Matthew Paris :: Xiccarph :: View topic - Naturalization
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Matthew Paris

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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:15 pm - Naturalization
Many of you emigrants here want to know what it means to be an American. Youíve studied our texts, memorized some of our manuals; you know that America is about freedom and opportunity.When you fight for us as probably all of you will one day if we can ever find an enemy these days worthy of us, youíre not going to risk your life for either a king or a priest; youíll be defending your right to do whatever you please from making a million dollars to committing suicide, maybe both simultaneously if you want to.
I know youíve all come here to the United States to make money, not expire. Donít be too successful at either one is my advice. I know all about success; thereís nothing that makes humanity more equal than failure.
Of course we in America aren't perfect. Weíre expanding marriage to include two men or two women, or even three to five men with six or seven women; still we donít let anybody but human beings get married in this country. If youíre not human, if youíre some kind of dog or iguana, if you want to make love, if you want it to be legit, youíre on your own.
We have very strong ideas on what leaf you should smoke, whether or not you marry more than one of whatever it is youíre marrying or not marrying for that matter. We donít allow one way marriages. You can't marry yourself, You can marry somebody whoís an illusion, some gilded and fragrant celebrity youíd love to marry and divorce without them knowing it from the wedding to the subpoena so you can sue them and get their money.
If youíre a Catholic you can marry God; donít ask us to officiate at the ceremony. We civil servants have better things to do. Governments arenít around just to marry people. Weíd rather tax and make an occasional war. You can't marry us either; donít even try. If you marry God in a church you can marry Jesus in the same place. The devil too; he is never far away.
Whether you can marry God, the devil and Jesus and several other entities at the same time I donít know. Try it and see what happens. Metaphysical opportunity is the end if not the beginning of what freedom is all about. You can marry God and Jesus; you can marry imaginary people of your own fiction even in a church as long as that church is in America if you find the right cult. Thatís freedom of religion. Maybe if you cross the border you can do it with a gun in Tiajuana.
This is a free country; we still arenít in the science-fiction business. We are as free as they come on this planet; thatís not saying much. It is saying something. Maybe. If it isnít, so what? People are always talking nonsense. If you arenít free to babble, you arenít free. People will talk trash and be incoherent and worse anyway even if itís illegal.
Iíd hate to think I was the first to tell you about the mysteries of naturalization. You have to know a few things about American life that aren't in those obscenely obese manuals youíve brought here and read so carefully.
Iíll go through a few of these tricks of freedom; youíll hear about them in the street or it will bare at you from the innards of a television set when you walk out of here soon enough. Maybe youíve already heard about our crepuscular doxology in school back in your old country; sometimes even a good education canít do everything for you.
You have to know slights of alchemy you never learnt in the nightmare dumps you came from, cunning shifts in the eddies of freedom, elusive tactics you only need to access in our America when you have a few bucks in your pocket and nobody for good reason wants to know either you too well or your business.
First of all you have to master how to go into debt and declare bankruptcy again and again. If you spend only what you have we are going to have the biggest Depression youíve ever seen; then who knows whatíll happen? Who knows whatíll happen if we donít have one?
We all know itís old time scurvy attitudes of miserliness and rampant frugality of our ancestors, certainly no authorities about affluence, which can bring down a country. You donít want to come here to do that, do you? You didnít show up here in the United States to be a revolutionary and make celestial trash and landfill of us, have you? Maybe you have; maybe I have too. Thatís okay. Freedom is about that sometimes, isnít it? Or is it?
Weíd all like to know first what everything is, then what anything is. Freedom is an enigma really ultimately about what it isnít. Everybody thinks they know what slavery is; in the end thatís a riddle too. All its mysteries of indenture are external, thatís all.
Iíve glad youíve all come here and chosen freedom; remember thereís always a virtue and a dark side to everything, even ice cream, folks. Nobody knows that better than I do. God knows when theyíve offered me thirty two flavors, Iíve eaten some lousy ice cream. So have you. We all get the celestial runs in some cosmic dessert parlor along the way, donít we? Iíve noticed you get most of the bummers when theyíre blue or green and thereís more than one flavor. We look for things like that, donít we? Blue or green! Maybe thatís why freedom makes us uncomfortable.
Weíre on the freedom trains whether we like it or not. It sure as hell isnít making any local stops for us and there are no visible doors. Some want blow up the White House, kill our president, poison the water supply, turn off all the television sets forever out of impatience if they can; thatís okay, thatís freedom. If you donít do it, thatís freedom too.
Yet if I were you Iíd look into a eccentrics more interesting than anything I could think of. Let other people do the obvious. People have been blowing each other up since Atlantis. It doesn't matter whether itís free people or slaves doing it. It doesn't even matter whether God is mad at us and heís doing it all over again. In the end itís still the same cemetery. Whether itís the style of heaven or Earth, itís a graveyard. Of course some tombs are more expensive if theyíre not better than others. Take it from me, Iíve been in and out of a few of them.
Let your neighbors do the mayhem. Thatís what theyíre good for. Youíre a philosopher. You might have to go in Mexico of Canada if we go down; theyíre the two nearby countries you could escape to with anything you can carry if we have a real bust. Do you want to do it? Canadaís too damned cold; to be free you need to take off your overcoat once in a while. Mexico is always going to more poor than we will ever be, than we ever want to be. Believe me, you can't be free and poor as felicitously as you can be free and rich. Mexico has a genius for freedom that comes from poverty, not for liberty that one pays for. We donít have their gifts; they donít have ours. We canít make a good tamale either.
We have to import people from Mexico for a lot of things more than tamales. Let Canadians freeze if they havenít got the sense to stay indoors; I say: let Mexico do what itís good at. You donít want to be in either place. You wouldnít order spaghetti in Iraq, would you? Maybe you would. Maybe I would too. In that case, we both deserve Iraqi spaghetti.
Let me get into the nitty gritty of this freedom you all came here from some nightmare to enjoy. Anybody can be free if they nock off everybody else. We can all be a good guy if there are no bad guys. We can be free if weíre severely frugal and celibate; you might ask what kind of freedom is that? Do I know? If we donít like people we can figure out how to get there we can all be free on an asteroid. Iíd rather be in Philadelphia.
Are you folks ready for freedom? Iím not talking about a salary, a chance to watch television without getting shot or too fat to get up from the couch. Freedom means youíve got to be free to be a bad guy. If you canít be evil, you might as well go home; otherwise it isnít freedom.
You could start learning how to be really wicked at first by being merely weak. Evil is hard to do initially for some of us as eating grapefruit. Donít go at your major weaknesses right away though; so many people do, then later realize they missed the really gaudy scenic trail to their own very colorful perdition.
You might start off cautiously by getting a credit card and going as much as you can into debt. You donít have to take up a terminally heavy debt right Amy; take your time, give it at least a half hour. America is not in a hurry to see you fall apart. Nobody is really.
Take a few years, not a few weeks to borrow so much on those cute little plastic rectangles to the point where you can never pay them back even if you rob Fort Knox and win the lottery. You can only kill them. You discover after a while canít murder them though because they donít exist. Then enjoy that midnight ride into financial oblivion and humiliation. Everybody else you know and even armies of desperate souls you will never know do.
If you donít have the craft to go into deep debt, you should at least be proud of your garbage dump where you throw everything away. Then you can buy more things at the mall exactly like the old stuff. You shouldnít feel as if anybody forced you into being hungry for bits of plastic, even addicted for what you donít need. In a free country when your spirit is utterly and truly empty, your wallet all but terminally bankrupt, you should and donít ever blame the state or even the whim of Allah.
No, this is a free country; you get there because you sure as hell wanted to be there. You should blame yourself and get a therapist to prescribe some pill to make you sane if they ever invent one. If they do the therapist will gobble them all down like candy himself out of his own despair and leave you with not even an stray aspirin.
There are a lot of things in stores in the future you donít know about that you donít have a clue youíll perceive you need like oxygen yet. Products you donít guess have ever existed or that could manifest themselves in these dimensions will have an exotic yet familiar savor you canít imagine now that one day youíll thirst for like a vampire.
Youíll know about them all soon enough. You wonít be able to do without all kinds of little unimaginable toys weíve made for you to give you a focus for action.
You need a place to put things before for a day or so before you throw them out. That means you need a very big house with a three floors, a cellar, a sub cellar, a huge back yard, an attic, maybe a shed or a barn where you can dump everything. Otherwise, who knows, you might crowded out of your own house. Iíve been chased out of three of them myself by my own unquenchable shopping. Itís okay; you just buy another house and fill that one up too. You canít fill up more than a few hundred houses in this Creation before you die. Thereís not enough time. Space itself is infinite. It is capacious enough for you and a lot more than you.
I know many people to whom thatís happened; theyíre on their fourth or fifth house now. Some have old railroad stations and airport hangars filled with all kinds of wonderful things theyíve collected. They can't even get near their homes through the clogged street much less walk in the front door. Their dogs all die of asphyxiation because they was crushed by an avalanche of falling merchandise that pin them to the floor.
Some people call us American demon collectors crazy; are we? If you can afford being nuts, believe me, you must be doing something right. Here youíre damned well free to do it.
When you run out of money, youíve been fired from your job because you stole from them, even mortgaged their building to pay for buying all these wonderful gewgaws, youíll met a lot of friends in Bankruptcy Court just like you. Theyíll all look like you too, obese, a little stupefied from getting second helpings of those thirds on the super creamy rice pudding at the celestial trencher when they throw those all-you-can-eat lunches at one of these posh little joints in the local mall.
Their dream is like yours; to fill the whole universe with their and your garbage. Then you hope to move on to another cosmos. Youíre glad your country is developing rocket ships; youíll need them unless you fill all of them up too. Maybe you can a deal with the astral spiders on Mars. Some do. Maybe I have already. Youíll never know.
After you get your second coronary, donít worry about anything. Your receivers have to figure out how to sell all your junk, not you. Whom are they going to sell it to, other people like you? When they buy it and you spend the money on hamburgers, what happens when youíre all broke?
Thatís the time when everybody in America heads for Mars in a plastic Armada. You can collect things there you donít even have a name for. The Martians donít either. Iíve never met a Martian whoís big on names.
This little chat with the judge youíll have next week when you go into debt is going to be only the first time youíll declare bankruptcy. I have friends who have been thorough those beautifully designed chambers with pictures of Joe Louis on them four or five times.
Debt is a way of life in America nobody worries about but the Amish. Corporations and States are in debt; even dogs, cats and iguanas are in debt. Even children are bankrupt. People think they havenít seen God lately because heís in debt. You might be ostracized by the people in haven and hell if you donít owe money. You might even be killed though youíre dead already.
Some American martyrs and saints feel very pious about debt; I donít feel pious about anything. I know when the doors are locked you can always make a deal. I can even work out things what my ex-wife; I can tolerate anybody.
Still, even if you want to, you can't be solvent and happy here. Nobody will talk to you. If you arenít heavily into big time loans to what might be imaginary corporation or even more unlikely people, thereís nothing to talk about. Even if you want to talk about sex, nobody wants to listen. Theyíre too busy trying to figure out how to get past the garbage on the street to the front door of their house to bury their dog.
You could fake your debt, of course; most people at first like to fake lack of it. Donít do it. Being in debt is a good way to meet lovers. You may wonder who is holding the markets on debt. Donít ever say it in America. Itís too scary.
Iíll probably see you all in Bankruptcy Court myself; Iím on my way there now. Donít be shy, make sure you say hello. Iím no better, no different than you. Iím just one of the veterans. My kids are worse; they can't get into hundreds of California ranch houses. I have hordes of mating raccoons in the outskirts of three suburban towns eating my junk.
Freedom, folks, when we take it makes you and me invisible as ghosts. We become inexplicable in a realm where words are always half banalities.
Sadly freedom gives most of us in America a chance to pick our preference in financial slavery. Not me. I chose to create garbage; I stuff the universe deliberately consciously with a landscape of plastic landfill for a good reason. Itís good for raccoons. I like most but not all raccoons.
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