Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.
Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen.
Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery and Marines,
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddlers’ Green.
Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene.
No trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he’s emptied his canteen.
And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers’ Green.
And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddlers’ Green.
”—“Fiddler’s Green”, poem adopted by the U.S. Cavalry from the legendary Irish afterlife for servicemen
“Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful moulder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage? Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.”—Emma Goldman, ”Marriage and Love” from Anarchism and Other Essays (1911)
I get what you’re trying to say, but no one’s really going to listen — least of all me — when you treat other folks like autistic three year-olds who can’t possibly comprehend the sophistication of your taste and your keen insight into the virtues of Italian craftsmanship.
P.S. Many factories in Italy are being staffed by Chinese immigrants, you pompous asslicker.
“If they saw dry grains of maize scattered on the ground, they quickly gathered them up, saying “Our Sustenance suffereth, it lieth weeping. If we should not gather it up, it would accuse us before our Lord. It would say ‘O, Our Lord, this vassal picked me not up when I lay scattered upon the ground. Punish him!’ Or perhaps we should starve.””—Friar Sahagún’s 16th century account of the Aztec’s unabiding respect for the grass upon which their entire existence depended, as quoted in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma
What is hot but the absence of stillness? Kept in the back of the house; a secret shame equally shared by all parties. Rich words, thick words, heavy words. What have you just promised me? We entered this agreement on different terms and now all we are capable of are slanted references, sideway rhymes. Resolution seems a far off horizon, marked by new stars and skies. Between here and there is interference. In and out and in and out, the static seesaws through and infiltrates every seed. There is something sinister in your speech, an element of danger that has yet to unfold. Mentally, I pack away some clouds with origami precision, stowed for later use, shut away until the effervescence expires. On the table are three limes, wallowing in their citrus state, with no expectation that they will be picked. Track each one back and you will find them hanging like glossy gems on boughs laden with brothers. Interruption comes in the form of a train, steel lungs bellowing across a parched landscape, thirsting for fuel. Absent-minded lights flicker and suggest the grotesque, the romantic. Every kiss accompanied by a shudder. Further down below, we strike upon a vein and learn a Spanish lesson. What measure can you make of a man? Plumb the madness, drop down a length of rope and lead us in. Cavernous maw, with a belly of ash, expelling, exhorting. Within and now without. Do not despair! I have seen no horrors, heard no dirges, touched no calamities, the solution is simple. Break apart the visible spectrum, reject that light which casts no shadow, exalt the forms that arise from the remainders, pursue the truth presented as the shapes give away their subtleties. Disavow the production that produces nothing and bask in the unique possibilities of replication. All signs become illegible, therefore we promise to do no signing. The arrangement has become chief, giving us a constellation that predicts the past. I stagger my sense because I no longer trust them.
“When we no longer have good cooking in the world, we will have no literature, nor high and sharp intelligence, nor friendly gathering, nor social harmony.”—Marie-Antoine Carême, pioneer of haute cuisine and chef to kings
Today, I had to take a test in my AP Biology class. The second to last test question was “Make a barnyard animal noise. You have 10 seconds to comply.” I looked up, confused, and saw my teacher staring intently at me. He mouthed the word “Go” and tapped his watch. I mooed. The rest of the testing period was completely silent, except for the occasional clucking, neighing, and mooing. MLIA.
You see, when you go to a predominantly Asian high school constantly nagged by university degree-obsessed parents and an administration that has complete tunnel vision for AP/IB testing and college admission rates, you don’t get this sort of interesting teenager experience.
I am excited about new TV, because I do not have to pay to stay at home, eat food, and sit for hours, and because I do not need to stand on my feet (as I do all day) in order to relax and enjoy myself. It is truly the ultimate anti-activity. I have already begun accruing a bevy of shows that I will gleefully and mindlessly to which I may devote my spare, oh-so-tired hours.
Top Chef Las Vegas
Lie to Me
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show
Chefs vs. City
The Next Iron Chef
America’s Best Dance Crew
The Venture Bros.
Okay. I didn’t realize how much fucking TV I do watch/want to watch/will watch. I guess I’ll see you guys after this season’s finales and whatnot. I’ll be sitting huddled on my couch, nursing a giant 2 liter of Diet Coke with Kettle Chips all over my shirt. Awesome.