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Jeff Topham
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 10:10 am:   

As it seems that we now stand upon the brink of war, I suggest that serious action has now become necessary. I have for the last few days been collecting signatures for a Writ of Digitus Impudicus, which I will then mail to President Bush. The full text of the Writ is included below:

* * * * * * * * * * *

In condemnation of your headlong rush to war, your ongoing assault against human decency and common sense, and your utter lack of imagination and empathy, we, the undersigned, do serve you, George Herbert Walker Bush II, with this Writ of Digitus Impudicus.

By this Writ are you henceforth banished from all that is good and pleasurable and made subject to this three-fold curse:

May Priapus deprive you of his vigor. May your bowels be plagued by flatulence and vile emissions. May squirrels befoul your new shoes.
* * * * * * * * * * *

Let me clarify something: this is not a joke. Invoking the Writ of Digitus Impudicus is a matter of the utmost gravity and is a course of action undertaken only when the most extreme sanctions are called for. Previous public figures served with such a Writ include Christian Coalition Director Ralph Reed and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.

As many of the folks who frequent these boards are writers, I welcome suggestions on revising or expanding the language involved in the Writ's punitive component: its curse. Creative suggestions are welcome. When the document is complete, I will send it, along with the attached signatures, to President Bush. I don't know if anyone who posts here would be interested in signing the Writ, but I'm not sure how we'd manage that anyway.

Let the warmongers know what you think: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Peace, folks.

(BTW, references to the digitus impudicus, or obscene finger, occur several times in Roman literature. It is possible that this insulting finger motion is the remote ancestor of the motion that we know today as "flipping the bird.")
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Josh Lukin
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 12:36 pm:   

I thought his name was George Walker Bush.
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Jeff Topham
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 12:51 pm:   

Yes, of course. I must have flashed back to our LAST war in Iraq. I certainly wouldn't want to heap curses on the wrong President.


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Anne S
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 01:36 am:   

Bravo Jeff,

Great idea!

I have scanned a passage from Michel Tournier's book "The Erl King" which has always appealed to me as a great manifesto to combat political ineptitude. Anyway, at the risk of being investigated by the CIA as an out an out anarchist, I will append the quote....

"The Erl-King
Sinister writings of Abel Tiffauges

1. Sanctity belongs to the solitary individual and has no temporal power.

2. Conversely, political power belongs entirely to Mammon. Those who exercise it take upon themselves all the iniquity of the social body, all the crimes that are committed every day in its name. That is why the most criminal man in any country is the one who occupies the highest position in the political hierarchy - ie. the President of the Republic and, after him, the ministers, and after them all the dignitaries of the social body: magistrates, generals. prelates - all servants of Mammon, all living symbols of the murky mess called the established order, all covered with blood from head to foot.

3. The organs of this body are perfectly adapted to its frightful functions. To practise the most abject of trades, men are sifted out by a topsy-turvy selection into groups constituting the most quintessential sublimate of filth that the country can offer. It is well known that a cabinet meeting, a church conclave, or an international conference gives off a smell of carrion that frightens away even the most blase vultures. On a more modest plane, a board meeting, a staff meeting, any gathering of a constituted body, is a thugs' get-together which any averagely decent man would steer well clear of.

4. As soon as a man lays down the law he places himself outside it, and thereby outside its protection. Thus the life of a man exercising any kind of power is of less value than that of a cockroach or a louse. Parliamentary immunity ought to be transformed by benign inversion to give every citizen the right to shoot at sight and without a licence any politician who comes within range. Every political assassination is a contribution to moral hygiene and brings a smile to the lips of the Virgin Mary and all the angels in paradise.

5. An article should be added to the constitution of 1875 whereby all members of a government which is overthrown are executed out of hand. It is unthinkable that men from whom the country has withdrawn its confidence should be able not only to go home again unpunished, but even to pursue their political careers wearing the halo of their fraudulent failure. This arrangement would have the triple advantage of getting rid of the country’s deadliest pus, preventing the same faces from turning up all the time in different governments, and introducing into politics the quality it lacks the most: ie. seriousness.

6. Everyone should know that in voluntarily donning a uniform of any kind he ipsofacto points himself out as a creature of Mammon and lays himself open to the vengeance of decent people. The law should list among noxious beasts that may be shot in season and out of season, cops, priests, park-keepers, and even members of the French Academy. "

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