Peter Bernstein & Mark Goldenberg Silent Rage
It seems fitting that our next little idiom is this, given that the axe has played such an integral part in horror through the ages and is one of my preferred means of dispatch. Should you have one of these bad boys to grind then, chances are, you’ve got some pretty strong grievances. Right now, there are certain individuals who have me somewhat riled, and the shoe fits particularly well. However, I have no intention of naming names and neither do I care to wash my dirty linen in the most public of laundromats. As you know, integrity is everything to me and , without it, I would be just another dick with ears. While I may well be an open book, there are certain things I will always refrain from vocalizing as I don’t believe it’s fair to show only one side of the story without allowing the other party involved to voice their case.
It all boils down to a code of honor amongst, not only artists, but human beings in general. You will never see me embroiled in some sort of witch hunt and I loathe it when others use what is essentially a bullying tactic just because they hold the microphone. I would much rather grind my axe in silence. Should the opportunity present itself to make known my gripes then I’ll do so one on one and never look to taint others’ perception just to get one up on my opposite number. It’s a simple code of ethics which sadly seems to have been largely forgotten since social networking became such an open mic for people’s pent-up frustrations.
I have met my fair share of smiling assassins since first picking up the Crimson Quill. These fickle fools will be all smiles on their front face while, on reverse, they mumble the word “cunt” under their lips and grind their axes, ready to plunge them into your back the very moment you lower your guard. These charlatans think nothing of dripping poison into the ear drum of anyone deluded enough to actually take notice of their hateful blurb and, like a cancer, only know how to destroy and have no interest in building something from stable foundations. Eventually, karma comes back around, and these buffoons end up with egg on their faces and no audience active enough to give a solitary hoot about helping them wipe it off.
If, like me, you’re a gentle soul then you don’t get caught up in tittle-tattle because you wish no harm to befall anyone else. I don’t like conflict and never have come to think about it. That’s not to say that I grew up surrounded by bickering, on the contrary, I was exposed to very little growing up. However, I believe there are far better ways to deal with bad feeling than grabbing the nearest rapier and plunging it straight into somebody else’s mid section, metaphorically or otherwise. Instead I would much rather attempt to discuss any outrage with the party in question and look to come to a satisfactory conclusion. If that is impossible, then I will happily walk away, not out of cowardice, but to save my breath for those who actually want to hear it.
I’m a particularly passive motorist and have never once used my car horn in an aggressive manner in nearly twenty years on the road. Should a fellow road user cut across me without signaling then I am not interested in introducing them to my bubbling vitriol and, instead, I release them from my crosshairs and let them go and have their road battle some place else. Why worry about what you cannot change? Me honking them is unlikely to offer them epiphany and neither will they become a better person as a result. Moreover, their egos will likely cause them to swear blind that I was in the wrong so why waste my energy on such single-minded idiots? I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t occasionally needled by the ignorance of others as I may live by a code of honor but I’m not a deacon. It’s just that rage is such a wasteful emotion if not channeled in the correct manner and I wasn’t placed here to fight. Having said that, there have been some hairy moments since I first claimed my license to drive. Wanna hear one?
The Angry Birds Analogy
Kenny Loggins The Danger Zone
There have been times when my fuse has been considerably shorter. I recall one delightful exchange as I traveled with my dear seventy-year-old mother to the local mall. I was on a slip road and running out of runway for take off. I had been signalling the entire time but one stubborn motorist refused to let me out, despite the fact that I was about to enter the danger zone. Finally I edged into my lane at which point said driver whizzed past blowing their horn like a methed-up Nord. At the drop of a hat I reacted, flipping the bird at this loutish heathen to exhibit my considerable discord. In that nanosecond my imaginative cerebral cortex concocted a vista of some goatee-sporting hooded deadhead, busting out dub step and waxing to his mate Gaz about his plans to shank up some rival runner.
My brain doesn’t ordinarily assume wrongly but, on this particular day, it came a cropper with uproarious results. As I rested my middle digit against the window at full mast and prepared the words “fuck you!” to deliver in bullet-time, I was horrified to see an entire family, eyes wide open in abject horror and catching oral flies in sheer astonishment. The mother hen was perched in the driver side gobsmacked and her three angelic little cherubs were pressed up against the back window, each robbed of a little of their innocence. I felt godawful but shouldn’t have been concerned for these ickle cubs as they had their own designs on retribution.
As I picked up pace, sucking on the bitter pill of being crowned the bastard of the piece, I wished only to make amends. As I approached and this time offered a wide open palm and pre-loaded apology, I was aghast to witness this single mother and her three pig-tailed ankle gnashers all saluting me with the same angry bird I had flicked them barely a minute earlier, while the youngest even mouthed the words “fuck you”. Instantly, my mother and I almost pro-lapsed, and I remember wiping away those happy tears as I desperately wrestled to regain control of my wheels as they veered ominously towards the central reservation. I could have been furious but what would that have really achieved? The fact was that I knew full well I had acted out without honor and they had every right to grind their collective axe that day.
If I have ever seen fit to grind my own axe then it has been fleeting and historically have been smiling like a sailor a mere New York minute later. My biggest axe, one which I’ve lugged around for many years, is ground towards the tabloid media. I abhor their lack of integrity, their social conditioning, and untruthful sermons. The front page of their daily rags invariably becomes a race to tell the biggest porky. Where are their heads at? The society we cohabit is led akin to moths to the flame through a splurge of one-sided deductions and plain old bullshit. Ultimately these foot soldiers are mesmerized by the real villains of the piece: the unscrupulous suits and pressurizing editors, and they too become the consumer. These numpties keep my axe sharpened but, should I ever be called to battle, then it would without broadsword. My prose is my might, if backed into a corner I just speak with the integrity I know I have.
The better person is happy to walk away looking like the perpetrator. Why the hell should that be? My conscience is clear, simple as that. I can articulate well my back is against the wall but choose never to do so unless it should be absolutely necessary. Peaceful doesn’t necessarily equate to weak. Should slander come into play then I have an almost photographic memory that Johnny Five would give a robot clap. However, I have no great desire to grind my axe as bitterness bores the fucking shoes off me. I have too much capacity for love to get dragged down by hatred. Holding grudges, carrying axes, dragging names through dirt, they all require a lot of exertion and I would much prefer to travel light.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
First Knight of TOK
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Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013 (Revised 2015)