Comes time for a man to get his rear in gear, for an old “possum hollow” pretender to sit down at his electronic typing gizmo and pretend he’s some citified scriber laboring to meet an important deadline. It’s not always easy.
There’s always the question of which is slower, the single digit keypunch or the molasses-like mental process. But never mind the brain strain, the physical applications of it are annoying enough; sitting at a desk in a forward pitch makes for the best concentration but not at all satisfactory for an arthritic neck and shoulders, which, long after the session is done, comes back to remind that I have arthritic neck and shoulders. Better to lounge back into the comforting folds of my recliner, keyboard perched upon a knee but then, sleep invites, over yonder beckons the wide screen and the entertaining chaos of 24/7 cable news.
As expected of a man “possessed” of politics I takes my craft serious. Social responsibilities overwhelm; my conscience grown laggardly and passive from disuse, now little more than a whimper has fallen to pulsating embers that must somehow be reawakened and fanned back to the intensity of flame. The future depends on it. Like Rip Van Winkle finding himself thrust suddenly forward in time, here am I awakening to a world gone to hell in a hurry with no one manning the parapet. There’s dragons to be slain and if not me, then who?
Whilst others drowse away the day, the value of this column to the health of the community is of grave importance. Without its deep insights and bi-weekly ranting’s with emphasis on dysfunctional politicians and their Katzenjammer machinations, what frame of reference would the public use to dissect and understand the dark eccentricities of underworld societies that threaten from the shadowy depths of the great abyss?
Dreams of valor overtake: Which banner shall I unfurl, which hero shall I emulate in my crusade to turn back the tides of ignorance and wrong thinking that creep in to disrupt? The Scarlet Pimpernel? Or fetch me the sword of Zorro, a flowing black cape, mask, matching uniform, a black Gaucho Hat and place the seat of me upon the great steed Tornado, that I may ride forth in indignant rage to war against tyrannical officials and the villains whom they employ. Aw well, what grandeur we might assume!
What’s a retired old gadabout/mediocre musician doing in a jazzy joint as this? Noticeably out of place in such glossy surroundings, yet he endures: despite the status, (or lack of it) valiantly do we strive to carry on our mission of social justice or whichever it is that in our infinite wisdom we might imagine justice ought to be. Yet, one may take refuge in the fact that, after all, Biblical Moses was an unlikely hero woefully lacking in communicative skills yet became one of mankind’s great historical figures; our commonality in lack of talent, (his and mine) places View From The Bottom Rung in some pretty darn sophisticated company. Lord, help me to be humble.
As we strive in this latest effort to satisfy the obligation to a political obsession, search for a suitable target to curse reminds of a fist full of chaff thrown to the wind: who may say where the trade winds will carry it, where it may come to rest, who will be our villain for the day? Shall we leave it to chance, to fortune, to the whims of fate or to wherever my Tarot Cards divinations guide me in seeking out and exposing the caddish behavior of peoples and societies that misalign with my own political and social values? Choices, choices, there are so very very many.
Whilst the theme of today’s writ may remain a bit foggy, the first choice of title was to have been ‘new blank document’ so that I might have room to expand the parameters of the thesis or “maneuver” through a thousand divergent threads as I chase the devil always to the gates of hades. (Unlike the righteousness of the associations with whom I align, the entity that I pursue has many evil tentacles.)
As I serve this magnificent obsession, the application by which the treatise is processed has disallowed the intended title on pretext that it was previously submitted. (I suspect a conspiracy) Actually, here at the app wherein is jotted down my meandering musings ‘new blank document’ is the request for a clean slate upon which the scribe may scribe whichever he choses to scribe. As we see, the caption has been shortened but is still one that allows opportunity to go whichever way the spirit may choose to flow. And so we press forward.
As always View From the Bottom Rung is done in bits and pieces and no matter the theme, do we our best to keep the narrative within our range of vision while willing to concede that the river sometimes peters out into a meandering trace.
Fact is, when this column began t’was not intended to be overly political or a politically obsessed Johnny-one-note self indulgent doctrinaire obnoxious in tone, estranged from its neighbor, whoever that neighbor may be or whichever that neighbors vice. Unfortunately, the political “gnats” keep on a buzzing, and a distracted writer just keeps on a swatting.
Most of us have a story to tell but not all of us know how to construct it: in this context, View From the Bottom Rung may be the most improbable column ever. Yet that we are hindered does not mean we should not try, else this exclusive little freshet would long have evaporated and ceased its trickling course. When the column began it figured to run only a few months ere it exhausted its storehouse of stories and then fall silent for lack of creativeness.
Now, drawing upon the experiences of a lifetime and a societal landscape covered with so much ‘hell and high water’ it bogs the mind, enough “stuff” is dredged from the abyss that the well may never run dry; new things are happening all the while, over here and over there from the mundane to the insane. So what, if sectarian feistiness drives the partisan to distraction, winning not honesty, not ethics, not reconciliation nor accommodation is the name of the game.
The trick is to find a way to construct so that the narrative is slanted to favor those that share our own political bent while at the same time, dissing and dismissing the values of those yard birds that choose to lodge on a different roost. The creed reaches deep into the roots of U.S. political philosophy as expressed in the cynical old adage that “all is fair in love, war and politics.”
Sure, the writer recognizes that dissing his neighbor for the stench emanating from his open refuse bin whilst ignoring the vipers sunning themselves on his own sidewalk identifies him self as either a political hack (a negative term ascribed to a person who is part of a political party apparatus, but whose intentions are more aligned to victory than personal conviction) or an ideologue, a person who zealously advocates an ideology.
For these folk integrity and pride are not a part of the equation, wherein, winning is everything, the sole purpose, the heart and soul of his existence, the game the whole 9 yards. The core of social gentry, personal integrity and pride are jettisoned in the lust for victory. And why not? For those who are obsessed with victory there is joy, pleasure and satisfaction in winning, agony in defeat.
And so it is, that with great sacrifice, insult and embarrassment to my own personal integrity, I reject the social standards of my community the principles, culture and traditions whereby we conduct ourselves by forgiving mine all their trespasses whilst continuing to single out, protest and condemn those reprobates who belong to the society of “wrong thinkers.” Yes the hypocrisy of it is humiliating but sometimes sacrifices have to be made.