There’s a war going on! We’re being besieged every day. The enemy is cunning and ruthless, highly skilled in the art of deception. These invaders won’t be satisfied until they’ve breached our defenses and force our defenders to join their fight against us. They’ll use any disguise to fool our security forces. Once they get inside, they’ll rape and pillage. They’ll get ahold of our top secret documents, read our blueprints, and engineer a sinister plan to destroy us from within. Yes, they’ll reproduce themselves and use our own defenses to launch their cloned armies. The audacity! This is a call to arms! Don’t gather up your rifle, sword, pitchfork, mace, ice pick, or cudgel. No, toss them aside. They will do you no good. Instead, take up the microscope, Petri dish, and syringe; for we wrestle not against man and beast, but against viruses, against bacteria, against pathogens in the darkness of this inner world, against parasitical wickedness in microscopic places. Our defenders must be right every time, but the enemy has legions it can throw into battle—an indefatigable, inexhaustible, and determined foe. Pestilence threatens, pandemic looms. Behold! These minuscule murderers, these rod-shaped rogues, these beastly bacilli—why, they’d hide in the vomit of a mosquito or the feces of a tick just to penetrate our walls! Murder most foul! They force us to vomit, grow feverish, break out with pustules, lose our minds, and lose our dignity. The epidemics that have been the scourge of humankind have started on battlefields within our groin and inside our lungs. Our genetic code is largely a record of the never-ending struggle against these microbial invaders, but don’t get discouraged. Gird your loins with the armor of science, and take upon your brow the helmet of knowledge. There’s a war going on! Are you ready for it?
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Many people ask me: “Hey, Der, how do you do it? How do you cope and maintain your patience, what with people, life, and all the rest of it?” After thanking them for these questions and feigning appreciation for their thoughts, I explain that I operate on three levels: meditation, mediation, and medication. First, I find much spiritual solace and inner peace through a series of meditations that I’ve developed from studying Buddhist masters in the Himalayas. I couldn’t afford a trip to India, so I rented a cabin in North Dakota. I read a few books about yoga that I picked up in Fargo. I also learned to pray the rosary from a Trappist monk. A quiet time of introspection not only clears my mind of psychological and sociological pollution, but it gives me strength to deal with the Homo sapiens on a daily basis. Second, I mediate between the desires of my heart and my social responsibilities in an ongoing process of compromise and negotiation. This way I keep my mind balanced and the savage impulses within me at bay. Lastly, and most of all, I medicate myself with just about anything I can find on the market these days (and allegedly in the black market as well). It’s not so much about the drugs or alcohol as it is the impact they have on my physical constitution. Someday I hope to write a book about my triumphant journey toward healing and inner serenity, but I’ll first need to sober up and go through detox.