn’t the world be a far far better place if we never ever ever again as long as we lived had to endure:

1) Brechtian alienation.
2) Zoos.
3) The theatre of the absurd.
4) Dogme 95.
5) Reggae.
6) Surrealism.

For that matter, wouldn’t it be nice if we never again had to witness:

1) The invariable scenery chewing of Al Pacino.
2) The now-classic slow burn signaling incipient violence from Joe Pesci.
3) British comedians who have achieved worldwide fame.
4) Intelligent dolphins that bark and beg for fish.
5) Fran Drescher.
6) Don DeLillo.

Now, I like a good “laff” as much as the next fella. But can’t we at least agree that the hilarious antics of Mort Sahl, Dennis Miller,
Harvey Pekar, Frank Zappa and Judas Iscariot have begun to pall–just a bit? Far funnier in conception and execution are the very idea of “Political conventions” and “American philosophers”. In fact, there is a great deal of humor, intentional or not, to be found in the very things that ordinary Americans take extremely seriously. I’m talking, in particular, about:

1) Ceremonial occasions.
2) Indian reservations.
3) G.E.D.s.
4) Coal miners.
5) The 12 Apostles.
6) The plays of Eugene O’Neill.

Nor are quavery dotards and their infantine grandchildren entirely
blameless. How else to explain the fascinated attention paid to the
following unwholesome activities:

1) Scrapbooking.
2) Mobiles.
3) Art made with construction paper.
4) Fingerpainting.
5) Fussing over the lisping witticisms of precocious crumb-crushers.
6) Chinese Checkers.

Speaking of the Chinese, I’m sure if they were to take over this country sooner, rather than later, they would decry as extravagant and wasteful (not to mention sinfully counterrevolutionary) the following:

1) Jazz.
2) Boiled peanuts.
3) Jerry Lewis.
4) The NSC.
5) Reduced-fat muffins.
6) Carob.
7) Jai Alai.
8) Dachshunds.
9) Rainbow afros.
10) Mooching vagabonds.

Life would be hard on the communal farm. We’d have to shave with rusty pocketknives and pick our way carefully to the outhouse while dodging clumps of freshly steaming night soil.

But at least our totalitarian hell would ultimately be mitigated by
the prospect of, at long last, no more:

1) Sherry.
2) Aloe Vera.
3) Cuddles and bubbles.
4) Bearapalooza.
5) Juggalos.
6) Diet colas.

Freedom and Diversity might well be a very small price to pay, were we to, at long last, be rid of these scourges.

Thank you for hearing me out.


5.  BLACK KOREA: A TRANSLATION
I have recently noted, with great displeasure,
That each and every time I am at my leisure,
And wish to procure an alcoholic beverage,
That due to my cultural disadvantages I have no leverage,
With the local Asian-American entrepreneur,
Whose profit margin is not entirely secure,
And who therefore must proactively respond regarding shrinkage and theft;
His lack of tact leaves my sense of equinaminity bereft.
He seems to think that every African-American is a desperate felon,
And he therefore surveills my activities with the passion of a zealot.
He is apprehensive that I will behave as though I am his nemesis
And attempt to commit an armed assault upon his premises;
His faith in humanity has been destroyed;
However, I, for one, am gainfully employed.
So Sir! Refrain in acting with biased intemperance,
Or I shall review my legal alternatives with a vengeance.
I have considerable influence with the stakeholders in the community,
So you can no longer practice your activities with impunity.
You must hereafter treat me in a non-discriminatory fashion,
Or else I shall explore my extra-legal alternatives with a passion.
You stand accused before the court of public opinion as a practitioner
of misanthropy–
Because you cannot treat a socioeconomically deprived neighborhood as
your personal satrapy!  

THE INFORMATION #1056 AUGUST 2, 2019

THE INFORMATION #1056  
AUGUST 2, 2019
Copyright 2019 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Nobody wants a genius.–Jim Johnson

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART SEVENTY-THREE: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE  
“Anyway,” said William Batchelder Tallent to Glen Phillips, “according to Gramps, Black Mountain was–and still is, as far as I know–a terrifying place. Just after the  Revolutionary Days, as I mentioned, there was this infernal preacher man called himself Parson Goode, or Pastor Goode, although his name in full was Crispin Brown Garner Goode. 


“Now, the previous Parson, a man name of Old John Tunket, to distinguish him from his son, Young John Tunket, who was an ee-jit as couldn’t even tie his own shoelaces even though he was all of fourteen years old–Old John Tunket was a tall drink of water–sorter looked like a scarecrow–had a big thatch of blond hair–never combed it ner slicked it down–was a touch cracked in the head. He was always firin’ pistols for no good reason and hollaring about nigras and foreigners interferin’ with our women, and insisting that Catholics and Masons and Jews were all part of the same concourse of money-sucking ghouls who would profit most during the end times, which, by the way, were most certainly comin’ soon, so why do anything, and give me all your money. That’s it. That was his message. Folks soon got tired of that fool. He was frightening the womenfolk with all his talk about The Scarlet Whore of Babylon.  He ran on rather a bit too long on that theme. He also kind of liked to roll the words around in his mouth, and to repeat the phrase several times and get all lathered up in the process. Some said that when he was sermonizin’ in that vein, you could even see his tallywhacker pokin’ out beneath his robe. So a few of the more rowdy boys in town let him know that he had worn out his welcome. So Old John Tunket and his son skeedaddled–just ahead of a lynchin’ bee. 


“And so it was that the town had no Parson until one day, an extremely hairy man come riding into town on a burro, or maybe it was a mule or an ass. Accounts vary. The youngsters all gathered round and hooted at him and called him monkey man, but he didn’t pay them no never mind. Parson Goode was a short, almost spindly little fella mought have weighed nine stone when soakin’ wet. When he stood up, he rather looked like a midget on stilts. He had a big oversized head like a punkin and a bushy beard like a mountain man, and he was usually dressed in buckskins. But he was a very friendly feller, once you got past his appearance. And nice. Always giving out candy and little prizes to the young ‘uns. Nobody much cared if some of them younguns was young gals of marryin’ age. He claimed to be able to heal the sick, but most of the folks who rose from their sickbeds and threw away their crutches and threw off their smoked glasses never needed ’em in the first place. 


“When he first blew into town, the village loafers talked an awful lot, it seemed to Gramps, about where exactly who Pastor Goode’s people actually were. Some say he was descended from the Garners, who were a family of mutton-chopped oafs who spent their time drinking in particular and raising hell in general. Some say he was the spawn of a Garner and a witch-woman named Sarah Good, from up around Salem way, and was therefore himself a witch boy, but that’s nonsense, my old Granpaw said–he wouldn’t be a witch; he’d be a wizard. Anyway, when he first rode into town, on the back of that balky old mule, the only miracle or magic spell he ever performed, as far as Gramps could tell,  was slurping down ‘most all of the coffin-varnish that the town undertaker managed to cook up. The home-brewed stuff was deadly pizen, I tell yuh–and yet Goode would drink it without so much as a hiccough, and hollar for more, like it was lemonade. Most edifyin’. He liked to call it “The Good Creature of God.”  


“Some said that pastor Goode clearly resembled a descendent of the infamous Brown or Broun or Broon Clan, who were descended from Judges and Sheriffs back in Scotland, but who quickly degenerated through intermarriage with Injuns and Spaniards and Dutchmen when they were banished to the colonies, after their patriarch was condemned for bein’ a Wizard. Folks said that the Browns didn’t know how many kiddies they had–in order to tally ’em, the census-taker had to roll a pumpkin under the bed and count ’em as they come out. Hereabouts, the Browns was a well-known family. Mama Brown was a big big woman, and I do mean big big–six foot tall or better in ‘er stocking feet and probably weighed close to twenty stone. You surely did not want to tangle assholes with the likes of her–she was more than happy to bear a grudge agin’ any man ner woman who ever done her dirt, and she had a memory like Mrs. Methuselah when it came to getting one up on a blodger. Whereas–wouldn’t you just know it? Her Pappy was a brawny lug, but fond of peace and quiet, so he never so much as raised his voice at her. And her Hubby was an ineffectual little shrimp named Gerald, whom she doted on. Nearly all their young’uns had something the matter with ’em. One of them, young Nick, spent most of his time playing with baby pigs. Another of ’em, young Sam, spent a good deal of his time pluckin’ on the five-string banjer. Henry Knox Brown spent all day settin’ on a wooden bucket, and was just as happy doin’ that as anything else. And then there was Houghton Brown–don’t ask me where they came up with that name–why, all he wanted to do was carve wooden soldiers out of the hulls of black walnuts. The Brown girls was also of a simple-minded sort. The three oldest were named Melody, Harmony, and Candace, and they could hardly talk at all like normal folk, but communicated to each other in their own special language. Some said it was backwards talk, though it vclearly weren’t. Just gibberish. All their other Brown children also had a great many strange quirks, but now I’m getting off the subject, which is Pastor Brown…and his wonderful speechifyin’. 


“At first, the joke among the impious was that he could walk on water–but only in the winter. But after hearin’ him articulate, why, folks around the hinterlands got out of the habit of making jokes about Pastor Goode, as he came to be known. It seems as though the backwoods had never seen a  preacher man like him. Oh, he knew his scripture all right–backwards and forwards, even the parts that most pastors didn’t like to talk about–about “sufferin’ a witch to live” and how the Apostle Paul was full of beans and didn’t much like the other apostles, and about how Jesus didn’t care much for Gentiles, or people who prayed in public, or for people making a big show about lovin’ God and about people even calling HIM God. 


“He warn’t like no other pastors, because he never spoke highfalutin’, or acted like you was stupid ’cause you couldn’t understand him. He didn’t have no airs about him, and he never talked to loud ner too long nor did he make with the preacher lingo. He never pretended to be something he wasn’t, and he never claimed to know things he didn’t know. He always said ‘yes,’ and he didn’t never get up on his high horse. One day the village sot comes up to him brandishing a bottle of ‘shine.  ‘C’mon, Pastor, have a snort. Don’t be back’ard.” Well, Pastor Goode allowed as he would, and the way that man of God snapped at that bottle, you knew he warn’t no sissified minister, but a real sockdologer. “


1* SALUTATION

THE SQUALLS

CYNDY

Features the immortal couplet:
“Don’t talk about Mork and Mindy
I wanna be with Cyndy.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaHVotYPfWM


ALSO SEE:

PYLON

READ A BOOK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejO9-iTXOfk  


SEE ALSO:

SPARKS

ANGST IN MY PANTS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSs63V-RmPk  

2*REFERENCE

DEPRESSION GRUB

https://www.ranker.com/list/food-during-the-great-depression/kellen-perry  

3*HUMOR

DANIEL SIMONSEN

https://youtu.be/udN_LfWyyDw


4*NOVELTY

THE FOLGER INCEST COMMERCIAL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhfcWTZeP1k 


5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

Supermarkets pioneer the use of retail robot “floorwalkers”

https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/04/11/grocery-store-robots-walmart-automation-workers  

ALSO SEE:

Reducing retail theft

https://fitsmallbusiness.com/reduce-retail-theft/ 


6* DAILY UTILITY

WHY JOB-SEEKERS GET GHOSTED

https://minutes.co/why-job-seekers-get-ghosted/


*7 CARTOON

MR. MOUSE MEETS PETER MAX

http://hairygreeneyeball2.blogspot.com/2010/05/mr-mouse-meets-peter-max.html  

ALSO SEE:HAIRY GREEN EYEBALL II

http://hairygreeneyeball2.blogspot.com/ 


ALSO SEE:

THE SOMEDAY FUNNIES

https://www.motherjones.com/media/2011/10/comics-1960s-psychedelics-lsd/  

SEE ALSO: 
HOBO CODE

https://www.ranker.com/list/hobo-symbols/kellen-perry  

8*PRESCRIPTION

LENNY BRUCETHE PALLADIUM (LIVE)

“I swear to god, son. Robert Ruark really missed something with you. Now look, son. I don’t mind these boys who come out and they start with the same word every night. They finish with the same word. Perhaps, they’re not too creative or funny maybe, but goddamn, son, you’ve got a knack of making people vicious.” 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo750ByNnc8

 
9* RUMOR PATROL

WORLD-CLASS AMERICAN WRITERS?

That’s an unexpectedly tough question. For great writers who are intrinsically American, for a short course I would select Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown,” Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener,” Mark Twain’s polemical essay “To the Person Sitting in Darkness,” Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology,” Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” and Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been.” Among works of epic length, I would recommend both Peter Mattheissen’s novel Shadow Country, and James Ellroy’s Underworld USA trilogy.

There are any number of great and near-great American writers, and the process of canon selection has been an ongoing one. I would also suggest the often longer-form works of the following: Edward Dorn’s poem Gunslinger, Leo Connelian’s poem The Clear-Blue Lobster-Water Country, Erskine Caldwell’s novel Journeyman, and Thomas Pynchon’s novel Mason & Dixon, which is my personal favorite of his. Also of interest would be John O’Hara’s Appointment in Samarra, Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian; William Burroughs’ memoir Junkie, Richard Wright’s memoir Black Boy, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, and Nathaniel West’s The Day of the Locust.

Other choices might include the following: Moby-Dick, The Recognitions, Under the Volcano, The House of Mirth, Cane, Fat City, Nightmare Alley, An American Tragedy, The Public Burning, Mason & Dixon, and Journeyman (by Erskine Caldwell).


I would hope that this course of reading would convince any fair-minded skeptic.


10*LAGNIAPPE

T. “TEXAS” TYLER

THE DECK OF CARDS 

You will be punished as no man has ever been punished.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OXLcUbkgFg 


“The Marshall said Sargeant why have you brought this man hereFor playing cards in church sir
And what do you have to say for your self son
Much Sir replied the soldier the Marshall said I hope so for if not,
I shall punish you more than any
man was ever punished” 


ALSO SEE:

BENNY GOLSON & ART FARMER

KILLER JOE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cepSLVmbuO4&fbclid=IwAR0CNpy4CRbWuxqIYOhXy2wf_PkOWw3e_8xk-cqbCDh_-Lpf8Y7JrVxlQUk  


11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

‘IT’The dark carnival trope was invented by Jim Tully, fictionalized by William Lindsay Gresham, and popularized by the great Ray Bradbury. Once again, King merely leeches off of far better writers.  

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

SOME AUTHORS OF GENIUS

Nabokov. Pynchon. Kafka. Shakespeare. Milton. Samuel Johnson. Goethe. Hawthorne. Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy,  Turgenev.  Stendhal, Balzac, Zola, Flaubert, Proust. Joyce. Wolfe, Sterne. Rabelais. Montaigne.

THE INFORMATION #1055 JULY 26, 2019

THE INFORMATION #1055  
JULY 26, 2019
Copyright 2019 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Servile and impertinent, shallow and pedantic, a bigot and a sot, bloated with family pride, and eternally blustering about the dignity of a born gentleman, yet stooping to be a talebearer, an eavesdropper, a common butt in the taverns of London…; such was this man, and such he was content and proud to be….Every thing which another man would have hidden, every thing the publication of which would have made another man hang himself, was matter of gay and clamorous exultation to his weak and diseased mind.–Macaulay, on Boswell  

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART SEVENTY-TWO: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE  


“Earlier,” said William Batchelder Tallent to Glen Phillips, “You were talking about how the Priests and the Monks who teach here are just so many hypocrites, training up us lads to take our places, not as Soldiers in Christ by God but as Captains of Industry and the like. They way you’d have it, Stropmuth Manor is little better than a nest o’ vipers. But the worst of them monks–and I could name a few, I could– ain’t got a patch on a rascal by the name of Crispin Goode, a hard, black-hearted preacher-man of evil repute. My grandpappy told me all about him, and about what it was like in the days in which the backcountry was first bein’ settled. Goode was what we called a jack-leg preacher who roamed our vicinity, because Black Mountain, where he come from, was too hellacious even for the likes of that highbinder. On the craggy Black Mountain, the coffin-maker made moonshine and did a thriving business at both trades; the blacksmith was a horse doctor and a horse thief, and the shire reeve or ‘sheriff’ ran a school for small boys where he taught them how to be filchers and dips. The county judge? Why, he was known as ‘Old Necessity’–because he knew no law.
Little suckling infants cried for raw whiskey and commenced to chewin’ tobacco just as soon as they got off’n their mammy’s tit, which, in them parts, was about the age of four. Otherwise, they were accounted for as nothin’ better’n sissies–and you don’t want to know what they did to sissies in them parts. Strange to say, on Black Mountain there weren’t any Nigras there–ever–it was a Sundown town, and a Sunup town too, as the folks thereabouts were mighty down on the whole colored race. Any black man seen there would stick out there like a fly in the milk-pan. Why, even the Eye-talian scissors-grinder was takin’ his life in his hands by plyin’ his trade in those grim parts. And woe betide the Connecticut huckster who tried to peddle his wooden nutmegs there. 


“The women dropped their foals early on Black Mountain. Some had a family of four by the time they was seventeen. Any twitchet who wasn’t married up by then resigned herself to being an old maid, or else they gave out their favors to the menfolk as freely as a priest gives out Holy Water–in other words, take all you want, and first come first served–and vice versa.


“I’ll admit, my grandpappy’s tall tales upset me–filled me with strange dreams, they did. I’ve had the same nightmare since the age of five. I am riding a hoss; up, and up, and ever upward I go, round a crooked, rocky trail–and the trail gets more and more narrow and the folks get meaner and wickeder the further up I go. Them’s as had all their teeth had ’em stickin’ out pretty far on top over their bottom lip, so that even the slyest of ’em looked like what the science boys call ‘a congenital ee-jit’–not that there was any shortage of that breed in those Godforsaken parts. It’s like on the seventh day God rested, like it says in the Bible, and He took a long brooding shit, and the result was Black Mountain. Sturdy womenfolk and even strong men around and about our valley spoke of the Black Mountain with a kind of suppressed horror. Them’s as ventured there never ventured too far up it, for otherwise they was never heard of again. If you’d go to Black Mountain and flash so much as a tattered Continental dollar in one of those log taverns there you’d find yourself soon enough on the business end of what we call an Arkansaw toothpick. A big old blade honed sharp enough to split a hair. A brave man could get scalped, and if you showed the white feather, you got even worse. What could be worse? you ask. Well, don’t ask.  


“You talk about crime? All the lurid and sensational murders printed in the Birdcage Bottom Liner Gazette? I know all about crime! Why, the badmen in those parts had it all over the pasty-faced ruffians in the vile slums and unwholesome
rookeries of your so-called wicked big cities. Why, for breakfast, a man would swat away a fusillade of buckshot–and for lunch, he’d bleed. That’s how rough the goin’ was. Murder ran in the family. Every last man Jack on Black Mountain was a crack shot–and deadly with a knife. And they could sail the blade end of an broadaxe some hundred feet and hit their target nineteen times out of twenty. Who needs cannonballs when you got a mob like that? 


“Nothin’ much grew up there. Mostly mulberries and huckleberries and wild blackberries, if you were lucky. Wild onions, maybe. The women would eat them by the bunch–not because they liked them any, but so’s to spoil their milk so as to get their boy children off the tit. Without tryin’ at all, you could grow mint and dandelions. Without even half-tryin’,  you might make a good crop of turnip greens. And wolf peaches, which wouldn’t nobody eat. Deadly poison, everybody said. Anyway, most of the menfolk there was too bone lazy to farm. They made their living by descending into the valley and huntin’ and trappin’ game, And stealin’ hosses, which was accounted as no crime, but rather as a badge of honor amongst that twisted tribe. 


“They was no better than the wild injuns they had massacreed to steal their land–and in many respects they was a damn sight worse. The Injuns that once was there considered that mountain sacred. They said a great chief who was one of their Warrior Gods once wielded ‘The Thunderstone,’ whatever the hell that was, and was felled in a great battle with the Sinister Forces, who were creatures of great evil. For all we know, it mighta just been a couple of hungry bears who was being driven mad by mosquitoes and no-see-ums.  Injuns have a marked propensity to exaggerate, said Grampa, and no wonder, as they were superstitious savages without one lick of scientifical book-learnin’. For example, they said that this titanic battle between the great chief and the evil ones took place ‘a hundred thousand moons ago.’ Which is absolutely ridiculous, said Gramps, because, as nearly everybody knows, the Bible says that the earth itself is only about four thousand years old!”


1* SALUTATION

THE CLASH
GUNS ON THE ROOF
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56YW42FMqek

2*REFERENCE
HIDDEN ACCESS POINTS TO RHODE ISLAND SHORE
https://www.providencejournal.com/news/20190710/interactive-map-reveals-all-hidden-access-points-to-rhode-islands-shore 


ALSO SEE:

FLESH-EATING BACTERIA

There seems to be little actual risk of swimming at RI beaches so far.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/rising-water-temperatures-may-be-driving-flesh-eating-bacteria-east-coast-beaches-180972460/


3*HUMOR

DICTIONARY OF SIMILES

A Dictionary of Similes (1916)
By Frank J. Wilstach
Wilstach spent over 20 years tracing more than 16,000 similies to about 2,000 sources and categorizing them under some 3,000 subjects.
http://www.bartleby.com/161/

Black as the Duke of Hell’s black riding boots.

ALSO SEE:

THE STROTHER MARTIN SCHOOL OF WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf3SGGAJWbA

4*NOVELTY
A TIMELY REMINDER FOR MEN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nqcgUDoV_M

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
KRATOM ALERT
https://gizmodo.com/kratom-linked-to-serious-side-effects-and-deaths-in-new-1836257704  

ALSO SEE:
A peek into opioid users’ brains as they try to quit
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/peek-opioid-users-brains-they-try-quit-n1027911

6* DAILY UTILITY
THE PERFECT RESUME ACCORDING TO HARVARD EXPERTS
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/10/an-example-of-the-perfect-resume-according-to-harvard-career-experts.html

7*CARTOON
THE 1974 MAD MAGAZINE TV SPECIAL
https://www.vulture.com/2019/07/mad-magazine-animated-tv-special-abc.html


ALSO SEE:

MAGAZINE PARODIES

https://magazineparody.com/2016/08/25/online-national-lampoons-mad-1971/  

8*PRESCRIPTION
NO MORE JUICE FOR YOU, FATTY
https://fox8.com/2019/07/11/study-finds-just-a-few-ounces-of-soda-or-juice-a-day-is-linked-to-increased-risk-of-cancer/
 
9* RUMOR PATROLTHE CASE AGAINST STAN LEE
“Poet, Statesman, Scholar, he was loved most by those who knew him best–the poor.”–Jack Kirby
http://zak-site.com/CaseAgainstStanLee.html 


10*LAGNIAPPE

THE SUNDOWNERS

ALWAYS YOU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GFDyeaHVZQ&list=RD1GFDyeaHVZQ&t=20

11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

ALAN DRURY
Under the influence of an older lifeguard at a summer municipal swimming pool job, at age 15 I read a whole bunch of Alan Drury’s novels, and they grow more and more nutty as the narrative cycle progressed. Dig: In one of them he has a newscaster called “Frankly Unctuous.” Also, the big reveal of Advise & Consent itself (so and so had an affair with a man who had a GAY AFFAIR!!!!) is kind of a dud.

He spends pages and pages working around to the Big Reveal. Of course I am well aware that 1960 was altogether a different era. But still…! Ophelia’s caked snotrag was a better pretext to hinge a drama on. Drury was no Shakespeare…far from it. But the way he grinds his ideological axes (particularly in later works) invites invidious comparison to the dreaded Ayn Rand. Sorry to say. Although at the age of 15, when I read them I had not yet become aware that such a thing as an Ayn Rand existed.

A&C was a half-assed parable of the red scare, I now realize in retrospect, except that Drury was a paleocon, and later became in even more goofy Paleocon, so he had to switch it to gays. Later, he attacked Commies. Even posited a Manchurian Candidate style Commie takeover of the USA in his book Come Ninevah, Come Tyre. I suppose if you wanted to wallow in sheer badness even more luxuriant, you could well give that one a whirl.


12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

Snake Worship in the USA-Picture News-1945
http://fourcolorshadows.blogspot.com/2010/12/snake-worship-in-usa-picture-news-1945.html

THE INFORMATION #1054 JULY 19, 2019


THE INFORMATION #1054  
JULY 19, 2019
Copyright 2019 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

”When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.’ “  Alexander Hamilton August 18, 1792

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART SEVENTY-ONE: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE

  “I often think,” said William Batchelder Tallent to Glen Phillips, “That I would like to go west someday, among the badmen, and learn their ways. “


“Well, first of all,” said Glen Phillips, his aspirantly lawyerly mind already measuring out and weighing up all the angles, “You certainly don’t have to go west to encounter badmen. Plenty of them in Florida, and all through the Southron, as I understand it. And second, you’ve been reading too damn many dime novels. And third, the west ain’t what it’s cracked up to be nowadays. You may think it is populated with glamorous desperadoes who have a special code of honor. I’ll admit that many of them have hair-trigger tempers, and are skilled in the use of firearms. But as for any of their other accomplishments, so far as I know, they have none. There are a lot of folks out there who want you to think they are bad. Transplanted city dubs on the run from the law who wear green derbies and parlez-vous in their own broken and twisted dialect incomprehensible except to those of their fellow brutes who grew up nursing a growler in some miserable slum. Those asses are soon make to look mighty small by genuine badmen. Most of whom are illiterate brutes who grew tired of pushing a plough back at the old homestead, and so they lit out for the west in search of whores and and drink and easy money. Most of them never find them. Instead, they end up getting a bad case of the yips, and fleeing like a scalded dog back to the old folks at home. Or, at best, a bad dose of the clap. Those who stay will often end their short careers as desperadoes by getting gut-shot by some skulking coward–not a pretty way to go–or by dancing a Tyburn jig, which, in case you don’t know what that means, is what happens when your near neighbors and all the other not particularly good townfolk get tired of you and your brawling and lubberly antics and decide to lynch you by way of a hempen necktie. They are a murderous bunch, those westerners. In any event, hardly any one of these self-styled owlhoots ever makes it past thirty years of age, which puts them only slightly ahead of aborigines and cavemen and African savages in the longevity sweepstakes.  Sure, a man may make his fortune out west, if only he can stand the acid, but it usually requires capital, sheer nerve, the morals of a python, and frozen balls of brass to go along with them. As far as I know, Mawny, your folks are prosperous horse farmers, but do they even have two dollars in cold hard cash to rub together? I thought not. You’d almost be better off moving to Washington D.C. and trying your luck there, as I plan to do someday, and the sooner the better. Washington DC may be a mere quagmire compared to the great world capitals such as Rome,  London, Paris, Berlin, Prague, and Budapest–but for a bold scamp who is bound to make good, why, it’s hard to beat for sheer opportunity.  Furthermore, it’s a known fact that all the best whiskey and all the prettiest whores are mostly to be found in the Babylon on the Potomac. 


“I can understand how you admire badmen, and maybe you would even like to be one yourself. But the real badmen–the ones who have any lasting effect on things as they are–the ones whose rule holds sway–are the fat and gasping pettifoggers who clog out courts and judiciary. Most of them are lawyers. The law, Mawny, me fine bucko! Look to THE LAW! Do you think the policeman in the big bad city is there to protect the ordinary citizen from the depredations of the ruthless and the powerful? Maybe, maybe not. What the policeman is usually concerned with is what’s in it for him, and if he decides to interfere in a dispute between two ordinary citizens, he is a green copper indeed. But if he hears of a burglary on Nob Hill, why, he’s Johnny-on-the-Spot. Furthermore, do you think that a politician actually represents the poor weak culls who elect him? A far cry from it! He represents the men who hold the whip hand–the plutocrats and other robber barons of great shipping and cartage and industry. And the only thing our executive officers execute are the people who happen to get in their way. I know you’ll say that I’m a cynic–but I have every reason to be. I keep my ears open and my mouth shut, and on occasion–I’m not saying very often–I hear a lot of things that ordinary folks just aren’t privy to. I say that any well-spoken chappie who dresses trig and doesn’t eat his peas with a knife has at least a fighting chance of making his way to the top of the greasy pole in the Capital. All you got to remember is that you must always smile and never, ever argue with your betters. Do at least that much, and your battle is half won. If you fawn on them, and fill their ears with pleasant fables, so much the better. Everybody loves a happy ending, so be sure to have the grease to hand, and to lay it on thick. It’s almost impossible to pour too much flattery on a high muckety-muck. They love it like a schoolboy loves his pie. Tell the truth and shame the devil? That’s the motto of half-assed chumps. Aesop had it right. “Any excuse will serve a tyrant.”


“How did they ever get to where they are by being susceptible to such craven admiration, such blatant flattery? Well you may ask! It is a mystery for the ages! But my urgent need is to always deal with the world as it is, and not as I would like it to be. And any man who, deep down, doesn’t feel the same is either a damn fool or a saint, and in my book there ain’t hardly even a lick of difference between ’em.” 


1* SALUTATION
THE LEMONHEADS
HATE YOUR FRIENDS
https://youtu.be/7WIXVGCt9nY

2*REFERENCE
DIFFICULT POETS
Hart Crane. Ezra Pound. John Ashbery. 
ALSO SEE: 
http://www.arduity.com/poets/index.html  

3*HUMOR
PANIC: THE AUTHORIZED IMITATION OF MAD
 There were a whole bunch of MAD imitators. MAD published one of their own, called PANIC. It was edited by Al Feldstein, who later took over the editorial chores for MAD after MAD editor Harvey Kertzman demanded from William Gaines, and was denied, 51% of MAD.  
ethunter1.blogspot.com/2013/10/sunday-funnies-panic-comics-ads.html 

SEE ALSO:
NATIONAL LAMPOON MAD PARODY: FULL TEXT
johnglenntaylor.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-me-funny.html

ALSO SEE:
REQUIRED SUMMER READING
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7rwcYYUEAA8vfY.jpg

4*NOVELTY
PRESIDENTIAL DOODLES
mentalfloss.com/article/54412/21-presidential-doodles 

ALSO SEE:
FUN FACTS ABOUT OUR MOST INTELLIGENT PRESIDENTS!

Jefferson fucked his own slaves, and kept the children around, which probably saved him a lot of money.

Lincoln once eloquently defended his Vice President with the encomium “Andy ain’t no drunk.”

James Abram Garfield could simultaneously write in Latin with one hand and in Greek with the other.

Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub that was chained to a stake, and over 100 years later there is a stuffed plush toy that still bears his name.

Calvin Coolidge referred to steak as “steakie”. 

JFK won a Pulitzer prize for a ghostwritten book. He also fucked a German spy he nicknamed “Inga Binga”.

Jimmy Carter was the first American President to be born in a hospital.

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL’S HISTORY OF THE LAST 130 YEARS 
https://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/WSJ130Final.pdf?utm_source=morning_brew

6* DAILY UTILITY
WOLF PEACHES
 Tomatoes used to be called “wolf peaches”.
ljseedco.com/blogs/news/wolf-peaches-what  

7*CARTOON
GOOFY’S TRAGIC BACKSTORY
https://www.polygon.com/2019/7/5/20677088/goofy-dead-wife-family-tragedy-depression-disney

8*PRESCRIPTION
GEORGE ORWELL
WHY I WRITE
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0300011h.html#part47  
 
9* RUMOR PATROL
AUTHOR HALL OF SHAME
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonah_Lehrer  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frey 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Glass 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Cooke  

10*LAGNIAPPE
THE CLASH
WORKING FOR THE CLAMPDOWN
(Live at the Lewisham Odeon)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ82BX0hGBM  

ALSO SEE:
 SANDANISTA! THE 48 MINUTE VERSION
www.loudersound.com/features/the-48-minute-long-classic-album-hidden-inside-the-clash-s-sandinista  

11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
THE IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS AT A PARTY
Dartmouth is the loudmouth drunk. Yale is the effete dude holding court in a corner with his effete pals. Brown is the bitter fat girl who thinks that life has passed her by. UPenn is a fat athlete gone to seed who drinks too much. Columbia is a swarthy cosmopolitan who talks much too loud. Cornell is in the center of the room, trying to get noticed. Princeton is in the center of the room, trying not to get noticed. And Harvard is sitting on the sofa, writing it all down.  

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE
WHICH WAY TO THE CITY ON A HILL?
www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/07/18/which-way-city-hill/ 

Which Way to the City on a Hill?
Marilynne Robinson NYROB JULY 18, 2019 ISSUE

Recently, at a lunch with a group of graduate students, conversation turned to American colonial history, then to John Winthrop’s 1630 speech “A Modell of Christian Charity,” associated now with an image borrowed from Jesus, “a city on a hill.” This phrase has been grossly misinterpreted, both Winthrop’s use of it and Jesus’. In any case, the students pronounced the speech capitalist, with a certainty and unanimity that, quite frankly, is inappropriate to any historical subject, and would be, even if the students, or the teachers who gave them the word, could define “capitalist.” Because I encounter variants of this conversation in such settings all over the country, I should not be heard as criticizing any particular university when I say that such certainty is not the product of good education. Indeed, it is distinctively the product of bad education.

This characterization of Winthrop’s speech had the finality of a moral judgment, which is odd but, again, typical. For these purposes, capitalism is simply what America is and does and has always done and will do into any imaginable future. A dark stream of greed flows beneath its glittering surface, intermingling with its best works, its highest motives, and it is naive to think otherwise. Like the country itself, it is a rude, robust intrusion of unbridled self-interest upon a world whose traditional order was humane—in the best sense, civilized. Capitalism is, by these lights, original with and exclusive to us, except where Americanization has extended its long reach. This is believed so utterly that the fact that Marx was making his critique of the mature industrial/colonial economy of Britain is overlooked or forgotten. My point here is not to defend capitalism, but to say that as the word is used critically it functions as a final, exhaustive interpretation of any text, and of the work of any writer whose culture is described as capitalist, which is fairly exclusively this one. And it is as if naive to see it otherwise.

The brutal system Marx describes depended on the British Poor Laws, which adapted serfdom to the needs of primitive industrialism. The Poor Laws restricted the movement of those who lived by their labor to the parish where they were born, making them in effect outlaws if they left. Vagrants could be hanged, and sometimes, especially under Henry VIII, they were hanged in great numbers. At the same time, the clearances pulled down or burned rural villages and seized what had been common land, so the poor were forced to leave their parishes and go to the cities to find work. They were, as we say, undocumented, and so they made up a cheap, docile, defenseless workforce. Here comparisons with the present situation of immigrants throughout the West are appropriate.

In New England, the colonies that had greater control over their own social order, there was no real equivalent for these Poor Laws. In the South, whose laws came from England, slaves lived under many of the same constraints on movement as the English poor. There also, laws forbade gatherings of three or more men, or the possession of anything that could be used as a weapon. In pre-modern Britain, the poor were the great majority of the population, as they were throughout Europe.

It was a commonplace of classic British political thought that societies were divided into two classes, the rich and the poor. The strictures and deprivations imposed on the poor, and the fact that their status in law enforced their poverty, meant that they were a stable class through the generations, a virtual race, not simply people who had fallen on hard times. The marks of poverty were a stigma comparable in some of their effects to the marks of race under slavery or Jim Crow, or apartheid. Like Jim Crow and apartheid, the laws that specifically determined their lives remained in effect into the twentieth century. I suspect Americans are ignorant of these laws and this history because their Anglo-Saxon heritage is very likely indeed to trace back to some desperate, bewildered bloke with a cropped ear, cast off at the edge of the Earth as an undesirable, for whose bare survival they are existentially in his debt. Emma Lazarus could well have taken the phrase “wretched refuse” from the theory of British colonization.

Winthrop and those who traveled with him were exceptions, having in general left for North America voluntarily. He was an educated man, speaking to people who were untypically educated or literate for the time. He speaks to them as potentially the founders of a new civilization. And he begins by granting as a first premise the commonplace that societies are divided by God into rich and poor. This granted, what follows? He says, crucially, that this inequality exists because God considers himself “more honoured in dispensing his gifts to man by man, than if he did it by his owne immediate hands.” That is, inequality is the divinely created occasion for liberality. Winthrop preaches an ethic of profound generosity that would effectively nullify this ancient, entrenched, deeply consequential distinction. His speech is not an argument but a series of conclusions, all solidly based in Scripture, more absolute as he proceeds. Rather early on he says, “Wee must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of other’s necessities.” This is a paraphrase of the verse in the Book of Acts describing the practice of the early Church, more succinctly and famously paraphrased in the Communist Manifesto as “from each according to his ability to each according to his needs.” Perhaps it echoes Shakespeare’s language in King Lear—“shake [down] the superflux”—or simply reflects a shared tradition.


Winthrop is proposing a society based on Christian love, an old dream of a British radicalism disseminated from Oxford in the fourteenth century, centered in the work of John Wycliffe, a professor and writer known throughout Europe as one of the great philosophic minds of his time. Wycliffe was indignant at the treatment of the poor—he wrote, for example, that

lords many times do wrongs to poor men by extortion & unreasonable [fees] and unreasonable taxes, & take poor men’s goods…& despise them & menace them & sometime beat them when they ask their pay. & thus lords devour poor men’s goods in gluttony & waste and pride, & they perish for mischief, & hunger & thirst & cold, & their children also…[they] withhold from poor men their hire, for which they have spended their flesh & their blood. & so in a manner they eat & drink poor men’s flesh & blood & are mankillers…

and more to the same effect.

Since he was at the same time an eminent scholar, Wycliffe helped to give British religious dissent a distinctive intellectualism that bypassed barriers of class. He accomplished this, notably, by making the first translation of the entire Bible into English and by writing religious/political tracts in English, like the one just quoted, some of which circulated for more than a century, though possession of them was deeply incriminating. Oxford students and others took pages of Scripture out among the poor so that they could hear them read in their own language. At this time there was a moment of early literary brilliance, in the English writing of Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, William Langland, and others. These poets, and Wycliffe as well, enjoyed the protection of important figures, notably John of Gaunt, possibly Richard II and certainly his wife, Anne of Bohemia. The movement associated with Wycliffe, called Lollardy, was violently suppressed and driven underground by Henry IV. Many Lollards were burned, but their movement remained active and influential, finally merging with the Reformation and Puritanism.

Winthrop’s speech illustrates the fact that the Scriptures themselves could serve as a manifesto. Puritan interest in attempting a return to biblical standards of life in society was not a nostalgia for an imagined past, a desire to live ancient lives, but a will to reform society in keeping with the vastly more humane laws and teachings of both testaments. Scripture gave authority to a vision of equity and also grace as standards of social interaction by which Christendom had not chosen to abide. Surely charges of bibliolatry or theocracy, seen against the alternative, are no grounds for dismissing the project. Winthrop quotes the First Epistle of John: “He whoe hath this world’s goodes and seeth his brother to neede and shutts upp his compassion from him, how dwelleth the loue of God in him,” which comes punctually to this conclusion: “If thy brother be in want and thou canst help him, thou needst not make doubt, what thou shouldst doe; if thou louest God thou must help him.” The poor laws under Elizabeth made it a crime to give money to a “sturdy beggar,” an edict that might have threatened Shakespeare’s company of strolling players. There were alms houses, where charity was so meagre and punitive that the poor sometimes preferred to die of starvation. Pauper suicides persisted as a problem that vexed Beatrice Webb in the twentieth century.

Winthrop is not directly proposing a new social system in the usual sense, but instead he is urging a refusal to sustain the bitter difference between have and have not that structured British law and society. William Blake, a prodigy of Dissenter intellectualism, said, “Pity would be no more,/If we did not make somebody Poor,” and keep him poor, I might add. The commandment of Jesus quoted by Winthrop, “to him who asks give, hoping nothing in return,” assumes both need, relative prosperity, and a liberality that alleviates the difference. The reward of generosity, for the individual and the society, is pleasure in one another’s well-being.

Rhetorically, Winthrop is playing on the Greek word agapē, conventionally translated as charity, and accurately translated as love. The martyred William Tyndale, a Puritan hero, made this change in his translation of the New Testament in 1525. Winthrop begins with an argument for a familiar kind of charity, provision for the needy, though here urging a liberality that utterly exceeds customary practice. He ends in a vision of love of and within the community that takes its imagery from the Song of Songs. He says, “Nothing yeildes more pleasure and content to the soule then when it findes that which it may loue fervently; for to love and live beloved is the soule’s paradise both here and in heaven.” This does not sound to me like capitalism.

Was this in some part Puritanism, or was it altogether Winthrop? In the next century, Jonathan Edwards gave a long, highly detailed sermon titled “Christian Charity: or the Duty of Charity to the Poor, Explained and Enforced.” In it he makes every argument for liberality Winthrop has made and a few more, and refutes every argument for delay, parsimony, or resentment, even though, he says, the town governments take responsibility for assisting the poor.

I pause here to note that the word “liberal” and its forms were used in American social thought until quite recently to refer to a scripturally blessed and commanded open-handedness, a generosity based in faith and love. Over time, the word became secularized with use, though it retained its essential meaning. Then someone noticed that when an Englishman used the word it meant something else entirely and was properly, by our lights, a term of opprobrium. And it was banished from use by those alert to the possibility that a gaffe had been made. So our tradition became unreadable in its own terms, capitalist in the light of a new hermeneutics that sees context as special pleading. The word “left” has been substituted for “liberal,” usually modified by the phrase “too far.” “Left” has little to do with American thought, much to do with seating arrangements in the French revolutionary assembly. And we all know what followed the French Revolution.

There is a great tangle of language to deal with. Many scholars struggle to find a definition of “Puritan.” This is not surprising, since it was a blanket term for perhaps more than a hundred sects who found common cause in resistance to both church and government. There were Congregationalists and Presbyterians, and also Baptists, Quakers, Diggers, Levellers, and many more. Anyone who thinks there were and are not meaningful differences among the denominations has no understanding of theology, which is the substance of these differences. They shared basic assumptions and they found common cause. Figures like John Milton and Oliver Cromwell never identified themselves with any particular church or sect. “Puritan,” like “Yankee,” was originally a derisive term used by their adversaries, finally adopted by them. It has become so deeply associated with sexual anxiety and fastidiousness that there is no point mentioning their very high estimation of women and marriage, which was not usual at the time, precisely because of the authority of a very old religious culture of sexual anxiety and fastidiousness.

Why does it matter who they were? Because they figured largely in the first modern revolution, trying a king, Charles I, as a common citizen, for crimes against the nation, as the French would do 150 years later. This revolution established a protectorship and parliamentary government in Britain, from 1642 to 1660. Then it collapsed, sending a wave of its supporters to swell the population of New England, an event crucial to American history, and wholly unknown to most Americans.

Perhaps I should refresh memory—the king, Charles I, declared war on Parliament, which took up the gauntlet, so to speak. Parliament was the popular side, favored by the great many common people who were religious dissenters. The king had failed to summon Parliament for years, and a great cause among the revolutionists was that elections and sessions of Parliament should be regular and frequent. The period of revolutionary government, from 1649 to 1660, is called the Commonwealth.

As for the question of who these Puritans were, the individual members of large groups are very likely to deviate from expectation in some degree, which does not make collective identities assigned to them meaningless. Soldiers and partisans of Jefferson Davis can be called “Confederates,” diverse as their motives and interests surely were. By the same token, those who fought in Oliver Cromwell’s army and supported and participated in the revolution he led can be called “Puritan.” They were a highly political faction. Though made up of many dissenter sects, they were agreed on the need for profound social reform and averse to religious and political hierarchy. Cromwell’s armies held protracted debates about the character of the new society they hoped to establish. Winthrop, writing before the outbreak of war in England, used Scripture as a foil for implied criticism of the impulses of greed and cruelty that shape social relations. Perhaps this has been a prime function of Scripture from its ancient beginnings. In any case, the intense identification of the English revolutionaries with the Bible, which might be said to have recruited and bonded them through the generations in which they could be burned for owning it, fused their religion and their politics into one thing, granting many variations.

“Cromwell” is one of those words, like “Puritan,” like “liberal,” like “capitalist,” like “Jonathan Edwards,” that triggers intellectual lockdown. No one knows anything about Cromwell except that he is someone no one would want to know anything about. This reaction often has a peculiar moralistic cast, a moral contempt for the moral pretensions of Puritans, or liberals, or Jonathan Edwards. There is also a kind of moralism that is reflected in the mention of capitalism, which apparently has bought us off, the pact being that we resign ourselves and prosper, having lost or surrendered all our options. The smirk is a little reach for self-respect. I can find no definition of capitalism except as an economic system that, insofar as possible, converts everything into capital. Did we ever actually agree to this? Does it really describe our civilization?

Be that as it may, the first third of our national life is a virtual blank, or worse, historically speaking, on account of these aversions. Jonathan Edwards, still the greatest American philosopher, is known for a sermon that mentions spiders.

And those witches. A terrible slip into European thinking and behavior. How many witches were burned in Sweden, Germany, Britain? Estimates run into tens of thousands. Nothing but this peculiar tendency to treat Puritanism as a pathology can account for the prevalent notion that the isolated outbreak in New England was typically and uniquely Puritan.

Absence of meaningful interest in the political culture of New England obscures the fact that there were two civilizations planted by British settlers in North America, which may be usefully distinguished as New England and the South. The events surrounding colonization occurred in what historians call the early modern period. This means printed documents survive that inform distinctions like Southern and Northern, or British and American. It is readily possible to establish what is Puritan by comparison with what is not. Doing so draws attention to the degree to which Puritanism was a reformist political movement, not merely militant impatience with the popish practices of the Anglican Church.

I will look at three documents that, for all their differences, can be meaningfully compared. The first is a legal code, authorized by the king, for an existing colony in Virginia, in 1611. The second is a constitution, a social and economic blueprint for the South, commissioned in London, written by the philosopher John Locke and published in 1669. The third is a list of proposals for creating good government, composed by the Puritan Hugh Peter, published in 1651. Peter was for about twenty years the primary chaplain of Oliver Cromwell and the Houses of Lords and Commons. When the Commonwealth fell, he was executed. This is to say, the writer was very much at the center of the English Revolution.

There is no comparison to be made between Peter’s vision and the others’ in the matter of liberality. The first two are both profoundly illiberal, while Cromwell’s Puritan chaplain says things like this:

Let no difference bee made between Iews, or Gentiles, bond or free, stranger or Natives, in either Criminal, or Civil things: for so hath God commanded, and by this means shall the Governors bee true fathers of humanitie; And it will mightily populate, and inrich the Common-wealth, when the oppressed in anie other Countrie know where to go dwell, under so just Government, with freedom from oppression. Deut. 1. 16, 17. Prov. 24. 23. Prov. 20. 8.

Peter is by no means congratulating existing practice. At the time he wrote this, it was illegal for Jews to live in England, as it had been since their expulsion in 1290. Cromwell had begun negotiating an end to their exclusion when he died. (It should be noted that, in his sermon on the duty of charity, Jonathan Edwards stipulates at the outset that this duty is owed to anyone: “It is explained in Levit. xxv. 35 to mean not only those of their own nation, but even strangers and sojourners.” Strikingly often, the positions I have called “liberal” are drawn from the Old Testament, mention of which, as of Puritanism itself, triggers intellectual lockdown.)

The 1611 code called Dale’s Laws was composed by the Virginia colony’s stockholders in London in response to that colony’s failure to thrive. The code is repressive and punitive to the point of derangement, or so it appears to the modern eye. Cropping of the ears, impaling of the tongue, endless flogging—there is no sign of deference to what Blake called “the human form divine.” It was not a penal colony. No rationale is offered for this regime of utter violence except the colony’s failure from the investors’ point of view. But it was arguably a theocracy, granting that this is another word without a definition.

The prologue to these laws states that “his Majesty,” then King James I, he of Bible fame, has “a principal care of true religion, and reverence to God” and so “for the glory of God,” has ordained these laws. This might sound like mere boilerplate. But item 2 of the code prescribes the death penalty for speaking impiously about the Trinity or “the known articles of the Christian faith.” The third item prescribes the censure of death for taking the Lord’s name in vain a third time. The fourth, death for speaking traitorously against the king or royal authority. The fifth, death for disrespect for the Scriptures. Also, it says, “every man and woman shall repair in the mornings to divine service,” and Sabbath sermons, “and in the afternoons to divine service, and Catechizing,” the penalty for failing a third time to attend being, of course, death. The church in question here was the Anglican Church, the Church of England, to which the Puritans took exception on slight pretexts, if historians are to be trusted.

The Puritans were a literary culture, enormously prolific, and I have read, more or less at random, very little of their work, except by comparison with people at large, and, I believe, with certain historians. But in my reading of them, I have never come across anything in the same universe as Dale’s Laws. I am confident that our cultural investment in the image of Puritans as intolerant is vigorous enough that someone would have produced the damning evidence if it existed. A recent volume that contains Dale’s Laws notes without documentation that “neither the Puritans nor the Separatists believed in religious freedom…. They stressed the need for conformity within their community.”* Surely it is fair to ask, Compared to whom? They wrote beautifully on the subject of freedom of conscience. It is relevant to establishing the standards of the time that in Europe the Inquisition had been up and running for about four hundred years. The least repressive group, whatever its failings, is, eo ipso, the most progressive group.

Hugh Peter, Cromwell’s chaplain, proposed reforms of the penal system. He says:

Let no Malefactors against the light of Nature, and civil societie, escape unpunished, but bee justly and speedily punished, not in prisons before hand, by cold, heat, stink [which was believed to transmit disease], famine, or anie other waie; but out of humanitie, let them bee comfortably provided for, till sentence bee given, and then let Justice take place,

so that those guilty of capital crimes “may bee duly punished, rather inclining to mercie then crueltie, and alwaies with a merciful heart. Deut. 35. 31, 32. Prov. 12. 18.” The American legal code called the Massachusetts Body of Liberties, written by the Puritan minister Nathaniel Ward and published ten years earlier, says, “For bodilie punishments we allow amongst us none that are inhumane Barbarous or cruel.” Any student of history will know how radical a departure from British and European practice this was.

John Locke wrote “The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina” under royal commission, after the death of Cromwell. His family had shown some sympathy for the Puritan cause, so his conservatism might have been prudent, though it is also true that he had financial interests involving colonization and slavery. Essentially his code is an abstract of the social and political order of England as seen from its heights of privilege, by the titled grandees who were the proprietors of the colony. It is silently purged of all liberalizing influences that were to be found in England itself, except for a version of religious tolerance that, for example, excludes from the protection of the law any adult who is not a church member. Locke’s Carolina—that is, most of the South excluding Florida—would be a rigidly hierarchical society, with status and authority based on land ownership, ownership and all it entailed determined by primogeniture, as in England. These lands would be portioned out, and after that, in perpetuity, would pass through the generations as the inheritance of the eldest son. If the line failed and the land passed into other hands, that family was to take the name and coat of arms of the original owners, to conceal the rupture.

Puritans as reformers always imagine a future, a sometimes Blakean vision of what might be, like Winthrop’s community of love. Locke’s Carolina is as static as it can be made, his code an intricate machinery meant to distribute authority and assure stability. Though it is presumably meant to contain agricultural plantations, there is no direct mention of the fact that an economy of this kind requires laborers in great numbers, the “delving Adam” of English radical tradition. There is mention, however, of what he calls “leet-men,” people who are owned with the land, who have no appeal from the judgments of their lord, who cannot leave his land without his formal consent. And this: “All the Children of Leet-men shall be Leet-men, and so to all Generations.”

In ordinary usage, leet-men are paupers, which is bad enough, but is not hereditary, at least in theory. In this constitution laborers seem to slide back into serfdom. The slight notice paid to them and the constraints to be brought to bear on them describe the condition of laborers under the Poor Laws, and of slaves. Locke also said, with equal brevity and finality, “Every Freeman of Carolina shall have absolute power and authority over his Negro Slaves, of what Opinion or Religion soever.” We might thank Jefferson for his hypocrisy. Where would we be if he had bequeathed to us the straightforward defense of his own interests that Locke makes here?

Hugh Peter describes the ruin caused by primogeniture, established in Locke’s code as it was in England, which protected estates from being divided among heirs at the cost of leaving the offspring who did not inherit utterly destitute. He says, “What mischiefs have com’n upon families by greatning the eldest, and abasing the rest…the high waies and gallows can witness, and forrein plantations can testifie.” Consistently his list of proposals shows practical attentiveness to the poor, to strangers, debtors, the imprisoned, all typically the victims of miseries created by law, whether its harshness or its negligence, or both. He says there must be change so that “poor men especially, may not bee for small debts clapt up in prison, and thereby they and their families undon in a short time, becaus hee is not able to put in Bail.” We Americans now hold poor people in jail for long periods of time for offenses so minor that the bail they cannot pay is trifling, and so they lose their jobs, perhaps custody of their children and so on, at an ultimate social cost that cannot be reckoned. This Puritan would have things to say to us, without question.

I have the letters and papers of Oliver Cromwell, four stout volumes published by Harvard in the 1930s and 1940s. As seems always to be true where this engrossing history is involved, I have read far more deeply into this material than anyone I know, and I have put only a fairly deep scratch on its surface. I had to leave off just before the trial of the king, at which, it seems, Cromwell said nothing. I can report that his prose is restrained. His deference to parliamentary control is remarkable, since everything depended on his military successes. His army became progressively more Puritan because he preferred common men, “plain, russet-coated fellows,” as his soldiers. They were fearless and dependable, indifferent to hardship. His army was considered the most powerful in Europe. Vincenzo Bellini wrote an opera about them. Cromwell and his cabinet proposed a brief, tentative constitution with nothing vindictive about it. He called Parliament “a check and a balance.” I have no idea whether I will learn that he and his spiritual adviser of twenty years’ standing were of one mind about these reforms for the benefit of the poor to which Hugh Peter has given so much thought. But, aside from the apparent affinity between the two men, there is the larger phenomenon of Puritanism.

Hugh Peter was, of course, the contemporary of Winthrop and Ward. Like Ward, he was a minister who had come under pressure for his Puritanism and ended up in Massachusetts, where he lived for seven years before returning to England on a diplomatic mission for the colony. He met Cromwell and stayed on as the war began. When Cromwell died and the Commonwealth fell, Peter was executed in an excruciatingly protracted ritual of dismemberment and burning developed under Elizabeth to punish traitors and Catholics, which by her lights were the same thing. Peter had been made to watch this execution carried out on his closest friend the day before his own death. Again, I have found nothing by or about Puritans that remotely resembles this barbarity and cruelty or that could rationalize it. Old, unhappy, far-off things. But our imagination and our sympathy are closed against this important early branch of our cultural ancestry on the grounds that they were severe. Here we have the bizarre recourse to violence that might have made Dale’s Laws seem a plausible approach to the governing of a human society, even suitable to converting the natives to Christianity by force of example. (None were converted.)

So here I propose what is to my knowledge a new theory of modern history. There were two contending concepts of right and value that developed over the long period from the Black Plague and the Peasants’ War in the fourteenth century to the wars of king and Parliament in the seventeenth century. One is based on property, especially property in land, and the other is based on the human person. This difference was central to our Civil War. There was nothing casual in the use of the phrase “this species of property” when Southerners protested about laws that prevented them from traveling with slaves into free states or risking the loss of them once there. Both Roger B. Taney, who wrote the Dred Scott decision, and Jefferson Davis said that slavery had developed under English property law, that what you buy you own. Property was believed by them to be the basis of law and civil order, and interference with or deprivation of property to be an assault on the fundamental right. The antislavery side made the argument that human beings cannot be property, that their humanity overrode and trivialized all other considerations.

I may actually owe my new theory to Henry Ward Beecher, who said, in 1855:

These two radical theories of man—man, a physical creature to be judged by effects produced in Time; or man, a spiritual creature, to be judged by the development to which he is destined, are at the root of all the antagonisms between the spirit of northern and southern institutions.

Men as units of labor, or human beings as children of society, whom society, he says, should redeem “from ignorance, should secure their growth, equip them for citizenship, make all the influences of society enure to the benefit of the mass of men.” Property in human beings, a definition of serfdom, is a condition anticipated in Locke’s constitutions, together with African slavery. How largely liberty figured in the regime called Dale’s Laws the reader may judge. In other words, the distinction Beecher makes between a society that will countenance the absolute submission of one class to another, and a society based on a reverence toward human beings as such that forbids such distinctions, with the laws and customs that sustain them, is the difference between Puritan and Cavalier, between North and South. Most of history and the greater part of the world would have been owned and governed by a small class set apart by hereditary privilege and wealth in land. The North was radical in more or less departing from this model.

The Beechers, John Brown, and many other Abolitionists were descendants of the Pilgrims or Puritans. This is not especially remarkable, since after the great migration that followed the fall of the Commonwealth there was a long period without significant immigration. They became a sort of grand-scale Pitcairn Island, amazing Thomas Malthus with the prodigious increase in their numbers from a fairly small original population. So their sense of themselves as a culture with a highly particular history would no doubt have been strongly reinforced by circumstance. Their martyrology, Foxe’s Acts and Monuments, in tracing their origins as a religious movement within Britain from the fourteenth century, must have included a good many family names. Emerson’s mother loved to read John Flavel, an English Puritan preacher contemporary with Nathaniel Ward and Hugh Peter. Oliver Cromwell had an interest in land in Connecticut. Two of the regicides, members of the committee that condemned Charles I, were hidden in New Haven and died there.

The old Puritan writers, like the man Jonathan Edwards calls “the holy Mr. Flavel,” elaborated, with all the mentions of Satan and hell and conversion that are universal in Christian preaching of the period, an anthropology that is fresh and joyful. Flavel says, for example:

The soul manifests its dear love and affection to the body, by its sympathy, and compassionate feeling of all its burdens: whatever touches the body, by way of injury, affects the soul also by way of sympathy. The soul and body are as strings of two musical instruments set exactly at one height; if one be touched, the other trembles. They laugh and cry, are sick and well together. This is a wonderful mystery….

And, “The body is the soul’s ancient acquaintance and intimate friend, with whom it hath assiduously and familiarly conversed from its beginning. They have been partners in each others comforts and sorrows.” His loving marriage of opposites is the sweetest accommodation of this ancient dichotomy I have ever seen, and true to experience as well. Any interpreter of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself could well start here.

Our heavily redacted history has meant the loss of many options. The idea of a good community, one whose members are happy in the fact of a general well-being, is not native to us, natural to us, possible for us—or so we are to believe. It is too far left. It is downright socialist. Hugh Peter speaks in terms of practical enhancements, crowned roads to help prevent flooding, for example. He proposes that all advocates and attorneys should be paid by the public, that no one should be above the law. He proposes that artists and craftsmen of modest income should not be taxed. There is nothing sectarian in his list of reforms, assuming that most of us would be pleased to have improved infrastructure, equal justice before the law, a creative environment that acknowledges the social value of art.

We know our penal system is unfair and inhumane, that our treatment of immigrants threatens the ideal of a just nation. Why are we paralyzed in the face of these issues of freedom and humanity? Why are we alienated from a history that could help us find a deep root in liberality and shared and mutual happiness? Those who control the word “American” control the sense of the possible. Our public is far more liberal than our politics. Our politics must change if there is to be any future for representative democracy.

A version of this essay was presented in February 2019 as one of the Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures on American Civilization and Government at the New York Public Library, which are made possible by a gift from the estate of Eric F. Goldman. Copyright © 2019 by Marilynne Robinson.

*
American Legal History: Cases and Materials, fourth edition, edited by Kermit L. Hall, Paul Finkelman, and James W. Ely Jr. (Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 7–12. ↩