Losing my Religion

It is starting to look a little like spring could come after all this year on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I have had my doubts, I confess.  It is raining now, but, I had a small window this morning of dishwater sunshine, so I made use of it to clean out some perennial beds.  The peonies are poking their heads up, tulips too.  I filled ten big plastic garbage cans full of garden refuse and acquired my usual blister from the scissors.  It’s a tradition.

Gardening is a primary avenue of meditation for me.  I talk to myself and this morning I had a lot of things to talk about and a lot of questions that needed answers.  I made the mistake of watching TV earlier this morning.  The talking heads were on about how unions were killing America and the Governor of Wisconsin has become the golden boy of conservative thinkers for trying to break the unions of the teachers and public workers of his state.  According to him it’s their fault his state is broke.  They are just greedy.  He encourages us all to despise them for their greed and I thought about that while I cut ornamental grass stems and raked clear some daylily beds.

Don’t ask me why, but, that got me thinking about Ralphy Lipschitz  from the Bronx.  I admire Ralph.  I completely understand why he changed his name from Lipschitz to Lauren.  I think I would have done the same thing.  What troubled me this morning, as I cut back my crape myrtles, was how it was admirable of Ralphy to get people to pay $65 for a T-shirt and $89 for a bathing suit?  That got me thinking about NIKE sneakers.  I read the other day that the manufacturing cost of the most expensive pair of those babies, including the boat ride all the way from China, was $5… but, they retail for $150.  NIKE is a very admirable company, I’m sure you must agree.

As I sat there cutting back last years leaves of my “red-hot-pokers” I remembered a quote from an interesting character named Eric Hobsbawm.  He has written extensively on many subjects and is considered one of Britain’s most prominent historians.  He was born in 1917 to Leopold Percy Obstbaum and Nelly Grün.  A clerical error at birth altered his surname from Obstbaum to Hobsbawm.  He knows everything there is to know about Marxism and unlike Ralphy Lipschitz he kept the hand he was dealt.  Anyway, he said this…

Marxism is about leisure, not labour. It is a project that should be eagerly supported by all those who dislike having to work. It holds that the most precious activities are those done simply for the hell of it, and that art is in this sense the paradigm of authentic human activity. It also holds that the material resources that would make such a society possible already exist in principle, but are generated in a way that compels the great majority to work as hard as our Neolithic ancestors did. We have thus made astounding progress, and no progress at all.”

It was as I was pulling up the six foot brown stems of last years zinnias that I had the epiphany.  As I folded them to fit in the garbage can it occurred to me that I was a “stinking commie”. If there was any truth to what Eric Hobsbawm wrote I had no choice!  I don’t like to work if the definition of work is doing something you don’t really like to do, but HAVE TO, to put food on the table and a roof over your head.  If I have dedicated my life to anything it’s farting around, gardening, art and NOT doing things I don’t really want to do.  Is that wrong?  I have never thought so.

All at once something that I have been wondering about for weeks began to make sense.  Occasionally, just to see how the other half lives, I tune in to FOX News.  Whenever I do there is always a lot of talk going on about Socialism and Communism.  It seems, according to them, Democrats, Progressives and anyone who isn’t a Conservative Republican, like them, is really nothing but a stinking commie.  President Obama, besides not being an American, is a stinking commie too.  As a matter of fact almost anyone who isn’t a Republican voting Christian, proud to work in a non-union job and not the least bit envious of people who inherited millions or billions of dollars is… when you get right down to it… a highly suspicious character.

I never understood it before.  Now, it makes all the sense in the world.  I was foolishly under the impression that Communism was a dead duck.  I never knew any!  I thought Old Ronnie Reagan put the kay-bosh on what was left of Communism when he said… “Mr. Gorbachev, TEAR DOWN THAT WALL”… and down it came.  I thought even Red China was seeing the proverbial light and becoming more and more capitalist every day.  But, now I’m thinking I was wrong.

Glenn Beck is right!  Well, not “right” but he sure is getting the right message out there if you are a fat cat, a millionaire or a billionaire.  The unions have to be busted!  It must be a heinous sin to envy the wealth of another!  It must forever be a grievous mistake to ever think that there is more than enough in this world for all of us to share.  Government IS the problem if it gives ANYBODY the idea that that Sermon on the Mount baloney was anything but stinking commie propaganda.

I’m here to tell you, if food ever gets scarce and the gas stops flowing freely, what that Eric Hobsbawm guy has to say is going to start  making sense to a whole lot of people.   The only thing I can’t yet figure out is why Republicans want EVERYBODY to have lots of guns and lots of ammo.  I’m still working on that.  Lucky for me, I have lots more flower beds to clean out, but, so far, I’m thinking that could be just a mistake.



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2 responses to “Losing my Religion

  1. Robert Redus

    I guess that makes me a stinkin red devil as well…damnit!!!….

    Sure seems the gap between all of them and all of us is widening…and money..power….god…democracy and being “right” have a whole lot to do with spreading it apart…I think some conservative utopia is in the game plan…one that needs all of the witch hunts…big business…150 dollar Nikes…predator lenders….a few more strategic preemptive invasions and of course a few hundred thousand more dead before things are just right…and the winners can talk about their triumphs over sweet tea and everything is right in heaven….

    we are in a pickle Mrs. Neutron…and what we see..we don’t see we have…politicians have convinced the right and those aligned with that mentality that the downward spiral is actually flying and the ground below is of no concern…

    My question is….what makes it all change…it would be nice to say…they are wrong…and we are right…but unfortunately we are as wrong as they are…the corruption has darkened the waters of the progressives and democrats…and those politicians have and are getting theirs …many of those “democrats”…want to be appear as something other than the elitist…aristocrats that they are…

    I saw a bumper sticker the other day…that might not answer the gun question at all…but it surely made me laugh….

    “Pick banjos Not fights”

    hope all is well….

    • Well then… “Greetings Comrade”!

      Robert, I really don’t see any choice for us any more than to prepare to wrap ourselves in that Big Red Banner. Not yet of course, not “openly”, but certainly philosophically. Do you listen to Steve Earl Robert? His song, “Christmas time in Washington” really comes to mind now.
      So come back Woody Guthrie
      Come back to us now
      Tear your eyes from paradise
      And rise again somehow
      If you run into Jesus
      Maybe he can help you out
      Come back Woody Guthrie to us now

      I followed in your footsteps once
      Back in my travelin’ days
      Somewhere I failed to find your trail
      Now I’m stumblin’ through the haze
      But there’s killers on the highway now
      And a man can’t get around
      So I sold my soul for wheels that roll
      Now I’m stuck here in this town

      There’s foxes in the hen house
      Cows out in the corn
      The unions have been busted
      Their proud red banners torn
      To listen to the radio
      You’d think that all was well
      But you and me and Cisco know
      It’s going straight to hell

      So come back, Emma Goldman
      Rise up, old Joe Hill
      The barricades are goin’ up
      They cannot break our will
      Come back to us, Malcolm X
      And Martin Luther King
      We’re marching into Selma
      As the bells of freedom ring….

      You write…. “My question is….what makes it all change…it would be nice to say…they are wrong…and we are right…but unfortunately we are as wrong as they are…”

      Sorry Robert, but no. If “we” were we wouldn’t be having this discussion. “We” may be stuck here in this time and this place, but, I know we can and MUST be better humans than that. Powerless, impotent, no-count beings we may be in the overall scheme of things, but, we don’t have to add our thumbs up to the nonsense that masquerades as civilization. You clearly don’t and neither do I, so don’t kick yourself in the butt.
      I bet you have seen those T-shirts with Che Guevara on the front that just say “Che”. Perhaps we need to design one with Jesus on the front, wearing a beret with a red star on it that beneath just says “JEEZ”. Beneath that we could print. ..”Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” …”
      On the back we could print… “If HE wasn’t an ARTIST… nobody was!”

      I’m no Christian Robert, but, since we are in Rome we might as well make a buck or two until the revolution comes and these bloated plutocrats are swept into the dustbin of history… and so on and so forth.

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