The Gospel and Dr. Seuss: Part 1: On Beyond Zebra - YouTube

[Not thrilled with this one but, it’s Friday so OUT IT GOES!]

I’m considering becoming evil…

not PURE evil. You could still touch me without exploding and it would be safe to use a bathroom after I do; but, I can no longer sit around and be good. Someone once told me that good and evil are two sides of the same coin. If there was no evil, the coin would only have ONE side, forcing many of us to relearn geometry. Of course, this doesn’t apply to 21,405 Bitcoin Trading Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock | Cryptocurrency,  Bitcoins, Bitcoin miningBitcoin because, with Bitcoin, BOTH sides are evil.

But, to truly be evil, I had to find out what evil was. It is defined as a “profound immorality and wickedness”, like mass murder or showing too much cleavage. Of course, “wickedness” is the “quality of being evil or morally wrong”, because the English language is nothing if not self-referential. There are words that ultimately have no real definitions and are only put into the dictionary because they rhyme with “grape” or “cloud”. The word “evil” itself comes from the Old English yfel, meaning “wicked” which comes from the proto-Germanic ubilaz, because proto-Germans were nothing if not the party college of language groups. But, still no clear definition…

While researching, I found that evil is often another word for a source of temptation, especially in a religious sense. Temptation to do what? Why evil, of course. No one has to Chocolate Caramel Brownies | Very Best Bakingtempt us to do good, after all. You never hear, “I resisted the strong urge to give the woman her purse back intact and, instead, maxed out her credit card at the strip bar near my house”. One is constantly being tempted to do evil, like lie or eat brownies. In Buddhism, temptation is the closest thing to a definition of evil. In Christianity, Satan tried to tempt Christ into turning rocks into bread… which would’ve been worth it if only to see what kind of bread rocks turn into. I’m guessing whole wheat.

Religion is a good thing to have when grappling with evil, because the definition becomes much simpler. Evil is just doing the opposite of what your religion tells you to do. So, is eating pork evil? It is if there are no potatoes. To be truly evil, people simply invent a religion that does the opposite of what their old religion advocated. Satanism is a good example. Not only are you sure you are being evil, they even have a ceremony where you get inducted into evil. It’s like a fraternity initiation except fewer people drink themselves to death during a black mass… REMEMBER: Satanists often stamp the back of one’s hand for reentry… ESPECIALLY if hand-stamping is a sin in the first religion.

Without religion, philosophers have tried to define “evil”. Examples include Nietzsche’s Beyond Good & Evil HD Video Review - YouTubeBeyond Good and Evil and Seuss’ On Beyond Zebra. Nietzsche’s book proves that there is no universal definition of evil by using the concept of free will and the white of an egg; whereas, Seuss’ book postulates the chilling possibility of floating monsters called, “Floob-Boober-Bab-Boober-Bubs” and the rejection of fascism in Soviet satellite nations… although you have to kind of have to read between the lines for that second part.

Is it any surprise that Nietzsche couldn’t really define “evil”? We can’t even, as a species, agree that Hitler was evil. Sure, we had a consensus for a few months but Hitler must’ve paid his PR firm seventy years in advance because, in some circles, he is considered a benevolent force. Are those EVIL circles? They are if there are no potatoes.

The closest we can get to a symbol of evil is the Bond villain. Often they put their efforts Hugo Drax - Wikipediainto killing millions or, in the case of Moonraker, everybody on Earth… which would be a shame because I know some people on Earth. Obviously, not all Bond villains want to destroy all human life on Earth. Goldfinger’s evil plan was to set off a dirty bomb inside Fort Knox, taking our nation off of the gold standard. Nixon took us off of the gold standard in 1971 and he didn’t need a tactical nuclear device to do it… but, he DID have a plan to paint Jane Fonda gold and leave her in Marlon Brando’s bed. Did that make Nixon evil? Not if there were potatoes.

To sum up, most of our lives are spent alternately avoiding evil and giving into it. We don’t know what the word “evil” means or if it exists but we know it when we see it because people stop inviting us to parties. Maybe I won’t turn evil. Maybe I’ll become a religious adherent just as soon as a find a religion that advocates doing what I was going to do anyway. Maybe I should just ignore the entire concept of good and evil… just live my life as an Existentialist with a set of morals based on humanist principles and how many cigarettes I smoke a day. Maybe I shouldn’t abandon my efforts to find a universal set of ethics and start an underground chain of fight venues where the elderly square off against pit bulls and rattlesnakes. I guess I won’t turn to evil just yet…

but, if there are potatoes, I will be tempted…

14 thoughts on “eVIL AND pOTATOES

  1. I am unfamiliar with this particular Dr. Seuss book and his evil zebra. Was the poor thing born evil… or did his stripes drive him mad? Always clashing with the couch would put me over the edge, no doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

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