The 'lock and load'/'take up your arms' rhetoric of American politics isn't just an overheated metaphor. ...But words have consequences, rhetoric shapes reality, and much as we like to believe that we are creatures of reason, there is something about our species' limbic system and lizard brainstems that makes us susceptible to irrational fantasies.
-Marty Kaplan, "The Lock and Load Rhetoric of American Politics Isn't Just a Metaphore,Huffington Post, 8 January 2011 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-kaplan/gabrielle-giffords-shooting_b_806232.html)
Arizona has become a mecca of prejudice and bigotry. ...That may be free speech, but it does have its consequences.
-Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik
A guileful glance, slowly turning the face away in feigned coyness—catch that smirk as a cascade of neural electricity we hadn't the mental furniture to comprehend at once opens a door to grave possibilities. Allowing the electricity to pass in tingles from the temples to the genitals, that wave of possibilities collapses into a fantasy, and the tracks of our decay are laid in little deaths.
Impediments deter us and the tools of our labor determine the expediency and nature of our toil, but the simple truth is that our own calloused hands nail the tracks of our wander-lusting minds to the receptive earth.
With our calloused hands, we stroke those coy cheekbones, our thumbs trace the outlines of the zygomatic sinews that draw laughter from the mouth, and we fancy in desperation that we might draw a smile without the use of our manipulating phalanxes.
Today on another drive at dawn to the Country University, fog lifting in the sunrise like phantom birds of prey, I heard a song that reminded of the most quietly, subtly insane person I've met to date.
Platinum and gold, banana leaves, saccharine fruits and asterisks will always call to my mind her small, lovely body; her dark, cocoabuttersoaked skin; her big Caribbean hair with copper highlights like the synthesized surrealisms in the songs she likes best, pops of color in her dense curls like the color and rhyme in her precious dreams. In her junglescape dreams to be precise; jungles in the watercolor, acrylic and collage of her art are the jungles in our minds.
Passion Pit implored us to Make Light and the sun obliged with its first light at our backs, as we coasted down Interstate Sixteen; the day's first rays of light set the dense morning fog ablaze in opaque oranges and grays. Our exit number was alien enough to me: 127, and my tiny home had what—thirty or so demarcating its densely packed towns.
Tilly warned of Bad Education as cotton fields on either side like dusty frozen lakes became the hot boxed fogged windows we were so used to, driving around and idle on streets like Cypress; Brandi's pointed cheekbones and perfect teeth glowing with what amber streetlight they could catch as her small, quiet falsetto, gracefully and expertly navigating the quick lyrics, gave way to coughs and hot, smokey breath. “Jah--!” in response to my aloof stare.
The most brilliant people--recognized or unrecognized geniuses--I have met, read, and admired don't hate God, their parents or the world, nor do they harbor disdain people at all (save maybe for rich people--that particular kind of rich people). They don't conform to any of the stereotypes portrayed in the cartoon in the first image, and despite an acute awareness of all that's wrong with the world, their kind eyes do not judge and do not scorn. Now there may be people who do in fact match up more or less to these descriptions and ones like it by Matt Groening, but I wonder what bitterness in his heart led to such an unlearned, general critique of Modernity.