Monday, November 10, 2008

Business Ethics

In days of old when men were bold and business was conducted
They carried swords and heavy boards as circumstance instructed.
So if a tempted lout exempted conscience from his dealings,
He’d think twice, or even thrice, before he set to stealing.
The loss of culture to these vultures was at times lamented,
But none denies were bald-faced lies and cheating thus prevented.

This day and age do we engage in commerce with civility
We make our deals o’er tasty meals with scruples and tranquillity.
We wouldn’t dare to fetch hardware or ordnance to meetings
For there’s no need to make men cleave to honesty by beatings.
The Golden Rule’s the best of rules as most of us were taught,
And rare’s the day it doesn’t pay - at least that’s what I thought.

There's some, I’ve learned, that rules have spurned, and put on pious faces,
Which are so false it really galls the righteous, and amazes
Holy prophets for whom profit’s not of God but come from mammon,
And fishy deals with Christian seals still smell like rancid salmon.
Who’d have guessed the con-men blessed with all the cash they’ve made
Because, I say, in church are they to canvass for our trade.

In suits and ties with sincere eyes these dastardly deceivers
Will quote the Book to be mistook for just-like-us believers.

The self-same Lord who gave His word that saints don’t stoop to anger
Got mad as spit and threw a fit and whipped the money clangers
Who’d come so low their greed to sew on the porch of God’s own house.
If He feels thus, it’s up to us to suffer not these louts.
But rid our midst of hypocrites while we can still afford
To guard against their grave offense once more with boards and swords.

Monday, October 27, 2008


If we could all decide our fate,
And name our time of death and date,
Most all of us would check out late,
And queue en-masse at Heaven’s gate—
Arriving at the same damn time,
Procrastinators in a line,
Who’d put off dying long’s we could,
But just the same in coffin’s wood
Would all be lying stiff as boards
Awaiting judgment from our lords.

Though this is what we’d all prefer,
Yet most believe we must defer
To higher powers this life-length choice.
Sing halleluiah! Let’s rejoice!
But some there are that what they think’s
Our span of life’s not writ in ink,
But penciled on our page of fate—
A mere suggestion to a date—
Just change the pattern’s warp and weft,
To raise the sum of days we’ve left.

The starting point is what to eat.
The fare is spare and short on meat.
Less sweet desserts, less this and that,
A pan-caloric tit for tat
Less fat or carbs—just take your pick.
What works for some makes others sick.
More fibrous greens, organic fruit,
Whole-kernel grains, and tofu suit
The longer, leaner lifetime mess
(Though much of it be flavorless.)

Then what’s required is discipline,
And going placidly within—
A regimen of proper diet,
Avoiding all excess and riot,
Restraint in all save exercise
(In working out we’ll agonize.)
For fitness is the way to stay
About a longer time than they
That shirks their time inside the gym
To journey fat through thick and thin.

Hard work and sweat must now align
To gobble up great gobs of time—
Running, rowing, dance aerobic,
Pumping iron, and skipping ropic,
Swimming climbing, step and stretching,
Jogging to the point of retching—
Till weary rapture of corpuscle
Coursing through sore, aching muscle
Signals that this hard persistence
May have lengthened our existence.

Then free from guilt but fraught with pain
We pause to calculate our gain,
And find when appetite’s denied
That all life’s fruits are froze and dried,
And though we may have added years,
They’ll have to be reviewed through tears.
Oh, we can choose long life to live,
Knowing we’ve but one to give,
But racking life out to its limit
Sadly leaves scant living in it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sister Mary Clarence: Keep your knees together, and pray for deliverance.

Sister Mary Clarence - Advice you can believe in.
You may not like it, but you can believe in it.

Dear Sister,

All my friends are getting their belly buttons pierced. Some of them even have tattoos. My mom says this is a sin. What do you think?

Blingless in Birmingham.

Dear Blingless,

It is not a sin to get your belly button pierced, but it is asking for trouble. Your mother has conveniently forgotten her own misguided adventures in conformity to popular culture so now she can’t give you the direction you need. I don’t blame your mother though. It really started with your grandmother. Fortunately you have turned to Sr. Mary Clarence before it is too late.

Your grandmother used to roll her skirts at the waist so she could display her bony little knees for all the world to see. Her more adventurous contemporaries also wore patent leather shoes so the boys they knew could, upon reflection, glimpse higher up their legs than the Lord intended.

Never mind the sexual havoc that ensued, these girls, when they became mothers, were rendered incapable by their own shamelessness to instill moral values in their daughters. This was the unfortunate plight of your mother’s generation: to be brought up by mothers who thought their own modesty ought to be tempered by fashion. Oh what a slippery slope that is, my dear.

Your mother’s skirts were so short off the rack that they required neither rolling nor patent leather shoes in order for the boys of the age to discern the color of her underpants. Is it any wonder that she cannot rely on the sense of good example to guide her daughter’s choices, but must instead rely in desperation on her fabricated hope for the wisdom of Holy Mother Church to prevent your trumping her pathetic little micro-mini with a horrifically unimaginable adornment to your navel.

I have seen your little friends out and about in public. I know about bare mid-riffs, thongs, skin tight knit tops, underwear as outerwear, and every other manner of baring, sharing, displaying, teasing, and advertising a seeming indifference to modesty, decorum and chastity that your too experienced too fast generation is prey to. Because your clothing leaves nothing to the imagination, you now think you have to adorn your actual flesh with metal and ink in order to differentiate yourselves one from the other. One shudders to think to what lengths your daughters will go to be attractive when fashion will no doubt dictate the flagrant airing of their actual pudenda to public scrutiny. You will have even less ground to stand on than your mother, and Holy Mother Church will be hiding once again in catacombs.

No, child, getting you belly button pierced is not a sin, but inviting the sexual attention of boys is. Go finish your homework, and then write 500 times, “My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and I will not defile it.”

Yours in Grace and Rectitude
Sister Mary Clarence, OPS

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chipped Nails are Chic??!

According to New York Times writer, Melena Ryzik, chipped, streaked or "grotty" nail polish are now hip. To be sure in order for the grotty to pass as chic the look must be accessorized with expensive handbags and fabulous shoes. I guess you need to spend enough on the accoutrement to demonstrate that your otherwise slovenly appearance is the result of bad breeding, bad upbringing, and/or bad manners rather than anything so unsavory as say a lack of sufficient funds.

Should I care? No. It's just sour grapes on my part as I am slaving away for a pittance at a job I loathe while someone else somewhere else is getting good money to come up with inane trends like this and promote them. It won't be long until merely grotty will no longer suffice, and nails will have to be studiously grotty in order to pass fashion muster. Manicurists will have to specialize in designer chipping, and the deliberate chips will have to be protected against accidental chips. If you accidentally chip one of your manicured chips it will need to be repaired in such a way as to appear purposely chipped and just so.

In the grand scheme of things I guess this is not significantly different from buying your jeans already ripped or paying a stylist to tousle your hair until it looks like you just got out of bed, and lacquer it in place so that it doesn't accidentally rearrange itself into something attractive.