Tidbits or The Three Truths in a nutshell
Tidbits or The Three Truths in a nutshell
by Kevin Annett
Strange and bewildered voices keep resounding from out of our latter day Sodom these days, demanding to know the same thing:
“Why are those evil rulers not being arrested and put in jail?”
Terminal patients on the eve of midnight require simple answers to the yawning zero looming before them, so here is my response to these anxious questioners:
“Queens and Popes and Prime Ministers are not in prison because under the law only those who are sane are responsible and liable for their actions.”
The fact that all parental authority figures are crazy was something I learned when I was four. One summer day, the woman who according to hearsay was my mother barked at me in the back seat of our car,
“Stop that, Kevin! I see everything you’re doing back there. I have eyes in the back of my head!”
Naturally, I checked out her claim for myself. As she stared ahead, I promptly searched through the back of her hair and found nothing.
I often wondered later if mother Margaret actually believed that she had the power of posterior sight. She sure sounded sincere at the time. But of course that’s the way of any would-be ruler over others: they not only have to believe their own lie, but they do believe it. Another word for that is psychotic delusion.
So let Jorge and Elizabeth and Justin and Mister Fauci have their fantasies that somehow they have authority over me. The fact that they believe they do is their mental illness that has nothing to do with me. The problem starts when I believe it, too.
Speaking of make believe, I also learned about something called property when I was four. It doesn’t actually exist, and I still don’t believe in it, although I pretend to play along with the notion to get along with all the other inmates.
Old Mrs. Watson’s vegetable garden was overflowing with ripe carrots, peas and lettuce that day I wandered by it. Naturally, being hungry, I stooped down and helped myself to the bountiful gift from creation. I was still munching on one of the juicy, dirt-stained carrots when I sauntered into our kitchen. Mother Margaret gestured suspiciously at my food and snapped,
“Where did you get that?”
“From the old lady’s gawden. I was hungwy.”
Horrified, Maggie exploded,
“That was hers, not yours! Now you take that back to her and give her this! And tell her you’re sorry!”
She handed me a quarter. I just stared at her in confusion.
I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, but I played along, even convincing myself that I had offended the proper order of things by taking what nature had offered me. Mrs. Watson seemed overjoyed when I handed her the half-eaten carrot, and she said I could eat out of her garden whenever I liked, now, because I had told her about taking the carrot and therefore I was “honest”.
But I hadn’t been honest because I had gone along with their lie. And I still don’t understand what the problem was.
I was the new boy in Sunday school so naturally I was beaten up.
It happened routinely in the parking lot behind Westworth United Church until the assailants grew bored and found a new target. The beaters were led by the minister’s son Richard, but all the kids stood by and watched or cheered. Unable to restrain their urge until after church, they usually caught me beforehand.
It’s said that nobody likes a snitch, but after the first time I got worked over I ratted out Richard and the others to our Sunday school teacher, a prim young lady called Miss Pearson. She reacted by giving me and my bruised and bloodied face a strained smile and declaring,
“But we’re all friends in this church!”
In later years, when a similar blithe expunging of unpleasant truths about battered children was elevated to a national practice by the same United Church of Canada, I could have sworn that happy Miss Pearson served as a consultant to the church’s PR department, since it employed the same absurd logic when its brown skinned victims started talking. But Group Crime denial aside, my senseless beating by United Church adherents at age five was not only a foreshadowing for me, but a striking insight into how religion is a necessary partner to the disharmony and violence of our species. For by “crying peace, peace, when there is no peace”, churchgoers cause the war against the innocent to carry on right in their own neighborhood.
The moral of this three-part tale? If you’re the few and you want to falsely rule over, rob, and war against the many, be sure to have God and morality on your side. Because it won’t work, otherwise.