Hello Cruel World
Monday, December 02, 2002
December First. Advent thoughts
December 1st, Advent Sunday
When all the troubles of the world eagerly flew out of Pandora's Box to scatter themselves across the world, last of all, scrabbling out from where it had beencrushed down to the bottom, was hope.
Is hope perhaps the most devious of humanity's woes? Or is the price we pay for it; the longing, putting off, tearing apart of hearts, worth that toll?
Ten years ago now, during her final illness I got a card for my friend Bernadette. The drawing showed from behind a fairly plump & fluffy cat with an anxious expression hanging by its front claws from the slowly shredding paper of the card itself. The motto beneath was something like "Keep on hanging on". After her death, I found at the same local shop (one of the many that have come & gone in the maelstrom of Darling Harbour retail), a t-shirt with the same design & wore it several times to work to help cheer us all up, and at other times 'round home. It is still in my home wardrobe.
Maybe next time I get back there I'll remember & have time to have a look for it. It might be a help now too.
In Frank Herbert's 'Dune', one of the main differences between the Fremen & Harkonnen — partly emphasised by the gross obesity of the Baron & the way he avoided its difficulty using gravity lifters – was pointed out by Liet Keynes (Keynes is a resonant name, like Fremen – I always pronounce it like 'free men'). He said that the Fremen could wait the longest time he knew between desiring something & reaching their hand out for it. Advent is about waiting, about turning to hope out of the depths.
At another place the villainous Baron talks to the nephew he hopes to inherit his power (see also Commodus character in 'Gladiator') and tells him to always be hungry, because desperate, hungry people will do anything to survive, and that is the kind of drive he will need to keep power.
There are more & more people round who look like Baron Harkonnen, pointing out some of Herbert's morals — why was the verb for the spice trade always "flow", for instance? Shakespeare's Caesar, tho', pointed out the danger in 'lean & hungry men' too. There are driven, pinched types eager to bring others 'into line' who we also
should be wary of — zealot, fanatic, hardliner, the doctrinaire type. No matter what their belief system: religious, political, economic — even (this is difficult to say for me) some people called conservationists or environmentalists.
Cock-eyed Optimist, from South Pacific
South Pacific lyrics at guntheranderson.com
South Pacific lyrics at rochester.rr.com
& you can hear it at the Amazon site South Pacific merchandise & sound bites at Amazon
This includes the lines:
I could say life is just a bowl of jello
And appear more intelligent and smart
But I'm stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope
And I can't get it out of my heart
Not this heart
Casey Chambers' 'Ignorance' has a quite different idea; a dark & powerful song. [NB: Beware popups at lyric sites.] (hidden track at the end of Barricades & Brickbats album)
Ignorance lyrics at azlyrics.com
Ignorance lyrics at lyricscafe.com
Ignorance lyrics at poplyrics.net
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