Daily Archives: April 18, 2012

Texas Ideaology: So Many Ideas, So Little Truck

And too few handicapped spaces

But otherwise

It’s mostly complete.

When Americans use bumper stickers to tell everything about themselves worth knowing they usually don’t need so much vehicle to do it.  Bumper stickers to describe the depth and breadth of their thought processes, their tastes in literature and philosophy, everything important about themselves don’t take up a lot of space:

“Pro- Choice“:  a telegraphic way to say, “I don’t have a fetus inside me, but if you are unlucky enough to have one I’m rabidly enthusiastic about your right to kill it and flush it down the toilet.”

Right to Life – translates:  I think abortion’s a bad choice and I’d like to kill, or imprison anyone who believes differently. Knitting needles in the bathtub were good enough for grandma and they’re good enough for you.” 

“Support the Right to Keep and Bear Arms”  Translates:  “I like guns a bit overmuch.  I’ve got them and, while I’m a patriot, probably a flag waver and mindless supporter of any unconstitutional war our prez gets us into, I don’t want them taking away muh guns.”

Ban (Firearms)(Handguns  Translates- “I am an idiot and don’t know it, but I want you to know it.” 

“Support Your Local Police  Translates:  “I’m either a cop, or I drive 75mph through school zones and figure anything might help.  Either way, don’t trust me.”

Save the Whales  Translates:  I’ve never seen a whale, but I’m hoping this bumper-sticker will help me meet people who have seen them.  Or meet females who haven’t seen whales, either, but who would like to talk about saving them over drinks and maybe have sex afterward.”

Proud to be an American  Translates: I’m glad I was lucky enough to be born in a country where everyone’s fat, has MasterCard, and can talk in English about what team won the game last night.  I’m most especially proud not to have been born somewhere full of non-English-speaking poor people who are hungry and get the bejesus bombed out of them all the time by us.”

GAY (Pride)(Marriage)(Rights)  Translates:  I want to tell you what me (the owner of the bumper-sticker  – not, ‘me’, Old Jules) and my friends do with our genitals.  I’m in your face about it because otherwise you mightn’t care.  I, the bumper-sticker-owner is saying, am a really shallow human being who doesn’t care what other people do with their sex organs, but believe everyone should care what I do with mine because there’s not much else about me anyone would be interested in.

Bumper-stickers are probably dying, however,  in favor of the less-literary, shorter-attention-span next-generation.  The brave new world has little magnetic ribbon icons made in China of all different colors.  Each color makes a pronouncement about what the car owner thinks will interest other Americans.  Yellow means support the war (as though a person could pay taxes but not support the troops and the war).  Etc etc etc.

I saw one recently,  a brown one of those ribbons turned upside-down so the ends stuck out like ears.  Support Bambi  was printed in the center decorated with two doe-eyes with long lashes..

“You can take my pit-bull when you pry my cold, dead fingers from his snout” must have had defective adhesive so’s to not stay on the bumper.  I’ve never seen one.

I forgot to mention my favorite bumper-sticker:

WHITEY WILL PAY”  Translates: There’s maybe more pigment in my skin than some people have. Or maybe not. But I blame all my flaws, inadequacies and shortcomings in my life on what hypothetical dead white males did to my long-dead ancestors. If it hadn’t been for that my life would be a paradise.”

 

Old Jules

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Introduction to Being a Hermit

The following is an email that Old Jules wrote several years ago and subsequently posted on a previous blog. I’m posting it after his description of the Peace Corps experience to give continuity to that time period.  ~Jeanne

Old Jules:
This was the most recent of a long line of exchanges with an online friend, a man  who mostly he believes his life is a living hell out of habit, except when he reminds himself he’s blessed, which is only when I remind him to remind himself, thinks I.

Thought I’d share it with you blog readers.  I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned my brief life as a hermit.

Morning Pal:

I suppose you’re right.  You live a complicated life.  It would be complicated, just with your interpersonal relationships, even if you didn’t have a job that would be enough to satisfy most needs for complication.  Even if you didn’t have a piece of real estate that’s located in and part of a subtle war zone.  It’s relatively easy to imagine how you’d have some difficulties focusing, relaxing, or anything else.

A long time ago, when I had a complicated life, I used to wonder whether a stay in the sort of place where you work, an asylum, would do the trick as a means of getting me removed from the system of complications I’d built around myself to help make myself unhappy.  I concluded that it wouldn’t.

 I also gave some thought to whether prison life would do it, but unless it was one of those kinds of Federal prisons all the Watergate folks went to, I don’t think it could.

Thought about a Trappist monastery a bit, even.  That might do it.  I don’t know, but it seemed so otherwise out of sync with my nature that I never tried it.

But I had the advantage over most people, because I knew what I was missing.  When I got booted out of the Peace Corps in 1964, after a bit of time trying to complicate my life in Honolulu the way a person will, I was contacted by the US Army Reserve telling me they wanted to know where I was in case they wanted to reactivate me for Vietnam if they needed people with my particular MOS.  In those early days of 1965 nobody knew where all that was going and reactivating the reserves was considered a real possibility.

My support for US military adventures overseas went away entirely during my tour in the Far East.  I was gonna have nothing to do with Vietnam.  I decided I was going to spend the remainder of my life as a hermit living in the jungle on the big island….. a place called Wiamono Valley on the drainage of the Kohala range…. used to be a village in there but it was wiped out by the tidal wave in 1947 and nobody laid claim on it since.  Nobody in there but a blind mule and me…. for six weeks that mule had company.

That six weeks with nobody to talk to but a blind mule changed my whole life.  It was a pivotal moment for me, one of the greatest blessings of my stay in this reality this time around.  In addition to a book-full of other benefits, it gave me a realization of what’s possible for a human being, mind-wise, if he can succeed in either simplifying his life, or in (I didn’t know then) distancing himself from the web of values, properties, interpersonal relationships and other tangle we do our best to mire ourselves in so we can’t see or hear what we’re trying to keep from seeing and hearing…… the voice of what’s beneath.

I definitely understand what you’re saying, my friend.  Hang in there.

(Old Jules)