The Chinese bound the princess’s feet. The Arabs remove the girl’s clit. The little American girl tries on mother’s lipstick: that’s a form of bondage too. The Indian woman wears silver bracelets up and down her arms, wearing her wealth for all to see: she may be a slave, but if she had to, if she really wanted to, she could break loose, pay for a meal, a night’s lodging: no matter what the state does to the money, silver will still be silver.
But it ain’t just women. There’s a picture supposedly of Shakespeare showing him wearing an earring! Oh, but he was a theater person, they’re all gypsies.
I was maybe ten the first time I saw guys, males, men: with diamonds in their teeth, biceps rings! aboard the day trip to Bear Mountain, cruise up the Hudon. These guys were from Figi, man: did I love them! And they danced too. I was a white American male, I could look but not copy. Whomp! if I tried. (I did try: and got whomped!)
No, no, the fundamental brain- and body-washing worked: eventually: as a teen I wore every kind of conventional male jewelry: cuff links, shirt studs … weird rings, on more than one finger: rings from Africa! I even had a silver sea horse on my Zippo. But I stopped. A wedding ring appeared, then disappeared. Now I don’t even wear a watch! and my ears aren’t pierced, and so forth.
Naturally, every single damn thing I do, how I’m writing this for example, projects the male jewels the society insists on hiding. Every girl, no matter her age, no matter what I’m wearing, can see me: penetrating her.
Darwin talked of natural selection: the giraffe with the longer neck tends to leave more offspring than the giraffe with a shorter neck. But Darwin also talked about sexual selection! My blue eyes don’t see one whit better than his brown eyes, but some girls will swoon for my blue eyes (while other girls will be repelled, swoon for the brown eyes). The male jewels the society insists on hiding have a function, we all know what it is. The dumbest of us can guess what reddening the lips accomplishes, what the little girls sense no matter how young they are. But some “jewelry” ain’t easy to figure out: explanations will be theory no matter how much we learn. Ferinstance:
We’re well into October. There are still hot hours here in Sebring, but it’s ceased being over one hundred degrees on my patio thermometer hour after day after month. If fact now I’m pulling the sheet up over me in the middle of the night, I’m wearing a tee shirt to bed, then a full length nightie … actually added a light blanket, even though I may kick it off half-way through. In another month there will be nights when I’ll want a wool blanket.
This morning I got up at dawn to don a robe, and shiver under the sheet till I warmed up. I was still wearing it at breakfast: and damn if the sleeve wasn’t trailing in my apricot jam. It’s an American robe, a man’s robe, but the influence is Chinese, Chinese sleeves, rendering the wearer’s arms useless.
Cheese, we’re back to binding the princess’s feet! Make the princess useless, make her feet useless: useless to her and to everyone!
What natural or sexual function does uselessness serve?
Ah: my answer will take a bit, but I promise you: it is, it will be, utterly right.
It relates to why it’s essential in a centralized kleptocracy that a boss not write or type his own letter.
It’s exactly the same reason the Mandarins grew such ridiculous finger nails that they couldn’t even pick up their own tea cup!
Start with two facts: they’re not the same, but they relate: 1) after Caligula’s assassination, Claudius hid behind the curtains, the Praetorian guards found him, dragged him out, crowned him. Kleptocracies need a centralized military command: thus, an executive. A free people wouldn’t need anyone running anything; slave states need a figurehead to sign the checks. 2) My short story King imagines exactly the same situation in a smaller, more primitive society: the magic king is kept in a cave: for his safety. Normal men don’t want to be safe, they want to walk around, see what they see. My prince hears of his brother’s death, knows he’s in line, and runs for his life. Any fate would be better than the total victimization of the monarch.
Not even presidential candidates can speak freely, the public will run them over the coals unless they can guess the exact right combination of delusions.
The Mandarins perfected the uselessness of the monarch: hence those fingernails. Hence, sleeves that drag in the egg yolk.
Me, I try to live like Adam, like Noah, like whoever is next if not first. But it’s useless: billions are in my way. At least my vain struggles will be over soon.