Yes I Built the Pyramid (September 19th 2012)
The political campaign here in the United States is suddenly exciting for all of us, because it has provided the opportunity to address Pyramid Questions. Not the wonderful and nuanced "Why build a Pyramid?" That would be too much to hope for. Rather the "Did Pharaoh build his Pyramid" question. And the answer to this second question appears to be either, "Yes, he did," or "No, he didn't."
Certainly in his dream of himself, those bits and pieces that make a person, Pharaoh might well gaze across the plain, at the final wash of whiting, which would glint under a blue sky, and he might believe, "Yes, I built my pyramid." Then he might look down from his gilded cage and across to the thirty thousand workless men who might be wondering why they built his pyramid.
Outhouse (September 17th 2012)
The Artist has called forth an "Outhouse," which for those in the Antipodes might be understood as an "outside bog." My first consideration was, "Indeed, a fine example of the pioneer spirit, which I guess should be nurtured because it belongs to heritage and heritage I am told is romantic." Which was probably why I suggested a good view of woodland, that might be further secured against surprise by partially surrounding it with a fence of some kind. And I thought of this with some fondness, because I have always found the act of defecation is more satisfactorily accomplished when squatting, with knees just inches from the forehead. A position the porcelain toilet no longer permits those of us who lost the necessary agility and good balance to a door-less policy and peer pressure some time ago. A tragedy I prefer to blame upon the centuries old conspiracy between manufacturers of products like Metamucil and the random ideas of sanitation engineers, rather than relive what in the end became thirteen odd years of potty training.
However, too often I have also been made confused by the creative mind, its brilliance, its vicissitudes, and the suddenness of its inspiration, because this will be no ordinary outhouse. It will be happy with color, probably yellows, greens and pinks. Combinations the fashionable like to consider Caribbean colors, but which we all know is actually an example of how not to waste unwanted, or to render invisible surreptitiously acquired, cans of paint. The 'house' will have a blue bottle tree sign post to point the way, and this already has at least some of its bottles. Then when you reach the destination there'll be a seat upon which to sit, which I think is a shame. Nor will any kind of creature that slithers, or has whiskers, or can hang upside down and stare, be permitted access to what will be enclosed space with hinged door. Yet, when the mood strikes I have a wilderness of opportunity upon which to squat, and the outhouse will require a magnificent and lasting and deep hole in the ground, which is always enough to get my fevers high and running with enthusiasm. And I'll manage the rest, by thinking of it as an adornment to the honest work of shoveling.
I'd argue that if the 'Ides of Fish Oil as a Health Supplement' was somewhere around yesterday, then by the calends of October 'Fish Oil as a Health Supplement Manufacture' will be firmly on that side of the political debate that sees reasonableness as a gross and unacceptable interference with god's gift of freedom. And in keeping with traditional practice, these manufacturers will parley an interruption of cash flow into an equally expensive campaign of promotion, or reeducation. "Fish Oil," they'll insist, "Is not only vital for complexion and internal governance, it is also central to a nation's sense of worth." Gnarled old men with clear eyes, perfect memory and better hair styling, will immerge from amongst the guild of actors to claim it was "Fish Oil" that gave them the character to become the Greatest Generation. And having myself been a victim of 'fish oil through formative years,' I'll find myself agreeing with them.
So, I'll call today a good opportunity for those with a callous disregard for anything beyond enlightened self interest to offer their services to the Fish Oil Debate. For my part I will say, "Rickets, from vitamin D deficiency is a horrible and unnecessary affliction." As well I'll remind the debate, that to make Cod Liver Oil, the livers of Cod are no longer carefully removed, then lovingly fermented in a barrel of salt water for twelve months before the oil is extracted by Cod Liver Oil Brew Masters who also read Kierkegaard. These days the fatty tissues and other bits of all captured aquatic animals that have gills and limbs without digits, and which cannot be turned into fillets or tinned cat food, are cooked up to make Fish Meal, which is fed to the creators of pork chops and which is why frozen chicken from the Grocery Store can sometimes smell strangely like a five day old Halibut. And Fish Meal is also a product which the dainty can call an 'organic fertilizer,' at around a dollar fifty a pound, or around two hundred Algerian dinars a kilogram. Fish Oil, and what now passes for 'Cod Liver Oil,' is one byproduct of this process.
September does not have an "ides" on the fifteenth. The Roman Calendar was more lunar in it's origins, so the "ides" of September fall on the thirteenth. The "ides" of October, however, is due to fall on the fifteenth. So that's another thing to place in the future, where it might lurk for an hour or two before completely disappearing from that part of mind which might still be called 'memory' by the delusional or fortunate.
Much more hard hitting, and certainly more enduring will be September sixteenth of the year two thousand and twelve. It was today I read that Fish Oil, most likely does not meet the claims made on it's behalf by generations of quacks, school doctors and other such propagandists for the fishing industry. It was called "Cod Liver Oil," I think I remember. It came by the spoonful. And why any one in their right mind ever thought that oil form the liver of a North Atlantic Cod had benefit to health and well being, I no longer have to think about.
Some of us wait for first frost. It sits out there in the near future, and it's grinning like a downhill skier. So invariably this is that time of year when storage and stock figure in imagination. For us it's more like heating fuels, and shelf space, than it is like a dry cave and confusion over adequacy of fat reserve.
The idea that for example Bears can avoid the emotions that drag them to a couple of months of blissful oblivion is probably one that some naturalist somewhere has investigated. I reckon he came away with a collection of chemicals, rather than a library of Bear thinking on what I'd like to imagine the more pompous, or disgruntled Bear in his discourse would call, "The Hibernation Problem."