There’s a force for change spreading through the world. It’s not what you think it is. It’s not positive thinking, or low carb diets, or even drug-induced cross-dressing. It’s the force of stupidity.
Think of it as the low-normal relative of The Force except too many people use it to guide their daily existence. Like Trump believers.
You have heard me expound at length about the depth of human idiocy. My father, the realist/cynic salesman who could spot the force of stupidity at a distance, clued me in this force of nature when I was 12 years old. It’s only some 40 years later that I have seen it come to brutal fruition in the year of COVID.
Anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, anti-matter and other antis have proven to me repeatedly that stupidity, probably like the Corona virus, is like a force of nature and as plentiful as oxygen. Likewise, it mutates and adapts almost as fast as Corona does.
Tap That Force
I’d like to know how we can harness and tap this force. Think of what we could do if we could control stupid energy, distill it and use it as an energy source. Screw oil, coal, natural gas and solar panels! And best of all, because stupid humans outnumber smart ones 7,799,999,943 to 17, it’s an almost limitless supply.
Come to think of it, it’s probably pretty easy to tap this stupid force. All you really need is a media outlet, people with smartphones or internet-enabled devices, and a lot of free time spent mostly trapped indoors.
Now how could I arrange that…? I bet if I developed a bio-weapon in a secret lab in a country under a dictatorial regime with evil global ambitions, I think I could pull this off.
What? It has been done already? Shit. [Note to readers: that last paragraph was for the stupid.]
Mentally stunned and emotionally stunted,
King Pho Khun Bang Klang Hao Druker
Why does insanity have such a bad reputation? Why do we treat it like an affliction that is to be cured or treated, when in reality, insanity is pretty much the norm every day we live our lives.
The USA has an insane president, plus a bunch of insane southern states who think the insanity they perpetrate every day is pretty normal. Trade wars are good for farmers. Bankruptcy only makes you stronger. Besides why would you want to cozy up to democracies when dictators are just so much more social and non-judgmental, and usually have a stable of fancy sports cars?
You can also label China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and let’s say Italy, as being insane. Collective governmental madness. Like a bad fungus, it’s spreading. And anti-biotics won’t fix it either. Insanity is the new norm.
Conspiracy Theory = Insanity
Chances are, if you have complete and utter faith in a theory about why the world/social media/banks/the dark state/movie reviewers are all out to keep you from greatness, chances are just as good that your family has an extra helix of DNA where the insanity gene is dominant.
Let me cite some recent examples:
You ever watch those TV shows on cable about extraterrestrials and how the government is covering it up? And the so called experts making their case? Insane.
Anti-Vaxxers? Criminally insane and should be forced to live on Jupiter until they come to their senses.
People who strive to be popular on Instagram or TikTok or YouTube? Deeply and narcissistically insane.
People who prefer cinnamon danish to chocolate danish? The worst kind of insane.
Which all begs the question: is insanity native to the genetic code or do we learn this behavior from watching too much TV, drinking Kombucha and believing what’s on social media?
Technology to the Rescue
It turns out it doesn’t matter what the source is because we can’t cure it. The bigger question is how do we identify it and thus use it to my advantage.
Given all the bio-metric hardware and software out there, I say someone shiftless and smarter than me invents a fingerprint reader that can instantly detect insanity. Stick your fingers on the little scanner and within seconds you get an answer determining whether or not you should be the leader of a major country, or whether you should stay on reality TV shows and never be allowed to breed.
Something like a 1-5 scale with 1 being the lowest level of insanity, “the bookish accountant in the actuarial department” and 5 being the highest level, “Donald Trump.”
The only possible risk to a fingerprint insanity analyzer is that it gets hacked and you find a way to substitute your own fingerprints with those of the Queen of England, thus allowing you to pass without suspicion at cock fighting matches and porno theaters.
So what can you take away from this lengthy diatribe that — as well as being proof of a wobbly circadian rhythm and proof of lead ingestion as a child — has been scientifically enlightening and not terribly entertaining?
When the crazies think everything is normal, that’s when you know it’s OK to be insane. And get some good meds and chocolate danish to handle the stress.
Loyally yours, Aristotle Ventius Druker, Slayer of Logic, King of Nothing, Protector of the Afternoon Nap
It’s remarkable how there’s so much awfulness in the press, the TV, the Interwebs and social media, yet we never stop to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Humans crave watching misery and Schadenfreude. We seem incapable as a global society to see beauty in all its forms and are fixated on anything but. And there’s a reason for that. Actually two reasons: 1) poor genes and 2) the smart phone.
Before I make a series of tremendously weak and bizarrely tangential arguments to show the link between the aforementioned DNA bits and silicon bytes, there’s a crucial, dare I say, universal fact that needs to be stated.
I’m Walking Here
Ever notice that when you’re walking anywhere in any city, be it a mall, a building hallway, a store, a plaza, a hospital, a sidewalk, or even a street protest, there are three kinds of people:
People who walk too slowly who make you want to push them down and step right over them, while mumbling an insult and powering forward
People who are walking faster than you, and inevitably nudge you while pulling out to pass so they can get to whatever tryst they have planned, thus causing you to utter the phrase “where is that jerk going in such a hurry??”
People who walk at the same pace as you, which makes you suspicious about why they aren’t passing you, as they must be after your wallet / purse / backpack / fresh chocolate danish, which of course forces you to cross the street to make sure the goods stay safe
In essence, everyone but you is walking at the wrong pace, and why are they all so stupid and can’t figure it out? Maybe the answer is genetic. Or smart phones.
Genes – Not the Designer Kind
Here comes those bizarrely tangential arguments that are largely indisputable because there’s no science backing them up — just raw, angry opinion stemming from poor sleep habits and a steady diet of foods with over-processed sugars and edible mineral oils.
The first one, poor genes, is more complicated than you think. Poor genes are the result of multiple factors, many of them having to do with luck, diet, education, geography and parental proclivities (talking to your children vs. locking them in a dark closet and whispering through the door “I hope the closet snakes aren’t hungry tonight”).
Humans have been exposing themselves to DNA-damaging substances since we crawled out of those primordial caves somewhere near Disneyland, I think. I could be wrong. Regardless, think of all the pewter and lead cooking and drinking conveyances we have used in the millennia since we started metal-smithing. Very bad for the DNA. Humans have been ingesting stuff they shouldn’t have since who knows when and we are not about to stop. Especially when those Pop Tarts are on sale. Yay!!
Humans hang out in the sun too much, thus damaging our genetic material as we frolic at beaches, parties and open-air strip clubs. Humans are also big fans of genetic carnage through the use of alcohol and drugs, that, in more than moderate quantities, leads to wars, raping, pillaging and waking up the next day in the bath tub with one eyebrow shaved and the words “Room temperature IQ” written in indelible ink on one’s forehead. I won’t even get into processed meats!
Now we have invented technology that lets us edit genetic material like you’d edit a Word document, except there’s no spell checker. Or user manual. It’s called Crispr, and if you haven’t heard about, it’s China’s fault. (We have been blaming them for over a decade for spying, pollution, lead paint poisoning and questionable fortune-telling accuracy in the form of a cookie. So why stop now?)
So as you can see, we actively screw with our genes and not in the good way, thus globally lowering our ability to discern beauty from Trump-ish stupidity.
I’ve Got You
The smart phone, part two of my argument, is much simpler to explain. Invented by the duo of fiendishly clever drug dealers who were looking to expand their product line beyond poppy syrup and coca leaf extract, and by spurned nerds with poor hygiene feeling the need for revenge after having their video game privileges revoked, they teamed up to make a device that would trap us in their evil claws forever. The smart phone.
Turns out they did a heck of a job. I know if you try to take away my smart phone, there will be some trepidation, cursory cursing, and eventually something akin to an aneurysm followed by intense yelling and scrambling to find said phone, another screen or even a picture of a computer. Same goes for approximately 100% of the humans who were lulled into buying this wonderfully sleek, conversation-destroying, neck-bending bundle of chips and glass.
In survey after survey, today’s youth have said they’d sooner give up having a car, fondling pomegranates and certain body parts than give up their smart phones. They must be “connected” to the world at any time (as opposed to their immediate family and friends).
So between poor genes that we humans do as much damage to as possible, thus lowering our collective global IQ to single digits, and the crazily addictive qualities of our smart phones, we will never be able to appreciate the beauty around us. Unless you’re really rich and you have a butler answer your phone for you.
You know what he highlight of my day is? Is it being thankful that I didn’t pass away in my sleep? A fresh cup of coffee perking me up as the day starts ? A tranquil ride to work where no one has thrown themselves in front of the metro car yet again? Seeing the shining faces of my family and friends? Wrong.
It’s going to bathroom at work and knowing that I’m the first person to use the toilet. No one else has been near the seat since it was last cleaned. (I know you’re wondering “but how does he know?” Perhaps best if you don’t ask.) Absurd, isn’t it, that an unmolested toilet seat is the highlight of my day. No doubt about it.
But since the election of Emperor Trump, and the installment of Steve “Goebbels” Bannon, absurdity is the New Normal. That someone made a fish tribute to President Trump is just the start of the immense weirdness about to befall the globe.
[Note to reader: This particular blog rant is not absurd in and of itself. It merely serves to point out that absurd is now par for the course. Or this blog rant is proof, and is perhaps yet another reason to have me committed to an institution with darkened windows, staffed by thick-fingered, lightly moustachioed, hulking Eastern European nurses who chiefly rely on ECT as a method to “socially readjust undesirable behaviour”. But I digress.]
It will be four years of mind-bending, constitution-challenging, Dali-eque representations of alternative facts, all emanating from the uncontrolled, unmuzzled mouth of the POTUS, and the mind of the of his righthand man.
Almost makes you wish you Bush-Cheney was back in the Whitehouse, doesn’t it?
Date: December, snowy, and bathed in the glow of a computer monitor. Still trying to find a replacement for democracy that doesn't involve fascists. Or social media.
Democracy: It’s Easier Than Flossing
For some time there was a theory that flossing regularly could somehow help deter heart attacks. That theory has been disproven and rightfully so. Anything having to do with flossing is inherently evil, largely because no one I know, except dentists, the children of dentists, oral hygienists and psycho-killers, has ever been for a dental checkup and heard from said oral care specialist “your flossing habits are excellent!” We always get the drill of guilt for not having flossed either sufficiently or at all. And then a weather front of shame rolls in.
How does flossing in any, way, shape or form relate to my valiant search for something to replace democracy yet does not involve secret police, fascism, communism, or a form thereof? It’s a stretch, I admit, but I had a lot of coffee and sugar this morning so I think I can make this work.
Practice Makes Imperfect
Like so many things in life, the more you do something, usually the easier it gets. For example, kissing, thieving, knitting a wool hat, or hammering a nail. Same goes for flossing.
Your first attempt usually involves a valiant and often violent struggle with the roll of dental floss, or if you use one of those new fangled flossing implements, repeatedly stabbing your inner cheek walls or upper palette to the point where the pain-induced tear that runs down your eye winds up in your mouth, mere seconds after you’ve rattled off a series of profanities best suited for a confession box. (See National Lampoon’s That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick)
But after a while, you get it, you know how to do it, and it becomes almost second nature if you practice a bit. Sure, you might not be perfect, but you know what to do come floss-time. Same goes — or should go — for democracy.
Show Up, Choose, Leave
The democratic process is pretty simple, and depending on where you live and under what conditions, you usually have to practice the skill (and art) of choosing a candidate (or defacing the ballot) maybe every couple of years. So you do get some practice.
Not unlike the flossing described above, you do have to suffer a bit before you get to vote. There are course the interminable election campaigns, which are not unlike the fear one experiences prior to going to the dentist’s, or better yet, these campaigns may be more akin to actually being in the dentist’s chair just before the gum-wrecking, tooth-extracting, needle-inserting, pain-enhancing physician and assistant enter the room to tell you several thousand dollars of expensive and painful fixes are required, and to take out a loan to cover the costs.
Election campaigns are horrendous, wasteful, vainglorious affairs but, like flossing, they are part of the procedure and you can become numb to them with enough exposure. That could be bad if you experience blood loss living through either the flossing or the election campaign. But at the same time, its not all that hard to do your democratic duty. It takes 3 simple steps: Show up, choose, and then leave.
But Am I Qualified?
This begs the question — if, in a democracy, anyone eligible can vote, are they really qualified to vote? Many have suggested the same holds true for making and rearing a child. Too many are eligible and too few are qualified, yet we let that happen all the time (until that kind Mr. Trump spikes our drinking water with birth control pills). But I digress.
We test people who want to drive a car to see if they are competent — and again, too many are eligible and too few are qualified, even if they didn’t sleep with and/or bribe the driving instructor. Yet, 22-chromosed morons and idiots show up to take their driver’s test, choose some answers, spin around a parking lot and leave with a permit for motorized mayhem in their sweaty, greasy, unwashed, little hands.
Should we have means testing to determine who is qualified to vote? Who would decide this? (Answer: me, and me alone) How would this even be enforced? (Answer: lots of robots and a ton of domestic spying). If we tested for intelligence, would it be based on math? science? or a canonical knowledge of Star Wars and Bugs Bunny? (Answer: I’m leaning towards Bugs Bunny)
So much to contemplate, yet it’s so perilously close to dinner. And food wins every time over deep, rational thought.
Dateline: Late, late, late summer, in a dimly lit basement - and a stinky, humid one at that. Reason enough to go to bed early.
The Burkini Conundrum (Not Really)
Very recently, there was a local Pokemon Go gathering and barely sentient people were milling around a public spot, blindly moving about like a school of geeky loser fish, in order to grab imaginary, virtual objects using a smart phone. No one was speaking, people were just staring at their screens. I am told there was fair bit of drool too.
What’s the message here? It would seem that reality sucks so bad, only some kind of virtual reality game with ZERO meaning for the greater good is the next best replacement for reality. And when you think about it, creating distractions that have nothing to do with reality is deeply embedded in human nature. It’s why we built the Coliseum, casinos, brothels, movie theatres, the Internet or why heroin and cannabis are still such popular drugs, and why the Mayans used cocaine. Day-to-day drudgery.
So now we focus on The Burkini as a distraction, because the Olympics were too boring. Not enough Zika? Way too much Ryan Lochte? Have our collective mood-altering prescriptions run out? We need to argue over something that really isn’t worth it?
I’m starting to think the human brain is a miracle of Unintelligent Design. Let’s explore the following suppository. Not wait. That’s gross. Supposition, yeah that’s it. Shut up and read on.
I dare you to explain (intelligently) how any of the following could exist if there was actually intelligent design:
I have a spine like a melted accordion
I get pimples from eating ONE onion ring, which is highly unjust
When it’s warm outside my privates stick to my skin and I’m therefore uncomfortable for 3 months a year
IKEA gets away with selling crap furniture at exorbitant prices
People are STILL opposed to vaccinations
Why hasn’t Gwyneth Paltrow been imprisoned for criminally excessive stupidity
We humans commit genocide semi-regularly
The burkini, and the banning thereof
None. None Blacker
And why are there black burkinis? Like it isn’t hot enough at the beach as it is that you need to suffocate the woman not just emotionally but physically, too? Why doesn’t it come with a built-in head shade? Or a heat expulsion flap? That is not intelligent design.
And if intelligent design actually existed, then why did a bunch of French bureaucrats decide to take time to draft legislation to ban it when maybe they could have spent the time, I don’t know, giving food to the poor? Or making cheese and wine free for a month? I think unintelligent design is the accurate descriptor.
Wisdom of the Masses
It’s like everyone is being guided by this invisible force of collective stupidity. Like a Simpsons episode. There could be a more complex, biological reason too, although the Royal Society for Semi-Legitimate Science and Bellybutton Gazing refuses to hear me out.
Maybe when humans are in close proximity to each other, like at an election rally, a night club, a public swimming pool, a sporting event, or in bed, our chromosomes cancel each other out if there’s an even number and we’re reduced to blubbering idiots. Or if there’s an odd number of chromosomes, the dominant chromosome with the lowest IQ wins and guides the pack. Like at an Australian Rules football match. Or a gathering of religious snake-handlers.
So where does this leave us? With no resolution for the burkini conundrum, nor anything of merit worth reading. But if you did take the time to read this, you have wasted a full 2 minutes of your time that won’t ever be returned, and I have fished through your wallets while you weren’t looking. Lots of unused condoms in there.
It wasn’t long ago that Donald Trump was the butt of many jokes. A rich butt, but a butt all the same. Now, Herr Hair Piece has made life a little scarier with his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and of course his subsequent attack on the — dare I say — The President! None of which is news, of course, as every one and his brother (or sister) has been glued to the TV, radio, mobile device and anything else that reports the so called news these days. You can’t escape it, much as I would like to.
Trump Rhymes With ‘Rump’
It’s not rocket science as to why small-fingered Trump is so popular – and it isn’t his vouching for cuts of Grade ‘A’ beef, so beloved by men with a subconscious wish for an early coronary and preceded by a fine bout of colon cancer. (I think if If he vouched for a mediocre rump roast, it would have hit a little too close to home for him, but apt it would have been, indeed.)
Trump the Rump is a bully, plain and simple. A charismatic shmuck of a bully, but a bully all the same. That’s why so many people love the guy – they’re afraid of him. Or strangely he’s adored and lauded for “telling like it is” – which is usually code for “I won’t use logic to assess that statement because my rage-related hormones are boiling like a thin beef broth over an open flame.”
Bullies and blowhards make all kinds of false statements backed by nothing more than bluster (Wow, I used a lot of ‘B’ words in that last sentence. Amazing I didn’t use ‘ball-busting bastards’ – I must be losing my edge.) This aspiring presidential rump is one of the best at beating up (verbally) on anyone and everyone. How nice.
Trump Rhymes With ‘Chump’
It’s quite shocking that a stylish bully like Donald Fart Face has made it this far, because in essence he is a chump. For those who don’t know the word, a chump is defined as “A stupid or foolish person; a dolt.” Oddly, it’s also defined as “A short, thick, heavy piece of wood.”
Foolish he is not, how else could he get legions of people to do his bidding by punching people who disagree with him? Maybe he really is short, thick, heavy piece of wood, originating from a genetically manipulated cross between dog wood (hence his bark) and pond scum that has been poisoned by toxic sun tan lotion? It would explain his stubby fingers…
Trump Rhymes With ‘Dump’
If he is elected the Republican presidential nominee, despite the party’s best efforts to derail him, and goes on to defeat Hilary Clinton in the general election, I think he stands a good chance of having the White House redecorated to look like a Vegas Casino. I can’t really tell you why I believe that. Maybe it’s the spicy Thai chicken I had that’s clouding my brain and making me pass wind.
Since the Trump style involves a lot of gold, hair product, and no doubt a Trump-endorsed male cologne probably made from gasoline and cheap Amaretto, there will be an industrial smell about his presidency. The kind of smell used to mask a city dump.
Trump Rhymes With ‘Sump Pump’
How one gets to a sump pump from a Trump isn’t as long a twisted journey as you’d think. This kind of pump is used to remove excess liquid, usually from a flooded basement. Where sewage tends to back up, like after a torrential rainfall of crap. Not unlike that which spews from Donald’s mouth on a regular basis as he spits bile and filth at those who oppose him. Nice. How dictator-like.
And it’s not just me who finds it amazing that this chump of a sump pump clump of orange hair masquerading as a human has inspired so many people to come out and vote. He’s certainly tapped into a vein of anger that the Republican elitist jerks neglected for, oh, 30 years or so. Maybe we shouldn’t be so amazed that Trump is where he is given his skill for oratory and showmanship, and his keen ability to reason and use logic like a 4-year old pissed off at the playground.
Enough ranting for one evening. I have other more important things to do. Such as eat marmalade-filled cookies that contain something akin to heroin, hence my predilection for spending actual hard-earned cash on something I m sure is made from petro-sugar, sawdust and chocolate-flavored styrofoam.
Driving home this evening in my creaky, achy minivan, trying not to notice the criminally exorbitant price of gasoline in my fair city, I heard on the radio that the national bureau of statistics had calculated that the rate of violent crimes in the country had dropped to its lowest point since 1991. Well, I thought, that is a pretty good sign of a society that is not totally going into the porcelain crap collector.
Yet that was followed by a more sobering fact that non-violent crimes had indeed increased in number and frequency, and showed a mild yet consistent trend upward. What made the report truly interesting and surreal was something I hadn’t really considered as a crime statistic before.
A Little Extra Death
Let’s differentiate between non-violent crimes, such as fraud, property damage, identity theft, excessive fruit fondling, and the violent ones, like breaking-and-entering (which sounds vaguely sexual), robbery, Pope-pestering, rabbi-rousing, wearing a pink polo shirt with checkered slacks, manslaughter, murder and pet-kicking.
But we now we have a new category of crimes being counted: terrorism. Just think, blowing up people and places is considered a crime that’s counted among the stats now. When I was growing up writing your name in pee in the snow was considered a violent act. Especially if you misspelled your name or only used lower case letters. Now it’s the ideologically-driven, indiscriminate murder of civilians that police have to count. Like they don’t have enough paperwork to do and African-Americans to physically abuse, now they have to deal with terrorists when they file a report.
Etymology and Cheap Segues
Interestingly, the etymology of the word idiot is Greek: idiōtēs (“person lacking professional skill”, “a private citizen”, “individual” – if that last descriptor is true, then we’re all idiots. Seems about right).
More critical to this fractured, late-night rambling, I thank the literary gods for that etymological deus-ex-machina because I had no clue how I could segue in the next paragraph from crime to the Greek tragedy occurring in Europe, and the subject of this inane comic some of you read when questioning whether you want to continue living or not. (Coincidentally, in a recent Reuters poll it was revealed that the expressed desire to commit suicide and/or vomit after reading my blog/comic has stayed steady between 99-100% among my loyal readers.)
Actually, come to think of it, now that my sugar levels are spiking, if we are speaking of true crimes and true idiots, Greece’s inhabitants and especially its politicians, and most of Europe fall under those descriptors.
Corruption Matched Only By Idiocy
Marvelling at the complicated corruption and financial extortion and ineptitude that is Europe and a bankrupt Greece, one has to wonder who is the bigger idiot, Greece or Germany, the bankroller of the EU.
If we had to define Greek attitudes toward paying taxes, acceptance of bribery monies, nepotism and backroom deals, we could generalize and say they wilfully and knowingly committed fiscal self-fornication for many a decade. When they entered the Euro Zone, they now had a rich Onkel to bail them out.
So when the proverbial περιττώματα hit the fan, some German banking sucker would fork over some cash at exorbitant and usurious rates figuring Greece was good for the dough. Little did those fat, corrupt German bankers know that the Greek skill and penchant for pissing away the money of others was comparable to that of drunkard on heavy diuretics at an ouzo factory. (Btw – I love hurtful national stereotypes. They make writing this crap much easier.)
Simple, Idiotic Answers to Complex Questions
Now that we have all watched this criminal Greek tragedy while Iran was negotiating a sweet deal to continue funding terrorism and simultaneously build a nuclear bomb pretty much unfettered, a simple yet moronic solution presents itself in this episode of the comic once referred to by Pope Francis as “the devil’s dung.”
Bomb everything, pave it over and put up a Wal-Mart. Violent, arbitrary, Neanderthilic and a wholly unnecessary overreaction? Sure. But so are Fox News and shopping at Wal-Mart on a Saturday.
No, I say we follow the simple, direct, armed approach. It has specific, measurable and attainable goals, as was taught to me in management classes. Which I mostly faked my way through as I was playing with my phone.
Contrary to what most of you think, I have not published anything in months because I was in “pause mode” – which sadly doesn’t mean vacation. I was working darn hard at my job. A job that has me traveling far more than I imagined. So the enforced pause from the world of cartooning, blogging, and as some call it “spewing out crap onto the Internet” has slowed my output of witty observations, crooked drawings and sometimes hurtful commentary.
Did the pause refresh me, recharge my will to cartoon and blog? Did this enforced creative hiatus do wonders for the material I have lined up for future episodes of this crudely crafted comic? Not really. I’m still sleepy and I have gained weight from eating hotel food and indulging in vats, heaps, bushels of chocolate when I was anywhere within spitting distance of a vending machine or airport lounge. But that isn’t such a bad thing because what I saw while traveling the globe, and stopping to eat chocolate bars, made me realize many things about humanity, inhumanity and chocolate.
Cheaper By The Billion
Like the absurdity of repeatedly cleaning the gunk out from between my toes –deemed by international podiatrists as a proper measure of good foot hygiene and a sign of latent pathological fetishes– I saw many absurdities in my most recent travels. Each time I was in a cab stopped at a light (rare in Mumbai – traffic rules are the mere notions of a fevered, frustrated motor vehicle bureaucrat), or driving on somewhere elevated to avoid a local flood due to the passing monsoon, or to swerve violently around a dead animal or injured beggar, I had time to pause and think about what passes for humanity.
One key theme repeated itself as I went east: Life is pretty cheap. That isn’t meant to say human life isn’t important in Asia. Not at all. It’s just as important there as it is here. Seeing how we treat each other, and more importantly, the declining quality of baked goods that use oils and carob to substitute for butter and chocolate, everything and everyone on this planet is a commodity, especially when you’ve got millions and billions of them (or it).
My theory of cheap life is economic in nature. With well over one billion people in India, and China having its 1.5 billion and another half a billion or so scattered in and around the region, when a monsoon, earth quake, volcanic eruption, maniacal dictator or just a plain old, run-of-the-mill plague comes along, suddenly you’re down a million humans or so. No one bats an eyelash except maybe the media, unless it interferes with the cricket/soccer scores. Someone else will aways come along and fill in the void. When you pause for a moment, especially when you’re trapped in a taxi in a colossal traffic jam, the source of which is most likely someone being stupid enough to cross the road assuming drivers will actually stop, you realize that makes life pretty cheap.
Gay Marriage – The Pause That Refreshes
You know what isn’t cheap? Divorce. Once the Supreme Court of the USA decided to make same-sex marriage legal, that country had to take a pause. Some hugged, some recoiled, some wept, and some rejoiced. A small but I am sure influential group triple rejoiced: Divorce lawyers.
I bet divorce layers across the 50 states of the USA took a moment to reflect, to pause, to opine, to ruminate over the implication that gay marriage, now finally legal, would be the impetus for many costly, prolonged, anger-soaked legal proceedings that will fill the courts and subsequently the coffers of many in the family law community. Many a golf club membership or over-priced Autobahn-cruising, German luxo-barges –mit Leder– will now be funded due to the legalization of gay marriage in the USA. What horrible sitcom will arise from this that we haven’t thought of yet?
In actuality, the moronic, semi-sentient, troglodytic judges of the Supreme Court got the decision all wrong. They shouldn’t have legalized gay marriage. Sheer and utter foolishness. They should have made marriage, civil, religious or underwater, altogether illegal. Gay or straight. Or hermaphrodite. Your sexual preference shouldn’t determine whether you can marry or not. Marriage should be outlawed. For several shallow yet meaningful reasons (so I can beat a dead horse while I wait for my coffee to steep in the French press).
It would eviscerate the profession of divorce lawyering thus forcing them to get real jobs like a McDonald’s burger-flipper or Walmart greeter. They could be replaced by ice hockey referees who make split second decisions, and are unionized, wear helmets and have blades on their feet so they are less likely to allow fights to linger.
It would virtually eliminate the so called profession of wedding planner. Has anyone ever met a wedding planner they liked? That didn’t overcharge them for something a software program or an iPad app could effectively do for a fraction of the price?
When was the last time you were at a wedding where the wedding cake tasted half as good as it looked? Never, that’s when. Sure, the hors d’oeuvres are tasty, and if it’s an open bar, a wedding can be fun. But wedding cake? The gross overuse of “fondant”, the dearth of real cocoa in the chocolate icing, the millimeter-thin layer of marzipan between the layers of sponge cake. It’s a sham. The wedding cake is the the triple-decker tower of sugary false promise that inevitably is given to the janitor or taxi driver hanging around at the end of the night looking for freebies. Was there ever a greater confectionary deception than the wedding cake?
Conclusions and Naps
So what are you, the reader of this absurdist rant, this fantastical (hey, that rhymes with ‘testicle’) work of art going to take away from this instalment of the irregular periodical visually chronicling the foibles of humans, and its author/creator? Will you pause, for a moment, before hitting the delete key in anger, index finger cocked and ready, and think about what I have said here? Or will you take a vacation hoping that when you come back, I will have come up with something about the financial Greek tragedy that’s the subject for the next comic? Or will you take a nap and wake up refreshed?
Don’t bet on it.
May you never step in elephant droppings,
Mentally Malicious Mogul Druker of Maharashtra
If you haven’t yet given up on this comic, also known in academic circles as the “meandering minstrel of the moronic” and you are still tuning in from your prison cell or Electro-Convulsive Therapy chair, then I owe you an apology. It has been over a month since the last episode I posted, and I blame the fun I am having at work. (True story, I swear.)
And fun comes in so many different guises and faces, and the latest one actually involved a cull of sorts. That of my wardrobe, and specifically of my pants, shirts, t-shirts, underwear with holes, etc., that were just occupying space and cluttering creativity and orderliness.
Which is an odd but appropriate segue to the subject of this particular installment of the skillfully crafted, deftly drawn, partially poetic chronicle known in the Oxford Literary Companion to the Bearded and Sexually Deviant Academics Association simply as Stanko & Tibor: Fodder for Folly and Asinine Alliteration.
You see, I was reading a book called You Are What You Speak that happened to coincide with an event of supreme idiocy that has become known globally as “Pastagate.” If you’re not aware, check out any of the reports on NPR, SoundCloud, Huffington Post or Facebook. The short version: Xenophobic Quebec government language zealots runs amok with my tax dollars when they could be funding hospitals, schools, the poor or just shutting the hell up.
(Yeah, I know it happened a month ago, but we creative types like to brood and eat sugary cookies and fatty, grilled steaks all in an attempt to spike our creative juices, but sometimes that cookie thing becomes a minor addiction and distracts us from the task at hand.)
So, how do I get from the clothes culling to the language police? Well, Pastagate was yet another upsettingly ridiculous event where the language spoken and written by allegedly free people came under the scrutiny of some linguistic idiots. And the aforementioned book cites countless examples in dozens upon dozens of countries where some people have tried to do the same thing in the name of language purity (and xenophobia and, ahem, nation building). Governments, kingdoms and religious types the world over since 806 A.D. have been trying to regulate language and keep it “pure.” They try to cull excess “foreign” words, cut down what some academy or such deems inappropriate, and thus through edict, fiat or policy keep things orderly and safe for society at large.
We wouldn’t want to introduce dirty, foreign words that have a certain “je ne sais quoi” or even worse that have “chutzpah” that could create “angst”, now would we?
Besides it was a chance for me to gratuitously refer back to my last installment a month ago with the inflatable unicorn hat for cats. Shameless? Sure, but since when have I had shame? A conscience, maybe, but no shame.
So please keep reading, keep commenting, tweet, forward, like, whatever you want to spread the word of this injustice (about me not being recognized as a brilliant cartoonist/auteur) and maybe the universe will reward you with a nice toasted bagel with butter or cream cheese.