"The men ... people admire the most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." Henry Louis (H. L.) Mencken
Once upon a time in a land far away, a little puppet boy called Pinocchio, was carved out of wood by a real live little old human man by the name of Geppetto.
What Geppetto and the little puppet boy did however behind closed doors is still under investigation.
In any event, the excitable little innocent puppet P eventually ventured out intothe world, skipped school, got too chummy with a bunch of local riff-raff, told a bunch of lies for which his punishment was an ever-growing snooze. Ya stretch the truth, ya stretch your nose. It's morally equivalent to: if you play with your trouser trout, you'll get pimples or when ya really frail away after like a mad monk,you'll go blind.
By story's end however, while wearing Clearasil, and almost blind, Pinocchio learns to be a good little do-bee, his nose returns to normal,and he becomes a real little human boy, after being re-united with the big G in the belly of a fish ... where they met a very, very old man named Jonah who wailed "get me out of here, will ya!" ... the moral of that sub-plot part of the story being - if you hear and listen to voices, you bloody-well deserve to get put in a straight-jacket and locked away in the belly of a whale!
And so, the story ended ... supposedly ... happily ever-after.
Well, you might ask, what happened to Pinocchio when he became an adult and left his small Italian village?
While never verified, legend has it that Pinocchio immigrated to Canada where the former marionette married a local girl and sired a family, including the eldest, little Pinocchio Junior.
Pinocchio Junior was a jovial, smiling suburban kid who studied hard at school and played a little pond and road hockey with the rest of the neighbourhood NHL wanna-bees.
Of course, given his family history, little PJ's favourite childhood TV friends were Howdy Doody and Woody Woodpecker. (What can I say folks! Some days, I'm on a roll!).
After high school though, PJ headed for the foothills of Alberta to work in the petroleum business. Leaning heavily on the lessons taught by his once wayward puppet father, little PJ understood that if you put your ... ahem ... nose to the grindstone, it would not only not grow longer, but you'd be rewarded with oodles and oodles of money, and be able to enjoy what are known to the higher classes as "family values". You can then stand on your gold-plated balconies and cast your pearls among the swine and force unwed mothers down alley-ways to seek abortions ... and such things, then preach about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, till death do us part, regardless of how sick and twisted the situation is ... and so on and so forth ... tilltheir own little off-spring, little Jimmy and Jenny, are standing on street corners pushing pictures of the little lord Jesus oreven harder core drugs, but I digress.
A bit of self-confessed nerd and bookworm, PJ studied the neo-conservative economic theories of Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, Maggie Thatcher, and the National Citizens' Coalition along with the editorials of the Western Front magazine and the pontifications of the Fraser Institute. "Zowie, Timber Tom!" little PJgasped.
The common denominator of these theories being, in simple negro and white terms, rich good or government bad, cause that's the way God ordained it.
God, of course, is a white man with a beard who used to hang around the Middle East, killed off a bunch of other gods and their worshippers, spoke to some people thru burning bushes or after they were sun-baked and half-cracked, eating locusts andliving in the desert, then caused a bunch of floods and destruction whenever he was right pissed, knocked-up the Virgin Mary out of wedlock after sending Moses down from the mountain with a list of definitive no-nos, most of which the big G had already broken himself.. and the story goes up Calvary hill and thendown Calvary hill from there ... and then he ends up moving to America and talking to some dork in the White House, but I digress, yet again.
Stealing from the poor and keeping it with the rich was de rigour, so policies of de-regulation and downsizing, welfare 'reform', etc were enacted faster than you could say Jack the Ripper and little PJ, while not a puppet in the wooden sense, did get a little woody growing in his underwear when pouring over 'the gospel according to Uncle Milty, and the Chicago School.
Pouring over the same tomes, other budding neo-cons screamed "That sounds like fun; nowall we need is a leader!"
After a few pseudo-free market prophets for profit had come and gone, little PJ, the real deal,grown in their own laboratory, became the country's top government official. "Yahoo!" screamed the religiously Right.
The yahoos finally had the keys to the Emerald City.
Those communist bleeding-heart liberals and Red Tories, Toto and Dorothy and her band of straw men, tin men, and kooky lions could be locked-up and guarded by the Wicked Witch of the West, Presto Mano-a-mano, with his attached-to-the-hip sidekick, Knife Harris Tweed.
Well ... as Sir Isaac Newton once showed us, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree my friends. Little PJ could not escape the genetic code, his ancestral chromosomes ... . the fated forked-tongue!
At first, PJ didn't even notice it, the little lapses in truth; but then he begansequestering himself away in his little fudge castle down by the river. The Press, the TV anchormen and their little minions were all to be avoided - at any cost. At every slip of the inherited Wagging Wonder, little PJ could ill-afford any public display of his famous family frailty.
Better not to talk at all or say very little. And so, good fortune smiled on little PJ. His nose did not grow.
Alas, down deep in the bowls of his chromosomal legacy, the little mutant rebelliouscells chanted "Hey! Hey! DNA will have its way!"
The result? Every time little PJ eventhinks of a whopper, with whichto bestow upon, and mesmerize, the plebes, he gains weight.
He's turned into a regular little porker!
If you watch him in the House of Horrors, every time he rises to answer a question, he buttons up his jacket ... cause he knows, 'another fib, another pound of flesh fat.'
When he stays seated and gets one of his own freshly carvedpuppets to take the floor, he wriggles, squiggles,and jiggles, cause he feels the fat farmhard at work packingmore pork onto the pork loins. He's fast-becoming the Pig That Ate Hogtown!
Now, what will become of the little P no one can really say.
I suspect there is every chance that some day he'll just explode from the belly of his own whale.
The neo-con Spin Doctors of courseare spinning the tale to suggest that little PJ is simply evolving into the 21st Century Buddha as was foretold long ago by that merry old international man of myth and mystery, "blind hand me baby," Adam Smith.
Well what do I know ....
Time, as it always does, will tell ... and Time never lies.
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This article was vetted and approved by Jacob Marley and George Washington.
Bob Stark is a musician, poet, philosopher and couch potato. He spends his days, as did Jean-Paul Sarte and Albert Camus, pouring lattes and other adult beverages into a recycled mug, bearing a long and winding crack. He discusses, with much insight and passion, the existentialist and phenomenological ontology of the Vancouver 'Canucks,' a hockey team, "Archie" comic books and high school reunions. In other words, Bob Stark is a retired public servant living the good life on the wrong coast of Canada.
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