Mommy, does a fake smile count?
Hypocrisy, fake smile, self-righteous, were words mother said in a tone that told me she is right, and fake smilers are exceedingly wicked.
Wasn’t sure what all that meant, but I couldn’t stop wondering about this song we sang, and fake smiles:
My mother told me something
Every boy and girl should know
It’s all about the devil
We learn to hate him so
Let the sunshine in
Face it with a grin
Smilers never lose
And frowners never win
Let the sunshine in
Face it with a grin
Open up your heart
And let the sunshine in
So do hypocrite fake smiles always win, too, mommy?
This baffled my mother, at first. Mostly cuz six was to young for the nuances of good and evil. First she ignored me. Then suddenly she froze, gave me a bewildered look, while invisible wheels churned light into her eyes.
She stopped writing, put down the pen, stopped eyeing the phone, sat down. Then she beckoned me to her, pulled up a chair for me, waited for me to sit down then paused before she focused her passionate attention on me, for a solemn inner circle grown up talk. She captivated me with the sacred duty of the righteous and temptation and lies and evil. I listened rapped about the cunning of the devil, his fake smiles, and his cruel war on God and His people.
By the end of this intimate time capsule I know who is good, who is bad. Bristling, I brandished my inner hero’s sword eager to vanquish all the wicked once and for all. Point me in the right direction. I feel incensed. I will stop children suffering, persecution of the innocent. I’d assassinate Hitler myself, if I could, but I’ll settle for the next devil’s servant. Why didn’t a hero assassinate Hitler once and for all and save millions of lives? It couldn’t have been that hard! These new bad guys are worse than Hitler though, because they are wolves in sheep’s clothing, with beguiling fake smiles. I want to single-handed take out all these villans. I know the Bible stories and now I know who the bad guys are here and now, same as the Bible wicked. I know who and where they are and can’t wait to get at them. All hypocrites, acting like they are the good guys of course.
I was smart enough to notice that the song’s smilers might not include hypocritical ones. So I was pretty smart. But not bright enough to see the God/Devil frame of reference for what it just might be, a gaming structure. I totally bought into it.
Jumping on the trampoline with my daughter in this cool spring Texas sunshine and feeling like a kid, laughing I bust out singing a sunshine song. This particular one. I hadn’t even remembered this song in ages and ages, but when I sang it aloud to my daughter, to my horror, I found myself recommending hate as a way of life.
Hey, I was reaching for sunshine not a road to holocaust, here. This song is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. No wonder I keep ranting about good and evil, God™ as trademarkable, and the devil as arbitrary and customizable to our needs and prejudice. This kind of rubbish is stuck in here somewhere. My mind hadn’t tagged this ditty as b.s. yet. I wonder how much other rubbish is in here un-sorted, not hazard yellow corded , not yet trashed. My un-tamed poisoned frame of reference is dangerous.
This one has vicious fangs, hiding somewhere in my brain filed under “sunshine” and “open up your heart”. An invisible place holder, lurking here, the sheep clad wolf in my mind. It’s a given by this conditioning that it’s my job as a good little girl, and citizen, to hate the Devil and vanquish evil.
Now all I need to do is just fill in the blanks with Evil’s description. Pick one. Or choose your favorite not mentioned here: Jews, Indians, witch, terrorist, religious fanatic, heathen, unbeliever, Philistine, homosexual, evil person, Muslim, American, apostate, criminal, negro, _______ … I should by truth and right bring just punishment to whichever my upbringing tells me to fill in the blanks with. It’s my right and duty. It’s the heroic thing to do.
Not to long ago, Jews filled in the blank for almost the entire world, not just Germany, like we choose to remember. For our joy in Western shows and cowboys and Indians, Indians rightly filled in the just-kill-em-slaught, of evil. Evidently, somewhere I must still have a lynch em, exterminate em, and the world will be better for it, slaught. Who will I fancy to fill my free slaught with next? Give me the right propaganda and I’ll give you my slaught to fill. Then I’ll support exterminating whomever is put in my evil= ________ slaught.
“God”, good guys = ___________ , must be a blank slaught, too. What if it is a place-holder that could work the same way as the devil place-holder? Rather like any game with rivals. It takes at least two to play any exciting sport. Yeah, I want the game. I like games, too. But I don’t have to hate the kids playing for the other team. Do I?
They know they are the good guys and I am the bad guys, just as sure as I know what I know. They are just as committed to good, truth and justice. Just as willing to fight and die for it. They have their own lovely sunshine ditties, and loving mommies who know without a doubt who the bad guys are and what duty bound honor dictates we must do to them.