In the words of the 18th Letter, the Mic Fiend, Rakim: “I shouldn’t have left you, without a dope beat to step to.”
A little busy. A little tired. Then overwhelmed. Then depressed about it. Then paralysis and avoidance. The painful steps of blong withdrawal.
Luckily, one thing or another has kept this present topic in the news. I meant to treat it well over a couple of weeks ago, now. I delayed but then some even more bizarre story would re-implicate it. I’d delay again and it would be resurrected, pun intended. And, then today the Sandusky trial began. Which brought fully together bath salts with bath assaults.
Nothing is funny about pedophilia or zombie attacks. So don’t let my double entendre sound in too much irreverence. But, what in the world is going on? One horrible face mauling by a man apparently high on bath salts. A second within a week’s time. And, then an international manhunt for a gay, Canadian porn star who allegedly uploaded a video of himself killing an acquaintance and then mailed the dismembered parts around Montreal. And, then a Maryland student admits to eating the heart and brain of his roommate??
I am famous for a ranked list of fears I maintain. The List was originally inspired, many years ago now, by my childhood fear of kidney stones, a fear justified by my dad having had some 13 of them and genetics being the number one predictor of their likelihood. The List has grown over time and has come to recognize the only logical conclusion: that the “simultaneous occurrence of any combination of your other fears” must necessarily be your greatest one (ie. having a kidney stone while being mauled to death by a pack of dogs.) The List does not take into account the probability of encountering any particular fear but only the magnitude of the sheer horror that will be produced in the likely or unlikely event that you do. So, while it is virtually impossible that a crazed chimpanzee might find me defenseless in my suburban SC neighborhood, the thought of him gnawing off my nose or genitalia, as has actually happened to others in the history of the world, is something nearly unspeakable and, therefore, justifies a place on The List. Without further ado:
1. The simultaneous occurrence of any combination of the next 6 fears
2. “The Prison Thing” “TPT” (the thing that sometimes happens to attractive, well-groomed, silver-haired men who happen to find themselves incarcerated in a maximum or even minimum security prison)
3. Being assaulted by a troop of chimpanzees in either the face or nether regions
4. Being assaulted by a lone chimpanzee in either the face or nether regions
5. Being mauled to death by a pack of dogs (this is to be distinguished from the more simple fear of just dogs or dog bites)
6. Being mauled to death by a single dog
7. Kidney stones
The List has not been made up or embellished for the purposes of this blong. I have numerous personal witnesses to it, who have been deeply scarred by my having explained and/or recounted it. The List has evolved over many years through a painstaking process of private visualization, whereby I subject my emotions to the thought of all kinds of horrible and imaginary tragedies — being buried alive in concrete, a Never Say Never marathon, agreeing with Skip Bayless. Longtime and careful listening fans will even recognize that I have previously included The List in not one, but two, rap songs.
The chimpanzee fears are the newest additions to The List and hot movers up it. Probably added sometime in the last 4 years. You might recall an elderly lady and her elderly friend being assaulted by a domesticated chimpanzee roided out on Zantac or something of the like. In one of the articles about the incident, there was the most clinical and passing reference made to another chimpanzee attack, sometime in the 90s, made on a man walking through his neighborhood. The sentence about the attack ended something like, “And, the chimp gnawed his genitalia and nose off.” The news story then went seamlessly back into the the account about the two old ladies. I was like, “What??? That’s it? You’re just going to casually drop a nose and genitalia gnawing reference and then bounce!?” Suffice it to say, this account has led to some of the most colorful conversations I have ever had. Maybe for another blong.
So, as you might imagine, when theipoetlaureate got wind of a zombie-like attack in which 75% of the face of a LIVE man was chewed off by another man, it was like the chimpanzee fear on P90X. Everything was in play with The List as I did some of my most serious cowardice-searching to date.
It’s pretty hard to understand someone like Sandusky, to the extent even a bit is true, or Dahmer or gnawing the human flesh off the face of a breathing man or eating your roomie’s brain or any other act of a sociopath. But, maybe the bath-salt zombie’s mom got as near as we can to it: “That wasn’t him, that was his body but it wasn’t his spirit.”
A kind of out of body experience. Oobe.
In our worst moments we are simultaneously our truest selves and ourselves not at all. This of course has everything to do with how you philosophically view human nature. I tend to view it, our nature that is, as divinely inspired but readily corruptible. So we can be magnificent and malevolent in mere minutes. We have all had the experience of sort of behaving against interest and outside of ourselves. In the words of a great theologin, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.”
As, with everything, it’s a matter of degree. The “monsters” in our society are just a little more permanently and completely “out of body” than us. And, we’d do well to remember it.
As a side, the successful clothier and uniform manufacturer, Oobe, which services the Chik-fil-a national account, was founded and is headquartered right here in Greenville, SC.
Performed by ipoet. Music produced by dj clutch.
Today’s song blog here: