Monday, March 24, 2014

Patient Effort Will Out

Patient effort will out. It is the only lesson I have, to teach to my children. I do not have anything else to offer them. It's a kind of faith.

Faith is not a lever you pull and out pops the candy. Faith is putting your candy into the machine, over and over, because you know in your heart it's the right thing to do, all the while knowing that nothing might ever come back out of it for you. You're just serene in the knowledge that the machine itself is a worthwhile apparatus, despite a lot of evidence to the contrary. That's why they call it faith. Duh.

The young man in the video grew up, his entire life, with a boot on his face. The Soviet Union was the largest example of the worst state of affairs ever conceived by humans. There are plenty of pikers plying their trade at human misery, retail, in places like basements in Cleveland, and organized and disorganized crime, or in franchises like North Korea and various other gulags with a seat at the United Nations and "Democratic" in their names, but for institutional unkindness, the soviets transformed mom and pop cruelty into an industrial-scaled enterprise. They were the multinational of misery.

This young man must have put his candy into the machine, day after day, never knowing if anything would come back out for him besides a mailed fist. He simply didn't put it into the wrong machine -- the machine that required everything from a man, even his soul -- he snuck around back and put it in the hidden slot any man can find if he looks hard enough. That slot isn't often labeled. Check that; it's usually mislabeled by the makers of the evil machine. They label it poison or greed or wrecker or apostate or denier or extremist or whatever they think might frighten you off. If you labeled it yourself, you might write, "I am a human being."

My family and I are required to submit to many indignities. Our arm is twisted and our candy is often mashed into the front of a machine we'd break if we had a hammer big enough. But every night while the people that warm themselves over the exhaust grate of that infernal machine are sleeping, we tiptoe around it and put our patient efforts into another, kindler, gentler machine. We do not know for certain if the machine will ever disburse anything we can use. We are only certain the other machine never will.


julie said...

That was marvelous. The music, and the commentary.

Leslie said...


Casey Klahn said...

Speaking of machines infernal, and machines hidden in one's heart, this machine of blogrr is a considerable one.

I am thankful almost daily to read your posts on blogger. Please keep it happening. I don't know much about music, but I did smile broadly at these guys in the video.

great Unknown said...

In contemporary America, the kid would have been given the bum's rush by security and PR goons.

One thing the Russians have always held dear is culture; who doesn't know Tolstoy, Chekhov, music, art, poetry... One of the most vile insults in Russian is nekulturny, which basically means an uncultured slob.

I am afraid we are slipping into the boot-in-the-face machine status you described so poignantly, without the saving grace of culture.

Sam L. said...

Sooooo...Is The St. James Infirmary Blues taken from a Russian tune?


pdwalker said...

That was both unexpected and gave me the chills.

Envy is the feeling I have when I see musicans like that just play so effortlessly. Unpracticed, unrehearsed and look what they did.

Bravo, beautiful, amazing. Almost speechless.

Gringo said...

Excellent improvisations. They didn't call Dave Brubeck a jazz musician for nothing.