December 10th, 2010 10:07 EST
Lies are Cheap and Tasty, But Truth Takes Time to Ferret Out and is Hard to Digest
Sending the herbicidalists to Washington
The despised dandelion (Lion`s Tooth) symbolizes for me the stupid arrogance of men who insist on being right and start wars. Americans spend millions of dollars each year rooting out this complex and beautiful sunburst that bestows innumerable benefits on us.
Some damned fools have decided that a sward studded with yellow gems is somehow an eyesore and offense, just as some of us think others of us are an offense to which we apply the herbicide of intolerance.
The dandelion is an organism of a high order. Taraxacum officinale (its taxonomical name) breaks up hard soil and brings nutrients to the surface where they help other cultivars. It releases ethylene gases which help fruit ripen. It is a healthful vegetable whose leaves encourage proper liver function. It provides nutrition to bees without which we can`t pollinate any number of fruits. The dandelion is also an important medicinal remedy, helping to detoxify the liver.
But in spite of its prolix beauty and usefulness, it is despised. Suburban associations often bully property owners into poisoning dandelions. And it is widely held that a lawn that tolerates the dandelion is in fact a miserable weed field.
The most cursory reference check reveals the dandelion`s place in nature, but most people would rather spend hard-earned money on poison to kill it because they prefer a lie to the profuse truth under their very noses. I think our attitude towards the dandelion is very like our politics; we simply like hand-me-down lies in preference to verifiable truths.
I don`t believe the majority of Germans believed the Jews were at the root of all their ills; I believe the majority found the lie reassuring. I don`t believe the Germans acted in ignorance, I believe they retreated from their advanced culture because the truth was complex and required intellectual exertion and discipline, whereas the lie was easy, operatic and comforting.
Rather than watch the spectacle of their leaders grappling with issues, which might take years if not decades to address, they chose drums, boots, war, military industrialization and ultimately self-destruction. They killed the dandelions because it was easier than understanding them. And they were the most educated people in Europe, while we Americans are hardly the most educated people among the so-called advanced nations. I think we have just sent the herbicidalists to Washington and to our other seats of government. Perhaps they will give us our uninterrupted green sward, our debt reduction, but the cost will be horrific in human suffering and injustice.
Djelloul Marbrook is a retired newspaperman. His second book of poems, Brushstrokes and Glances, will be published by Deerbrook Editions on December 20, 2010. His first book of poems, Far From Algiers, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2007 and was published in 2008. It won the International Book Award in 2010. His novella, Artemisia`s Wolf, will be published by Prakash Books of India in December. His novella, Saraceno, was recently published as an e-book. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal LattÃ© first prize in fiction in 2008. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999.
Del`s book, Far From Algiers: http://upress.kent.edu/books/Marbrook_D.htm
New review of Far from Algiers: http://www.rattle.com/blog/2009/05/far-from-algiers-by-djelloul-marbrook/
Artists Hill, Literal LattÃ©`s fiction first prize: http://www.literal-latte.com/author/djelloulmarbrook/
His blog: http://www.djelloulmarbrook.com
His mother`s art: http://www.juanitaguccione.com
His aunt`s art: http://www.irenericepereira.com