[Spoken Word Art]
An O-D-E to the O-T-D.
This piece was written for a recent Footsteps event, at which there was a doctor, several lawyers, an amateur statistician, a few seasoned rhetoricians, and lots of wannabe academics.
An old friend sent me an email last week:
Can you give me / an O-T-D / who as far as I can see / isn’t / depressed?
Can you give me / an O-T-D / who has found / Success?
What is success? / I asked.
Success / my friend said / is a doctor / a lawyer / a scientist / an academic.
Well… Do we have a doctor in the house? (In fact we do.)
But what we don’t have are those / doctors of souls. Those / men of wisdom / who will / heal your mind. Blind / faith, they’ll say, will cure your / heart, but apart / from retaining the wisdom of fools, staining / your brain’s temporal lobes, your / cerebral cortexes sucked into vortexes that will / drown your thoughts in a morass of muck, fuck / with your mental equilibrium, render your / logic distorted, contorted in / mental gymnastics neither flexible nor balanced, you’ll / still remain ill with disgust / your mind in dogmatic delirium / your sickly conscience / disturbed, perpetually perturbed for fear of failing to curb / heavenly vengeance.
Thank goodness, we / don’t have one of those / physicians.
Any lawyers in the house?
Oh, we have lawyers, master rhetoricians / who will cross examine your ass so fast at the slightest hint of / superstition, petition your / mind for caution, demand / suspicion of any claim that / won’t hold water, they / won’t falter when you shout, they’ll / knock you out with more than / reasonable doubt. / Advocates of reason, freezing the / poisonous voices of those who / accuse us of treason, those who / excuse the abuses of persons with toxic perversions. / Our advocates won’t / please your populist notions of / adhering to age old devotions only to / satisfy infantile emotions.
Our statisticians will prove the fraud of your Bible Codes / equidistant lettering purportedly / fettering the heretical sanity by / deluding ignorant masses with an illusion that passes for / scientific reality. We have no / Aryeh Kaplans, no / Gerhard Schroders / pandering apologists / tenaciously arguing mendacious suggestion such as / what…? Perhaps we should / mate with apes…?! Our young fertile minds decline to resign to / the blind assertions of / intelligent design.
Academics, he says. Do we have academics.
Well, one thing about this very loud crowd is that / we put academics to shame, our / polemics are so inflamed we make sophists look lame. / We’re badass nerds / roaring dorks / geeks kicking hard bookish butt turning an actuary exam into a cakewalk.
Yes, we teach too. We’ll teach you to / philosophize, theorize on / how good your butt and thighs / look in those jeans / or, the means by which to / pick up a girl during advanced calculus / lock eyes with that cute guy in the lab / rock out at / a religion debate / how to party hard and sneak a drink into / (whisper) Footsteps.
We’ll also teach you to / stand strong, to take the pain the world throws your way / take it to a lab, and return a / positive result. We’ll teach you the / best part of a shoulder to cry on / we’ll teach you that / family isn’t only defined by blood, and that / now that we’re family, we can / pull your hair / steal your book / write nasty comments on your Facebook wall, but / we’ll still love you / and when you need us we’ll be here and / help you stand tall.
Success, he asks. Success, my friend, is / escape from repression. / Successful is she / whose abuses are only / a distant memory. / A successful O-T-D / according to me / is one who left / and kept his sanity.Printable Version