Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Shortly after Les Crane's reading of the Desiderata hit the charts in 1971 someone did a parody of it called the Deteriorata. The first can make you a bit misty-eyed, the second makes you laugh. Both moods are healthful. I can't find the Deteriorata in beautiful calligraphy or superimposed on a sunset so you get just the words. Chuckle and be of good cheer!

Go placidly amidst the noise and waste and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof. Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires. Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself; and heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys. Know what to kiss - and when. Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do. Wherever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted, that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment, and despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance. Remember the Pueblo. Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate. Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI. Exercise caution in your daily affairs, especially with those persons closest to you...that lemon on your left, for instance. Be assured that a walk through the seas of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love, therefore, it will stick to your face. Gracefully surrender the things of youth: the birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan - and let not the sands of time get in your lunch. Hire people with hooks. For a good time, call 606-4311 and ask for Ken. Take heart in the deepening gloom that your dog is finally getting enough cheese. And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Milwaukee. You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here. Whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back. Therefore, make peace with your god, whatever you perceive him to be: hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin. With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate. GIVE UP!


Vasile Andreica said...


anotherqueerjubu said...

I used to listen to National Lampoon's Radio Dinner endlessly as a teenager, and just as many kids memorized Monty Python skits, I can still recite Deteriorate...and it still makes me laugh, which lets me know that i am still rather immature I suppose.

Perhaps even better was the John Lennon parody on the same album, Magical Misery Tour.

Shravasti Dhammika said...

Dear AQJB,
I seem to remember the line 'trust me on the flossing' being in the Deterirata but I can't find it in any version. Am I getting dementia or am I just another confused Buddhist?

Anonymous said...

Dear Bhante, are you perhaps thinking of Wear Sunscreen (narrated but not written) by Baz Luhrman? Lyrics:

See last sentence. Cf. also the related Wikipedia entry:

anotherqueerjubu said...

Venerable Sir,

You can be certain simply by downloading Deteriorata from iTunes! Because, yes, it's there!