Me? I keep the fast and spend about 4 hours in breast-beating.
(Note: it's not clear what Azazel is. Some say it's hell. Some say it's just a rugged mountain. In any case, it's a place of no return.)
Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites, whatever their sins, putting them on the head of the goat; and it shall be sent off to the wilderness through a designated man. Thus the goat shall carry on it all their iniquities to an inaccessible region; and the goat shall be set free in the wilderness.
I've left out the stuff about sacrificing a bull and doing all kinds of nasty stuff with the blood and fat... The rabbi reads all this in Hebrew. Most of the congregation is left less disgusted than they'd be in English. But you get the idea... It's a scape goat... carrying the sins of the Jews off into the wilderness.
Keep that thought in the folds of your codpiece and we'll
FLASH TO THE MODERN WORLD
China's industrial cities are so polluted that Black Lung Disease is as common as the measles. According to the American Lung Association: In the U.S., Houston comes in at 16th for year-round air pollution tournament. It also ranks 12th out 228 cities for ozone levels.
The report also says, while Oregon has a “green” image, the Medford-Grants Pass area ranked among the highest for pollution.
Vassalia California wins as the Most Polluted City in America. Their local paper says: the heavy volume of truck and car traffic on Highway 99 and Interstate 5 is spewing massive amounts of noxious fumes and dangerously small particles of smoke.
The world is sick. People die from breathing the air, drinking the water, eating fish that beathe and drink an oceanful of plastic. It's not getting any better.
Dealing with pollution caused by industrial fertilizers, plastic, energy plants and gasoline? Business suffers. If we cut down, workers can't use their filth-spewing cars to get to work in the factories whose effluvia gives cancer to their kids-- in order to make products that no one needs. We'd better take care or people will demand FEWER goods. What will happen if there's NO DEMAND... if people want LESS? The business world could collapse! It would be the end of capitalism.
FLASH TO NYC: 1972 United Nations... basement conference room. It's an “informal” meeting of the G8... before Russia got kicked out for being too punk.
Citizens are beginning to get pissed off at how their lives are getting worse... at how they're dying younger... at how they can't get rid of their chronic coughs... how their kids have asthma before they're old enough to jerk off.
At the G8 meeting they speak English. It's the only language the Americans understand.
The speaker is Hollis Chenery, famed American economist... expert on international development... and brother of the jockey superstar who ran Secretariat into world racing renown. He's the kind of guy whose ears wiggle when he smiles. He's not smiling now.
He speaks... pacing back and forth across the plush UN carpeting.
“We're here for development,” he says. “We want to build the world's economies. We want to import... to export... to produce.”
He stops and clears his throat.
“A big part of that development is energy,” he continues. “We need energy to produce, to distribute, to consume. We need energy to MAKE energy. But we have a problem...”
The representative from the UK... a fat cigar smoking man... takes the cigar from between his lips and gestures with it... flicking some ash onto the floor.
“We're here for economics,” he says, “not to talk about your stupid fucking war.”
Chenery stops in his tracks, spins and faces the fat man.
“Let me finish you pompous ass,” he says through gritted teeth. “I'm not talking about THE WAR. I'm talking about what people are calling the environment. I'm talking about the movement to STOP DEVELOPMENT. I'm talking about the end of growth...”
The fat man turns slightly red under the glare from the others in the room.
“The problem is that people are getting sick... and they're blaming DEVELOPMENT,” Chenery continues. “If we don't watch out they're going to call for an end to growth.”
A sexy middle aged woman, the representative from France, raises her hand like a school child.
Chenery gestures to her. “Ms Gueulevelue, do you have something to say?”
“Oui.” she says. “I mean yes. What if we make people believe they're responsible for their own disease? Or the disease of their neighbors? Why not choose one industry... make it a scapegoat... and connect it to an INDIVIDUAL'S behavior? That will let the developed world be free... to... to develop.”
Chenery rolls his eyes heavenward... as men often do when an attractive woman makes a suggestion.
“And you think people will just turn from business, and start blaming themselves?” He asks. “What could we possibly use to make people think they are making THEMSELVES sick instead of our global network making them sick?”
You can guess the rest. Of course, the solution was TOBACCO! An herb used medicinally by the American Indians. A cultivated weed with a longer history than the wheel... a scapegoat.
H. L. Menken said, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”
But he was too narrow. It's not just the American public... It's the WORLD public.
We tell people that if they get sick... it's THEIR OWN FAULT. We focus on stopping people from smoking. Make it more difficult to smoke. Claim smoking causes all the problems. Send the tobacco companies to Azazel.
What happens if you get sick and you don't smoke? EASY ANSWER. Your neighbor smokes... someone in your building smokes. Your parents smoked before you were born and the smoking curse entered your blood in the womb.
Washington Square Park: May 1, 2020. It's the SMEC (Smoking Makes Everything Clear) smoke-in. Marijuana has been legal for the past two years, but tobacco is prohibited everywhere except one doorway... on 167 Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
SMEC has organized this protest... the first of what they hope will be a yearly event. They wear t-shirts with a cartoon of a goat smoking a cigarette. The caption: Don't Let Corporatism Scapegoat Tobacco.
“We are here to tell them that everyone who takes a puff of tobacco in 2020 knows what the global capitalists are up to.... We are here to tell them that every cigarette smoked is a voice against big oil... big energy... big agriculture... We are here to tell them that every smoker is a fighter... a fighter against fracking... against Exxon... against Dow... against Boeing... against Ford.”
More wild applause... this time with cheers.
Also, the Mencken underestimating quote is often quoted, but there is considerable debate as to its veracity.