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The Devil in the Details

-by Nigel Best

Ground black pepper,  almond shells, and coarsely chopped tobacco that’s  mixed by hand with a tiny amount of flakes of dried, red blood from a ginger cat, the blood having to have been extracted at the stroke of midnight on a cloudless, moonless night. 

Throw all of that into a velvet bag containing bleached chicken bones. 

There is one other ingredient in that concoction. It’s powerful, and  is a secret pertaining only to me... I will say, it’s a hell of a strong offering of a recipe.

Now, once everything’s blended, then shaken in the bag, it’s ready for the ritual that is called Santoria in parts of the Caribbean, though you can call it voodoo ,if you like.

It’s a mixing of African juju, Caribbean religious rites, and a bewildering array of Catholic saints.

Does it work? 

I offer you this: A friend was unable to conceive a child. Whilst in Cuba, she was given a small Santoria ceremony out back of a farmhouse.

After placing her offering under an avocado tree at the feet of her preferred saint an incantation was made. The attending priestess then seemed to magically produce a wedding ring on a chain out of thin air. This was held over my acquaintance’s head. The ring began to rock back and forth.

“You will bear a female child,” the priestess informed my friend. One year later, and with much delight, my friend did gave birth to a daughter.

Make of that what you may.

I once experienced Santoria/voodoo in a dank, musty-smelling swamp teeming with insects, two hours outside of New Orleans. (I was given a ride by a taxi driver whose business card I still possess.) 

Carrying my bag of bones, I walked as instructed, eleven times counter clockwise around the perimeter of a clearing, itself surrounded by bald cypress trees and tupelo gum trees with the feathery fingers of Spanish moss hanging down from the branches,

I poured the contents out of the bag into a silver bowl placed at the feet of a statue of a patron saint whose name I don’t recall which was made of alabaster, and whose once-brightly painted robes had now seen the better part of years of damp swamp air, and hundreds of ceremonies such as mine.

Did it work for me? 

I confess I had no interest in the religiosity of it all. Not having a religious bone in me, I didn’t believe in asking the spirits of dead saints for anything lest I had to hand over my soul in return.

Participating in a religious ritual and leaving a saint to wait on a request from a non-believer sure makes me out to be a hypocrite, though, so give me a membership into the club of hypocrites.

I’ll gladly put my hypocrisy along with my elbows up on the bar and order drinks with all of you that can’t see the double-edged blade of hypocrisy in condemning the death of a Russian opponent of Vladimir Putin whilst turning a blind eye to the history of U.S. killings of world leaders, or men and women, that posed a threat to U.S. overseas business and political policies. Think Salvador Allende in Chile, Patrice Lumumba in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, both of whom had been democratically elected, by the way. (You know, that word “democracy” that U.S. politicians and U.S. business folk like to slide across this bar during these types of conversations?)

Then there was Fidel Castro, who managed to somehow avoid the exploding cigars and poison the U.S. tried to kill him with, though the U.S. did manage to get his “Che” in the mid 1960s.

The U.S. sanctioned the murder of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara after he’d been captured in Bolivia. After ordering his death, To add insult to death, the U.S. powers-that-were had the Bolivians cut off Guevara’s hands to be shipped back to the U.S. for a positive identification. The rest of Guevara’s body was then dismantled and tossed into various holes.

History, eh? Always there to remind us of the present.

And, yes, seeing as you’re asking, another drink would be appreciated.

Let me continue, and, don’t get me wrong as I play devil’s advocate. The death of Putin’s nemesis is a tragic event. Please, though, just need to stop with the crocodile tears about this murder when there’s still blood under your own country’s fingernails.

Anyway, speaking of history and Russia, what do U.S. citizens really understand about Russia? Ah, right, that it was a communist country and you recall the space race. Maybe Rasputin? Maybe the tsars? How about Ivan the Terrible? The starving of Ukrainians by Stalin’s regime? Animal Farm?

But, have you ever stopped to recall how the United States and Great Britain, effectively beginning to lose World War Two to Germany across the European battlefields, welcomed that then communist state of the Soviet Union into their arms, effectively turning the tide of that conflict?

Do you ever stop to remember it was the Russians pushing into Berlin, not the U.S., that pretty much ended Hitler’s reign?

May I remind you that it was all the promises made to the Soviets dangled to entice by Roosevelt and Churchill that were then reneged on after the war, and that are still sore wounds that Russians lick today.

Russian memories don’t fade away in the country’s history books the way the U.S. history has faded, gets distorted, is removed from books, or just is plain lied about.

It’s only fair to say that American foreign policies and business interests, along with never actually having really won a war, have not and are not the most alluring qualities of the United States for a lot of countries.

In fact-- and yes, I will have another, thanks-- I’d add that when it suited the United States, a good socialist or communist country was never more than a hypocritical thumbs-up anyways.

I could carry on, say, about the U.S. government’s previous and ongoing domestic spying on its own citizens, but we’d need a crate of fine rum and a few evenings to head down that road. 

However, before I head out of this establishment (leaving you with the bill, as I’m apt to do), one other hypocritical item to discuss over this fine rum drink.

That’s American fascists.

Regardless of any arguments around the earlier points of this diatribe, I doubt there’s a dead American airman, seaman, or soldier who served in World War Two whilst fighting against fascists, and who now lies in a marked or unmarked grave somewhere in green fields around this globe-- and was probably your grandfather, great uncle, great aunt, grandmother or some other relative-- who, given a chance to be here now would not hesitate to kick your sorry, swastika-flag-waving fucking arses.

What an insult to their heroism you are, and you ought to be fucking ashamed, or be shamed!

Your idolizing and possibly returning to the White House a fascist, dictatorial tyrant like Trumpf is a sickening reminder of how your lack of knowing your own past is rendering you deaf, dumb, and blind at this critical moment in your country’s history.

Woah! The devil with the details! Did I offend someone? Here, finish my drink.

So, finally, as I lift my elbows off this bar and drop myself down off the barstool, let me remind you of the words of U.S. Senator Frank Church, who, in the mid 1970s as part of a report on American political interferences on the world stage through the 1900s, looked into the future and had this to say:

“If (the U.S) government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back… I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America… That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

Right then. On that note, I’m heading into the night with a devil-may-care attitude, and only have one last thing to say.

“It’s all voodoo!”


4 comentarios

06 mar

Giddy up, we ride at dawn!

I’ve never forgotten and never will and see clearly the vile demons that animate him and the sycophants.

They fed the population apathy and fat for decades to achieve this result.

The war never ended, it just transferred to local schools and school boards and the mind control factories that are religion!

Down with all these power structures that want to kill the light in this world.

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01 mar

Yes. Excellent piece.

"...a sickening reminder of how your lack of knowing your own past is rendering you deaf, dumb, and blind at this critical moment in your country’s history."

also a total lack of knowing your own present is due to you all being deaf, dumb and blind.

When this was only a baby shithole, the money led you morons around and you were gleeful.

Now that it is a full-blown shithole, the money is leading you morons into a nazi reich... and while you are not gleeful, you are still asleep.

When, not if, some nazi fuhrer commences our reich, it will be the blind leading the blank.

Best you not wake up then. You might wonder wh…

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Wow what a piece. Thanks. Owning up to a lot of horrors in our own past would only make us better and our democracy stronger. Hasn’t been happening and probably won’t. Education and knowledge are enemies of fascists.

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01 mar
Contestando a

only if education and knowledge are actually applied. they are dormant in our shithole and have been for many decades.

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