Amanda Ackerman: UNFO Therapist


Man’s Wars And Wickedness: 
A Book of Proposed Remedies 
and Extreme Formulations for Curing Hostility, Rivalry, And Ill-Will


UNFO Therapist


THE CONSCIENCE OF THE WORLD sought out to study ACTUAL OBJECTS scientifically.


Strictly speaking the conscience of the world was not an aristocrat, nor did he have aristocratic leanings, and people knew that.  He was hunched over in an old suit, a cringing horsehair jacket he had purchased from a thrift store in the village with a few dimes and pennies.  It was the good kind of dark blue, although a little gloomy.  The conscience of the world dressed nothing like Mr. Jones.  Mr. Jones was always mistaken for being wealthier than he actually was.  Or some kind of hero from a European war, like a decorated lieutenant of Calvary, a Swabian commandant, with brilliantly braided front pockets, a figure of calm and certitude.  Perhaps it was his gait.  Or the way he refused to eat with his hands, the directions he glanced in when he ate.  People projected onto Mr. Jones surefire convictions of all kinds.  Their relationship to him was wonderfully eccentric.  Or rather, it wasn’t.  Because Mr. Jones was and had always been wonderfully attractive to women.  He was well groomed, with his dyed hair combed straight back (or was it naturally dark?).  And these impressions are not merely mine, I promise you.  When he was young he thought he could recreate the world.  Offer people real cures, solutions, health food regimens, alternatives to insecticides.  But he was eventually to learn that these causes were not his to take up; they belonged to the conscience of the world.  The conscience of the world traveled far, hopping on trains and so forth, to get to a hill in the north woods of Michigan.  The hill was very high up in the clouds and from its vantage point the conscience of the world could survey a plenitude of actual objects near and far.  There were many objects to see, trace, or hold; yachts, for example, handrails, things cut out of wood or silver (which was less gaudy than gold).  And there was more.  All the law firms in New York.  European ruins.  The great cultural monuments.  Fish ponds growing stinking mosses, and stinking tars in alleyways.  Newspapers and things cut out of newspapers.  Combs.  Garlic.  Birds, train terminals, amazing things.  Gothic castles.  Dim brains.  Light.  The economy.  Wonderful and disturbing stuff.  Board chairmen.  Plasterboard.  Pygmy corridors.  Pharmaceuticals.  CEO’s.  Antidotes.  All sorts of structures with impressive intent.  Great cultural monuments.  Glassware.  Colorless sheets of industrial plate glass.   Cozy white sofas.  In fact, many things of white cylindrical shapes.  Plus hob-tread metal spiral stairways.  Ramps.  Bare faces shaved with razors.  Hurricanes.  Cider.  The rose at the back of the house.  Horsetomatoes.  Rooftop gardens and songs of miraculous sensitivity.  Songs that made you feel better because they articulated your suffering.  The conscience of the world longed so deeply for a clean and pure and just future!  He wanted to turn the world into Rome, but with more music and without the all the hobbling and begging and fighting.  Could you imagine?  A whole world made of honest materials.  Honest people.  The Truth!  Really!  Fires lit in the fireplaces.  Tropical green leaves festooning people’s clothes.  And no more detestable architecture!  The conscience of the world was our chief hope.  But Mr. Jones, although he wouldn’t necessarily let on, felt a little emasculated by comparison.  Without a blush he said to me, drinking a soda and then crushing the aluminum in his bare hands, the problems, all of them, are on their way to being solved, I assure you.


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