The Not Much Longer Reign Of The Ignorant Emperor Sloth


Tuna Melts and Cabbage Soup While Channeling the Genius of Lupo Sol 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20″

Very early yesterday morning I went to the grocery store, like I do most Sundays, to avoid the weekend rush of harried afternoon shopping. Lately, I have been planning ahead dinner meals for the coming week to get all ingredients in one shot. I used to be a daily market visitor until I realized that I hated our supermarket, because it was making me enormously depressed—not good when cooking occupies a large chunk of my day. I have sought liberation and wisdom my whole adult life, and several hours a day cooking for children and wife, makes musing a regularity. More than a thousand life changes, both real and imagined, have been contemplated in the kitchen—Philosophy, for me, began when I got a hold of Nature, Man, and Woman, by Alan Watts, and during the same season, realized that a fabulous soup can be made with cheap, wholesome ingredients.

Picking up rice in aisle three I overheard three men my age talking about the virtues of bottled marinade sauce. All agreed that the Olive Garden brand was best. Of course, it isn’t, and I use the term “men” strictly in its biological sense. What would have been best for supper was if Zeus sent a blazing hot thunderbolt onto their processed conversation, charring them good and proper for Polyphemus the cyclops to devour with sea salt and olive oil. These men were life-haters, non-appreciative, non-nurturing, non-dreaming, self-entitled voracious consumers of anything under the sun that their economic class could afford them. In a phrase, ignorant emperor sloths. To each there is no one wiser, no teacher, no greatness beyond a wife who puts up with his diarrhea moanings from the bathroom after a night of beer drinking and slurping a soup of Olive Garden marinade. Just as soon as the cramping is gone, however, the wife loses her status, and the ignorant emperor sloth is free to pretend all over again that his opinion matters, that diversity is a conspiracy to impoverish Caucasians, that guns don’t kill people, that because it snows in January, global warming is a monumental, liberal hoax.

All economic classes are caught up in illusions so thick, that they also share important opinions on marinade sauce. Once in a while the topic turns to saving the world one savior candidate at a time. But each still wants what the other one wants. That is, to have everything on a straight path without stumbling, and the bliss of ignorance, to cover up the gnawing despair which a linear path reveals. So, they discuss the virtue and vice of a Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, when one is a killer and the other a pervert. Even the the smartest book-smarters don’t see that a people gets the government it deserves. The media did not make these two cowards of the human race. Sure, it’s responsible for Olive Garden marinade, but it’s the individual, you and me fat charlie, who ate the world and now complain about stomach cramps.

I too am an ignorant emperor sloth. I think on it every day. I began thinking it 25 years ago while spooning the oatmeal into my toddler’s mouth. The ignorance and arrogance consummation of modern man has reached its climax. I only visit aisle three for my rice and beans, and occasionally a can of chipotle peppers when the feeling arises. You want to talk about choice marinades while your children watch presidential candidates practically have rough sex on an international stage? Go for it, since you(we) already do, every day, while obtaining choice stuff under the sun, and then blaming the other guy for it.