Karma Police xxx Arrest this man! xxx

Call the Police! xxx Call the Police xxx It's a funny thing a word, I've had so many occasions in my life to reflect upon it --- not least when I picked up the complete works of Oscar Wilde recently in a second-hand bookshop for £1.50. I think it's the first time in my life that I have actually been sad to get something cheap. For anyone who hasn't seen it, it is a mighty tome --- Oscar Wilde was a most prolific, as well as brilliant, writer. There were a few people in the queue and as I was waiting I had some time to ponder. I looked down at the book in my hand. His life's work. £1.50. A lot of words...

My life has been a continuing love-affair with language and Literature, it’s something that I always return to --- the wonderful writers that I have had the great good fortune to read and I have to thank my English teachers for it, for introducing me to all those books and plays and poems which were to have such a profound effect on me. For after all, who could read a book like The Great Gatsby (F Scott Fitzgerald) in their early teenage years and remain unaffected by it : ---

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsought — frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions.

Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth. And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit. Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes, but after a certain point I don’t care what it’s founded on.When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction — Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the “creative temperament.”— it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No — Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

“ Wow!!” I thought the first time I read it, perhaps not the most beautiful literary description ever assigned to a piece of work but accurate nonetheless. And what do I think now after reading it so many times again…? I still think “Wow!” Such is the power of great writing and although this is a wonderful novel and I would recommend anyone to read it from cover to cover, still this one page of writing really moves me and I think it stands up on it’s own, within it’s own right and not just as the introduction to the book proper. Maybe we are just too impatient these days and we just don’t have time to read long and protracted novels anymore --- maybe we need something much faster and more immediate. Maybe we just want a well-written chapter, or sentence, or maybe just one word.

Perhaps I can change that word a little and say “keyword” and now you are thinking about getting traffic to your website and attracting the interest of other people to read your work but ultimately --- money… I am guessing that most of you would have made that first mental jump from the word “keyword” to “money.” I certainly did.

Or what about that job-interview that you went for and there was more than one person sitting around a table making notes on how you answered the questions and you knew that they were looking for you to say individual words… “…teamwork, initiative, conscientious, interpersonal…” And you know that by either mentioning or omitting one of those keywords, you pass or fail the interview, it’s a bit more serious then. But it’s more serious because it’s about money. There aren’t so very many words which fill us with hope, we live in a cynical world and we question most everything. Then I tried to think of one word which could be construed as unsullied and pure and offering something of value but outside of money or sex or commercial interests. And the list was pretty short, in fact just one word --- “karma.” And for this one word I thought of Tibetan monks, yin and yang, John Lennon, peace and love. And so off I went to construct my hub with the title already decided upon --- Karma Police --- with the excellent bonus of having a rather wonderful Radiohead song by the same title and bringing in a little bit of ominous George Orwell overtones a la 1984 and the thoughtpolice and all I had to do was find an image to match up with the word karma, in the same manner that I always construct my hubs.

Here was where my joy and satisfaction dissipated for instead of finding any kind of spiritual reference points for the word karma --- I found big breasts, cars, Hollywood movies, babes, bling and mobile phones --- I include some of the photos, I’m not saying that any of these are bad things, but they are definitely not karma… I think it’s time to reclaim our language!

Comments 5 comments

2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

I've rated this up, and marked it beautiful, although that is not really the word that I wanted.

I think that the images that you found as associated with 'karma' were sad! It used to be such a lovely and pure word.

By the way - I love the novel "The Great Gatsby". I enjoyed it when I was young, and each time I reread it I find something new to enjoy. Most of the time the word "genius" is over-used, but it certainly applies to this novel.


damian0000 6 years ago

Thanks Patricia --- I really appreciate your comments, I put a lot of value in individual words but sometimes they change and of course change is good but maybe some special words should just be ring-fenced because they are so important to us as a culture and society ... sometimes it starts out as a marketing idea but then pretty soon you lose the original meaning of the word... I am really pleased you like this novel though, we should talk about it some more sometime :-)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

....any hub presentation which has:

1) Oscar Wilde

2) a hot babe in a white bikini (sorry Oscar)

3. John Lennon

4. The Great Gatsby

5. You, the author

6. George Orwell

7. Karma is a bitch

8. Did I mention the hottie in the white bikini?

9. great writing

10. what's 'her' phone number?

has got to be one of the greatest hubs of all time - lake erie time 9:29pm

haven't got to the Waterboys yet - still gettin' down with Johnny Winter and the blues ontario, canada


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Epi said it all. I love that novel too, and it is about time to read it again.


damian0000 profile image

damian0000 3 years ago from Belfast Author

Thank you sir :-)

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