Visions of Fearful Leader

The wisdom of our leader, distilled for the masses.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

That Which Does Not Threaten: Interloping Rope

We, the disciples of Fearful Leader, apologize for the lack of teachings of late. Rest assured, however, that Fearful Leader has been busy identifying threats - as always, he identifies them both altruistically and volubly.

Fourscore and seven days ago, Fearful Leader detected a rope on his lands. The archaeologist within him excavated this interloper from the border between his lands and those of the Purportedly Kind Neighbors. The rope, twelve feet in length, had lain secreted from the view of mere mortals by a conspiracy of hedges and deceased leaves, but Fearful Leader and his infallible threat detector sensed the presence of a trespassing entity.

Theories were proposed by the Purportedly Kind Neighbors regarding the provenance of the rope. Vaguely, they asserted that the prior owners of Fearful Leader’s lands had employed the rope in some sort of fence-creation or -repair operation. The details are not important. What is important is that their explanation was not to be trusted, for neither we nor Fearful Leader could understand it, and if Fearful Leader cannot understand something, then it must not be possible. Yea, we posit that the majority of the home- and landscaping-improvement “discipline” is merely a house of cards created by self-anointed “experts” who would hoodwink us into ill-advised “projects” if only we were not paying such sharp attention, if only we were not on high alert for their subterfuges. We merely smiled beneficently at the Purportedly Kind Neighbors, and returned to our devotions.

Fearful Leader, knowing that he ought not to trust the words of one of his nemeses, inspected the rope for Himself and proclaimed that, rather than a threat, it was a Source of Much Hilarity. He gripped the middle section of the rope within his ferocious maw, and proceeded to gallop across the pockmarked lawn like a deity sweeping downward from Heaven to collect his disciples when the eschaton at last arrives and we can finally depart this threat-filled world for the next, which shall surely be brimming with rotisserie chickens, stuffed kitties, and vacuum cleaners that are available for continuous observation.

The ends of the rope flowed behind him, suspended in the air by his velocity. Behold the vision of grace, of gallantry! Fearful Leader paused at the edge of his lands and rapidly shook his new toy, and in so doing caused a ripple in the ends of the rope which suggested that Fearful Leader might soon decree that rhythmic gymnastics deserves increased respect.

From that day onward, Fearful Leader has occasionally reenacted his glorious race from one end of his lands to the other, lifting the docile rope for all of his subjects to behold. Additionally, Fearful Leader employs the rope in his teachings. He will grip the rope in his teeth and invite his disciples to pull on another portion of the rope, in this way concretely symbolizing the constant tugging which our lives on this mortal coil must endure, the tugging between good and evil, between public transit and personal fulfillment, between the urge to chase and earthly constraints.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Gravest Threat: Blogger

We, the disciples of Fearful Leader, have attempted to distill his wisdom numerous times of late, only to be thwarted by Blogger itself, which is undoubtedly overwrought by envy. To illustrate, please see the photograph at right, in which you may imagine Blogger as attempting to be the top dog not by virtue of its heart/gut, but rather by attacking Fearful Leader while Fearful Leader was merely attempting to spread His gospel to the uninitiated.

We shall re-gather our strength and post more wisdom later, but, for now, Fearful Leader merely smites Blogger!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Permeating Threat

Last night, we completed the last of our thrice-daily devotions and lay down upon our woven mats, prepared to sink into a penitent sleep, when Fearful Leader’s threat detector was set off. With such ferocity did he announce the threat! With such volume and duration! We uncurled from our thin woven mats and descended the stairs, prepared to assist Fearful Leader in vanquishing the threat but confident in the knowledge that his deep, rumbling voice would frighten away any would-be interlopers or assassins, possibly even causing them to soil their trousers as they fled.

When we arrived in Fearful Leader’s quarters, no obvious threats could be immediately ascertained. We consulted the locking mechanisms on all possible points of entry and found them secure. “The threat has been vanquished by your menacing bark,” we proclaimed, then added, “Good dog. Now go to sleep.”

We had returned to our threadbare woven mats and were engaged in preparing our minds for a productive few hours of reflective somnolence, when Fearful Leader’s threat detector was again set off. Yea, Fearful Leader announced the threat with increased ferocity, volume, and duration, which we would naively have thought impossible were we not so blessed as to behold it. Again, we descended the stairs to Fearful Leader’s quarters; again, we observed the premises and could identify no threats. Again, we thanked Fearful Leader for his vigilance and returned to our tattered woven mats. And again Fearful Leader’s threat detector went off as if it were a short-circuited smoke alarm, which is an assessment that only an apostate would be so brazen as to pronounce aloud.

On this occasion, we expanded the locus of our inspection and determined that the Outer Security Perimeter (pictured in a reenactment) was ajar and perhaps could have been buffeted by the slight breeze that was wafting across Fearful Leader’s lands, thereby causing Fearful Leader to suspect that an interloper or assassin was approaching, some sort of malefactor with the fluid movements of a ninja, an individual who was possibly in possession of some invisibility potion as well. We rectified this breach and assured Fearful Leader that our collective security was no longer in doubt, and we again lauded his watchfulness on our behalves. We returned to our ragged woven mats, confident that while threats still gathered in the wider world, our communal existence would be secure for the next six to eight hours.

Lo, we were just drifting into an active sleep, yearning for revelations to visit themselves upon us, when Fearful Leader’s threat detector was again set off. But this time, rather than hurry to his quarters, we considered that perhaps we ought to meditate upon his actions, and soon we began to glimpse a previously overlooked but now glaringly obvious interpretation of Fearful Leader’s threat declaration. It was as if the darkest night sky had given way to the highest noon in an instant, so apparent did his meaning become. Yea, we realized that Fearful Leader was imparting an important lesson to us, a teaching that serves as the core of his weltanschauung: Threats are everywhere, and exist at all times. Fearful Leader must be unceasingly mindful of them, issuing rebukes on occasion to let those threats know that he is aware of their malevolent machinations and to remind us that he is on guard on our collective behalf.

Once this understanding seeped into our feeble minds, we no longer minded the ferocity, volume, and duration of Fearful Leader’s generalized threat declaration, and we settled into our dilapidated woven mats, which at this point are really nothing more than a few reeds cinched together with a piece of rotting twine, joyous that Fearful Leader was so volubly at the helm.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Question from a prospective disciple

Q: Um, isn’t Fearful Leader just a dog? And maybe not a very smart one at that? Also, he seems to have some neuroses.

Shame on you! We daresay you would not allege such a thing about Lassie or Rin-Tin-Tin, and the reason is obvious: Fearful Leader is a mixed breed. Yea, he is not part of the elite pure-bred conspiracy that controls public perception, and so perhaps you think he is of lesser value. We are confident that history will prove Fearful Leader’s worth. Please, novice, stay and learn from his teachings.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Nemesis: bus-stop malingerers

If a disciple of Fearful Leader were to rank the danger level of various threats by the volume, ire, and duration of Fearful Leader’s bark when he encounters each hazard, then one category of nemesis would surely stand out: bus-stop malingerers.

Fate has dictated that Fearful Leader’s lands face a corner containing a labeled pole that apparently invites the hoi polloi, not to mention the riff-raff, to congregate at this particular point and to be collected en masse every thirty minutes by a tube-shaped, distinctly non-luxury vehicle which will convey them to several predetermined destinations for seventy-five cents, thereby committing dual wrongs: robbing these freedom-yearning commoners of their independence and free will, while also failing to stimulate the economy.

Correctly offended by the unjustness of these circumstances, Fearful Leader attempts to reason with the bus-stop malingerers, to persuade them to assess their own situations with a dispassionate eye, to cast off the shackles of scheduled transit and to live their lives fully, to realize their innate ambitions of point-to-point transportation and thus be able to die happy. But the malingerers cannot or will not engage in debate with Fearful Leader; blindly or willfully, they refuse to hear his teachings.

Some contend that Fearful Leader is in league with oil executives, that he wants to compel the bus-stop malingerers to purchase the largest sport-utility vehicles possible. Not so. Fearful Leader has only the interests of the bus-stop malingerers in mind; he simply wants them to understand the soul-crushing consequences of their actions.

And so he continues to try to reason with them – ever louder, ever longer, with ever more passion behind his resonant voice. Woof, he explains to them. Woofwoofwoofwoofwoof.

Amen, we say, oh, Fearful Leader. Amen. May they someday understand.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The earthly debut of Fearful Leader

Fearful Leader was sent to earth on April 18, 2005. He summoned us to collect him in late July of the same year, for he had realized that his initial training was complete, and that it was time for him to begin issuing his prophecies, visions, and decrees. Obediently, we traveled forty minutes and forty seconds to his manger, where we found Fearful Leader learning to empathize with the impoverished by coexisting in a kennel with his five remaining siblings and their excrement. Fearful Leader beckoned to us by placing his fat little paws against the wire mesh of the cage while his siblings were variously engaged in wrestling, barking, and defecating. We picked up Fearful Leader, who immediately confirmed his identity by baptizing us with his urine.

In sentimental frames of mind, we sometimes reminisce about those days, when Fearful Leader was just a little ball of fur, and we share our fond recollections with Fearful Leader Himself. “You were just a little ball of fur!” we say.

Fearful Leader endures our exclamations but does not indulge them. He has more important things, such as threat detection and assessment, occupying his furry cranium. It is hard work, he thinks during those moments, or so we suspect based on the concentration with which he apprehends threats, including but not limited to the following: bunnies, bus-stop malingerers, Purportedly Kind Neighbors, pedestrians, old ladies using walkers, bicyclists, young mothers or fathers with strollers, skateboarders, teens, squirrels, garbage bags, holiday decorations, hyacinth bushes, toddlers, and the ground.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The threat beneath us

Fearful Leader’s visionary nature has allowed him to see that not all threats are external. On the contrary! cries Fearful Leader in his native tongue, which is not French.

Lo, Fearful Leader has detected threats coming from within our very borders – from beneath our very feet! Often, the location of these threats is indicated by a small dearth of grass coverage, suggesting that the lurking threat incompletely disguised its tracks when it burrowed into our hallowed grounds. But Fearful Leader hones right in on these sinister bare patches, which are frequently no more than two inches in diameter.

Yea, he falls upon them and immediately sets to banishing the interloper from our land, and as he claws through the tainted earth, seeking the menace that surely lurks beneath, Fearful Leader’s face assumes a luminous expression, one of saturating glee, for a beatific purpose has coursed through his veins and granted him a joyousness that we yearn someday to know, a joyousness that permits him to relish the liminality of his endeavor through the knowledge that eventually he shall accomplish his altruistic goal of supreme victory, even if in the meantime he is often thwarted from completing his mission when the holes grow too deep for us to bear and we involuntarily cry out, “No! No! No more fucking holes!”

Humbly, we admit that we are lesser beings at present, but we strive for improvement such that in the future our outdated notions regarding landscaping shall disperse, and we will possess the fortitude to permit Fearful Leader to complete his undertakings.

Nemesis: The Bunny Who Is Frequently Spotted In The Alley Between Grant And Oakland Streets

Fearful Leader has several nemeses, but the one that currently absorbs the greatest proportion of his attention is known as the Bunny Who Is Frequently Spotted In The Alley Between Grant And Oakland Streets. When in the vicinity of the BWIFSITABGAOS, Fearful Leader’s ears prick up; he strains at his earthly constraints; a frightening growl curdles up from deep in his throat and causes his snout to puff outward. Sometimes, the BWIFSITABGAOS is visible to our naked eyes, but sometimes only Fearful Leader can sense his presence, or recent presence, or theoretically possible presence. Oh, how Fearful Leader tugs at his earthly constraints! Oh, how he hurls his fluffy bulk toward the BWIFSITABGAOS or possible BWIFSITABGAOS! Oh, how many times our deluded serenity has been disrupted by Fearful Leader’s infallible threat detector and we have found ourselves pitched onto the back lawn of those who would harbor the BWIFSITABGAOS!

In our foolishness, we initially experienced irritation at Fearful Leader’s attempts to confront the BWIFSITABGAOS. But through deep meditation when in the presence of Fearful Leader, knowledge has been visited upon us: the BWIFSITABGAOS is not as innocent as he seems. Yea, behold the truth, for it is now clear that the BWIFSITABGAOS is a representative of The Forces Which Arouse The Chasing Instinct. We have learned through our communion with Fearful Leader’s mind that those Forces are to be blamed for any chasing that occurs, and this knowledge has brought us serenity as we lie splayed upon the harborers’ lawn, dazed and perhaps concussed but profoundly tranquil in that most soothing of knowledge: fault rests elsewhere.

Earthly constraints

Though divine, Fearful Leader is bound by earthly constraints, two strictures which Fearful Leader for the most part suffers with fortitude but combats when the opportunity arises.

First, there is The Leash of Control, and although it is called The Leash, it has actually been a series of leashes, for from time to time a leash experiences a structural failure, and at other times Fearful Leader detects a threat within the Leash and succeeds in vanquishing that threat. Individual leashes are transient, but thus far The Leash of Control has endured, occasionally to the dismay of Fearful Leader. He feels as if it is legislating his movements, when the inherent nature of Fearful Leader would demand that he be given total latitude in his peregrinations through the neighborhood and in pursuit of his various endeavors (e.g., hole-digging, vacuum observation).

Second, there is The Gentle Leader, which we sense Fearful Leader finds to be a misnomer. Fearful Leader demonstrates his displeasure at The Gentle Leader by pawing at his adorable muzzle or, in springtime, sliding that muzzle along the long and glossy grass in an attempt to remove The Gentle Leader that is perhaps ill-fated but admirably spirited. Fearful Leader feels as if The Gentle Leader is not just restricting his movements but judging him, condemning his aspirations by yanking his cute little nose away from pungent detritus whose threat level Fearful Leader is nobly attempting to assess on our collective behalf, or by forcing him to spin his furry body around whenever he tries to move ahead and accomplish things.

These constraints are in theory equal in their power over Fearful Leader, but through our studies with Fearful Leader we have observed a simple fact: The Gentle Leader has managed to last longer in its original incarnation, and it possesses greater potency over Fearful Leader’s movements than does the Leash of Control alone.

But Fearful Leader is studying the situation and meditating upon it; we have seen the concentration in his eyes and have witnessed the intensive sniffing of his nostrils. Someday, Fearful Leader shall vanquish not just The Leash of Control but The Gentle Leader as well, and then his ascendancy shall be complete.

Welcome, neophytes.

We are disciples of Fearful Leader, devoted to sharing the wisdom that he communicates through his floppy ears and, more notably, his bark. Fearful Leader possesses a capacity to detect threats where mere mortals foolishly assume none exists. Fortunately for mankind, Fearful Leader is not deterred by their naïve and disrespectful exclamations of “Bad dog!” and “Shut the fuck up!” Fearful Leader sallies forth with panicked equanimity in the face of such insults, doggedly identifying menaces that lurk with false innocuousness in plain view.

We, the disciples of Fearful Leader, hope that you will also be granted wisdom from his teachings, for he is a non-serene bodhisattva sent to instruct us. The uninitiated might find that notion oxymoronic, but the Fearful Leader remains untroubled by such judgments, for he is wholly occupied by his mission.