In was the beginning of the 1970s.
WW2 was fresh in memory and so was the Korean War. The Vietnam war brought up fresh horrors on a daily basis.
A young impressionable man called Edwin Brock could not take all this anymore and coined a poem.
Five Ways to Kill a Man
There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man.
You can make him carry a plank of wood
to the top of a hill and nail him to it.
To do this properly you require a crowd of people
wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak
to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.
Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince, and a
castle to hold your banquet in.
Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
not to mention black boots, bomb craters,
more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs
and some round hats made of steel.
In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly
miles above your victim and dispose of him by
pressing one small switch. All you then
require is an ocean to separate you, two
systems of government, a nation’s scientists,
several factories, a psychopath and
land that no-one needs for several years.
These are, as I began, cumbersome ways to kill a man.
Simpler, direct, and much more neat is to see
that he is living somewhere in the middle
of the twentieth century, and leave him there.
In case its not apparent, 1st stanza is about Jesus’s crucifixion, 2nd is about the medieval English War of the Roses, 3rd is about WW1 and the horrific use of mustard gas and the 4th if of course about the atom bombs.
It just shows the improvement in efficiency – MBAs will be so happy – in killing people.
But its actually the last stanza that is chilling (not in a Netflix way) in its depiction of reality.
Reality then, not reality now.
Things have changed now.
So what’s the best way to kill a man now?
Just two words suffice
And no, its nothing to do with love.
Love is complicated, love hurts all true but based on what I see all around me, love is also temporary.
No the two words that are guaranteed to kill you are – I care.
Because it gives hope, you start to thing that there is hope, that there is someone one there who will help, someone who will support.
And because of that hope, you will wake up everyday thinking maybe today’s the day, maybe today my pain will lessen a little.
But it never does.
It never does because nobody gives a flying fuck.
I care is also the cruelest words in any language because by uttering them you are condemning someone to a lifetime of torment. You are condemning someone to a state where every breath becomes a lifetime of excruciating pain.
And there is only one way out of it.
But it takes a tremendous amount of courage to take that step.
These alpha type supremely confident optimistic goody two shoes will motivate you by saying inane shit like cowards die many death and that it takes courage to live.
These are people who have never felt that pain, never felt that anxiety, never felt that humiliation of knowing and of feeling that you are flawed, you are defective and that there’s no fixing you and like all defective equipment everywhere you deserve to be tossed aside in garbage.
They have no idea about how every breath feels like the lash of a whip, how every flutter of the eyelid feels like a kick, how you feel like puking your guts out for every second of your life.
They have no idea about how hard it is to get up, how hard it is to try and fit in, how hard it is just reach out to another human being and only get reviled and humiliated and sneered at in return.
And they have no idea that all that stems from those two words, someone sometime told you.
Because those two words gave you hope.
And because they gave you hope, they gave you fear.
Without hope, there is no fear, and when there is no fear, you can finally break down the chains of torment and find peace and rest.
So you must be wondering why I have not broken down those chains.
Its because I am a coward.
I am a stupid moronic craven wimpy gutless spineless imbecilic coward who believed people when they uttered those two words.
And because I believed, I hoped.
I hoped for relief, I hoped for salvation, I hoped for freedom and release.
And because I hoped, I became a coward.
And now am stuck
Stuck in this purgatory of pain.
So it goes
Am sorry for ranting and raving and rambling and generally boring you (plus ca change, eh). Nobody wants their daily life and happiness ruined by a weirdo’s irritating shenanigans.
So here I will make it up to you.
For those of you who know football, here’s Faustino Asprilla dressed in a t-rex outfit teaching his horse to play football.
And for those of you who know their cricket, here’s an anaconda biting Shane Warne