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A Prescription for Head Colds and the Inauguration

It’s difficult to kick-start a column when the right word won’t come along.  And I’ve been searching all over the hotel too.  In one corner I found, “Effrontery,” but that doesn’t take in the totality of the event.  I located “Banality” by the vending machine, and it seemed a qualified candidate at first, but it’s not tall enough to reach the height of the insult.  But what do you think?  Because on one hand, we have the words of Abraham Lincoln:    

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.  With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor.  Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty.  And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.

Meanwhile, on the other hand, we have a man who, by word and deed, delights and brags on doing as he pleases with the property and lives of other men.  And yet(!) in a few days he will place his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible and swear an oath to uphold a Constitution which, by his own admission, he views as fundamentally flawed, which he has violated as a matter of routine in his first term in office, and which he will proceed to further overrule at every convenient opportunity.  The looming inauguration is not, therefore, just an effrontery, or a banality, or even an insult.  It is a profanation against the very concept of a solemn oath before God, a debauching of civic life and virtue, and a besmirching of our national heritage.  

Four years ago, my sister steadfastly refused to watch the inauguration on the grounds that she knew what this President was up to and she didn’t want to bear witness to the beginning of the onslaught.  I, however, watched it partly for the historic moment and partly due to the curiosity which compels one to watch, say, a car wreck.  Four years ago, at least there was the hope that once the veil was lifted and the “fundamental transformation” of America was revealed to be the replacement of a limited government with the imposition of increasingly centralized authority from Washington, that the people would reverse course and embrace the nation’s founding principles.  But that hope was revealed to be only so much rubbish and the hell with it.  

As I write these words, the television in the hotel lobby is playing video footage of natural disasters.  In these clips, people flee as quickly as possible from the path of the tornado, or the fire, the blizzard, or the rising flood waters.  I don’t mind watching that.  It’s the oaf that decides to go surfing as the waters rise, and who will expect others to rescue him from the consequences of his own stupidity, that causes me to change channels.  So I think I’ll do something else during the inauguration.  

I always enjoy reading the madcap ways in which some college students answer their test questions.  Why listen to vapid tributes to the genius of America from a President who doesn’t trust Americans with more than seven bullets to defend themselves when instead I can enjoy the resourcefulness of a student who instructs us that, “To collect fumes from sulfur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.”  After all, as one student observed, “When you breath, you inspire,” and “When you don’t breath, you expire,” and I’d much rather be inspired by these creative minds than expire while listening to the tired bromides of ideas that have bankrupted every country that has tried them.  

Better to read that “Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock,” than to hear that the remedy to evil in our time is to make it more difficult for the law abiding to defend themselves.  I’d rather learn that 300 Spartans died at Waterloo, or that Huey Long defeated George III during the Peloponnesian War somewhere close to the Alamo, than hear a President say that a health care law which provides for over 16,000 IRS agents (but not a single extra doctor) will improve the health of Americans.  Speaking of which, did you know that for a nosebleed, you should, “Put the nose lower than the body until the heart stops,” and that, “For head colds, use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops into your throat.” Or that a Vacuum is, “A large empty space where the pope lives?”  

So while others take blood pressure medication and try not to expire while an utterly meaningless oath is taken and empty platitudes bounce off sacred monuments, profaning the people those monuments honor and abusing the ears and minds of free men, I’ll acquaint myself with such antics as Honors English student Peter Nguyen engaged in when he wrote: 

Walt Whitman is 90 stories tall, and his adventures are legendary.  With his blue Ox, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman travelled across young America and helped the nation grow into the angry powerhouse it is today. He dropped his might axe, forming the Grand Canyon; the apple cores he would spit from his mighty mouth planted apple seeds all across the country; and the stomp of his mighty boot caused the stock market to crash.  He and his friend, Huck Finn, travelled down the Mississippi river and freed the slaves.  

It’s more honest, more refreshing, and beats the stew beef out of watching a self-inflicted, national car wreck.  

  1. Illiniguy

    This inauguration is brought to you by the letter “H”, as in “haughty”, “hypocrisy” and “hubris”.

  2. Western Chauvinist

     It is a profanation against the very concept of a solemn oath before God, a debauching of civic life and virtue, and a besmirching of our national heritage.  

    Now you’re talkin’, Dave. You found exactly the right words.

    What will I be doing during the inauguration? After I’m finished with my dental cleaning (performed by good God-fearing Americans), I’ll be hangin’ with my kids (MLK Day) and living the good life, mostly unassailed, perhaps for one last day, by Leviathan government. 

    God bless and protect us.

  3. Ron Selander

    “hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube”  ?

  4. The Mugwump

    We need a neologism, something that describes a semi-educated confidence man, motivated by malice, with a pathological belief in his own self-importance.  I give you “misanthocracy.”     

  5. Western Chauvinist
    ~Paules: We need a neologism, something that describes a semi-educated confidence man, motivated by malice, with a pathological belief in his own self-importance.  I give you “misanthocracy.”      · 1 minute ago

    Oooooh, I like it! The word. Not the misanthocrat.

  6. Dave Carter
    C
    Ron Selander: “hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube”  ? · 1 minute ago

    I know….  kids these days….

  7. Dave Carter
    C
    ~Paules: We need a neologism, something that describes a semi-educated confidence man, motivated by malice, with a pathological belief in his own self-importance.  I give you “misanthocracy.”      · 3 minutes ago

    Very nice.  Explains the gold plate behind his head too.  

  8. Giantkiller

    Dave – “Profanation.”  Le mot juste, so to speak.

    I watched 30 seconds of the first one – it was too much.  I reckon only the true believers will watch this second, more catastrophic inaugural.

    Paules – I like the word, misanthocracy.  Need to get a Brit to pronounce it for legitimacy purposes.

  9. Steven Jones

    Wow. That Lincoln quote is most apt for the time in which we live!

  10. raycon and lindacon

    Only Dave Carter can have you laughing hysterically while contemplating the absolute disaster storming upon us.  America’s first misanthrocrat president will ably lead the Misanthrocratic Party in the dismantling of the nation he ‘leads’.

    Linda had problems with the ‘Paul Bunyan’ reference.  She started with Johnny Appleseed, then on to Jack (of beanstalk fame), and by then I had lost track of your meaning, for a moment.

  11. DocJay

    I would rather self inject oxyclean. If he got up to his perch, flared his nostrils at the pleebs and said,”never have so many owed so much”, and discussed our debt, I think I’d have an infarct. What we get instead will be excuses for living beyond our means and excuses for jackbooted thugs entering our homes for a 223. Good Lord we need to find a way to stop this madness. Now is the time for all good men to squeeze the gays.

  12. jarhead
    C

    I’ll join you in not watching the train wreck.   Instead, I’ll take a sudafed for the head cold and go to my favorite shooting range for an hour or so of practice….

  13. Anna M.

    I’m going to follow your sister’s lead for this inauguration. 

    I ran across this gem in a survey-course blue book a few years back:

    “The Weimar Republic suffered from high unemployment and severe inflammation.”

    Ja, ve haff been svollen since 1918…

  14. Sweezle

    I’m with Anna and Dave’s sister. I saw clips from the first inauguration and thought it was important for historical reasons.  After four years of this economic train wreck and the defeat of Romney & Ryan I will not be watching. Not even small clips.

    I am sad and somewhat worried.  Normally I am very optimistic about our country but I have no interest in Monday’s events. I will read a good book and avoid it all. And hope my joy returns about politics.

  15. Trink

    “So while others take blood pressure medication and try not to expire while an utterly meaningless oath is taken and empty platitudes bounce off sacred monuments, profaning the people those monuments honor and abusing the ears and minds of free men . . . .”

    My husband and I, too, have been searching for an apt distraction from this ‘profanation’.   Only a broad historical perspective and the VDH prediction of nemesis brings any relief.

  16. Julia LaPlante

    Wow, Dave, just wow …  And all the comments.  I watched four years ago (I admit just to see what all the ladies were wearing!) — a camera panning over the Afro-Americans in the crowd during  one of the prayers (Obamas all didn’t even bow their heads).  But … I cry now to remember two dear black sisters who were praying up a storm and I thought, “Oh, good, they’ll intercede for the President.”  I thought, well, maybe things will be okay.  Dear hearts and gentle people, we are really under the judgment of a loving but just and righteous God.  Have mercy on us, O Lord.

  17. Richard Fulmer
    Julia LaPlante Have mercy on us, O Lord. 

    Obama certainly won’t.

  18. The Mugwump
    Dave Carter

    ~Paules: We need a neologism, something that describes a semi-educated confidence man, motivated by malice, with a pathological belief in his own self-importance.  I give you “misanthocracy.”      · 3 minutes ago

    Very nice.  Explains the gold plate behind his head too.   · 8 hours ago

    I think those are his ears, Dave.

  19. Dave Carter
    C

    Paules, I can’t block quote from my phone in this restaurant, but I want you to know two things: First, your comment that, “those are his ears,” is hilarious. Second, you owe me for the bourbon I spewed when I read it. Thank you.

  20. The Mugwump
    Dave Carter: Paules, I can’t block quote from my phone in this restaurant, but I want you to know two things: First, your comment that, “those are his ears,” is hilarious. Second, you owe me for the bourbon I spewed when I read it. Thank you. · 12 hours ago

    I would be more than happy to replace that bourbon the next time you’re in Santa Fe.