Friday, June 27, 2014

God Save Us From Religion – The Commandments of Combat

A Curse in Verse

"The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.” -  Georgia Harkness

“Those of little faith are of little hatred.” – Eric Hoffer

 “Lord, a plague is on the world
Lord, no man is free…
Lord, if you won't take care of us
Won't you please, please let us be?" – Randy Newman

The bloody, vicious, and inevitable, sectarian civil war currently ravaging the Bush/Cheney-created idyllic paradise of Iraq (because in the venality that is Conservatism the flow of oil will always justify the flow of blood) reminds us, once again, of the love, joy, peace, harmony and brotherhood that the cursed and regrettable concoction of gods and religion has wrought upon the world lo these thousands of years since primitive man was first naïve enough to turn to fictions instead of facts for wisdom and answers.  

While we no longer remain that primitive species, for reasons unknown, most mortals still choose to cling to ancient dogmata; leaving us in a situation where surely the final destruction of all human kind will be determined in a run for the roses between climate change and warring religions.  Presently, the pious lead by a nose as they, unfortunately and incredulously, actually look blissfully forward to a day when life on earth will reach its conclusion and the deserving can take their place of eternal bliss alongside their desired deity – be it Jesus, Jehovah, Buddha, Mohammad, Vishnu, The Mighty Thor, “Hercules hero of song and story, Hercules, winner of ancient glory,” Eric Clapton or Uncle Floyd.

God Save Us From Religion

“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” – Jonathan Swift

The Sunnis hate the Shiites
The Shiites hate the Kurds 
The Kurds are mad that Sunnis pray
With slightly different words

The Christians mock the Muslims
As Muslims revile Jews
Though all began with common ties
That each of them eschews

Says the Pakistani Muslim
To the Indian Hindu
Got your bindi as a target
For the nukes we point at you

So the Irish Roman Catholic
Found the Protestant taboo
And the wearing of the green drained red
Give or take a saint or two

Hallelujah for religion
All you keepers of the flame
Without your steadfast piety
We’d not know where to aim
Mankind’s bigotry and bile
Its intolerance and guile
For a people who are otherwise
Remarkably the same

God save us from the faithful
Enlisted in His corps
A righteous, violent “peaceful” soldier
Creed’s conquistador
Hallelujah and Hosanna
Every pious Pollyanna
Please don’t let your reverent rivalry
Take us once again to war

If it’s written in the Bible
History tell us that it’s liable
To result in many petty killings
From traditions old and tribal

Cultures clash, face to face
When all slaughter in God’s grace
A haunting hoax of harmony
For those whose hope’s head heavenly

From Randy Newman, a scathing original composition that I would wager my Krugerrands and Tom Seaver 1970 Topps baseball card will not be heard anytime soon in a Pixar animated theatrical confection  – “God’s Song.”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions? Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Butler Did It: Days of a Dandy 2

 “I was thinking that maybe I'd get a maid
Find a place nearby for her to stay
Just someone to keep my house clean
Fix my meals and go away
A maid, a man needs a maid” – Neil Young

“And make it easy on yourself
Make it easy on yourself” – Hal David

“You rang?” – Lurch
I promote, push and peddle this computerized compendium of comic communiqués as,  primarily, a political dot-com publication, yet I’m very much starting to enjoy these latter forays into sheer silliness and pointless tomfoolery, so much so, that I ponder quietly and pacifically to myself in those serene moments of solitary and introspection (you know, when the cable’s conked out or the Wi Fi is wavering),  when oh when will I once again venture into that vitriolic and venomous province of partisan party tussles, tangles and tugs of war? And then I view each evening’s eruption of Chris Matthews’ head, or peruse another Palin passage rhetorically rousing her mindless and moronic minions to threaten violence and bloodshed against our President and federal government, or it comes to my attention that the Mississippi state flag proudly and prominently showcases the confederate stars and bars, that compassionate symbol of bigotry, hatred and human enslavement and can but pronounce  with utmost certainty - keep your peepers peered to this space and in a fortnight , or so, the liberal litany will make a rousing and roaring return.  But, until that reappearance of annoying and judgmental proselytizing, we “several butcher’s aproners” hope you revel in the respite of this momentary merriment.

From the downstairs halls of Eaton Place - Mr. Hudson
I’ve come to a grave realization, and it’s time to stop fighting it – I simply need a butler! It has become as crystal clear as the malicious motivations of the Tea Party maniacs that I cannot properly maintain my desired lifestyle as a cosmopolitan dandy without one. After all, lint-laden silk lapels are not going to brush themselves. Grey window-pane, gabardine trousers cannot correctly crease on their own.  And, most assuredly, dusty and scuffed leather spectator brogues will not apply polish and energetically buff themselves on pixie wishes and glasses of Cocoa Marshed milk (if only those naysaying neanderthals of “Shark Tank” had appreciated the value of my ingenious invention, “the self-shining shoe.” The lives lost in development were worth it. Such is the cost of science and innovation! )  No, my friends, for these universally urgent necessities, only a manservant will do. Nycityman needs a man! (Hmm, perhaps some rephrasing is in order.)

A Fred and Ginger Butler
Now, the challenge lies with unearthing just the perfect and impeccable butler – one who is erudite and sage-like, while also possessing the talents of  a wisecracking comic foil, and a great wing man (by that, of course, I mean a commis chef who can prepare superb hot wings. Wings are a weakness. ) These are the standards set by the entertainment industry. Jeeves must be part Eric Blore, part Alfred, part Rochester, and well, part Jeeves. And should I someday suddenly adopt the adorable orphaned urchins of a relative who met an untimely sitcom demise, or an undersized, quick with a quip, inner-city African-American pre-teen, then a Mr. French-like skillset would be an essential requisite.

TV's true gentleman's gentleman
Sure, people think that the days and nights of a well-employed, single man in his prime residing in the heart of the world’s greatest city is all glitz and glamour, glory and girls, opulence and openings - but they are mistaken.  It’s all that and more! Still, even the most enviable existences experience disadvantage.  For example, there are only 7 days in a week but far more EJ Peaker, Barbara Eden, Judy Carne and Yvonne Craig-doppelgangers than that. How much elegant attire, how many theatre openings, gallery shows, world-renowned restaurants and red-hot night spots can one mortal man partake of? Even Bill Daily, in both of his swinging bachelor guises of astronaut and airline pilot, would be hard-pressed to persevere.  Yet, with all these enumerated advantages (or the actuality of most hours and minutes prone upon a couch, HDTV blaring, halfway toward slumber, geriatric cat on chest) here I am, laundry piling up, in an apartment building sans washing facilities, down to the desperation of wearing  “emergency underwear” hoping against hope that a traffic accident will not reveal the embarrassing skivvies to TMZ, and well aware that the Bellamy’s loyal Mr. Hudson would never permit this prickly predicament to arise.

A heroic butler
Unfortunately any refined, domestic help would scoff and sneer at the reality of working, not in stately Wayne Manor, but in a 500 and change square foot, walk up flat, feline fur flying as if cumulus clouds congregating in a stormy sky. Belvedere shan’t abide in my abode. Mine is the Manhattan domicile of a corporate cog - meaning minute and free of any extras, luxury or extravagance - a virtual paradise of builders-grade materials and bottom of the heap appliances. To elucidate, strangers to my strange land, the sorrowful rental that requires riches in New York City very likely equates in size and quality to the free, charitable pre-fab housing given to the previously homeless in your metropolis, suburb or hamlet.  A Gotham apartment is a place to hang your hat, and very little else, and if it’s one of Pharrell Williams’ hats, then the exaggerated chapeau must also triple as your bed and your sofa.

Well, okay, whatever makes him Happy
Glutton for punishment? Sympathetic soul? Benevolent blogger buff?  Click the link directly below for access to the initial installment of “Days of a Dandy.” Spread the word. Tell your friends, Romans and countrymen. Link us to Twitter, Facebook, even Sex Tube. Spray paint the url on the side of neighborhood delis and railway underpasses. Skywrite the name. Spell it out in yellow snow. Be the first on your block with an "... and several butcher's apron" tattoo and proudly display as if it were Woody Woodpecker chomping angrily on a stogie. A blogger without readership is as a castrato at Chippendales.

If you’ve gotten nothing else from this abstruse essay, have balked at the length and so have chosen only to read the adverbs, or your personal interpretation of Leviticus finds spiritual offense in the font style - your hardships, sacrifice and struggles will now be magnificently rewarded with Neil Young’s brilliant live 1971 performance of “A Man Needs a Maid,” followed by Jerry Butler singing the Bacharach/David classic, “Make it Easy on Yourself.”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions? Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.