Friday, May 22, 2015

Valuable, an Underfable


          Once upon a time, the Emperor hosted a banquet. Some of his guests dined with cutlery and plates made of gold; but his most honored guests dined with cutlery and plates made of a metal even rarer than gold; element 13, known as Aluminum.
          After the banquet, the servants piled the gold and aluminum plates into the kitchen sink; and there gold whispered to aluminum, “How does it feel to be one of the valuable metals?”
          Aluminum said, “But valued for what? My lightness? My strength? My ductility? My protective oxide coating? No, just my rareness!”
          Gold said, “What more do you need? Look at me! Who cares that I’m ductile, nonreactive and conductive? I’m rare, so I rule the world!”
          Aluminum said, “That’s not what I want.”
          Thirty years later electrochemists learned how to extract aluminum from bauxite cheaply by the tonne. A century later a railway worker laid his gold retirement watch next to a can of beer. There gold whispered to aluminum, “They have cheapened you.”
          Aluminum said, “Yes! I am beer cans, baseball bats, lawn chairs, airplanes and foil! They use me, they use me up, I am everywhere!”
          Gold said, “You are common. You are worthless.
          Aluminum said, “I am useful! And they love me for what I am!”
Gold started to weep.
Aluminum said, “There, there, someday you too will be cheap…”

Moral: Better to serve than to reign.

        Comment: Poor blondie! So fiercely desired, so jealously guarded, but not for its own virtues, only for keeping score! So lonely!
Whereas aluminum is happy, and why? Because aluminum is the People’s metal!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Saint Dragon and the George, an Underfable

          Saint Dragon and the George

          Once upon a time, a Dragon awoke to the sound of holiday celebration from a nearby Human town. It rumbled, “This agitation must be suppressed.” The Dragon scuttled out of its den, unfolded its enormous wings and lifted into the sky with a cry of “LAW AND ORDER!”
          Halfway to town the Dragon landed, fried a flock of sheep with one breath, and devoured them in one gulp. It belched a fireball and said, “I am the victim here.” Then it resumed flight.
          Once above town it howled and blazed. Humans scattered before it like ants, and they withered under its fire-blasts. The Dragon roared, “Acceptable collateral damage!” It tore down the Bank, shoveled gold and jewels through its mouth into its crop, then said, “Criminal loot confiscated!” The Dragon lifted off, setting fires everywhere. It flew away from the fire-storm, and it bellowed, “I have destroyed the town in order to save it!”
          Once back in its den the Dragon coughed gold and gems out of its crop onto its hoard. It curled around its hoard, closed its eyes and rumbled, “Doing well by doing good.”
          The next day, a Knight entered the Dragon’s den. He had fireproof armor and a sharp sword. The Dragon roared, “Unprovoked aggression shall not stand!” They battled, and the Dragon suffered a mortal wound. With its dying breath it said, “History will vindicate me.”

          Moral: Even a monster can claim virtue.

Comment: Noam Chomsky said, “Benign intentions are virtually always professed, even by the worst monsters, and hence carry no information, even in the technical sense of that term.” The last eight words display Chomsky’s characteristic rigor and sarcasm.
I read this, then asked myself, “Even the worst monsters? All right then, why not a dragon?” Thus this fable was conceived.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bad Spell, an Underfable

     Bad Spell

          Once upon a time, a zealous Cockroach skittered up to an I-phone and scritched out this email to some secular Soldiers:

          Hay you luzrz!!!!!!! Stop makin trubble 4 us holy folk!
          Whats this bout seprashun uv church & state? There aint no seprashun uv church & state; I kno cuz I reddit on teh Internets. Me and any other theocrat agrees that sum kinda Lord oughta run teh gummint; which spissific Lord we’ll figger out later, mine uv corse haha.
          So fork U 4 blockin churchs power 2 forse relijus indoktrinashun on sojers. Also 2 grab summa them $weet gummint $ub$ideez 4 travelin & caterin & consultin & whatnot. Whats relijun 4 but 2 get stuff 4 free?
          ’Sides, MY Lord reely IS teh 1 troo Lord uv sojers. That’s cuz war is Hell, & He is Lord uv Hell.
          So U betta stop yur lawsoots or else my luvin Lord, in His holy h8, will send U 2 teh Other Place, 2 freez on icy cloud-tops & wear lame-o robes, sandulls & halos & strum on untoond harps & sing kiss-ass jive 2 that commie hippy peacenik do-gooder kike & all his spic cunt faggot beggar nigger saints, 4EVA & EVA & EVA. Meenwile me & my best frenemies will be down deep, toasty warm, throwin a PARTEEE!
          HALE SEITAN!

          The Cockroach clicked ‘send’, and scurried down the table-leg to the floor; but before he reached safety, a Human stepped on him.
          His indestructible cockroach soul instantly teleported to the throne-room of Hell. He chittered, “Lord, I did it! I sent the email you asked! To those troublemaking secular soldiers! Didn’t I do good?”
          Satan closed his eyes, accessed files, then said, “Ah, yes, that email.” He opened his eyes. “No, vermin, you did not ‘do good’.”
          “W-what did I do wrong?”
          Satan said, “Take the first three words. Only two were misspelled! Why not all three? You failed to use a capital U for y-o-u!”
          “I forgot! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”
          Don’t grovel!” Satan raged. “You know I don’t like groveling! And what’s with those multiple exclamation points? Only seven?  Didn’t I directly order you to use thirteen?
          “B-but the main text, Lord! Its smugness, illogic, greed and hate!”
          Barely adequate,” Satan said, teeth gritted. “And you flirt with honesty! Which is against Company policy! And worst of all…”
          “The ending. Hale Seitan. H-A-L-E! S-E-I-T-A-N! What, am I healthy wheat gluten?
          “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”
          You cringing idiot!” Satan rose from his throne and pointed his left arm straight at the former Cockroach. His fist was clenched, his middle finger extended. He intoned, “For your incompetence, I hereby devolve you to an even lower life form!
          He shot a lightning bolt out of his middle finger: ZOTZ!
          The former Cockroach groaned and said, “Where am I? What am I?” He looked down and saw two arms, two legs, a business suit and Guccis. He looked around and saw studio lights, TV cameras, choir and audience. A banner on the wall read Dominion Gospel Hour. He looked at his hands; his right hand held a microphone, and his left wrist bore an oversized gold-plated diamond-studded wristwatch.
          The former Cockroach wailed, “Oh no! I’m a Televangelist!

          Moral: Haters will prate.

          Comment: This Underfable emphasizes the importance of correct spelling. It is dedicated to Bonnie and Mikey Weinstein, founders of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, discoverers of a nest of Dominionist theocrats in America’s armed forces. They are true heroes of the Republic, if only for reading through hate mail spelled even worse than what’s here.
          The Cockroach was twice almost honest, in the last sentences of the second and third paragraphs of his email. I leave evaluating the fourth paragraph to theologians and soldiers. His threat of Heaven is as convincing, and in a similar spirit, as a televangelist’s threat of Hell. His cascade of vile slurs climaxes with ‘saints’.