A Flithery-Flathery Thing

Posted on June 5, 2009

Photo by Steve Ford Elliot

A Flithery-Flathery Thing

I‘ve seen and experienced my share of nastiness in this world. And felt the thud of boots landing on my body, and fists beating on my skull. And I’ve heard the gun shots, calling my name. I narrowly escaped a terrorist bomb one day, under circumstances that were strange and unreal. I have gazed down the angry barrel of a British Army rifle, and wondered -in an odd, calm, detached way- if he was going to shoot…

The same in Cyberspace.
Hate. Intolerance. Abuse. Racial epithets. Stalking. Religious bigotry. Threats. Really strange people, who send messages like this one I received:

“I is sik and tired of you peple dogging prejdicial to our Presidint and its Presidint Obama not Mr Obama.
I is white but even I know black peple just as gud. “

I replied sweetly with an email pointing out that “free speech ” works BOTH ways. And that the color of a man’s skin doesn’t interest me in the slightest… That in turn elicited a hate filled polemic, which caused me to yawn, and quickly lose interest.

The “Daily World ” as a website joins countless tens of thousands of others that have experienced this problem.
I tend to think that two ingredients widely available today bring out the worst in many people.
One is alcohol.
The other is cyberspace.
If you don’t know what I mean, go check out some of the comments people routinely place on the YouTube website.
One poster (good video too) disabled posts/reviews, with the comment:
“I have disabled the reviews feature -once again. You people are sad. “

I know what he means. I feel his pain. Or is it quiet disgust?
Good people can lose a lot of sleep by hate reviews aimed at them. By threats, by wild accusations, by ugliness and bigotry.
I think that is even more sad: when I see good people, good writers, good artists, wasting valuable writing time and -finite!-nervous energy getting all upset by silly nonsense.
Just plain “Sjilly schtuff… “.

I have long wondered what would be a good metaphor for all this. I have yet to find one. A metaphor, that would accurately point out the waste of life, the waste of hope, the waste of energy.
A metaphor that would accurately warn people that there are big, humongous issues out there, clamoring for our urgent attention. That intensely threaten our whole planet, the whole human race, and our children’s future.
Why… waste time with the little stuff?

I was in the middle of writing that story I posted about the Tsiananmen Square massacre.
I have been wondering for many years:
“What happened to the Tank Man? “
Apparently they executed him by military firing squad. Along with hundreds of others. That upsets me. Well, right in the middle of my mood, thinking of thousands of peaceful Chinese people slaughtered by their own “People’s Liberation Army “, and our government Know-it-All’s (The Enlightened Ones) kow-towing to that same bunch of thugs, when…. here comes a message from a good cyber friend. He is being cyber stalked by some crazed half witted pest. And he’s all upset about it.
I think he expected me to be sympathetic. I wasn’t very diplomatic. What I wrote back was:

Yes, there are very, very silly people out there. I have seen my fair share. Ignore them. Not worth losing a single cerebral neuron flash over. Don’t worry about it. I don’t. I’m busy working on a story on the Tiananmen Square Massacre. 5,000 plus assassinated. Somehow, another silly b****** spreading poison on the Internet doesn’t rank very high on my radar screen.

I’m sure he thought I was insensitive. Heck, I’m sure I was. But I just couldn’t be bothered to work up any brain algo-rythm thingies about it. What was it Clint Eastwood’s nurd step brother said? The computer geek? That Internet website guy?
Oh! Yes, I remember.
“Go ahead, stalk me, punk. Make me a caliber day! “
(forty-four, I’m guessing)
Look at it another way; it’s not too hard to surmise that some people are mentally challenged (poor things), emotional retards, intellectual ‘sealed vacuum packs’, and otherwise vote-able as ‘NOT the most likely to lead and inspire’.
But all you are doing there is surmising. A child can do that. To prove it, you need to go a step further. You could hire a team of doctors and psychiatrists, spend a fortune, and end up diagnosing ‘toilet training psychosis’ and an acute deficit of genetic predisposition towards higher brain functions. That would work, but would cost time and money.The simplest…. and by far the best way is to give them a keyboard, a monitor, and connect them to Cyberspace.

Like I said, I would love to find a metaphor that accurately summed up my feelings. But it’s hard. I’ll keep trying. If I find one, I’ll let you know.


Incidentally, and totally non-related, I was messing about on the beach south of Cameron the other day. With my dirt bike. Popping wheelies, racing flat out through puddles, and playing chicken with the waves. I fell off a couple of times, (you are supposed to do that), and I even got completely stuck in some quicksand. Up to my axles I was…. all out of ideas, trying to figger out what the HighCrokeyTonk I was gonna do next. But along came a team of Cameron families on four wheelers, and if they were wondering what that demented, crazy old F**T was doing, sitting on his derriere in the mud, giggling like a tipsy Nun, they were far too polite to ask. They helped me out, were really nice, and I enjoyed the kindness of total strangers once again in my life… I have that effect on people, I think. They can see I need help.

It was while I was tearing around like a teenager, up and down the sun splashed beach, with visibility exceeding ten miles, that I came upon a small, slightly smelly, brownish, bracken puddle. Hidden in the shelter of a small dune. The surface, unlike the wild and rugged sea, was smooth and calm. Even so, something very small was skipping, slithering, sliding, skating…. fooling about on the surface. Trying to get to the other side I guess.
I stopped, and wondered what it was. It was a thing. Definitely a thing. A flithery-flathery thing.

Photo by “0595 “

I was about to move on, when the thought crossed my mind, (it didn’t take long), that I was wrong to assume that the tiny flithery-flathery thing didn’t have a unique place of relevance in the Grand Scheme of Things. I guess somebody who is really interested in small crawling things could tell you a whole lot about that flithery-flathery thing. He or she could probably give you the Latin name for it, and tell you all about its life cycle, and its reproductive functions. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to find somebody who had a PH.D. in flithery-flathery things, and who would get all excited by that…. thing.

But I confess, most of us, would start yawning after much more than fifteen minutes of passionate discourse on the mating habits of Pa Flither and Mama Flather. It’s not that we don’t accept that they are part of Life’s Great Cycle. Surely, they are. It’s not that we say that they don’t matter. Surely, they do.
However, given the wide open beach to explore, the deep, eternal sea, the never ending soldiers in the sky, and the endless march of Time, how many of us want to spend a life time gazing into small, brackish, stagnant, smelly puddles behind the beach? To us, they will always be Flithery-Flathery things….

Photo: “Astrodeep ” by rmforall

Anyway, like I said above, if I ever think of a symbol, a decent metaphor, with which to paint my feelings about silly people who abuse the Internet, and who fail to even begin to understand our brief, delicate tiptoe through the awesome fabric of Space and Time, I will let you know. It won’t be easy. But I’ll try to solve that problem, and get to the other side.

Just like the flithery-flathery things…

Francis Meyrick

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on June 7, 2009, 3:12 pm

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1 response to A Flithery-Flathery Thing

  1. Meyrick, Meyrick, Meyrick…I think you better keep writing….

    You’re good – you’re very good and your’re good for the people in this world…even the flithery flathery things and scaredy kids like me…

    Now, this is the biggest finale I could think of right off – it’s from a broadway musical and you deserve a big….number..
    so here goes. My hats off to ya….thank you. Practice those high kicks, eh? Next time you might could just use one of those!

    And now…. the show must go on. Just wait …just wait…oh – and watch.

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