Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Vengeance is Mine
Vengeance is something else entirely. It implies a point-of-no-return addressing of an intensely universal, not just personal, injustice. It is large scale, Biblically proportioned, sometimes morally ambiguous, and almost always violent. No one will deny you your revenge. But it's a good bet they'll look at you funny if you start talking vengeance.
It's always been a concept that has fascinated me, whether in classic literature (Hamlet), modern novels (Deliverance), or movies (from The Searchers to Death Wish to Kill Bill to Gran Torino). When the authorities fail, when anarchy rules—even briefly—just how long are we expected to turn our cheeks and accept injustice?
Some of your haiku this week dealt with the theme on this spiritual/moral level. Becca reminds us just how much it must suck to have one's soul hoovered out of one's body, doomed to roam the earth with the same endless thirst. (I think I finally figured out why vamp lit is so popular these days—aren't we all similar victims of succubus governments and their corporate lackeys, so drained dry of any purpose and meaning that all we can do is mindlessly consume?)
Karl ponders both the satisfaction and the devastation that can result from taking matters into one's own hands. I'm still not clear on what it is exactly that Karl does for a living but I sleep better at night knowing he's out there, somewhere, doing his Karl thing.
Then there's Aunty, who tongue-in-cheekily asserts that, why, no, y'all, Aunty DON'T sweat. While her contemporaries undulate their sculpted abs in an endless series of beach volleyball games, Aunty lounges smartly beneath a wide sunbrella, a blonde Elizabeth Taylor flashing her baby blues or greens or browns and just a bit of delicate ankle wrapped in a K. Jacques sandal strap. Go ahead. Thumb your nose at the jocks, eat the chocolate, and work it off in the garden.
Fishy contemplated the meaning of Vengeance is Mine, Sayeth the Lord. No, not a commandment. Otherwise, on the eighth day God would not have created Smith & Wesson.
Serendipity presented two crack 'ku's about natural vengeance, reminding us that the last thing anyone wants to see when they wake up in the morning is the aftermath of a pissed-off bear.
Curm reminded us that nature—wrathful or regenerative—will always have the last word.
Speaking of which, Czar's smack-down of naysayer English teachers is pretty darn funny if you know that he just finished what is probably the world's first—and likely last—copy edit of the online book version of James Joyce's Ulysses. I think he should go out and celebrate by getting drunk on Irish Whiskey. Right now.
Rafe, one of HM's most gleeful wordsmiths, gave us a few things to ponder about the nature of one straw too many piled on a back. He also managed to work in a beloved Italian American cuss-out, which I think I will adopt as my personal credo for the rest of the week.
And I couldn't help but laugh at Foam's entry this week, either the perfect evocation of Zen acceptance or Gen X slackertude ("Dude, I can't be bothered to get off the sofa to put a cap in your ass, but believe me, if I could do it with a look, I would"). Either way, it's funny.
As is Blazng's. Who hasn't been that girl? Or wanted to be? Which is why I give her the win for this week:
Hell hath no fury!
A gas tank full of salt; cure!
Vengeance can be sweet.
It grabbed me from the get-go, with it's clever play on "salt cure," the juxtaposition between bitter and sweet, the way she qualifies the satisfaction in the last line—vengeance can be sweet, rather than vengeance is so sweet.
Nicely done, girl. Snag your badge and let us know if you're up for hosting next week.
Thanks again for playing, everyone!