Latin: freak of nature
The Elephant Man, at least in the film, reaches a point when he cries out “I am not an animal, I am a human being!” He is a human with a deformity and has been an outcast all his life. He longs to be a normal member of society, to fit in. From Quasimodo to Phantom of the Opera, film and literature offer us legions of outsiders damaged either by nature or society who just want to belong again. I still go back and forth if society and nature are two separate things by now. Has Social Darwinism removed humanity from the natural order to the point where any form of evolution for good or ill ultimately is our own fault?
Fairly recently I started toying with the idea of modifying the Elephant Man’s statement to “I am not a human being, I am an animal!” This would start to get me away of some of inclusions in social behavior which are coming to be fairly loathsome of late. Legislating other people’s morals and ways of life with the barrel of a gun is just one of them. People-kind’s long history of trying to separate themselves from the other fauna and flora of the world is another. My being an animal again might be a good way to get back to one of the early oaths in my research of sorcery, e.g. “I shall endeavor to be more than human.”
Since the factions in support of the Trump Administration came into power almost fourteen months ago, stress has risen to a level which has not been felt in a very long time. Worst of all, nobody has been able to alleviate that stress with any degree of success for any serious amount of time. This causes problems in our society as our governing bodies are being crippled to the point where they will soon no longer be able to deal with the outbreaks of violence and despair that are growing ever more evident. Perhaps it is just that we see more of it now that we have the Web.
We will all have to wait and see who comes out on top through this totally new state of America’s identity. Will it be the forces of law and growth through an orderly process or will it be the lust to ravine and kill all of those you think are wrong around you. I see a little of both in the future, but I have always been wary of how the media is used to sway things into the normal phase and keep people compliant. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of information being presented and numbed to the point that I fear that our current government is being normalized. There are ups and downs on this hellish ride.
I am starting to have longings for a form of punishment under the law, if the force of law win, which would violate the Eight Amendment of the Constitution, the one about “cruel and unusual punishment”. It is probably just the stress of the last fourteen months without getting closure in the most successful attack on our Constitution ever.
If any of you have seen the nineteen-thirty-nine version of the film “The Four Feathers”, the main character goes to some extreme measures in returning the four white feathers which are badges of his cowardice by disguising himself as a Sangali tribe’s man who has rebelled against the Khalifa. Since this tribe failed in their rebellion, the men were branded as traitors and their tongues were cut out. I have always carried this image of the damaged and dumb beggar in the bizaar since I was a child.
It was reinforced by real blinded and damaged beggars in the same kind of places where I learned how deceptive a government controlled press can be. I had only the English version of the Pakistani Times to read about the nation’s events. It was not until I could access the freer information sources of the US diplomatic community that I learned just how wrong my understanding of what was going on was. This was before I graduation from high school during the Indo-Pakistani war of December nineteen-seventy-one.
The reason I bring up the concepts of cruel and unusual punishment in the form of a crippled beggar on the streets is I am starting to think that in this instance, instead of prison where all of the Trump Cabal will hopefully wind up, maybe we should take an insight out of Proverbs or the Hammurabi Code. There have been far too many financial crimes against people in the world during my lifetime where the criminals have been fined, or imprisoned for millions of dollars stolen and thousands of lives destroyed. Yet all these financial crimes just have grown larger with new ways of hiding the moneys so that people cannot get reparations or justice.
It might be time to start thinking in terms of deterrents as well as punishment. I cannot help but think that if a few of these mega-dollar criminals had their tongues cut out and were blinded with a sign around their neck that said “thief” to wander around Wall St. and the stock exchange to beg, they might set an example for others. If the Shkrelis and Mandoffs of the world had been punished like this for securities fraud, would people like Manafort, Putin, and Trump be in the positions they are today after years of money laundering and embezzlement through off-shore shell corporations. People have held up the death penalty for years as a deterrent to crime. It does not do so, but maybe seeing these kind of people on a daily basis by the moneyed-gentry might at least give them pause.
I know that nothing stops people’s desire and ability to do wrong. As I say, it is probably just the last fourteen months with no closure from these criminal’s attack on my country and peace of mind. Seeing them wounded and wandering the streets is just a fantasy. Months of mass shootings, Trump chirping up about “bombing the shit out of them” and “death penalty for drug dealers”, Chinese, Russian, and US incursions into economic and political battlefields, espionage and assassination reactions, withdrawal of safeguards to prevent this kind of financial crimes, government incompetence and corruption on a cabinet level, the rise of racial tension while people are squabbling over the corpse of Charles Manson (He wanted to start a race war remember), it is just testing my patience.
I chose the term losus naturae for the title of this piece because it means freak of nature, and I said I have not been able to decide if nature and society are two different things yet. Trump is a freak of society. He and his cabal are a mutation that we should all have seen coming, maybe we did and were just too complacent in the hope that things would work out. I know I was. I should have been working on these problems more actively for the last forty years, now my old age is going to be work, work, and work. Ah well, as the senility and the pain creeps into my body and mind, it will give me something to battle until they scatter my ashes to the wind.
The word monster has become such a cliché that I went looking for a new word. That is where I found losus naturae; Latin makes a body seem wise but pompous. I thought of using the term chimera, like the hydra it is something that a person can battle. Jason had to fight one to get the Golden Fleece. The freak of society, Donald Trump, is a monster, maybe even a chimera. I would not want to be the pathologist that has to dissect him. I have a queasy feeling in my stomach just thinking about him in one piece. I just hope that there is a history left to break him down into his creepy parts.