An introductory query might go something like this: Evil or merely inept? Which is worse? In what combination? An initial response might speculate: Well, inept evil would probably be the least negative. Unfortunately, evil and inept is what we have, with evil all too apt. Would a less than perfect divinity find that funny? Imagine Groucho Marx (or maybe just a grouchy Karl Marx) as God!
Another day, another trillion or so dollars; a few hundred thousand or so lives thrown into the pits needed to feed insatiable armaments industries, but we’re still giving birth to more and more babies so that’s all right: look at the newborns and weep but keep’em coming. Fortunately (sort of, … at least for a few) there are still plenty of Ukrainians in the wings, and perhaps Lithuanians and Poles as well. And of course, Muslims: a surfeit of Arabs and Iranians and Palestinians to dispel. And when they’re gone, well, “first they came for ….” and there’ll be plenty left until, fighting among themselves, like Heinlein’s Igli, they eat themselves into oblivion.
And then, merry Christmas and a good riddance to all. “Bah humbug”!
But till then we’ve got video games and Hollywood spectacles and Disney and Netflix, and new model cars and designer clothes, and aren’t the Yankees something this year and sure hope the Jets come through this time, perhaps God’s forgotten the promises we made during Super Bowl III. The latest abortion decision has us up in arms (as did the first), that’s true, and murderous guns and bullets keep attacking our children in schools: And inflation plus rescission, ain’t they depressing? And gas prices rising are a pain (for some). But still, all and all, ain’t life just sort of grand? After all, we’re lucky to be Americans: the brave and the free (sort of, … at least in the movies and on television) who can solve any problem because we are so exceptional, except for the half that are too stupid to see the light (so sayeth each half).
What if synonyms and antonyms decided to have a war? Or if verbs and adverbs formed a coalition of the willing against nouns and adjectives, with propositions and pronouns sitting on the sidelines confused, while social science majors removed all of those troubling and scary page numbers from their treatises and physics and math majors looked on with vacuous expressions on their faces wondering why mirrors had become anathema? What would we get if all the odd numbers subtracted all the even numbers? Would it be different if all the even numbers subtracted all the odd numbers? And what about those prime numbers, all odd except the number two. Interesting. Is there a profound metaphysical meaning there? Or at least some obscure symbolism? And just what is a solipsism?
Where are we today anyway?
Perhaps happily mired in banalities while in a real world, one on the other side of a looking glass, a one way mirror of sorts, sad eyed, lean and hungry people deal with our residue. An image: Insane mariners cruising on a ship of fools doomed to disembark onto quicksand flavored shores singing songs about how happy pigs are when they wallow in mud (or less desirable excrement oriented substances), collectively following piebald pied pipers playing merrily discordant tunes, vacuity become an art form.
But out there, rocking boats, a few just won’t let sleeping dogs lie. The ones who, like that pain-in-the-ass (or is it arse) Cassandra, keep finding dark linings surrounding silvered clouds, insisting on freeing bluebirds from gilded cages, for some reason believing that it would be hard to imagine anyone or anything more troubling than the world around us, a world seemingly careening from crisis to crisis, … but profitably so.
Anyway, … again:
Is pure evil a tangible thing? As tangible, or perhaps as intangible as truth? Or are they both moronic oxymorons. Or perhaps, they’re a curious blend reflected in the eyes of billions of confused beholders, beholden beholders, although beholden to whom may be a puzzle writ by an insane enigma following lemmings of a cliff in Dover.
I can’t really personally vouch for the existence or impossibility of absolute truth, although math seems to echo that something must be at least somewhat accurate, but as to absolute evil, the scent seems omnipresent, and it smells a great deal like rotting corpses doused in expensive perfumes. Pure evil kind of sounds like an ambivalent oxymoron though, doesn’t it? Oxymorons seem popular today.
What might it be like to drive to hell in a handbasket? Perhaps Toto knows which may be why he barks as Momba (more recently renamed Evillene to avoid racist undertones), slowly melts, albeit soaking wet, bemoaning the world in which we live, and Dorothy laughs as Lucy once more pulls away the football and Charley Brown falls flat on his back wondering who the hell “Peanuts” is.
Do you think Biden will really win this time if he runs again against Trump?
Things on which to reflect or introspections to avoid?
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at email@example.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.