He was a splendid old chap, well, rather young for his time I’d say, a spiffing young blighter in his thirties. The man walked on water to hurry home for supper, and cured men suffering from leprosy without so much as ruffling through his hair.
Ah, the English language, with specific reference to the relatively archaic, classical form spoken in the 1940s, is beautiful. Today’s language is a disappointment – society’s decadence at using the colloquial Americanized form is just damning it all. Funny how the English in earlier times were criticized for being stiff and appearing to have their pinkies shoved up their backsides. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, as an unnamed source once might have said. The cynical bastard must be turning at seeing his improvised profoundness moulded into one of the ‘idioms’ of the language, free for foreign students such as myself to look up in the ‘List of Idioms to fit into English Society’ books at the public library.
I’d be enamoured to have the opportunity to bore you with an example. I walked into Subway today, to encounter a strapping lad, in his thirties (just like Jesus, without the hippie hairstyle and the misty blue eyes). As a ‘social experiment’ (in layman’s terms, a justification for illogical behaviour patterns for want of an actual hobby), I asked him if he could refrain from placing, and I write this with the pronunciation I used, ‘toe-may-toes’, as opposed to the traditionally English way its spoken, ‘ta-mah-toes’. As the more perceptive of you might have guessed, I am indeed speaking about tomatoes, which always ruin the enjoyment of a club sandwich, since it gets stuck between the gaps of one’s teeth (sadly, or rather, to the great satisfaction of narcissistic Englishmen looking for excuses to present themselves at an even lower level, another English trait).
The Lancastrian (man at Subway counter, of course), replied, “yes, no toe-may-toes”.
A scary example of society today. Lenin and Marx may possibly have been fools, whilst campaigning for the rights of the proletariat, they did forget the language that allowed us to speak to eloquently, rather, the language which regulated us to speak so, would be raped and slaughtered by these sheep people enchanted by the ways of hip hop singers who like to ‘mix in with the hood’ and wear enormous gold crosses on their necks. Interesting I made a return to Christ, much the subject of this essay. I, like Marx, put forward an outrageous observation that the balance between an equally distributed society and the classy has been violently disturbed. Unlike Marx, I don’t bore my readers with hours long of what is merely intellectual dabble. Yes Marx, society will grow to help each other’s needs, you know that is merely idealistic and moreover, plain foolish.
You’re furrowing your eyebrows. I admit I might be biased since I had to go through the great philosopher’s book, at a time when I ran out of cigarettes and the stores closed at 4 pm. Another horrible aspect of considering the rights of workers. Well, I say Marx is overlooking an important point, and I’ll illustrate that by giving an example of an episode I saw in the Simpsons.
Tick, tock, tick, tock. Ah, yes, I remember.
Homer Simpson, the protagonist of the show, is asked to choose one of the following: a lifetime’s supply of beer, or the end of suffering in the whole world. What does he choose? You guessed it, he gives it a long thought, and asks “What kind of beer?”
It seems easy for you to say, and indeed, all the ladies in the bridge society to proclaim, since we all so love to claim gross injustice, help people and stir up the feeling of self righteousness as we straddle along the streets. How could you not choose end of suffering, you say? Homer represents the view of the traditional American idiot, you murmur, or he is a Zionist and a shining example of American society looking out for their individualistic needs. Nay, I say! (I wanted to see how the writer of the Bible felt like when I kept introducing that catchphrase. It does add an element of dramatism to the piece.)
Yes, nay I say! For Homer has actually thrown to our consciousness an interesting question – would you really want the end of suffering? Or taken in a different light, is intoxication forever really better? Me, I’d go for wine, beer is too sodding proletariat and it stinks. Might as well be drinking Victory Gin.
But forgive me, I digress, I fear I might have chosen the wrong example. One does inevitably run out of anecdotes. Especially when using sitcoms as a source of research. It is possibly human nature to run on jealousy, ambition, competition, and most importantly, misery and tragedy. Some of the greatest artists and thinkers of our time have been raised in tragic circumstances. Take Stephen Fry for instance, a manic depressive who remained celibate for thirty two years to mask his sexuality. Or Bill Hicks, suffocated in a home of religious people, not to mention bad haircuts. Van Gogh never had his love reciprocated, though cutting his ear off wouldn’t exactly charm a lady in any conceivable time period. I do wonder if he washed the ear of blood and wrapped it up in foil before sending it. If I’m not mistaken, that’s quite precisely the thing I’d do to get back at the girl who played with the soothing strings of my heart.
I could mention Woody Allen too – no explanation needed. All said and done though, having five wives isn’t such a bad life. Why do people care that he has a child wife? One makes a moral argument, but based on all the moral arguments I’ve hard, we berate him merely because it’s the wrong time period. I would also mention Nietzsche – whilst I’ve barely read him, the very look on his face with his unruly, unkempt beard flowing to his knees suggests to me he went through havoc in his life too.
My point being – Misery and tragedy equate great stuff for the masses to enjoy. The result of putting power in the hands of a corrupt few result in great pieces of literature. I doubt Dostoevsky would have written anything if he lived in Switzerland all his life, other than, perhaps some stories of a man confined to live in happiness throughout his life. And the result of the proletariat seizing power? Shakira, the Black Eyed Peas, Nelly Furtado. Not to forget Kevin Pietersen writing his first book about a year in cricket. Publishers love to seize on anything to strike the tabloids. The Daily Mail is the result of anarchy becoming successful in a country. World leaders are insipid, no longer sporting Hitler & Stalin like moustaches, and the Chancellors of today’s world are merely a bunch of fat old gits worried about boring things like fiscal deficits and public morale and accountability. My generation is boring. It must be hip to be square in these times.
As Stephen Fry once said, “They’ll be saying Hitler’s a racist next!”
_Note: These opinions are in mock jest, and I hope they don’t accurately reflect my deeply flawed subconscious. Or perhaps they do. Its the reality of an opinionated fool. _
I thought I might enlighten you with my take on living in these harsh times.
Rule no. 1: Always do the opposite of the current social trend.
Rule no. 2: Always break any rules.
Rule no. 3: Understand all anarchic activity is fun but pointless since breaking one rule merely involves following another, hence this philosophy is a paradox in itself.
Rule no.4: Don’t move until you figure out “It’s ironic to be ironic.”