The Barber Pole
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha'Tara]
You have to hand it to Ray Bradbury, he's observant. In his book, "Something Wicked this way Comes" there's a teenage character named Will (among others of course) who is quite observant himself. Here's an excerpt from one of Will's many observations:
Will watched the barber pole whirl its red serpentine up out of nothing. On countless noons Will had stood here trying to unravel that ribbon, watch it come, go, end without ending. "Where does it come from, where does it go, eh? Who knows? Not you, not him, not me. Oh, the mysteries, by God."
It may be that many of you don't remember the old Fifties barber pole in front of every barber shop. The tube with the red serpentine line actually did turn in those days: it told you that the barber shop was open. I remember that, like Will, I too would stand transfixed in front of such a pole when I was very young and wonder where the red swirly line came from at the bottom and where it went at the top. Those were the days of mysteries, you see, and I needed my mysteries. Had some Alex Jones or conspiracy theorist come along and explained to me that the wonder I was contemplating was nothing but a plastic image behind a glass tube rotating on a shaft I would have been angered at such blasphemy. I was looking at the miracle of infinity, after all.
Life has a nasty habit of exposing mysteries to the observant who continue to observe. Oh, I tried and tried to lock onto my observed mysteries; to hold on to them and make them define my life. But winds, rains, snows and other things of the mind came and eroded the wonder. I was left with knowledge, devastatingly dry and terribly cold. Fairy tales could be explained through a study of history. Blond haired heroes in white hats were not always the good guys. Barber poles were unplugged and became static signs in "hair dressing" shops. I had to become Santa Claus. It's how it goes.
Now I've been following—sort of—the shenanigans about American politics and a thing called the global economy. It's hard to know where that economy begins and where it ends. I think it's a kind of barber pole thing, see? The swirly line is the economy. As long as the shaft of government turns, the economy rise out of nothing and disappears into nothing and the rich barbers get richer while cutting the Samsonite people's hair. The people get weaker and weaker and give up more and more of their hair. Now this is an analogy, so don't go bragging that because you happen to be bald, you are immune. You're not bald, you just gave up all of your hair to the barber already and you don't know it.
We, of course, who sacrifice our hair that the barbers may get richer, must believe in the mystery of the barber pole. The economy does rise out of the bottom of that pole and it does keep on going after it departs from the heights of the pole. It's a cosmic law, and if you don't believe me, then you haven't read that once popular book called "The Secret" or you've never sold Amway products. "Believe in the great Mammon of the barber pole and you shall be rich—you and your household!" That's how it goes in Acts 16:31, isn't it?
The shamans and charlatans of the System need that people continue to believe in the mystery of the barber pole. They need for people to believe that the red swirly line is infinite and immortal, that it is alive, has no beginning and no end. If only enough people believe this, then there can never be an economic collapse, no matter how greedy the barbers get: there will always be more hair to cut. Somehow the belief, of itself, will serve as some sort of miracle grow. The sheeple's hair will grow faster, the more they embrace the System. If memory serves, we have this from an unimpeachable source: Milton Friedman himself. And his disciple, the great Ronald Reagan made it official. Who needs more?
I, for one, am glad that knowledge, however devastatingly dry and horribly cold, shattered my barber pole illusion long ago.