Give me an honest hypocrite any day. At least then I’ll know what I am dealing with. People who know they are hypocrites, who are up front about it, at least with themselves. They live with a sardonic grin on their faces. But please, oh please, save me from the hypocrites who truly believe in their own bullshit. Those are the dangerous ones.
It’s the little biddy telling me that we have to do something for the poor while she lives on the inheritance of her predecessors, an inheritance pressed out of people who worked sixteen hours a day for pennies. She pays her dues to various charities, and she feels very good about that. It’s the young urban professional telling me we really need to finally do something about the situation in Africa, though the company he works for is robbing resources from that very continent, and killing people in the process.
Dangerous. In such cases, the word honesty takes on a whole new meaning. The problem is that truth is on many levels, and people who believe in what they say are very convincing, though what they say may have nothing whatsoever to do with what they do. That yuppy wouldn’t give a cent to the corner bum. Nor would the biddy, most likely, for she has already paid to help poor people, hasn’t she now?
Either you live in the world as it is and you’re glad you’re not in the bottom half, and you know you’re glad and you look at the bum on the corner and say, tough tits; or you don’t think that’s right and you actually do something about it. I won’t tell you which direction I go with this, because that is not the point. I will say that either direction is okay with me, as long as you are honest with yourself.
Clean of tooth, sparkling brown eyes… wait, are they not also red of rim? Behold, are those not dark rings under the eyes? And, though he be clean of tooth, does not his breath betray him? Drunk as a fucking doornail.
Here are some sayings I’d like to see when opening a fortune cookie:
– You will die a lucky death on another planet.
– You do not believe in things that are written in fortune cookies.
– Why is the spirit of resistance like an untrained dog?
– You have eaten well, so leave the damned cookie aside.
– What would I tell you, if I could tell you all I can?
– Be happy that you are not a fortune cookie.
– Keep your head up, little wombat.
– Fuck you! You die! (Cookie explodes)
– If I were to break you open, what would I read on the little slip of paper within?
What will you do when Jesus knocks on your door? I mean the Jesus. You know, the guy who died on the cross for your sins. Imagine that, such a nice fellow, to suffer horrible torture just for you. And now, here he is. He wants to stay overnight. Just enough bread there for your breakfast, and now this. Sorta inconvenient, but hey. Any cheese and crackers left…? Shit. Well, at least you don’t need any wine, he’ll deal with that shortage… so you go get some water. Then, maybe, he wants to even talk to you. I’ll just bet he does. It won’t be small talk. After all, he isn’t au courant, it’s been a while, he’ll want to get up on things.
But then again, you might not even recognize him. More likely you’ll think: who’s this fucking long-haired, bearded bum in a tunic at my door, asking for hospitality? Jeez, looks like the dude hasn’t washed his hair in weeks… bad teeth. Uh, no, sorry, you’ll murmur, closing the door as you do so, feeling slightly embarrassed. And if he puts his bare foot in the gap, preventing you from closing the door, will you squash it? But he wouldn’t do that anyway, he’s far too nice for that. He won’t say or do anything when you close the door in his face, no, no, he’ll just judge you. Whaugh! You up for that, baby? I ain’t. Happy Christmas.
I don’t know about you, but I am a coward. I’ll cringe and whimper with the best of them, given the opportunity. Courageous fools to the fore is my motto, I’m fine right here, thank you very much. On the other hand, if I see someone else shitting his pants with fear in a situation where something has to be done now to save our asses, I am overcome with a sort of grim resignation, and, by God, I do what has to be done at risk of life and limb.
In those moments I am not in the least afraid. My legs stop trembling, my gut stops heaving, my mind is suddenly clear, and I just do it. Fuck the personal consequences. I don’t know if that is courage. Perhaps it’s more like: there is no other way out. Naked self-preservation. I sure as hell don’t do it with a singing heart, or anything upraising like that. Afterwards I feel good about myself, and condescend to the poor cowardly bastard who forced me to it, of course. That’s glory for you. Gotta take advantage when the opportunity offers, ain’t we now?