Cities of Refuse

Week 27

Cities of Refuse

The biggest challenge this week for me will to not weigh myself down to the point of not writing due to my disgust with the mass of stupidity that has been clogging social media. The most recent that I have observed began with the latest load of manure over coffee cup colors and ended with idiotic “responses” to the tragedies of Beirut and Paris. It won’t be easy, as the pile only keeps growing. Be honest, folks. How many gardens could we organically fertilize and grow to feed the hungry on this planet, if such words ever became what they are worth? If it could happen, I swear we could do away with world hunger.

Especially now that the compost machines are in overdrive since our brothers and sisters in Beirut and Paris have once again suffered at the hands of radical religionists. What galls me most, however, is not only the attacks, but the reaction of the so-called “pundits” (i.e. the psychological reptiles and/or moral Sodomites who follow reality TV’s example and stir up any and all evil impulses they think will sell). And they’ve grabbed it with both hands and both feet as one more chance. One more chance to blame a president elected to deal with the disaster “their side” created. One more opportunity to claim America for “real” (read WASP) Americans. One more unreasonable reason to turn the USA back to a time when people didn’t know human rights from their left elbow. One more chance to sell Fear, sell even more Fear, sell more Fear than anyone else and be the more recognized for it.

Bless their thin-skinned little egos.

Yes, I believe in freedom of speech and all that it implies. However, it is times like these when there is much to be done (as opposed to talked to death), that I wish we had Cities of Refuse for the “pundits” to spew their muck, thereby letting those of us whose hearts still feel and whose hands are still willing to get on with it care for the wounded and the survivors without the burden of self-righteous flumadiddle.

Off hand, I can imagine three models for these Cities of Refuse (assign whomever you like to each): The first with white picket fences and “gentlemen’s agreements” as to who lives where for the just-shy-of-moderates xenophobia. Very comfortable for the inhabitants and the only news to be offered is that which will certify the common held protect-your-own-against-Them beliefs. Nothing too extreme, nothing controversial, everyone guards his own and maintain privacy and status quo. Differences of opinion are settled in the Court of Common Gossip, where Tweets never die.

The second comes furnished with stained glass, wooden pews and hymnals alongside an assortment of Scriptural translations for those who cannot talk sensibly without extensive quotes from that ambiance and material. They have fellowship within their preferred Scripture. They are welcome to ignore those who choose other fellowships. They may feel the need to seek common ground, if only to prove the rightness of their chosen beliefs, but, because in this City Scripture must be quoted, “thus far may you come but no further.”* This is still a relatively peaceful place and not a bad place for retreat and reflection. I am not, however, personally convinced that this is any place to truly live.

Finally, I imagine an underground City. It must be hidden from the light of day and any outside influence that could possibly change minds. The wall would, of necessity, have to be padded and the walkways appear to be straight and smooth. The inhabitants would be fed, clothed and equipped only with ever-burning lanterns and flagellants. Each is a dogma unto her/himself. In this City, each denizen could reassure her/himself that only s/he has the true light to see. S/he could also beat doubt and the possibility of a different idea from her/his body; as well as offer to do the same for anyone else who might be wavering.

I don’t much care if these are “real” ideas or not. I told you – I’ve imagined them. It’s what I do. And I have my own list of whom to assign where.

Thus, I follow the excellent example of a dear friend, Dick Heyman, and leave you with a song:

*Job 38:11, NIV.

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