Johnnersintheraw's Blog

May 7, 2010

Concerning the Plight of Pigs

What did they ever do to deserve us?

It’s time we took a stand for our porcine friends. It wasn’t their fault that in the past, many of them were infected with trichinosis and various other wormy parasites and inconveniences. I mean, they didn’t exactly go down to the local ‘Plagues R Us’ super store and stock up on the latest infections and infestations simply to annoy the so-called superior human race and ask for trouble.  Pigs may have irritating voices and they may not have opposable thumbs (and as we all know, he who has the opposable thumb rules the world), but if we didn’t have pigs to kick around, many, many more people would be dying of starvation than already are.  Plus, we wouldn’t all be wearing pigskin jackets or have pigskin seat-covers in our cares, and the Americans sure as hell wouldn’t have invented their peculiar brand of football – which is sorta like bastardised and little girlie rugby, only with more timeouts and a whole lot more armour-plating.  Kick of those players in the groin, and he wouldn’t even squeak. And as for the Brazilian National Football team, you can forget them for a start, because pork is about all they eat. So the next time you feel like supporting their team, send a few good thoughts to the pigs of Brazil.

In any case, pigs are peaceful, generous-hearted creatures, and if left alone are quite content to spend their lives doing piggy things, occasionally invading our crops, but generally staying out of our way   If only the reverse were true.

Now I’m not going to get into the old, well-trodden theological arguments, simply because they are all made-up anyway (in spite of a lot of old men who might like to disagree or even to dismember me in some way). In fact the only thing I’m going to say regarding the religious declarations concerns the following home truth:  when – in the Jewish tradition – pigs were declared unclean, their fellow creatures among the despised of the earth seemed to have included such delicacies as lobsters and crab and langoustine.  Now why is it that none of us – barring the most observant Jews, of course – seem to remember this?  But never mind, because that particular inconvenience was solved when this other fellow – the one with the beard and the glowing halo, came along and put in his two cents’ worth.  But of course, you know who he was.  His name was Jesus (and no, he was not my Mexican cousin or my aunt).  Anyway, this Jesus (who seemed to have been quite a decent fellow, except when he yelled at his mother) – talked it over with his friends.  And being the good team-player that he was – he decided the world would be a far better place, and certainly better for real estate agents, if they allowed a more flexible diet.  In other words, ‘surf ‘n’ turf’. And so Jesus called everyone together upon the windy plain, and “You all look like super-models. Forget about all those overly-complicated and impossible-to-remember laws and stuff your gullets with anything and everything – and the good news is, you can still super-size and go to heaven. As long as you only eat fish on Fridays.” At which point he waved his arms, and it rained (yes, I know) fishies, and everybody said, “What a cool guy is this!” Then, of course, the inner party adjourned to the upper room and enjoyed lobster thermador, and after they had eaten and were truly satisfied, they couldn’t help but notice that that they hadn’t gone to hell in a hand-basket because of eating lobster with pork sausages on the side, and so they took the next step, and said, “if we can disregard this law, perhaps we can disregard the one in which we have to do unspeakable things to our willies,” only this wasn’t until after they had hanged Jesus from a tree so that they could do anything they wanted and still be forgiven (which was one of the few times Jesus wished he could trade places with my Mexican cousin).  And do you want to know something?  In spite of leaving their babies’ willies au natural and therefore no better than savages,  they  kept on surviving and going forth and multiplying and killing everyone who wasn’t like them – just like in the good old days.  Except now, they were forgiven, which gave the inner circle a lot of self-confidence.

Then – as if things weren’t working just fine as they were – along came another new guy. A guy in a beard but no halo. But he did have a turban. You know, the guy who gave that Danish cartoonist all that bother and forced him to install a panic room?  Anyway, this guy may not have been to school, but he knew that was what; so the first thing he did was to marry a rich widow, who also happened to be his boss. Now this guy was what you might call wily – in other words, he had his own best interests at heart.  So that what he did next was tell this rich boss of his that, now that she was his wife, she was forbidden to leave the house anymore and, furthermore, it was time she stopped inflaming all the other men in the neighbourhood – even though she was about ninety-five years old – and cover  herself with a blanket.  Then, of course, he didn’t have anyone to help him in the shop anymore, so he was forced to marry six or seven new wives in order to make up the numbers. He would have liked to marry the Virgin Mary, as well –  in fact, he went so far as to declare her one of the five perfect women – but by then she had already been assumed into heaven for more than six hundred years and she was damned if she was going to go through all that whole virgin birth thing again.  I mean, once bitten, twice shy.  So she declined, but said she would be praying for his soul, and also for his imminent conversion.  So much for her prayers, because we all know what happened, don’t we?   But since you obviously don’t, I shall tell you.  Are we ready?

One afternoon about tea time, this young guy started to get headaches, having just eaten a bad ham sandwich, and since there were no aspirin at the local chemists, he moved into a cave.

Now – here is a question for you to ponder.  Why is it that whenever some guy is planning to declare a new and true and perfect religion, he feels obliged to first move into a cave?  I mean, in the case of this guy, it wasn’t as though he was short of dosh.  After all, he still had his first wife and all her money – and the business was doing very well, and they had branches in all the malls, as well as several McDonald’s franchises – and even though he did have this whole cluster of new wives spending money hand over fist in the spring sales, he was comfortably off.  But then, of course, he was frugal, which meant he was careful to cut back on some on some of his household expenditures.   In other words, he fired most of the servants and re-hired them as slaves.  After which, they were called ‘associates’, or in at least case, a ‘wife’. After all, you do have to give your servants certain rights, but when it comes to your wives, all bets are off.  And no one seemed to object; after all, he was ‘that guy’.  Or as they say in certain circles, “The Man.”

Anyway, this guy started suffering more and more from severe headaches and seizures – in other words, he was like an early St. Teresa of Avila – and so he isolated himself in the back room of his cave and prepared to meet a whole lot more suffering.  And as is usual, it was about this time that he started to hear voices (much like those that came back and yelled at poor, benighted St. Teresa a few years later).  Now, as things turned out, this guy was rather forgetful – plus the fact that his turban didn’t have any pockets – so he quickly realised that he didn’t have a pencil and, therefore, couldn’t write things down.  Plus the fact that, even though he was ‘the guy’ and, as such, should have been better prepared, he hadn’t learned to read and write.   But, never mind: whenever you have someone hearing voices in a cave, you always find a very large crowd of hangers-on who want nothing more than to be in on the action when the new religion is proclaimed and when all the goodies are handed out.  So, of course, twenty or thirty or two hundred of the quicker ones among the hangers-on immediately went and bought every single one of the  remaining pencils from the guy’s emporium;  after which, the quickest one of all the quicker ones, killed all the not-so-quick-after-all ones so they wouldn’t get any credit.

After dealing with this problem, the quickest follower high-tailed it back to the cave, only to find that nobody had bothered to remember paper. However, this particular quickest follower was not only quick on his feet, but he had a good head on his shoulders. He knew the minute he went back to the emporium to buy a ream of paper, it would already have been bought by one of the other slower but stealthier followers:  the one he had not killed thoroughly enough during the pencil wars when he had lopped off everybody else’s heads.  So what he did was this:  he picked up a lot of dead leaves and bits of wood and flat rocks and old clam shells and other bits and bobs – including a dozen or so fresh foreskins from the Jewish neighbour’s ‘cut one cut one free’ holiday bris special.  And then he marched straight into the cave, being careful to bolt the door behind him so that eavesdroppers might be thwarted, and started to record the mutterings and ravings of our guy, who by that time was trembling like a leaf, and not all that coherent (except at those moments when he thought he was coaching the Brazilian football team, and kept screaming, “I’ll get you, Maradona!”

Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you should still recall that one of the first things Jesus did (after all, he was not only a nice fellow, but he was also out for the popular vote), was to do away with all the old laws that had been making everyone’s lives so very complicated for so many centuries.  Now, this became something of a stumbling block for our guy; in fact, it looked like it might put the kibosh on the whole future of humanity as he saw it.  After all, if there were no niggardly and awkward laws for the hoi-polloi to worry about, what need was there for a new religion that might set them free from all that never-ending hellfire, bondage and subjugation from which they didn’t seem to be suffering?

So this guy sat in his cave and moaned and trembled and had a good cry, and then something occurred to him.  He decided to go slow and take as many decades as were necessary to get everything right.  And it was after he had made this extremely pragmatic decision that he came up with his master-stroke:  Why not claim that everything he was going to announce had, in fact, already been announced way back before Jesus had even been born.  In fact, it had already been on the Almighty’s ‘to do’ list since before the dawn of time, and the only reason it had been overlooked was that  ol’ Moses and Abraham had snuck into his office and put their own suggestions on top of the pile.

Be that as it may, since everyone is always ready to believe anything – as long as it blames someone else and gives them an excuse for knocking a few heads together – everyone around the guy nodded their heads and agreed to go along with whatever it was that was about to be proclaimed. 

And what it amounted to was this:  that from then on, all the old rules – you know, the ones that had already been dispensed with – were still in effect after all (Jesus having not been born when he did away with them in the first place). In other words, everyone was still being crushed by the burdensome must-dos they thought they were no longer being crushed by.  To quell their fears and still their trembling hearts, our guy declared that he had been told by his inner voices that everyone was perfectly free to go out and eat all the lobsters and crab and langoustine that they wanted, with only one caveat:  pork was to be declared unclean, which would give everyone an excuse to declare holy war on all those who had been eating it.  For those who had eaten it were now unclean themselves. And being unclean, they could now be considered an abomination, as well as a slap in the face to the Lord (who took such things very seriously).  Need to say, pork was removed from all restaurant menus.  Pronto.

Now, of course, initially all the pigs stood up and shouted, “Hip Hip Hurrah, we’re not going to be eaten anymore” but, alas, their celebrations proved to be somewhat premature; you see, they had neglected to read the fine print.

Now remember this:  the injunction, at least in the copy of our guy’s transmission that I have in the other room, only mentioned pigs in regards to the eating of their meat (but I’m always willing to admit I might have missed the odd admonition or two, seeing as how I always fall asleep during the boring bits, i.e. those passages that don’t deal with the stoning of ‘bad girls’ and which, of course, are of interest to any red-blooded male who’s ever been dumped by his girlfriend).  So – at least as far as I am aware – this transmission said nothing whatsoever about the porcine race being the vile spillages of the world, and so unclean that even the slightest glance at a cute little porker would inspired the faithful to go out and kill several thousand garbage collectors – you know, the ones who clean up the detritus thrown out the windows of the followers of our guy who don’t want to clutter up their apartments?

Be that as it may, I knew that pigs had fallen steadily in the popularity polls (except in those vast parts of the world where they were being eaten hand over fist and  busily making a lot of factory farmers incredibly rich), but it still came as some surprise when I heard some authority or other (and I knew he was an authority because of the length of his beard and the size of the bruise on this forehead), explaining in the reasonable tone of voice perfected by Dick Cheney that there had been recent scientific research conducted at one of those generic institutes in Switzerland (for some reason, Switzerland seems to be chock-a-block with this sort of such generic institution).  And the upshot of this was, that it had been scientifically proven once and for all that pigs truly were unclean.  They were so unclean, in fact, that when during this research, cells from a pig were injected into a pigeon, the pigeon – normally such a morally upright bird who is faithful to his wife unto death – became a ravenous sexual predator.  In other words, having been defiled by serum extracted from a filthy swine, the chaste male pigeons actually went out and fucked every single female pigeon from far and near, plus a few mute swans (from which union sprang bird flu). I kid you not (and this is probably the first and last time you will ever hear me say this)!

Now, I’ve been thinking about all this, and I’ve come to the conclusion that lowly, unclean and vilely disreputable swine have been getting a raw deal.

I want you to remember this:  for many centuries, pigs have in many cultures been appreciated not only as the providers of great-tasting sausages and bacon butties, but they have been considered happy creatures, as well as the bringers of good luck. And it’s not for nothing that many people give small pig tokens to their friends and loved ones at the beginning of each year.

Now here we return to one of my favourite preoccupations, i.e., whether or not to circumcise your mewling and puking infant son.  Now, I want you to think about this very, very carefully.  For in every single culture in which circumcision is not practised, the pig is a vibrant and welcome member of the community.  On the other hand, in cultures where they insist on slicing a hunk out of a formerly harmless and happy willy, the slicee takes it out on pigs.  Now, does this make any sense to you?  I mean, was the pig the one wielding the slicer? And why is it that a man without a foreskin is a man with a phobia of swine?  Why?  I don’t know, but I’m sure one of those generic institutions in Switzerland would be quite happy to initiate a research program and come up with a definitive answer.

Now, before I leave you so that you may reflect on all that I have told you, I must whisper that there are certain places in this world where the unhappy inhabitants have openly flaunted the prevailing wisdom I have so carefully collected.

These countries are – it goes without saying – The United States of America and Australia, as well as several scattered wads of people living in the sub-Saharan African.  You know, those places that will insist on ignoring everyone else and going their own way.

Now, there’s nothing much we can do about the United States, except let it continue down the road to complete isolation, for in the end it will inevitably erect a great enormous wall around itself.  And then after that, it will transform itself into a rocket launching platform, and will take off into space where it will become its own planet.  After which it will invade the earth and institute a regime change.

As for Australia, it’s also one of those countries that is determine to live way over there on its own, but the signs are that there are more and more foreskins seen running on the beaches, and that many of the moils are practically on the unemployment line.

And Africa?  What can I say?  I certainly don’t think we want to try colonisation again.  I mean, it certainly didn’t seem to do much good last time round.  However, there is hope:  it’s called the Sahara desert.  And the main purpose in life for the Sahara desert is to cover all the lands from the Mediterranean to Cape Town.  You know, institute its own regime change?  And those who still have their foreskins will be able to draw them up over heads and take refuge (you know, like hiding out in a tent).  And those who haven’t?  Let me put it this way:  come the millennium, the lowly foreskin will be the new Noah’s Ark.

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