Decency, Modesty, Integrity, Even-handedness, and Excellence

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for Merrick Garland, nominee to the Supreme Court

As a boy he made it through one Cub Scout meeting.
All the other kids had names like Derrick,
Toby, James; their dads had names like Merrick,
Russel, Palmer. Jewy Jacob’s fleeting
and failed efforts at befriending, then competing
with these flaxen youth? Loss. At best, a pyrrhic
win: to later tell real friends satiric
versions in which he quits; he’s not retreating
into buck-toothed shyness. Years after, tall
now, orthondtized, fit, and proudly queer,
still he feels a twinge when some vampiric
preppy is proposed as someone all
right-thinking people must support, mere
acceptability as panegyric.

2 thoughts on “Decency, Modesty, Integrity, Even-handedness, and Excellence

  1. in small-town maine, my experience was different. i survived the almost-benign, light religious/patriotic indoctrination of cub scouts. it was the first meeting of the actual boy scouts that sent me running. i’m not so sure the vague sense that i’d walked into some kinda cultish nambla meeting was as well founded as was my squeamishness about the guest speaker that evening, a 50-something uncle of one of the boys, there to demonstrate the proper method of cutting one’s toenails. see you don’t do them in an arc like fingernails, you do toes straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. (i’m not saying it wasn’t a valuable life lesson.) i’m still not positive if the gauntlet we were forced to run of the older kids’ whipping canvas belts, or the dropping of hunting knives, point down near stocking-ed feet, were officially sanctioned activities or not.

  2. one of my boy scout experiences was of a scout master who definitely did not give a shit about the rules. ok, we were 11-15 yr olds, weekend or holiday camping, very small town E. Texas, so he wasn’t keen on us drinking. one of us was his big-boned son. but we were out there to fuck around in the woods, go frog-giggin, fishin, no real guns, swimming, tobacco spittin, trying to trap & kill rabbits, throw darts at each other and shoot each other w/BB guns & sling shots. did i mention not getting hassled about tobacco use? whole lot of spittin goin on. none of that scout manual BS. “no badges, we don’t do badges. i whittled yall some prizes. 1st prize: a stick which i took 5 minutes to etch your name into.” and so on. there was the briefest little sunday school bible story thing cuz on the lord’s day. hell, it was far more wholesome than football practice. we sure said the lord’s prayer & the pledge a lot less. less showering together too. fewer injuries, less authority figures screaming & throwing shit. etc. i didn’t last long in the scout troop where they were marching around in uniform. Future Farmers & 4H. i miss the pig castrations to this day. some squeals never quit.

    feels a twinge when some vampiric
    preppy is proposed as someone all
    right-thinking people must support

    follow your twinges. which of his verdicts did this S.C. overturn? wasn’t it the one about habeas rights & guantamo detainees?

    it’s holy week & that jew thing so i might as well quote an anti-semite re SCOTUS nominee Merkin Merkelbrach
    honor stains, 4 quartets

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