The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days
Perhaps you will not miss them. That's the joke.
The universe winds down. That's how it's made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you'll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.
Ode - Arthur O'Shaughnessy
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
Kurt Vonnegut on the Cheap
If Jesus were alive today, he might write poetry like Doctor Seuss, or books like Vonnegut, or have a TV show like Colbert. He might be a Mook for Stephanie Miller. Everyone would laugh. But no one would ever allow him to be Jesus, the chosen one. Superstar.
The original Jesus was probably a jokester. A lot of his magic and parables were just pranks and puns and such. People just followed him around because he was hilarious, and somehow they also managed to become spiritually enlightened. Go figure. But when the authorities asked his followers, "What is that Jesus guy saying?", they responded, "Well, he said, 'A bird in the hand is worth a half-price sale on jeans at Penny's'" And the authorities would not look at it as a joke, but they would get all huffy and say this was blasphemy. And since they were going to crucify some Marxists that day, they figured they'd throw in Jesus, too.
And the real reason why Jesus is now seen as lord god and saviour and sanctifier of cheese is that nobody today really knows who he was. For one thing, his jokes obscurred a lot about whom he was. For another thing, Jesus was a murder in the making. It's like a CSI agent wrote a mystery novel and deconstructed a murder backwards to make it completely impossible to discover who the victim/culprit actually was...
For example, who the heck were these three Wise-men? Some accounts say it was Larry, Curly and Moe, but no one really knows - they could have been from China, or Iraq, or Haliburton. And the whole point was gold, frankincense and myrrh? Seriously? And Jesus did have a father but we don't think his parents ever had sex or went to the bathroom, and when questioned about this, Jesus would say that his father was up in the sky.
Jesus never wrote anything of his own. So it is easy to imagine some fanciful idea of him. As did the people who wrote about him a hundred - or 600 - years later. And we don't know too much about them either.
In fact, Jesus might have had the same handlers then as Obama does now. Think of it, the only things we know about Obama's past are that he might have been born in Kenya, or not, and he has the social security number of a guy who has been dead for 100 years. Well, then Jesus died on a cross, and all evidence of the murder was quickly wiped away, into the desert. No body. Jesus was the perfect crime. Maybe he was an alien. Maybe he was God. Maybe he was a time traveller. Maybe he was a goat sandwich. In any event, his handlers knew not to screw up history with any McFly butterfly effect. And they knew that the best dream is the dream that is infinitely open to interpretation. That makes it more intimate. Dying... or coming to birth... And now, some irony:
Obama Reads Brave New World
"Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me. We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot. Drink up me hearties yo ho! We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot! Drink up me hearties yo ho! Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me. We extort, we pilfer, we filch and sack. Drink up me hearties yo ho! Maraud and embezzle and even high-jack. Drink up me hearties yo ho! Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me. We kindle ans char, inflame and ignite. Drink up me hearties yo ho! We burn up the city, we're really a fright! Drink up me hearties yo ho! We're rascals, scoundrels, villains and knaves. Drink up me hearties yo ho! Devils and black sheep--Really bad eggs! Drink UP me hearties yo ho! Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me. We're beggars and blighters, ne'er do well cads. Drink up me hearties yo ho! Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads. DRINK UP ME HEARTIES YO HO! Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me!" - protest sign, Arab Spring
(via NPR): Right after 9/11, Irony was said to die. Or it transformed from Seinfeldian to John-Stewartian irony. David Letterman came on stage, and got all serious and said, (referring to the 9/11 first-responders), "Never, NEVER, let these folks be taken for granted!" The irony is this: LOOK HOW THE 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS HAVE BEEN TREATED LATELY! WATCH FIREMEN GET THEIR PENSIONS TAKEN AWAY. BLAME SOCIAL SECURITY ON THOSE PEOPLE DYING OF LUNG DISEASE, DUST IN SHADOWS OF OUR FALLING TOWERS.
On a related note: Today is International Bacon Day. Drink this in memory of me...