Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Chain Gang - Jim Fowler

A parody is a comic caricature, a ludicrous likeness, an absurd analogy, a ridiculous representation which exposes a particular reality by comparing it to another of a different order. Parodies can be a very useful verbal or literary tool to expose the 'red herrings' of diversions which distract attention from real issues; to expose 'hobby horses' whereby men keep reverting back to repetitive over-emphasis without critical thought; to expose inane traditions which become familiar ruts wherein we fail to recognize the absence d'esprit. By the use of parody one can be direct yet subtle at the same time.

For some there was the slight semblance of the syncophonic sound of church bells. But it was, instead, the clanging of chains as the prisoners performed their duties. Their day began with roll-call, responding to their assigned identification number. Then, dressed in the dreary uniformity that dissipates individuality, and manacled together in bondage, they marched out to perform their monotonous tasks. The obligatory service having been performed under the watchful eye of the taskmaster, the prisoners filed back into the vaulted dungeon to be fed a bland diet and to engage in the socialization of their chants. They were psyching themselves up for another day of the same regimen on the chain-gang. 

Each day they labored, a crusader on a nearby hill repetitively proclaimed, "Let my people go! What you are doing to my people is contrary to justice; it is cruel and unusual punishment. I have come to set you free! Exercise your right to walk out in freedom with me."