When Up Is Down


When up is down and right is left;

When north is south and south is north;


When music, once described as sweet, is now a bloody, motherfucking assault;

When a quiet walk in the park ends in rape and murder;

When nothing is ever enough and the fault is always someone else's;

When love is a brutal beating and hate is tender kissing;

When everything is to be determined at a later date when university researchers have completed their million-dollar study;

When language honors nothing, not even the sound of its own voice, and grammar is straight out of the ghetto;

When "give it to me before I take it from you" is a polite request;

When changing for the better is actually changing for the worse, but no one has the guts to say so;

When road construction has a higher priority than public parks and restrooms;


When love is Viagra and a three-day hard-on with no side effects other than a loss of vision ("Ask your doctor if it's right for you!");

When thanking yourself is the only way you will ever be thanked;

When logic is only a court-room tool used to cheat the public, and the court's rules of procedure are intended to suppress all "substantive" legal issues;

When "sense" is plain, ordinary nonsense and "whatever";


When degeneration parades as innovation and social progress while we fall through the cracks on the surface of a dry, denuded planet;

When the boom car rules the 'hood and le Jon de Bron, aka Fuga, or Walter Mitty, Junior, aka "Spitty", wake the living and the dead ("mutha fuka, mutha fuka, boom, boom, boom, boom");

When "entertainment" is the fiery destruction of aliens and freaky foreigners on hi-res screens powered by pricey graphics accelerators;

When "cool" and "awesome" describe an artificial world of special effects that, nevertheless, can't compete with a sunset;

When business panders to the lowest instincts of man unkind, solely focused on the "bottom line";

When the negative effects of rap and heavy rock have bludgeoned the mind to numbness, dumbness, and dull stupor, and sensitivity has gone on sabbatical;

When one-dimensional thinking prevails in all critical matters, complexity reduced to a single question: pleasure or pain?;

When shouting is the only way to be heard in the Colosseum or the cafe;

When disruption and defiance ("GET USED TO MY NOISE!") are the mantra of youth no matter what the issue;

When all things sensual have been elevated to the highest level, and knowledge and meaning have been told to take a hike;

When all important decisions are made by children, pollsters, banks, and investors;

When mediocrity is the "new normal", and the new normal is the old, pathological abnormal;

When "innovation" replaces solid science and electronic gadgetry is a hero on parade;

When philosophy is despised and history gladly forgotten ("Hitler who?" "Hirohito too?");

When the smirk replaces the smile and all irony is cruel;

When true genius and originality are regarded with suspicion;

When "group think" takes over the office and "wearable technology" is regarded as true "innovation";

When "extreme yoga", in a power grab of mindshare, has usurped the venerable yoga of body, mind, and spirit;

When thinking is said to be ill advised and consciousness is regarded as mere hallucination;

When no action is performed without the presence of a personal trainer;

When all judges are politicians and a favorable decision is just a matter of campaign contributions;


When the tattoo, once a symbol of rebellion, is now a sign of conformity, along with the pierced ear, tongue, and nipple;

When cleavage is more highly regarded than a bright smile and a winning personality;

When every member of a race sues to have its status upgraded or its phenotypal characteristics altered, and every member of a species pleads for a higher taxonomical classification;

When the girl next door, with whom you once ran though the sprinklers and ate ice cream, now wears heavy eye shadow, calls you "big boy", and asks if you want to have a little fun;

When every clerk, maid, and parking-lot attendant has a cell phone and is talking on it all the time;

When the busy icon on your computer never stops spinning and the progress bar indicates that you had better pack up and go home (a two-day download?);


When "artists"—or do they call themselves "creatives" now?—only do video "mashups" of stolen masterpieces (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven) and their Summer vacations;

When "cool" isn't even good, "awesome" is pitiful, and "ohmygod" references no living or imagined deity;

When "when" has become your only line of inquiry, then "then" may be too late. And "if," if "if" is still an option, may be iffy. And as for "but", I will not touch it. Cheers in a world gone mad!
 
 
By Louis Martin