Dead Men WalkingI might as well come right out and confess the ugly truth. I am still a duck-licker. I thought I had the problem... uh, beat: It was almost two years ago, but it seems more like it was just yesterday, when I went on my last duck-licking binge and was even erroneously reported dead by our local Real Change Editor Deity, who was sure that I looked green enough to be dead - BUT I WASN'T, and I'll have more to say about that in a minute or two, thankyouverymuch - it has seemed almost yesterday for all these nearly two years, and I was sure the immediacy of the painful memory would keep it from happening again.
But no, and I am so very ashamed. I awoke this morning in a pile of duck feathers, still wet with slobber, a fierce headache, my column still unwritten, and the deadline for this column waiting for me at the Real Change office.
There was absolutely no way that I could have a column written. So I have not written one, and I hope that you can all forgive me.
Ah, it feels so good to have that out of the way, I should do that more often.
So, then, I was thinking well what should we do with all this space on this page, now that the column isn't done? And I was making my way to the RC office to tell Timothy "Editor God" Harris the bad news, when a parade of loud unruly Column Ideas marched down Third Avenue, right at me.
It was like they were taunting me. Isn't that the way it always is, I thought. You don't see a Column Idea for a week, you break down and spend a night licking ducks, and then, when it's too late to possibly write a column, three of the nasty buggers march up and down the street right in front of you, making rude faces and calling you names. Of course they also made me angry, but I'll have more to say about that momentarily.
Well I suppose I can at least use the space I have remaining to describe the hideous things. They were, all three of them, different sized, different colored, and different shaped. The one in front was the one that was the most different sized, colored, and shaped of the three so I'll describe him first.
He was, as best as I could make out (he only walked back and forth in front of me jeering at me fifteen or twenty times), Our American Repression of Death. He was ugly and greenish ONLY IN THE WAY REAL DEAD PEOPLE SOMETIMES ARE (Tim? Hear that?) and not in the way duck-lickers get. But nobody on the street noticed or paid any mind but me, because Americans don't know what death looks like anymore. At all, no matter WHAT the color.
He was so ugly that at first I didn't see that he was walking two dogs with him, one sleek young purebred Colorado Violent Video Gamer and one old and decrepit Kosovo Hill Cruise-Bomber.
While the Repression of Death was insulting me obnoxiously, a passing Armchair Liberal stopped to make uncharitable remarks about the dogs, going so far as to scapegoat Video Game Makers for the one and Our Violent Nature for the other. But the truth was plain to me, it was their owner who raised them to be so mean and ugly, pure and simple.
I said to the Armchair Liberal: "You hide death from your children, you even fear the sight of it so much you can only kill people you want dead from miles away, where you can't see what you did to them. You already decided years ago that you would set aside those people who have seen death up close, treat them as tainted, you don't want to see their faces on the streets now that they have been reduced to begging from you. You don't want that to happen again, so even though you want to still have wars, you refuse to have soldiers."
"Then, you hide death from your children," I repeated myself rhetorically. "You hide death from your children," I did it again, "so that they do not live real lives, because a real life requires a real perspective on life, which requires seeing and relating to death, something you have already refused to do yourself, that's why you're the Armchair Liberal, and now you would deny it to your children.
"You are in fact by now so out of touch with the needs of your own children, that you can't see that their need to know and relate to death is exactly what drives their interest in those Video Games in the first place."
Well that just made the Armchair Liberal stomp away angry, without being able to express his/her anger, because the Armchair Liberal is also very Whitebread, and, well, there you go.
Which brings up what I promised I would say more about, namely, the other two Column Ideas that were taunting me and making me very angry, the two less different ones. One of them in fact was a Red-faceless white-breasted spineless Liberal Denial of Anger, who was grabbing passers-by by the shoulders, viciously shaking them and then declaring that it was all done in the name of "process."
The other one was the perennial World of Unspeakable Stupidity. The less said about that the better, you are probably thinking, but I will have another column to write in two weeks, so no one gets off that easily.
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