Paralipsis (par-a-lip’-sis): Stating and drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over (see also cataphasis). A kind of irony.
I’m not going to tell you what a world of shit the world is in. We don’t need to hear what to do about it. We need to do something about it. But the shit-list is long—stretching from communicable diseases to rising ocean levels that will soon inundate my million-dollar beach home with waves of salt water, and eventually, schools of fish and lobsters. What could be worse? Wild fires! They’re worse. They are stealthy. They sneak into towns and cities, making ashes and embers as they go, and poof, there goes another little town in the Cascade Mountains. Gone, along with all the people who live there, fleeing for their lives like Prairie Dogs from a grass fire. What about the recent floods? Deluges come down from the sky and trickling creeks turn into raging rivers, filled with floating junk and struggling people. You may see a chicken coop float by, ridden by a family of four. Or, a telephone pole with an extended family on board—fifteen people, from babies to elders headed to God knows where. Maybe over the 100-foot high waterfall 1/4 mile down river? There goes a rich guy in his Land Rover! He can’t pay his way out of this one, like the affair he had with his daughter’s best friend. He’s blowing his horn at the man in front of him riding in a planter box, trying to steer with a garden trowel. Mr. Land Rover vehemently motions to Planter Box man to get out of his way. Then, he hits a bridge abutment and drowns.
I bet you had a great dinner last night. Pretty much everybody else didn’t. Famine is real—it affects everybody who does not have enough to eat. Go to the mall and see the jiggly woman in the electric shopping scooter who has a bag of “Caloroni Chocolate Chugs Chugs” on her lap while she shops for “Fatty Bars” and “Weight-Loss Winkies.” It makes no sense, but that’s how it goes in the land of plenty. Here comes another jiggler—a man! It seems the battery in his scooter is going dead, or something. Smoke is billowing out the back. It looks like his weight is straining the motor. If the seat catches on fire he is a dead man. He has a bag of “Flabbusto Chocolate Covered Crisco Treats.” The mall guards spray his scooter with fire extinguishers, as the flames subside, he slowly gets off his scooter and waddles to a nearby bench where he immediately farts and reaches for another “Flabbusto” as he waits for his life-boat scooter to be delivered. Meanwhile, somewhere else in the world, a family shares a dinner of a single broiled locust and a handful of boiled tree bark. They are so skinny they could work as skeletons in anatomy classes. Their clothes consist of used fertilizer bags with head-and arm-holes cut out. They can almost remember their small farm where they used the fertilizer before hell descended on their land when it stopped raining two years ago. They don’t have a chance. Hello Hyenas!
As we review the world of shit, we see there are varying depths of shit constituting the world of shit: there are worlds of shit. Your devastating flood may be my big puddle in my back yard. Your flash fire that burns out your life and destroys your belongings, may be my leaf pile fire gone out of control. Your famine may be my hunger pang that prompts me to go to the deli and get a pastrami sandwich on rye. My brother Eddy has just finished writing a book about all this. He has absolutely no qualifications, so the book is a fictional conspiracy theory that’s all about blame, with no solutions proposed. He says that once you know who to blame, you’re halfway there. The book’s title is: “THEY Have Taken Our Water, Our Food, Nice Weather, and Started Fires.” “They” are a conspiracy of Democrats and Aliens from “Planet Par,” a race of golf-loving fiends that look human and wear loud plaid golfing attire and golf hats that say DARN, “Democrats Against Republican Nonsense,” making it look like they’re chastising Republicans when they are actually to blame. Anyway, the space aliens plant bombs all over Earth to destroy it, plan to take the Democrat collaborators with them when they leave, and will let everybody else be blown up. As the aliens get ready to leave, though, they can’t get their spaceships started. The mission to blow up Earth is temporarily scrapped. At this point, the great Republican scientist Elan Muck offers to help fix the spaceships in exchange for peace with the aliens, and also, to collaborate with them to fix the world of shit. Elan discovers a cure-all for the earth’s ills and purchases the World Wide Web from its mysterious owner so he can inform the world of the means of salvation. Everybody rejoices, except Democrats who, for collaborating with the aliens, are relegated to work camps, mining “the cure” 24-7.
I think Eddy’s book sucks. We need real solutions to the world’s real problems. I’m going to do my part by raiding supermarkets, clearing the shelves of unhealthy food, and sending it by chartered jet to hungry countries.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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