We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings, 1919 (here's what a copybook is, and, by "markets," he means the political speakers in the marketplace of ideas)
AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race, I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place. Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn: But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind, So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace, Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place, But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.
With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch, They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch; They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings; So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace. They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease. But when we disarmed, they sold us and delivered us bound to our foe, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."
On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife) Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man There are only four things certain since Social Progress began. That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
mudbug ... I love Kipling too. One of my favorite poems is The Ladies, which would appall all liberals right down to their shoelaces and make their hair stand on end. The last verse reads: "Yes, I've taken my fun where I've found it, And now I must pay for my fun, For the more you have of the many, The less you have of The One, And the end of it's sitting and thinking, And dreaming Hell's fires to see, So be warned by my lot, As I know you will not, And learn about women from me."
While rereading this and this interpretation (http://www.northofseveycorners.com/write/copybook_heading2.htm), current events and ideas bring new fear. I heard from my nephew over Christmas that in 9th grade in Florida, the "literature" they are teaching him is speeches from Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill Clinton, and Al Sharpton!
It's clear that our civilization is in decline (hopefully only for the short term, but there's that fear...) and it's also clear that it is following Kipling's script. Brave new world, indeed!
I must also say how wonderful it was to read that my comment from years past was responded to by dear Marianne! I am struck by the effect my brief and limited contact with her has on me!