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Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

So I find myself wanting to write about politics, which I hate.  I want to write a scathing review of our political system, and the douchey asshats that we have elected to represent us, because it is something that vexes and frustrates me on the regular, and what I do is write about things that bother me and then I feel a little better.  It has worked well for me and my personal well being; just doing this blog and airing all my personal laundry for all to see has been as cathartic as anything.

But I hate politics.  I think that it is intentionally divisive, designed to make us see the world in an "us vs them" mindset, to see the whole world and our place in it as sides in a game, a bloody and terrible game.  It makes it easy to start painting the opposition as something other than we are, which in turn makes it much easier to think terrible things about them, that they are racist idiots, that they are stupid takers, it makes it easy to say awful things to them, especially from the comfortable anonymity of the internet. "Dear shit-for-brains: since you have a different philosophy of the role of government in the lives of citizens, I hope you get cancer of the dick and balls right before you suffocate to death under a flaming diaper avalanche. Sincerely, a guy you barely remember from school."

So, I don't want to write about politics.  Plus, if you are so moronic as to have reached different conclusions about governance than I have, your head is way too far up your own ass to even hear my words, amirite?

Since I don't want to write about crappy crappyness that I hate, I think I will instead write about awesome awesomeness that I love.

Over a decade ago, my dad was coming back from a trip to Germany to watch me get married.  Before he left, he had asked me if I wanted anything from der Fatherland.  I told him that I wanted the two best German contributions to the world, which are, of course, Jagermeister and cuckoo clocks. He delivered both like a champ.  He brought me a bottle of fancy ass Jagermeister and a beautiful authentic Black Forest cuckoo clock as wedding gifts.  I thanked him, assured him that they were both amazing gorgeous gifts and promptly put them both in the closet to collect dust for the next ten years, as any grateful good son would.

Recently, my son and I were talking about birds, and I mentioned the clock.  He asked me why it was in the closet, and I answered him that I didn't know, but the real reason that it has never been out is a bit more complex.  Despite having lived in this house for eight years or so, we have never really moved in, as if we weren't sure we intended to stay here.  I think we always thought of this house as a kind of stopgap, a place to catch our breath and figure out what it is that we were going to do with ourselves, and nearly a decade later we are still trying to figure that out, so I didn't want to hang something on the wall, since I might have to take it down.  Or something.  It doesn't really make sense, I get that, but there you go.  Also the clock really is beautiful, and I was afraid to put it out because we tend to take things that are nice and watch them slowly and surely degrade into something that we can throw away without any guilt, and thus buy something new and shiny that we can then watch fall apart, and I really like the clock and wanted to be careful with it, because it is so clearly something special.  Also, I'm lazy.  I can take something like hanging a clock on the wall and really stretch it out for a long lime until it seems like something that I should have done a long time ago and thus do not have to do now, and I realize that that doesn't make a whole lotta sense either, but whatever, you're not my daddy, unless you are in which case, Hey Pop, I love the clock. Thanks again!

So, I love the clock, because it is beautiful and unique, and also because it is a little retro and a little silly.  I was talking about the clock to some IT buddies in the office and telling them about the mechanisms inside it, and about how there are two bellows that have to operate to get the signature cuckoo sound, one for the "cuc" and one for the "koo" and isn't it amazing that the whole thing runs on gravity, the pine cone weights put tension on these wheels that make the entire mechanism go, and where the weight on the pendulum is placed can change how fast or slow the clock runs, so it becomes a bit of a troubleshoot process to get the clock running in correct time, and even then it might lose a minute here an there just due to the way the whole operation works and these IT dudes just didn't get it.  They said so it doesn't keep good time, and it is noisy and you're telling me at midnight it gongs and cuckoos twelve times even if you're just dropping off to sleep?  They just didn't understand why I would be excited for something that does the same job as the clock on the microwave and the stove and, hell, on your phone that can be made to play Panama by Van Halen every day at 5:15 pm just as you are sitting down behind the wheel to pump you up for the battle commute and can also, oh, I don't know, access the entirety of human knowledge and can also allow me to tell former friends on some data mining social media site that their politics are completely idiotic and that they should do us all a favor and hump a cheese grater.  And no, my clock cannot access my emails, nor can I make it play the theme from Knight Rider every time my Aunt Ruth texts me to tell me that she planted her begonias only to have it freeze and she's not sure if they are going to recover, but what it does do is it goes cuckoo on the half hour and the hour and a little bird pops out of this hatch, and this little Bavarian dude in lederhosen on the front pounds a beer and this little mill wheel spins while a jaunty jewelry box tune plays, and can your garbage Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with the cracked screen do that?  It might, okay fine, it might, but it doesn't have the same kitsch whimsy, and it wasn't a wedding gift from your father, and it doesn't make you smile every time it goes off, does it?  All your stupid phone does is notify you that something you wrote as a joke was taken too literally and now you are being dragged on Twitter by a bunch of associate degree in philosophy having baristas and halfway-through-an-MFA knowitall asswipes that are so desperate to demonstrate that they have the moral high ground that they can't help piling on someone who would otherwise be an ally on any substantial policy question, but who now instead feels disillusioned and ostracized by people that they may have considered like-minded.

I choose whimsy, thanks.  I love my clock, and my only regret is that it sat in my closet for so long when I could have been enjoying its charm for the last decade.

Anyway, if you need a reminder, there are cool things out there that deserve celebration, and maybe they are already in your life, maybe they have been collecting dust and you just have to take them out of the box and hang them on the wall.  So do that; don't waste more time having a life that lacks kitschy whimsy.

Also, your politics are garbage and so is your idiot face.

Still writing,


If you want, you can follow me on Twitter if you don't have a cuckoo clock @RDPullins, and you can buy my novel Antiartists anywhere super rad books are sold. Comment here if you like, or you can send me comments of pics of any cuckoo clocks at dissent.within at  Be kind, you weirdos.  Peace.



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