In the Cards

The cards, they do not lie, my friend
--Ulrica, in Ballo in Maschera
lame old gypsy saying

Joy and peace, Camper. Today, back by popular demand: Uncle Jerry's Tarot Tent. 

Gloomy in here? Never you mind. Psychic truth is often found in shadows. The cards do not lie, young camper, and why not? Because they do not care. How cold, you say, how dark. No no no. Think. Think how cold and dark your little world would be if the cards did care. Suppose they were to sugar-coat. Suppose they saw some lurking danger in your future, and said nothing—just to spare your feelings. What a disaster. No no, destiny must be faced with open eyes. If the cards cared, you could not trust them. And without trust, well, where would any of us be?

A quick three cards, my friend. The first . . . aww . . . two of cups. How dove-lovely. Two cups raised to lovers’ lips. Two pair of bright eyes meet . . . But wait, this is in the past. Tsk tsk. Oh please, don’t weep, young camper. Lovers’ lips may lie, but the cards do not.

Second card: eight of cups. Many things offer shiny promise, but today you find them cheap
and empty. (We might say your cup runneth NOT over, heh heh heh. That’s a joke, son. Psalm 23. Look it up; it’ll do you good.) But how right you are. The world is full of false promise, and by the way this is the subject of Uncle Jerry’s latest online Sunday sermon, available now at a website near you. (You look like you could use a sermon, son, if I may say so.)

So, young camper, love is in the past, and the present does not satisfy. Ah me. Ah life. Let’s move on.

Card three: Yes . . . the eight of wands. News approaching, the future unfolding. Tumult and shouting. But oh, how like the cards: the eight does not say WHAT you will learn, my friend. It says only that knowledge will come, and soon.

So there it is. Destiny. For good or ill, it comes. Be brave. Beware. For as you know, the cards do not lie.

And neither does your Uncle Jerry.

Joy and peace.

Masks and Maskosity

The mask is the face.
--Susan Sontag (lame old philosopher chick)

Joy and peace. Lately, some campers have written Your Uncle Jerry to ask about avatars. Avatars. Are they more than pictures? When should you change them? Do they cause a twitch or rash? May you have more than one? Should you talk with your parents about them? So many questions.

In Your Uncle Jerry’s Dictionary, young camper, “avatar” comes right after “mask,” which comes right after “face.” Now, a mask is something You put on, to put on a new You. But a mask is not JUST for Halloween.Think of how many masks you wear in RL. You have a mask for home, a mask for school, a face you wear to Grandma’s house, a face for that party at your friend’s house. Those are avatars of you, dontcha see. Different incarnations, different sides of you. And sometimes you make one up online so you can be someone totally new.

On social sites such as the wasteland known as MySpace, camper girls and boys should never show their home faces; they should always don a different mask. “Yes, my parents work at the embassy. I spend most of my time in Paris.”

But then the question is, who am I when I wear a mask? Am I still myself, or am I a new identity? Is a mask dishonest? This brings us to ---->

Your Uncle Jerry’s Rules of Mask-osity.

Rule 1. Your face is a mask.

Rule 2. A mask is your face.

Rule 3. There is no rule 3.

Rule 4. There is no point in trying to figure this out.

Can you wrap your head around this, Camper?

If you ever allowed the Real You to appear, we both know how that would look: a huge blob in a diaper, flopped in front of the tube, pounding gummy bears and pizza with four hands. In short, you’d be your little brother. To cover their shame at creating such a monster, your parents make you adopt an avatar called Good Manners. Are good manners dishonest? Yes, but won’t you be glad when your brother learns them?

Peace and joy.