Friday, August 3, 2007


I am rather fond of oaths, even though I don't think they hold water. I just like the formal poetic declaration before doing something, the memorizing of a complicated phase. My favorite oath used to be the opening of Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain"

Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time, for y'all have knocked her up.
I have eaten the maggots of the mind of the universe.
I was not offended, for I knew I had to rise above it all, or drown in my own shit.
It would please me greatly to see a grade school class, hand on hearts, reciting it. George Clinton, on the whole, is not the biggest sense-maker, but these words are weirdly inspiring to me. Maybe because my hearing of "Maggot Brain" was a race-awareness moment for me. It was recommended in a bit in The Wire years ago, when someone was reviewing it because Stephen Stapleton of Nurse With Wound said it was the most important album ever made or something - but it was all-white recommendations of this very black record, and I realized I was listening to nothing but XTC and Elvis Costello and needed some soul, and "Maggot Brain" delivered. And still does.

My new favorite oath though, is the one Team Rocket, the bad guys in Pokemon, utters (albiet with variations) before they reveal their soon-to-be easily foiled, dastardly plan:

Prepare for trouble
Make it double!
To protect the world from devastation
To unite all peoples within our nation
To denounce the evils of truth and love
To extend our reach to the stars above!
Blast off at the speed of light!
surrender now or prepare to fight, fight, fight!
Maya and I learned this by heart once she got into Pokemon and will bust this out at the slightest provocation. I like the fact that they somehow seem to be saying that they are saving the world from love, and are, in fact, countering love's divisive erosion through evil. They are clearly the comic relief in the endlessly humorless world of training and competition that is Pokemon, so it warms my heart that my sweet daughter, while loving cute monsters like she should, will side with the funny over the righteous.

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