In the dark, huddled ground below where I live, buried somewhere between the surface and the source of our household water supply, our well-drillers encountered an underground “mud lake”. In terms of cost, diggers showed me how easy it can be to devour the lake with a 10-foot diameter six-inch steel casing at $25 a foot (2007). It was explained to me that if water was found, it would be out of the mud.
There’s no way to know how muddy, did you want to keep going? This was followed by a brief discussion before the casings swayed back into place and pressed down into the ground with the ease of pushing the straw into the candy – the casing chase casing – 1, 2, 3, 4… I don’t remember exactly how many (lake worth of clay and expensive). At 235 feet, we were honored with pebbles, an artesian well, and endless water.
In general, clay should be avoided. The mud bothers us. I had to get out of my shoes more than once to get rid of the damned mud physics. I didn’t enter my grandmother’s kitchen with mud on my shoes. The same is true at home, at school, in church, or wherever mud frowns. Slime spoils and breathes and stops things.
On the other hand, people seem to enjoy wrestling in the mud, mud makers do plaster of mud, and pigs are the notorious mud wrestlers. We wear clay masks as a beauty treatment and mask the itch of bee stings with clay. We bake bricks and clay. Some of us live in mud huts. This is clay in the literal sense.
But when used figuratively, clay always bears the stigma of disgust. Defamation, for example. Candidates for public office were insulting and accusing each other, rightly or wrongly, as long as there were soap boxes and witty people willing to step up and stir the crowd. But the mud no longer goes away – it gets hard. Elected officials are drowning in the mud, and they rule like filthy little pigs who don’t get along and don’t seem to want to work things out; 535 Senators and their representatives slouch in the mud, urging them to do so, foolishly and dangerously adding their year of “journalistic” spit to the melee.
What bothers me the most is that this obsession with mud is only a symptom of an underlying problem. Serious substantive sampling of American politics will undoubtedly reveal a diabolical mud market just below the surface of current political platforms, a vile and atheistic place where one’s values are traded in the masterful act of stripping American interests for favor.
More and more, mud is being tracked into our homes, schools, churches, and our thinking. So cleverly and confidently is the use of clay that I am afraid I have clay in the brain, a mental disorder that develops. psychosis. delusional. separate from reality. I must be, because my impression of the country’s well-being contradicts what I have been told.
“They” claim progress, but I see paralysis. They’re seeing the apple pie order, but I see mud being tracked down in every corner of Washington, D.C., in every corner of our lives. I see a sticky alluvial fan leaking from the doors of the Capitol Building, the White House, on the National Mall, a muddy confluence of the Washington Monument to spread into the tidal basin, polluting our national monuments, and most importantly, the facts they embody.
His name is Clay is not a pleasant element to one’s character. In John Badcock’s “Grass Dictionary” of 1823, he wrote “mud – a cocky, stupid fellow.” In the 1700s, clay was used in a similar context – “fool” or “someone who did something stupid.” This term would be an apt title for anyone who caters to the Washington mud market at the expense of moral and ethical responsibilities.