Today’s post will be educational in theme…we will be learning about a well-known hymn and sheep. In that order.
Bringing In The Sheaves (click here to be spiritually uplifted) is a well-known Protestant Christian hymn; the lyrics were written by a man named Knowles Shaw back in 1874, who used as his inspiration Psalm 126:6 from the Christian Bible, which speaks of sowing and reaping and tilling the soil and tractors and natural fertilizers. (Did you know that the average horse, one who is married, owns and lives in a home in the suburbs, has 2.3 children and commutes to his job on the farm, produces roughly 50 pounds of manure every day? Back in the “horse-drawn” era, if you wanted to make someone aware of how pervasive something was, you’d say it was “everywhere, like horseshit.” Now I understand what that means.) Though Shaw wrote his own tune for his lyrics, the song is nowadays played using the music written by George Minor, although it is in a major key (L)….well, it sounds like “L”. (An old musicians joke, told by old musicians.)
I was born and raised a Roman Catholic, and you can blame both those conditions on my parents, so I was never exposed to Mr. Shaw’s uplifting music in our church, Our Lady of the Blessed Fundament, but I did manage to hear the song a number of times as a child, and I always thought the lyrics said “sheeps” not “sheaves”…in those days, I had no clue what a “sheave” was. For the longest time I had no idea what a “sacerdotal” was either, although a peek at my Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, not to be confused with English, tells me that the word has something to do with natural fertilizers, tractors and beer consumption. (I remember one of my grade-school classmates had the same confusion with this tune, although he thought the word was “sheiks”.)
Now that I have been edified as to the meaning of the words “sheaves” and “sacerdotal”, the lyrics to Mr. Shaw’s bucolic hymn make a whole lot more sense…the confusion I experienced was partly caused by the fact that the plural of “sheep” is not “sheeps” but “hypotenuse”.
I’ll get back to the “sheeps” in a moment.
So there I was one evening last week, sitting at my desk in my cabin aboard the worthy vessel the R U Kidding, staring at my computer screen and scrolling through the YouTube home page in search of an interesting video to help fill my sad, lonely senior citizen hours, when I stumbled (didn’t fall) onto a collection of old clips from the television series America’s Funniest (Home) Videos, or AFV, to which it was commonly referred. Although I have never been a wholesale consumer of TV, I used to watch AFV frequently in its heyday, back in the 90’s. (I understand it’s still on in places like Moosejaw, Saskatchewan and Lower Uvula AK.) I liked the show because a) despite the moronic level of the much of the humor, many of the clips were genuinely funny and b) it reminded me that if there was ever a Most Stupid Person On The Planet Award given out by some group or another, I wouldn’t be the recipient. I mean, shit, how many times do you have to see clips of guys using a 4-foot rope to hold a piñata in place for a kid using a 5-foot stick get smacked in the nuts before you realize it’s a dumb Idea? Or wondering what possessed some Einstein to think that he could ride a skateboard along the top of a concrete wall and then drop six feet down off the wall onto a steel sidewalk railing and not have said railing wind up forcefully embedding itself deeply into his crotch?
(FYI, although the producer of the show, Vin Di Bona, and its long-time host, Tom “I’m A Pathetic Weasel” Bergeron, were men, the show seems to have been written with a decidedly feminist tone, given how many videos they featured that showed men doing abysmally stupid things and then getting seriously whacked in the cojones…over and over and over again.)
It was a source of no small amazement for me to watch one person tape another person’s calamity, like the clip of a large women stepping off of a dock into a boat that hasn’t been tied securely to said dock, and then see her slowly become spread eagled over the water as the boat recedes from its berth and deposits her in the drink…instead of rushing over to help, the person behind the camera just kept rolling, and typically laughing hysterically.
One thing for certain…you would know, rather quickly, who your REAL friends were after one of these episodes.
It was also noteworthy, although not that surprising, that a significant number of the people starring in and then sending in their videos to AFV were, well, how do I put this appropriately, umm, rednecks.
Full-blown, dyed-in-the-wool Trailerus Trashsarious of the genus “Redneck”. As Gene Wilder’s character The Waco Kid said to Sheriff Bart, so beautifully played by Cleavon Little in the movie Blazing Saddles, “…these are just simple people…you know, morons.”
So I sat and binge-watched Tiny Tom and his band of misbegotten amateur video stars and the more I watched, the more I came to the realization that, even though most of the footage came from shows over 20 years old, these were MAGA people.
That’s right, exhaust fans, these were most certainly would-be supporters of/voters for our current President.
Although this was two decades before the rise and triumph of his Eminence, the Supreme Commander of the World, His Largeness Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump, the people in these clips were the spiritual forerunners of the group of American voters who elevated PTB to the Presidency back in 2016.
November 8, 2016…a day that will live in infamy. (And thank you, FDR.)
I’m sure, given the proliferation of political polls, political scientists, “spin doctors”, campaign advisors and such that someone, somewhere, has done a profile of the “typical Trump voter”. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen it, but I’ll bet you a box of Publix’ incredible Apple Fritters that I can replicate that profile here, keeping in mind the operative word being “typical”…one size does not fit all, but a helluva’ lot of MAGAists wear a Size 44 Long dummy suit.
Predominantly white male, or white female attached to said white males, low(er) class or at best middle class, middle-school or high-school education max, NRA member or sympathizer, a serial llama defiler, far-right Republican and vehemently opposed to climate change theories, women’s rights, Hillary “Lock Her Up” Clinton, the liberal media and any asshole that doesn’t agree with their point of view.
So what does all this have to do with a Christian Protestant hymn written back in the late 19th century or for that matter, reruns of the TV show AFV?
Donald The Shepherd and his flock.
My point is that although The Donald is a 21st century man today (if Trump stopped using Twitter, a decidedly 21st century phenomena, the company would have to layoff half its employees), the roots of his support and eventual election to an office he is no more qualified to hold than the woman on the tape who puts 90 candles on her Dad’s birthday cake, lights them all and then wonders why the resulting conflagration almost burnt down her house, go way back…we’ve had scores of misguided mopes in this country for as long as I can remember, and that goes back many, many years.
Many. (Don’t believe me? How about the inventors of Lawn Darts, who thought this would be a great kid’s toy, or the women who called 911 to complain that the bag of pot she had just purchased was not a full ounce?)
Take us to the Promised Land, oh Fearless Leader, we are sorely in need, for we are besought by liberals who, GASP, want to CHANGE things, who resist the idea of a return to the 1950s, where the man of the house was the de facto ruler, his wife was barefoot, pregnant and confined to the kitchen and his children were to be seen and not heard.
Where there was none of this gay marriage nonsense, no LBGTQ crap, no women’s liberation, no people of color having or being allowed to voice opinions, where the U.S. of A. was the foremost country on the planet, thank you, and we seriously got after the Commie, pinko snotbags that threatened our country’s peace and tranquility.
You don’t qualify for MENSA if you believe that you can set-up a home-made wooden ramp onto the back of your pickup truck using several old pieces of plywood and then, without flipping over backwards, drive your 600 pound ATV up said ramp and into the bed of the truck.
Dream on, genius.
These are PTB’s people, the ones who don’t/can’t think, the ones who are terrified of any change in their docile, everything-in-it’s-place world, and he plays to them, like an actor to a full house of paying customers.
Love and wool sweaters,