The Moment of Truth — February 28, 1998
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Welcome to the moment of truth. Hi. I’m mejeffdorchen. This is the place and time where and when — surprisingly enough — the truth gets told. Why surprisingly? Because we live under capitalism — a system in which truth is worthless. Oh well! Everything important in life: love, truth, spirit, peace, compassion, kindness — all these things are worthless in our society because we live under capitalism. Oh well! Too bad. Well, guess we’ll just have to make the best of it. Make the best of a bad situation.
But of course I’m being facetious. The truth is worth something. But only outside the capitalist marketplace. And since the moment of truth, my little segment here on National Beer Presents This is Hell, since the moment of truth exists outside the capitalist marketplace for various reasons I may or may not go into this morning, the truly important things in life exist here — here — in the moment of truth! So that’s good! Good for me, good for you, and good for America.
So we have the good and the bad. Moment of Truth equals good. Capitalism equals bad. Now all we need is the ugly.
We’ll call the ugly “hypocrisy” for want of a better word. We’ll begin with that concept and work backwards to see how we were so wise as to divine that Hypocrisy is THE UGLY.
I think the best way to do this is to tell you about an example of hypocrisy that’s been bopping around in my mind lately. It began several months ago, maybe even a year ago. I noticed a billboard. It showed the legs of a man in nice pants, kind of dancing or romping in space. A man in nice pants and shoes, but only from the waist down, romping in some undefined spaced. And the caption read: “Thou shalt not have fun in dress pants. Ever.”
What bugged me at first was the “Ever” on the end of it. It seemed not only unnecessary, but inelegant. It violated the Ten Commandments sentence structure the ad was obviously parodying, without adding anything to it. In fact it detracted. Without the “Ever” the ad would say, “Thou shalt not have fun in dress pants” and then show how stupid that notion was by presenting the viewer with the romping legs. The ad would then be saying, “Only dogmatic puritans think you shouldn’t have fun in dress pants. Don’t be one of them. Wear OUR dress pants and you will have fun.”
Whereas with the EVER there the ad is saying, “Only dogmatic people think you should NEVER have fun in dress pants. Don’t be one of them. Wear OUR dress pants and you might sometimes have fun.”
See how the ever not only defeats the form but also the content? This is further proof, by the way, that capitalism ruins everything, even its own stupid gag concepts.
And every time I would drive by that billboard I’d gnash my teeth and say, “Why EVER?! Why? WHY?!” and I would picture some guy coming up with the concept and thinking it was great, and then having it ruined cuz his boss said, “Oh, wait. After that period where the sentence is over? You know, where the information is done being gotten across. Add the word EVER as its own sentence. That’s the big Madison Avenue thing these days. Completed ideas followed by an extraneous and annoying one-word sentence.”
And then I would imagine that guy tied to a chair in a room with a sweet little old lady standing next to him. The only other things in the room with them are the billboard and a lead pipe. Just before they close the door on the pair, the bound and gagged ad man and the sweet little old lady, they tell little granny that this guy tied up in the chair is the guy responsible for that ad. Then they close the door. As they close the door, the little old lady is moving toward the lead pipe. That’s my fantasy. The rest just happens by itself.
So I wasted a lot of time on this kind of reaction to that billboard. But then, a few months later, I saw an ad on the side of a CTA bus. It was a picture of an apple and the caption said: “Proof there were no hard feelings over that whole Garden of Eden thing.” Or something like that. The idea is that the fact that there are apples in the world is some indication that God wasn’t really mad that Adam and Eve disobeyed him.
Which is truly odd, because my understanding of that story is that the reason we experience pain and eventually die is because of the “Whole Garden of Eden thing.” It’s supposedly why women have excruciating pain giving birth. It’s why we must toil to live. Except for the piggy rich people.
Now let me ask you something. If there were no apples in the world, but you didn’t have to feel pain or die or toil for a living, but could live in a beautiful garden of delight, which would you pick? I mean, come on. We die. We get old and feeble and ill and sometimes experience horrible pain and fear and we die, we cease to exist. Who are these people who think that there were no hard feelings over the whole “Garden of Eden thing” or whatever? I’ll tell ya who. The same people who put the “Ever” at the end of the pants ad, that’s who. Now, here’s a question all this raises. Maybe you’ve heard of all these weird Christian fascists — and I’m not saying all Christians are fascists or that all fascists are Christian — but maybe you’ve heard of some of these epistemological sickos who go crazy if you have a cross in a jar of pee. Have you heard of these people? They go crazy on you if you put a cross in a jar of pee. It’s nuts. I know it sounds like a superstition. It sounds like I just said, “Jews have horns” or “If you hit a black person in the ankle with a rock he’ll die.” But it’s true. If you put a cross in a jar of pee these people will go crazy, totally mitty and have a hairy conniption.
Now to me that’s like putting a donut or a baking soda label or an ampersand in a jar of pee. It’s like putting punctuation in a jar of pee. It’s meaningless. It’s like putting a peace sign in a jar of pee. Who cares? That’s not like Nixon bombing Laos back to the Stone Age. It’s a peace sign in a jar of pee.
But these freaky goyishe fascist weirdoes go all mitty about that, about some jar of pee in some gallery somewhere yet they couldn’t care less that buses are driving all over town with huge denials of Christian doctrine blazoned across them. Or that there are billboards all over town which can only be understood to imply that the Ten Commandments are stupid and shouldn’t be followed. And that we all know this and agree on it. Here are meaningful repudiations of Christianity, quite literal, one of them contradicting the idea of original sin and the other of the legitimacy of the Ten Commandments, but do you hear these concerned Christian fascist watchdogs complaining? Do you hear a peep out of them?
No. They don’t want to pick on a big pants company or the apple growers of Washington State or their Madison Avenue publicists. They don’t care if big fat rich capitalists denounce their Bible. They just want to pick on some barely-known artist who dips their mascot in pee. It’s like if you’re super rich they don’t care if you write “Jesus was a fake” with a red Sharpy across every page of the Gospel of John, but if you’re an artist they get their undies all in a bunch if you dip the dustjacket of the book in pee.
These people are stupid and evil, and that equals UGLY. Because they’re hypocrites. They claim to be vigilant fascist sheygitz and shiksa watchdogs, but they only weild their watchdogism against the little guy.
You know why? Because they love capitalism more than they love Jesus. Hey, it’s their religion. They’re entitled to love capitalism more than they love Jesus. But why do they call it Christianity? They should call it corporation worship. Dollar-lovism. Materialism. Or atheism. Devil worship. No, they should call it slavism. Consumerism. Antihumanism. Whatever. It sure isn’t Christianity. It’s ugly. It’s hypocrisy. So we were right all along about the Ugly being hypocrisy. Moment of truth good. Capitalism bad. Hypocrisy ugly.
Well, that was a fruitful dialogue with the universe, and I thank you for participating by being quiet and listening. Tune in between 10 and noon every Saturday on WNUR FM 89.3 Chicago’s sound experiment for National Beer Presents This is Hell, and listen all the way through so you can hear mejeffdorchen with The Moment of Truth.