Posts Tagged Henry David Thoreau
“I have so many selves, I cannot contain them all” –Kobo Abe
Never enough hand sanitizer
Bottles and bottles everywhere
But not a drop to drink
A bathtub filled with antiseptic
For the terminally dyspeptic
And still not enough to drown in
Never enough hand sanitizer
To kill the sin of germs
To kill the pain of waking
To kill the dissonance and consonance
Of everyday hell
Never enough hand sanitizer
To sting the wound into unbeing
All factors beyond the control
Of those who wish to vanquish
And be vanquished
Never enough hand sanitizer
To ebb the fatal tide
As the mass of men lead lives of desolate calculation
Never to emerge from slumber
Even in our waking nightmare
Some of the people we view as great Americans have spent the better part of their lives being derided and defamed, only to later be discovered as incredible human beings. Harry Truman was a wildly unpopular President who was viewed as incompetent by many in the press. Today, he is viewed as one of the great Presidents of the modern era. Muhammad Ali was once believed to be a draft dodging, loud mouth braggart who was disgracing the sport of boxing and America itself. When the “Sportsman of The Century” lit the Olympic torch in 1996 in Atlanta, there was almost no mention of that.
There are some people just like this in our world today. One such man inhabits the world of heavy metal. This local hero, defender of humanity, and social activist has sat quietly in the face of persecution for many years. That man is Deicide vocalist Glen Benton.
Most of Glen’s early works, much like those of Henry David Thoreau, focus on the abuses committed by the dominant religious system in America. In a world racked by grief and suffering, Benton posed questions like “How can you call yourself a God?” He also passionately revealed the mistreatment of God’s followers in his work with potent lines like “God is the reason we live in dismay, it is his will that this world is suffering”. After this intense period of anti-religious activism, Benton was directed by his own ethical compass inward to a more gentle period of his life.
Thus began his “furry adoption phase”. He began by adopting a few baby bunnies. The more bunnies he adopted, the bigger his heart swelled. At one time, the Benton house was home to over 300 baby bunnies. He adopted many other animals included wounded llamas, lemurs and aardvarks, but it was the bunnies that he forged the deepest connection with. This led to the most musically awkward phase of Benton’s career.
In 1994, Deicide tried to release the album “Cute Little Bugs” which was rejected by the record label and later re-recorded the next year with different lyrics as “Once Upon The Cross”. The looming threat of commercial failure in the midst of soaring rabbit food costs was a wake-up call to Benton. He got back on the anti-God musical bandwagon in order to continue to support the incredible collection of animals who relied on him for sustenance.
The next major event in Benton’s life is still shocking to many. On a gloomy late December morning, he received a knock on his door. When he opened it he found a young orphan left in a basket on his doorstep with a note that read simply “Jesus”. Benton, who could have easily eaten or sold the baby, instead committed the next years of his life to raising him, feeding him out of a bottle, and even going so far as to suckle him from his own teat. As he grew older, Jesus began eating sugary cereal, watching cartoons, and collecting Pokemon cards. In those days they were one big happy family- Benton, Jesus, and all 300 of the cuddly bunnies. He recalls that Jesus was just like any other normal kid, and that he often left crayons in his pockets which would melt in the wash.
The mixing of Jesus and the bunnies under one roof is how our modern Easter tradition came about. We can all thank Glen Benton for that. However, when Mary and God, the child’s rightful parents, returned to claim him, Benton lost a bitter custody battle and had to say good-bye to young Jesus.
Years later, Jesus was arrested and crucified by the Roman authorities for shoplifting. He still blames God for allowing the death of his young friend. Had young Jesus stayed in Benton’s care, the two would still be happily sitting on a couch watching episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba. Things turned out far differently. Still haunted by those terrible memories, Benton has spent much of the latter part of his career singing about Jesus’ unfortunate death.
This was a dark and distressing period for Benton. He sought to make a strong statement about the injustices God had committed against his once foster son. He burned an upside-down cross into his forehead as a constant reminder of the grave injustice that had been committed. This act, while viewed as completely insane by some, has earned him the occasional comparison to the Buddhist monks who set themselves in fire in protest of the South Vietnamese government in the 1960s by those who understand Benton’s commitment to social justice.
Since that time, Benton has been busy teaching a young generation not to die on crosses or listen to their idiot parents, even if they are God. He has constantly been portrayed in as negative light by the media, having been called the everything from a terrible influence on America’s youth to the Antichrist. The truth is, Benton an activist in the mold of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Sean Penn. More than anything, Glen needs our love and understanding. Compassion for The Caco-Daemon is a non-profit group that has been started to collect letters of support and affection for Glen and his important cause. They are currently accepting handwritten cards (preferably in crayon) to encourage Benton to continue his fight.
Cards can be mailed to:
Compassion For The Caco-Daemon
PO Box 2204
Gresham, OR 97030
I wanted to start the New Year off with some valuable, insightful nuggets of wisdom from the most quoted man in American history, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Here are a few particularly brilliant ones that have touched me at nearly every level of my being. Hopefully, you can carry these words with you as we embark on a journey into another year of wonder and beauty. This is my gift to you, dear reader. May they fill your days with sunshine and your nights with endless darkness.
“A dreamer is a person who is asleep and is thinking about things.”
“A man of genius is a man who can find a way to make large amounts of money in a short period of time without going to federal prison.”
“If you follow the path, you will eventually find the thing you were looking for. Unless that thing is at the beginning of the path. Then, you’ve missed it. But, you can always go back. Unless there is a gate that automatically closes when you go through it. Or guards. With rifles.”
“Make sure that you live each and every day as if you were going to be hit by a bus at any second.”
“Live your dreams, except for the one where you are trapped in a cow’s stomach.”
“Thoreau spent a night in jail and a few years in the woods and suddenly he has something to say. No one has ever gotten more out of less suffering. Y’all act like he was Job or something.”
“As we grow old, we tend to wrinkle more. Like a shirt.”
“Democracy is a good way to get people to go along with absurd rules and even believe they had some role in their creation. If that doesn’t work, tell them they are going to hell if they don’t obey.”
“Children are vile. Except in soup.”
“Don’t waste your life on useless things like going to work, personal hygiene or repairing misunderstandings. Live as if you are going to die and you don’t really want anyone at your funeral.”
“Finish each day as if it’s 11:59 PM.”
“A confident man is someone who catches fire and asks for a cigarette.”
“Live in the sunshine every moment of the day or night. Drink water directly from the ocean. Eat poorly prepared, undercooked meat. Pretend no rules apply to you.”
“Nothing can bring you peace except for the extinction of the other 7 billion parasites around you.”
“Nothing great was ever achieved without a fawning and deluded public.”
“Shallow men believe that getting hair restoration will make them attractive to 22-year-old women. Smart men know that it’s better to pay them directly.”
“The world belongs to those who have lots of money. Or an army.”
“Tis a good person who would be willing to give up a kidney to save a friend. Tis an idiot who would give up a lung.”
“We all boil rice differently.”
“Whoso would begin a quote with the term “whoso” is probably trying to say something that is pretty simple but might appear to be more complex due to the use of arcane language.”
“It’s easy to be misunderstood when you mumble.”
“For every genius, there are 100 men smarter than him who have bad breath.”
“When times are difficult, buy gold and help no one.”
“The reward of doing something well is watching someone come along and carelessly screw things up.”
“Remember that guy who sat behind you in health class in 10th grade and stuck a paperclip up his nose and had to have surgery. He now runs a bank.”