How the Cactus Can Save Western Civilization

Image for post
Image for post
The Spiky Conscience of a Nation

Now that politics is merely a squalid sub-branch of the entertainment industry, the road to power passes straight through lies and buffoonery. Charlatans, rogues, and infantile halfwits appeal to the mob because they bluster and splutter in simple sound-bites, repeating their inflammatory catch-phrases until even the most dull-witted supporter can gleefully howl along.

As people aren’t going to become less easily duped and as the rogues aren’t going to abdicate voluntarily, we need a countervailing mechanism if we’re going to slow the inevitable progression of democracy into eventual tyranny.

And so, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen and whoever self-identifies in whatever ways are currently fashionable, let me introduce the savior of Western Civilization:

…the cactus.

Yes folks, this humble plant is all we need in order to buy ourselves a few more years of quasi-stability. Here’s how it can work:

Today, politicians and other televised blaggards can lie blatantly and make impossible promises without consequences. By employing CactusPower ™ we can re-introduce the concept of consequences in a very meaningful and spiky way.

According to the second century writer Tertullian, a Roman general celebrating his Triumph would ride resplendent on a war chariot through Rome while someone behind him would repeat the phrase Respice post te. Hominem te memento. The notion was to remind the triumphal general of his own mortality in order to prevent his victory parade overly inflating his ego and ambition. While this is almost certainly an invention of Tertullian, the concept is pleasing. We need merely to update the details to be suitable for our scandalous modern age.

Imagine this: Donny the halfwit stands on the lawn of the White House and tells yet another blustering infantile lie. Moments later, an official dressed in white rushes up behind Donny with a large and very spiky cactus known officially as The Plant of Consequences. The cactus is then forcefully and swiftly rammed up Donny’s fundament.

General mirth and merriment ensues. There is great rejoicing in the land.

For the first time in his privileged and overly-indulged life, Donny the halfwit experiences a consequence. And it is very, very painful.

Now apply this to every politician and TV personality. Eventually even the most stupid of them (well, perhaps not Donny the halfwit) will realize that a lie will immediately be followed by a rather unpleasant rectal experience.

Yes, admittedly, there will inevitably be Republican politicians and pundits who discover they rather enjoy the sensation. No doubt Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, and several others of their ilk will welcome such punishment as their only way of feeling anything below the folds of their ponderous bellies. Perhaps it will remind them of their happy frat-boy days when they experienced similar sensations during initiation into Omicron Mu Gamma. But these hapless creatures can be led to the nearest Garden Center where they can live out the rest of their days harmlessly self-administering a wide range of different cacti, becoming connoisseurs of colonic creativity well into their twilight years.

And lest anyone feel sorry for the cacti we should remember these plants thrive on plenty of nutrients; thus we can turn complacent pompous windbags into far-less-complacent pompous growbags.

Most people will, however, wish to avoid not only the pain of insertion but the much greater and more sustained discomfort of subsequent extraction.

And so lies and false promises will be greatly diminished, the drooling mob will disperse, and a semblance of normality will for a while return to the land.

This, gentle reader, is how a humble plant can become the spiky conscience of the nation and thereby save, temporarily, what we with increasing sarcasm and disbelief refer to as Western Civilization.

Written by

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store