The Curse of the Uncouth

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green DesklampAs the pandemic passes all too swiftly into memory and businesses start to run at full capacity once more, there are many long-lost amenities to appreciate with fresh eyes. Open air markets, dusty record stores, convenient shopping experiences, dine-in restaurants, and of course, the beloved local bar.

Returning to a closer approximation to normal at the local watering hole is a welcome relief to the cultured barfly—and the uncultured one to boot. In this wave of excitement however, there has long lingered an unspoken fear—perhaps the final curse of the dreaded Covid virus.

After more than two years of closed or limited bar service, this return to normal will debut not one, but almost three years worth of first timers to a busy bar scene. The Uncouth—they will have no experience to guide them, and no friends near in age to teach them. A stretch of clueless newbies from eighteen to twenty (CDN) will be plowing their way through crowded bar fronts, bumping into tray-laden servers, and forming lines where absolutely no line is needed.

Cologne-covered and cocky, they’ll stand with their backs pressing against the chair behind them, unheeding the discomfort of the sitting person who would much rather just be left alone.

Like spooked buffalo (or bison, for you locals) they’ll trample wild-eyed over the accumulated goodwill of crusty drunkards everywhere. Whining their way to the front of lines. Scrounging for cigarettes on the ground. Or worse yet, stealing quick hits from vape cartridges, leaving the discarded cigarettes to pile up on the ground unchecked. They’ll throw the whole damned eco-system off kilter!

They’ll request all the wrong songs, and dance far from the designated dance-floor. They’ll sing Top 40 lyrics in your general direction, and expect you to respond with enthusiasm!

This is the final sting, the lasting poison of a sickness which has already asked far too much.

Or maybe they’ll turn out ok.

Shit, I’m probably just getting old.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Evocation Series- ‘The Ants Go Marching’

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

The following post is part of ‘The Evocation Series’. Click Here for more information about the project, and to learn how to get involved yourself!

Nursery Rhyme- ‘The Ants Go Marching’

Song Link

It’s been stormy lately. The clouds gathered, and held overlong, until they finally released. Now, the rains sweep the sidewalks and playgrounds, drenching and destroying all that they pass.

Before them, the young ones are driven to flee, to seek protection in places where it is their natural right to feel entirely protected.

The ants go marching one by one

Hurrah, hurrah

The ants go marching one by one

Hurrah, hurrah

Of course, a thing like that can be easy to ignore. They are only ants, after all. Ants, or children, or women, or elderly, or the lower class. None of them are of any account to the storm.

But lately, they’ve been learning to work together.

The ants go marching four by four

Hurrah, hurrah

The ants go marching four by four

Hurrah, hurrah

There are few things more repulsive than ants on the move. Acting as if they have a place to be, as if their opinions or lives are of comparable worth to the tides and the clouds—the immutable forces of nature.

So, the clouds appeal to virtue, and cry out their right to rain, to flood and wipe out what has been in the name of what they claim.

Their cries come as the thunderclap, yet their aspirations lay bare their false faith. But when these high-minded appeals are taken up by the ants, they ring the truer.

The ants go marching seven by seven

The little one stops to pray to heaven

And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain

Boom boom boom

Then finally, the clouds have nothing more to say. They have spent their energy with no thought of others, and now they find themselves old and empty. Once dark and tall and terrible, they are wisps of their former selves, and no longer must the ants look to them to read their fate.

The clouds have been forgotten, and the deep burrowed dens of the ants have only served to bring them all together.

The rain waters evaporate, and the threat of the storm passes into a fresh, life-asserting calm.

The ants go marching ten by ten

Hurrah, hurrah

The ants go marching ten by ten

Hurrah, hurrah

The ants go marching ten by ten

The little one stops to shout, “The End!”

Will there finally be a rainbow?

*This article is dedicated to the youth across America—who stand now in defiance of those who would see them dead for a little more spending money. It is their will to defy their elders, to ignore entrenched ignorance and light a new way forward, that now represents the greatest hope for that once proud nation.

Never stop.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Brad OH Inc. Happy Times Children’s Blog Post

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green DesklampI’m afraid I must apologize in advance. I don’t have any cute cat pictures to share with you, nor will I be indulging in any hilarious memes. I have little talent for the sort of viral content which is so popular these days—I find myself grounded in my age, and can offer little in the way of contemporary distraction.

But that’s not the only apology due to you, and that is in fact precisely the purpose of this article. Certainly, you have a great deal to entertain you—the myriad distractions and novelties provided for you surpass by far the offerings of any generation prior. Sadly, you may grow to find that dependence on such toys often stands in the way of imagination—that lauded gift given to you by birthright and discouraged by reality. Do not let it wither within you—for the future depends upon the imagination, hope, and problem solving skills of your generation.

We welcome you to this world with open arms and sagging spirits—excited for your arrival at the same time we are shamed by the condition of the world we present.

Fear, distrust, and desperation are the leitmotifs of our present day. The distractions you will be subjected to have already taken their toll on us, and the failures of my generation will be the chief inheritance of your own.

The deceptions you face will inevitably be even stronger than those which sundered us from decency and good sense. You will be tempted by greed, misguided by vice, placated by contentment, and pacified by placebos—a constant stream of assurances that if you bury your head in the sand and allow time to slip by, everything will be ok in the end.

Of course, that is not the case.

It’s not an enviable situation we leave to you, and that is the reason for our apology here today. But with it, I offer something else, and that is encouragement. Perhaps a challenge even, for I expect you will find that far more enticing.

Be better than us. Expect more—not for yourself, but from yourself and all others as well. Demand that your generation rises to the incredible potential it holds in secret, and refuse to accept anything less than the beauty of which you are inherently capable. Pursue science, and knowledge, and faith, and justice. Do not blindly accept the systems around you, or fail to seek answers where there is doubt. Question all, and where you find the accepted answers do not satisfy you, question further still.

Find new answers—or create them. Evaluate what you have, challenge what you’re told, and never settle for less than you are capable. Change systems, laugh loudly, and tear down political structures which are meant not for your benefit but your containment.

Scream, bang walls, and rage like only youth can. Get in the faces of your elders and show them that you can do better—remind them of the truths you take as sacrosanct—which they have long forgotten. Be better than us—it will be a shame which we can happily bear in our twilight years, watching with unbridled pride as our failures are buried in history and your victories shine all the brighter for the difficulty through which they were achieved.

And through it all of course, remember to have fun.

-Brad OH Inc.

A Time for Greatness

purelyspeculationWe closed off last week’s article, ‘The Heights Flags Dare Not Fly’ (Link), with a heavy-heart and an ambiguous question—who now to rise up and fix this mess of a world we find ourselves in? It is—at the very least—a rather serious imposition to place upon even the best of us, yet it’s unlikely to be the wisest or the most experienced who must take up this burden.

The media is unreliable, our politicians are primarily dishonest, and true political agendas are withheld from the public in exchange for reality TV and infomercials—bread and circuses for the less discerning masses. Meanwhile, the environment is failing, ISIS is killing at will, and the political balance of the ‘free-world’ shifts ever towards the uninformed yet brutally reactionary.

One particular trend—the disturbing rise of Donald Drumpf (Link) in the American Primaries—paints us an especially lamentable picture. Specifically, we see for perhaps the first time beyond question that a vast number—if not a majority—of voters are uninformed, uneducated, or simply uncaring enough to let such a malignant presence grow in their midst.

A brief consideration of the current polls must lead us inevitably to one disheartening question about democracy, and ourselves: If this is what people are voting for, is this what we deserve?

The simple answer is, perhaps, yes. But fortunately for the thinking portion of the populace—and evident, as a rule, to them alone—things are seldom that simple. The very systems which are failing us act as reinforcing factors here: and in this instance, a crumbling educational system is the most likely culprit.

Education can improve, but it must be set as a priority, and sadly, the powers gaining their foothold now are unlikely to address this need in any productive way. The very leaders we choose are those keeping us dumb, and the cycle gains momentum. This is precisely why it’s time for great leaders and big ideas.

We must look to ourselves then, if we harbour any hope for reprieve. As we covered in our article ‘On Political Participation’ (Link), political sides and interests don’t matter so much—all that matters is right action. It will be individual integrity which lights our way from these dark times, and the steadfast resolve of those who come after us that will clear the mess we have left behind.

It is most likely to be the children who muster the clairvoyance of thought and the resolution of will to find the answers, and well-suited they are to this task indeed. With the internet constantly at their fingertips and a connected world being all they’ve ever known, the youth of today are far better equipped to understand the Global Scale (Link) than any generation before them.

So in such desperate times, we must not lament for better days. It is in the darkest hour that we must expect the truest grandeur—for great heroes to rise and the will of men to turn again to what is right. Now is no time for anger or cynicism, or to retreat into the comfort of what is familiar. Change is happening as we speak—history is being written. It is incumbent therefore for all people to find their inner decency, and to let it shine out all the brighter to light our way through the shadows of doubt.

It is upon you then—the reader—and the youth among you especially, to consider what sort of world you want. The questions of our day have been asked, and the tumult and turmoil we are experiencing have set the stage for the great actors to come forth. The question then, dear readers, becomes simply: Will you answer that call?

-Brad OH Inc.

The Golden Goddess

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

They’re still out there. Oh, make no mistake about it; we still have our Gods and Goddesses.

It’s not religion I’m talking about. Not per se.

This is about the real Gods. The ones which move behind the scenes, the ones we actually look up to.

Gods and Goddesses abound in a place like this.

Made in his image—and all that.

I saw her with my own eyes: the Golden Goddess.

Until then, I didn’t even know I was looking for her. But passing through the supermarket, spending money to fill the void, she appeared before me at the magazine rack.

Hair flowing like spun gold, tussling over bronzed shoulders and cascading down a back arched with the pernicious poise of a predatory cat.

Her eyes shone like emeralds, gleaming with wanton hunger, and the eyebrows above were perfectly symmetrical, curved and inviting.

Her suggestive look left no room for misinterpretation.

It was only a passing glance. Then she was everywhere.

Every passing girl had touches of her within them.

All painted up in their revelations.

All decorated in their sacred garbs.

All repeating their hallowed sacraments.

All falling short.

Every man seeks her, and every woman strives to be her.

There are Gods as well.

Bound with muscles and tall as pillars, they call with different voices but similar promises. They tell you about things you’ll never achieve.

Paradise withheld—but almost attainable to the most prudent and savvy.

It’s something to strive for. At least in lieu of anything real.

They have bodies like humans, but more so. Digitally retouched beyond earthly proportions; sexual beyond human expectation.

Sex sells. It’s the most paid and prayed for thing there is.

And once you’ve known a Goddess, no earthly being comes close.

It’s happened to us all.

We chase our Goddesses, hoping to become a God.

We spend our money in pursuit of the holy ideal.

We withhold our affections for hope that our own Goddess is just around the corner—hold out, have faith.

You’ll never have one. You’ll never become one. They aren’t of this world. But for each deficit you find, you know there’s a solution down the next aisle.

Then another deficit, another product.

Flex your muscles alone in your room, hold them up to his.

Dye your hair.

Skip your meal—avoid temptation.

Push your breasts up in the mirror and let your proud shoulders fall along with them.

It can drive you mad.

But you’d have to be mad…to believe these things are real.

Yet you can’t risk giving up the chase. The rest are all so active, so close.

You can’t fall behind.

The next choice you make could get you to the Promised Land.

Who knows?

Why not?

What else is there to do?

Just keep your faith.

Just keep chasing the dream.

Just keep spending.

Maybe you’ll find her.

Maybe you’ll be him.

Maybe if you keep focussing on them, you’ll never have to see yourself.

-Brad OH Inc.