quoth the scarecrow:

2021 0703 quoth the scarecrow

This page began in May, and I dinked with it and dabbed at it till today, when a little voice said, “You haven’t published anything on your blog in July, and it’s July 3rd. Now or never, dude.”

It’s mostly an idea: Write a bit of narrative and embed in it the opening lines from “If I Only Had a Brain,” in the film version of The Wizard of Oz. I’ll describe one motivation for doing so before we are done here. Meanwhile, here is the bit of narrative:

A quorum gathers for thematic scarification. We’ve a farce to throw: Throw on some ribeye styeaks/Pour Julep mix that slakes/No knowing what is true/Or what we might could do while the metaphorical cat’s away and we analogous mice savor the unsupervised hours

Iconic discoveries caressing us with their mmind-tickling delights

As the ideas flow some of the others convened in insulated waiting rooms, with plenty of fodder for the Truth-thirsty brain…


The embedment:

quoth the scarecrow:

i could while away the hours
conversing with the flowers
consulting with the rain…

Why did I do this? Several reasons. I wanted layering–several related things going on at once and overlapping, because that is sometimes a closer approximation to Reality than a static, one-thing-going-on illustration. I also wanted to pay tribute to the amazing lyricist, Yip Harburg, the amazing composer, Harold Arlen, and the amazing Ray Bolger, who brought Harburg and Arlen’s song to life. And I wanted to challenge myself with a word-puzzle with a high degree of difficulty.

But the BIG thing I wanted to do is a takedown on a book called The Bible Code. Published in 1997, The Bible Code is a piece of flimflam that purports to reveal hidden prophecies the the Old Testament, using equal-spaced gridding of certain texts. It was a New York Times bestseller and so was its sequel. People believed that the author was sincere, and brilliant.

But he wasn’t. He was a puzzle-creator, just as I am. He dinked with and dabbed at certain Scripture until he got certain patterns to emerge, which is exactly what I do with my acrostic poetry. And then he sold it as Cosmic Truth.

Shame on him. And shame on the people who believe not the Truth but what they want to believe. (Shame on me too. I do that. I am All Too Human to that extent.)

In the Wikipedia entry on The Bible Code, this delightful passage appears, under the heading “Criticism:” “The general construction of alleged “Bible Codes” and Drosnin’s methodology in particular have been criticised by mathematicians and others.” Bless the Mathematicians, and bless the Others, for knowing Hooey when they see it!  

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