I grew up in a region that was known as the leather and glove capital of the world. It is often said that no one wants to know how the sausage is made. Well, I can assure you that no one wants to know how leather is made. Thankfully, I never worked in the leather industry, but was instead a witness to all of the symptoms of a successful and (at the time) world famous leather industry. I mean, who names their town “Gloversville”, unless it is centered around the production of gloves?
So, you innocently ask, what are the symptoms associated with such an industry? Well lemme tell ya.
- First of all the smell is that of rotting flesh. Sorta like a dead raccoon that has been laying in the sun for 3 days and covered with rotting cabbage.
- Secondly there is the disgustingly polluted and multi-colored Cayadutta creek that ran through town. A little research reveals that “Cayadutta” is Mohawk Indian for “stone standing out of the water”. The only thing standing out of this water would be my dog Scamp that died after he fell in.
- Lastly, and most importantly, are the rats. Rats, rats, and more rats.
It seems that the only living creature that can survive swimming in the Cayadutta are rats. Says something about who will be around when the world ends … rats and cockroaches.
Today the leather industry is pretty much gone from my home town. All has moved to third world countries where they apparently love the smell of rats in the morning. That or the blatant disregard for all that is humane has been eclipsed by the willingness to destroy all that is good in nature for a few pesos. The gloves look nice though.
My warped brain sees this nasty business as a metaphor for what is wrong with us. I hear your words, but what do you really think. We believe that we want to know what someone really thinks, but is that really true?
There are those that say one thing and do something else. Or say something and mean something else. We call these people “hypocrites”.
There are those among us that have an unfiltered view of all that surrounds them. They just say exactly what they are thinking at all times. We call these people “assholes”.
Somewhere in between would be the hybrid of the two archetypes. Such a one would be called a “hypocritical asshole”.
OK with all that said, I think the best way to define the most humane of all humans is by the simple prerequisites of “do your words match your deeds?” and “do you do no harm?”. Such a person would be my best buddy in all the earth, until they recognized me as the hypocritical asshole that I am. In which case they would quickly run away like Moe, Larry, and Curly at the end of an episode.
I leave you with an analysis of the human condition by Big Mama Thorton.