Saturday, February 2, 2013

Machine Gun Moloch

In a post back in June, Robert Priest, Dr. Poetry, and the Viral Verbal Vortex, I wrote about my friend Robert Priest, a poet and musician, and shared an essay I wrote about him for the online poetry and creative writing journal/magazine, Big Bridge, which was also entitled, "Robert Priest, Dr. Poetry, and the Viral Verbal Vortex". And in the essay, I included some discussion of his meme splices or meme switches, a technique he employs where he switches out similar sounding words in a series of familiar phrases and sayings, so that substituting splice for spice yields, "the splice of life," "the splice garden," and "the splice trade," for example. It's a great technique for poetry, humor, and also what in general semantics is referred to as consciousness of abstracting—in this instance by substituting one word for another, it makes us more aware and more critical of the meanings we attribute to the words we use.

And readers of Blog Time Passing are no doubt quite familiar with my views on gun violence and the second amendment by now. If not, or if you're in need of a refresher course, you can go back and read the following posts: You can start with What to Blame for the Colorado Shooting? from this past July, in response the Aurora movie theater shooting. And I shared a poem on the topic the following month, Second Amen Dementia. And then, in December, reacting to the unspeakable horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, I posted On Guns and More, followed by Human Sacrifice and the False Idol of Firearms.  And in that last post, I included commentary from Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie on how gun worship is blasphemy, and from a leading Roman Catholic intellectual, on how guns have become the new, American Moloch (Moloch being the most despised of false gods in the bible, because his worshipers required that children be thrown into the fire as sacrifices to him).

And so, it occurred to me to apply Robert Priest's technique to the terms gun and god, as another way to express the idea that idolatry and blasphemy is alive and well in America, in the form of gun worship.  I posted the result on my poetry blog over on MySpace last month, and I thought I would share it here as well. I will leave you with this poem, rather than try to add some final concluding words to this post, as I feel that at the end of this piece, there really is nothing more to be said.

Machine Gun Moloch (A Meme Splice)

I am the Lord, thy Gun
I, the Lord thy Gun, am a jealous Gun
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy Gun in vain
There is no Gun but Gun
To the greater glory of Gun!
In Gun we trust
Gun bless you
Gun is everywhere
You cannot hide from Gun
Do you believe in Gun?
Have faith in Gun
Praise be to Gun
Gun's will be done
Have you found Gun?
Pray to the almighty Gun
Our Gun and Gun of our fathers
May Gun bless you and keep you
May the face of Gun smile upon you
As Gun is my witness
It was an act of Gun
Gun damn you!
We are assured of victory for we have Gun on our side
He just thinks he's Gun's gift to us
Oh my Gun!
Have you heard Gun's voice?
Gun is our help and our savior
The law of Gun
Gun does not give you anything you cannot handle
Your arm's too short to box with Gun
Gun speaks to us
Gun wants us to worship Him
Gun demands our obedience
Give thanks to Gun
Can you feel the presence of Gun?
Walk with Gun
There but for the grace of Gun go I
Submit to Gun's judgment
Stand before Gun
Kneel before Gun
Approach Gun's altar
Know Gun's peace
Gun is just
Gun is love
Swear to Gun
So help me Gun!
It's in the hands of Gun
Await the kingdom of Gun
Gun willing!
For Gun's sake!
Honest to Gun!
Dear Gun!
Gun is a circle whose center is everywhere
If Gun did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him
I believe in Gun even when He is silent
Man plans, Gun laughs
Oh for the love of Gun!
You must fight for your Gun-given rights
This will put the fear of Gun into you!
Why Gun? Why me?
One nation, under Gun

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