“How self-centered is man, and how darkly do his own petty interests overshadow the giant things of life. Thrones may totter and fail, monarchs pass to the limbo of memories, whilst we wrestle with an intractable collar-stud.” — Sax Rohmer, The Orchard of Tears
There’s a lot to think about in that quote from the famous author who warned of the Yellow Menace and created its most formidable general and the world’s most insidious pharmacist, the pinnacle of evil, Dr. Fu Manchu. For one thing, what’s a collar-stud? Is it the same thing as a collar stud? For another thing, would it be politically correct, or incorrect, to point out the sexist reference to “man” in the opening phrase? In doing so would we be accused of intimating that women are also self-centered? As we know from popular (or is the proper term “populist”?) teachings, it’s the male that is self-centered. Females are empathetic and polyglotenous. Yet, this observation fails to account for the LGBTQ (Lapdog Globalist Bilingual Testicular Quietude) community or Bandolero’s favorite lunch, the BLT, which is not to be confused with the infamous DC BeLTway.
For another thing, one would expect a throne to totter and fall, not totter and fail. It could fail and totter, in that order. Or it could totter and then fall. But to totter and then fail is incomprehensible, if not just plain non-prehensile.
Which leaves us with the quandary of whether to try to wrap our mind around the notion of wrestling with a collar-stud (which gives rise to the thoroughly incredulous image of a sumo wrestler trying to get a half-nelson on a button) or to grasp the concept of a memory limbo. A memory could be in limbo, we suppose, as could several memories, now that we think about it. But just what is a limbo of memories? Is the word being used along the same line as “pride” when one speaks of a pride of lions? Well, maybe.
Seems like a good time to order another beer. Is there anybody else in the world who recalls that the word “intimate” (rhymes with “mate”) is also a verb that means “suggest”? Or did we just dream that up out of limbo?
(The following is a guest post by an anonymous guest)
There are several times pretty much every day when I think there’s really not much to be said for the human race and that, in the grand scheme of the universe, or even just this planet, its disappearance would be no great loss, perhaps even a good thing. These thoughts usually occur while listening to talk radio, or while pausing a few seconds on some progam while channel surfing the TV, or after a day at the courthouse.
Where was I going with this? Actually, I had just been browsing this website: http://johnny.ihackstuff.com/ (which doesn’t seem to be there any more, sorry about that) and realized there are hundreds of thousands of people who are capable of wrecking websites and flooding the internet with spam, viruses and spyware, but only a tiny percentage who engage in such pursuits. This struck me as, perhaps, hope for the human race.
But it probably isn’t material evidence about the state of humanity. If you spend any time looking at sites like that one I mentioned about that isn’t there any more, plus security sites like Symantec, CERT, or McAfee, you can only conclude that on the internet you’re in the same position as a homeowner, traveller or citizen: you can do a few things to try to protect yourself from criminals and the government but, what it really comes down to is, safety only comes from being overlooked (or maybe anonymous).
Still, as a whole, maybe the great majority of the human race is worthy and honorable, though ripe for plucking by those who aren’t. On the other hand, watch about 60 seconds of Jerry Springer or any of those daytime TV court shows, and then ask yourself what you’d get rid of first if you were cleaning up the universe. Same question if you watch what real judges and juries are dealing with, and how they deal with it.
Actually, we’re okay with mediocrity, trickle down and less than perfect, and we’ve never met a billionaire who paid no taxes or stole anything. We think corporate medical providers, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies are the bane of society, along with most of the politicians in Congress, and global money cabals we don’t even know about. Thing is, we don’t see a path to a world free of these cancers that doesn’t pass through a rough period of anarchy. Some might argue that what we have is preferable to that. And the sheer weight of momentum may preclude any course adjustment sufficient to result in meaningful change. Still, we may be able to improve some aspects of existence, if we can get the numbers to do it. There’s the rub. Too many people ultimately rely on the military-industrial-financial complex, Big-Med, Big-Pharma and Big-Insur for their paychecks. It defies human nature to sacrifice a vested interest, however small or, even, demeaning. So it goes (to quote one of our favorite authors).