POST MRR COLUMNS
Better Than God
by Mykel Board
--God and Tuli Kupferberg
I skipped a month in this saga... went off on a feminist tangent... Now, let's get back to business.
When last we left, I was sitting... post orgasm... in front of my favorite bi-porn. My trusty DIRT DEVIL vacuumed me into ecstasy. That sucking became a metaphor for the city, the country, the world, the universe. An American middle class, sucked away, replaced by Chinese nouveau riche. The morality of God, family and country, sucked away, replaced by rules on speech, and avoiding other people's sensitivity. Destroyed governments of Libya and Iraq, sucked away, replaced with Al Qaeda and ISIS. Black holes in space sucking away at the rest of the universe, replaced by who-know-what. A great sucking... vacuum after vacuum, begging to be filled. Billions of vacuum cleaner nozzles filled with dripping semen.
Back in my apartment: We ended with a rustling... at the vacuum cleaner nozzle. There... breast-stroking through the pubic hairs is my muse... the amanojaku to my amanojaku personality...born from dust bunnies and semen... naked except for a lotus leaf skirt... fat as a Buddha. Its two lower canine teeth stick up outside its jaw... over its upper lip. Crawling out of the hose... spurted forth from the Dirt Devil... like Aphrodite from the brow of Zeus... it approaches me.
Using its tiny arms, it pulls itself out of the hose and crawls over the wooden floor. Then, it digs its tiny-though-nasty claws into the side of my leg and climbs upwards until it's sitting on my lap.
“So Mykel,” it says in a squeaky voice with just a hint of a Yiddish accent. “You and your vacuums. What do you want? You want to go back to a standard? Something we can all agree on? Something to fill the moral vacuum so the shit doesn't get sucked in?”
“So Mykel,” it says again, “what might that be? The Ten Commandments?”
“I'm not a big fan of the Ten Commandments,” I tell him/her.
S/He frowns... or at least does a demon impression of a frown.
“Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.”
What a lame way to begin the most important set of rules in the world. God wrote this and it begins with ME FIRST? It's as self-centered as toddlers fighting over a bowl of M&Ms. That's how you start off the rules of life?
On top of that, God says, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” It's right there in the unexpurgated version.
Jeezus Fuck! God, the all masterful and loving, is jealous? No thanks. Besides, if s/he is A jealous God, then there must be other Gods. It's grammar, ya know?
Besides, all those commandments are so negative. Just saying what you CAN'T do gives as much guidance in your life as: DON'T EAT FUCHSIA-COLORED VEGETABLES. Not very helpful. Rules to live by should be telling us what we CAN and SHOULD do.
“What about thou shalt not kill?” says Amanojaku.
“That's not bad,” I answer, “but it's only number six... Coming AFTER the one that says NOT to say GODDAMNIT! Which is more important?”
And it doesn't say what KILL is. Only people? Animals? Plants? Only those who have not tried to take over your oil fields? It's not detailed enough.
“Ok,” says Amanojaku. “Forget about the Ten Commandments. How about The Golden Rule®? You know, Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you.”
“That's better,” I tell it, “but there are too many masochists out there. Masochists want to be hurt. Following the golden rule, they'd be tying up people and sticking pins in their captives' nipples. The Golden Rule® turns masochists into sadists.”
“Come on, Mykel,” says Amanojaku, adjusting a lotus leaf that's in danger of revealing its gender. “That's a stretch. People want to be treated politely and just left alone.”
“Left alone?” I say. “That's part of the problem. Leave me alone. Don't tax me. Leave me alone. Don't tell me I can't put shit in the air and water. Leave me alone. Don't tell me I can't hire Sri Lankan immigrants for 26 cents an hour. This is a SOCIETY. People live together. If you want to be left alone... move to Nepal... but even there, God won't leave you alone. Take earthquakes... please! You think those buried in snow and rock... nearly dead... want to be left alone?”
“So tell us, oh great Mykel,” says Amanojaku... his sarcasm dripping like semen in a vacuum cleaner hose. “What is the principle? How can we fill the moral vacuum left when family, country, and God died?”
“That,” I confess, “is something I haven't figured out...”
Amanojaku smiles smugly.
“But,” I continue, “I have an idea where to start. We need some basic principles...”
Amanojaku raises his/her eyebrows
“Like Civility,” I say.
“Oh pull eeese Mary,” s/he says looking skyward and limping his wrist like a drag queen in training. “You're supposed to be a punk rocker and you want CIVILITY??? Isn't that a bit... er... dainty?”
“I don't mean simple politeness,” I tell him(?). “I mean something closer to SLACK. I mean thicker skin. I mean some basic tenants of tolerance.”
“Ah,” says Amanojaku, “what are the TEN COMMANDMENTS OF MYKEL BOARD?”
“I'm glad you asked me that,” I say, slapping hard with my hand and squishing him/her into blood and cartilage against my leg.
“My last action was a violation of one of them,” I tell the mess.
So here are the my commandments. Sure, there are details and problems... but it's a start in the quest to fill the vacuums left by the deaths of The Old Morality, The Old Feminism, and The Old Privacy. These are calls to ways of acting. They are not calls to legislation.
BASIC RULE NUMBER ONE: Thou shalt CUT PEOPLE SOME SLACK. People are different, use different language, have different values. We can live with those differences. Relax.
What people say and how they say it is something to discuss. It is wrong to stop them from speaking. That includes by law or by boycott or by social pressure or by shouting down. That's related to...
BASIC RULE NUMBER TWO: Thou shalt ANSWER SPEECH YOU DON'T LIKE WITH SPEECH YOU DO LIKE. Discuss, discuss, have a drink, a laugh, listen to music and discuss again. If you don't like what someone says, answer them. Show the other side. Don't organize to stop that speech or make someone lose a job. Talk!
BASIC RULE NUMBER THREE: Thou shalt first consider CONSENT. CONSENT. CONSENT. A key part of any relationship must be consent. If someone is forced to do something either by law, by hunger or something as simple as lack of money... that is NOT consent.
If you want to kill and eat your next door neighbor and that neighbor hands you the gun, fork and knife... Shoot and dig in!
But consent is more than just saying yes. Consent is not being intimidated or bullied into action. If I have to work at Walmart because the other stores have closed and I have to feed my kids and the government has taken away my welfare... that is NOT consent. I'm FORCED to work. Economic bullying is no less bullying than governmental or big ole jock bullying.
BASIC RULE NUMBER FOUR: Thou shalt TREAT HUMANS LIKE PEOPLE. Okay, you can't afford to give a buck to every guy on the street asking you for spare change... but you can learn his name.. you can say “Hi, howzit goin?” You can respond to a stranger's “Hey babe, how ya doin'?” with “I'm okay... just late for work... see ya!” Considering humans as people makes it more difficult to cut their heads off, put them in jail or drop drones on them.
In personal relations, it means not being an asshole to your waitress... not ignoring the poor K-Mart cashier who's smiling at you while you're on your iPhone dissing someone on facebook. It means stopping your car when someone by the side of the road has his hood up. It means winking at the ugly girl or smiling at the fat guy.
BASIC RULE NUMBER FIVE: Thou shalt BE USELESS. Your last year in High School:
“So, where are you gonna go to school?” she says.
“I donno, I heard that Monsanto U is pretty good. It's my first choice. Maybe I can get a wrestling scholarship,” he answers. “I need to take some finance courses. I gotta get a good job.”
“Finance?” she says, “I guess that sounds good. You'll be landing the big bucks. I'm going for marketing myself.”
STOP! STOP! STOP! Why not go to air conditioning repair school? or become a dental hygienist? What the fuck? Learning, discovering new things is FUN. It's a challenge. It takes you places you've never been and teaches you thoughts you've never thought.
Learning how to make people want things they don't need is not an adventure. It's a waste. Learning how to use other people's money to fill your own bank account-- or worse, your boss's bank account-- is not an adventure. It's sleazy in the BAD sense of that world.
Take art history... please! Take Gilyak, theoretical (NOT APPLIED!) physics, philosophy, gender studies, ANYTHING that exists for itself. That has a thrill in learning... that is not to be USED for a good job, exploiting people, or contributing to the general distress.
Your twat should drip in anticipation of your class... of each adventurous day exploring new ideas... like Starship Enterprise explores new worlds... for your adventure and the adventure of your fellow explorers... not despite that it's useless, but BECAUSE it's useless. Because it exists only for knowledge, because there are erection-inducing thrills to be had in THE KNOWING, THE LEARNING, THE UNDERSTANDING.
If you want useful, take air-conditioner repair. Get a job. Make money. Hate your life... Do it for the kids. What a waste!
Oh no! I did it again. Ran out of self-imposed space after only five commandments... er... basic rules. I think I'm gonnna have to have a supplement later this month to finish up.
ENDNOTES: [You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Through the post office: send those... er... private DVDs..or music or zines... or anything else (legal only!) to: Mykel Board, POB 137, New York, NY 10012-0003. If you like my writing, you can be notified when anything new is available by subscribing to the MYKEL'S READERS Yahoo group email@example.com]
-->Beverage Dept: The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports that they followed 749 senior citizens for over 9 years. This doesn't mean stalking, but checking what the oldsters were drinking. They found that the DIET SODA DRINKERS gained nearly three times as much belly fat as those who didn't drink any soda. Yet there are still people who want to tax SUGARY DRINKS (take former Mayor Bloomberg... PLEASE!), and force even MORE people into Diet Soda hell. Sometimes (often) I think HEALTH is a cult rather than a science.
-->TMI Dept: Under the heading "Innovation of the Week" THE WEEK Magazine on April 3 tells of a "new system... to give police more real-time information on locations where shots were fired" The system will be linked to "license plate readers, radiation sensors, and 911 calls."
Of course that means every street will be watched by "license plate readers and radiation sensors." Makes you feel safe, doesn't it?
->Keeping the Pressure on Dept: I want to thank reader George Metesky for suggesting a continuing Bring Back Mykel effort directed at Maximum Rock'n'Roll for their (firing me as a) contribution to the world of censorship. Send your comments-- to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: BRING BACK MYKEL! Let me know how they answer.