The Road to Marx… and back.

So, last weekend I was supposed to have a little dinner party. Instead, I ate about five onions and pooped in Karl Marx’s house.

Throughout my life, my mother’s parents have been an influencing force. At five, my grandfather told me that the moment I was born I started to die. Deep thought for a five year old. I spent the next 28 years worrying about that.

At eight, thinking I needed some guidance, they encouraged me to go to church. They had recently converted from Catholicism to Mormonism. My grandfather used to be a Mason. I don’t think you can be a Mason and a Mormon, but I’m not sure. They converted their two youngest kids. At my aunt’s funeral, after her suicide, my grandfather praised the Mormon faith for saving her life and ensuring that some day he would see her again, behind the veil. I guess the part about her being dead didn’t quite reach him.


Off I went, every Sunday, looking for my religion in the arms of the Mormon Church down the street. I never found it there, but after being spanked at my Baptist private school for bringing in a Mormon children’s magazine, I felt the Mormon god was far nicer than the Baptist god. The Catholic god was just boring. I mean, how many times can a kid listen to a Latin service or endure another Chicken or the Egg sermon (we only went at Easter). And as I never got the snack everyone else did (communion), the Catholic god lost my support early on.

When my parents divorced and I switched schools, I tried the Protestant youth group, TNA (Tuesday Night Alive), with a friend. When I told my Mom I wanted to go to TnA she chuckled and thought it was a fine idea. I went on one trip to LA with this group. We slept in churches and sang our little hearts out at some crystal cathedral. It was fun until I got in trouble for bringing a Ouija Board. The youth pastor asked that I not return as I had obviously not accepted Christ into my heart.

In high school I went to Friday night services with a Jewish friend. Wow, it might have been our age, but the Friday night co-ed sleepover was all about finding one’s religion in the arms of the closest person of the opposite sex when the lights went out. The Protestants might have coined TnA, but the Jews put their money where their mouth was and got to work.


After that, I gave up organized religion. The next two years I explored Sufism, Hinduism and Re-Incarnation. A friend of mine had met Meher Baba and his parents were heavily involved in the local Sufi Center.

I read Middle East poets and waxed philosophical at every turn. I started dream journals and visited new age books stores A LOT. I traveled to psychic fairs and learned how to read palms and tarot cards. And yes, this was a very difficult time for my parents.

My grandparents, realizing that I was not quite Mormon stock, chose another path for me. My grandparents were not just Mormon, they were Republican. My grandfather had a bust of Reagan in a little nook in his house. Next to it was a bowl of Jelly Bellies.

By this time I was a leading member of the speech/debate team. I was no Paris Gellar, but I could hold my own. I have always been an opinionated shit, but in my teen years, I was more. More everything. That intensity of teenage willfulness needed a direction and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Smith had that direction.


They polished me up and took me to an event in Napa. It was at a gorgeous winery. The food was delish and the people friendly. The kids my age were really nice and the boys were gorgeous. I mean gor-ge-ous. As a boy-crazy 14 year old, this was important. Especially as these gorgeous boys were talking to me.

I was baptized into the Republican Party. I became a Young Republican. Yes, its true, this is a dark time in my human development I know, but the boys were so cute. I went with my staunchly Republican grandparents to all their Napa fundraisers. I came to believe Reagan a hero, saving me from the nuclear destruction of the Soviets and discovered that there was no better place to kiss a boy than in the middle of a vineyard.

So off I went to my meetings in my polo shirts with the collars up, Sperry Tennis shoes white and my hair all neat and shinny, playing in the vineyards and flirting with boys, sucking up doctrine like cherry-flavored jelly bellies.

An opportunity came up to travel to Washington D.C. for an “Economic Intensive”. My parents were not so interested in funding this little boondoggle. To pay for it, I gave speeches at the Lyons Club, the Rotary club and any other place that would listen to me speak about Phytoplankon: The Ocean’s Bread Bowl. It was as interesting a subject as it sounds, let me tell you.

Next thing I knew, I was in a D.C. conference room with 15 other YRs. The subject was Affirmative Action. The question was whether or not I wanted a job I was not necessarily qualified for, just because I was a girl. I answered yes, that I would take any job I wanted, regardless of why I got it if I thought I could do the job. This was apparently the wrong answer and the beginning of the end of my reign as the great white hope for my grandparents. Holy apeshit, Batman, there’s a democrat in the woodpile!

My first semester in college I took philosophy, poli-sci, art-history and psychology. I was fascinated by how everything seemed to interconnect with everything else and I swear this was from scholastic wonder and had nothing to do with the vast amounts of mary jane smoked in the vicinity of my dorm room.

As a rather naive Republican, I had never really been exposed to the whole abortion debate. I didn’t have an opinion on it because I thought it was just a given, having the right to chose, like having cosmetic surgery or braces. You got to decide if you wanted to or not. I knew that there were emergency situations were it was required like getting your appendix out. For some reason that is beyond me now, I had no idea that women’s rights were in jeopardy in MY time.

When I finally understood this issue, the transformation was complete. And my motto became “As a woman, how can you be anything but a democrat?”

I called my grandparents and let them know. They took it well. They said, like religion, one needs to explore before coming back into the fold with a pure heart.

The next semester I took a course on Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. I had found my new gods, my new religion and it was in German thought meisters (a little foreshadowing?). I read the Communist Manifesto, I saw Metropolis, and I read Freud and Jung. I was still wearing my polos, but I was no longer a Republican.

I was a Marxist.

I called my grandparents and let them know. My grandfather and I debated this for a while and he ended up disowning me. I was a Commie. How could I possibly believe that drivel? How could I possibly do this to them, after all they had done for me?

Recipe for disownment

1 part argumentative skills
1 part natural aggression
1 part education
3 parts Uni studentin passion

While the passion of a college student is essential for revolutions, its not much good for anything else.

Why do I bore you with this? Well, because I went to Trier this weekend, the birthplace of Karl Marx.


Karl Marx, it turns out, had a problem affording his Bourgeois lifestyle. Engels and his Capitalist moolah supported Marx and his family for the rest of thier lives and yet they still could not live within their means. I find this hysterical considering it’s the same reason I’ve let go of my Marxist tendencies. If those Napa events taught me anything it’s that I was born to the Bourgeois and frankly, I like it here. The grass is waaaay greener.

So, you’re probably wondering where the onions and pooping come in, right?

For some reason, I had a craving for beef and onions all weekend. In Rüdesheim I had a Kellermeister steak with onions. The entire plate was covered in onions and I ate every single one. We had Chinese food for dinner in Trier, tons of onions. In Luxembourg I had a fabulous Onion Soup. I had enough onions to be safe from the yellow spotted lizard. And probably breath to slay a dragon.

toilet

Why does this matter? Well, by the time we hit Karl Marx’s house, the whole onion overdose started to catch up to me. Along with the three pots of coffee I had that morning at breakfast (our hotel had the most divine coffee). So after a two-hour tour of Marx and his contribution to the world, I needed a potty break.

As I sat there, doing my business, it occurred to me that I was pooping in Karl Marx’ birthplace. I revered this man at one time and now I’m pooping in what used to be his basement. It felt a little blasphemous, really.

So I took a picture and sent it to my brother. A little joke between siblings. That rat showed my dad and let me tell you, my dad did not find it as funny. Making him proud, the world over…

You thought Heisse Scheisse was just a blog name? Oh no, my dears, it’s a way of life…

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21 thoughts on “The Road to Marx… and back.

  1. I can’t think of a better place to go. Well maybe Lenin’s tomb but thats just me. I think communism like national socialism looks good on paper fails in execution. Neat bust of Marx though any pictures of the rest of the place?

  2. Ohdearlord! I think I burst something laughing so hard!

    I read this to B and at first he was slightly horrified at the idea of you smooching Marx’s cheek (fab photo, by the way!) but he was very proud of you for pooping in his basement. After having been a citizen of the DDR for 28 years you have to understand he spent his youth wanting to poop on Marx himself.

  3. LOL! Wonderful! Funny! I really like this post. I especially like the religion part at the beginning. I was trying to decide if you are impressionable or open-minded. . . I am going with open-minded. That picture of you and Karl – hot!

  4. Matt: The paper thing is the crux of my problem. looks great on paper. More pictures to follow.

    Chevy: No, you did not want to be there. And i miss you. I’m thinking summer before or after I take mim to school.

    Anon aka Jeff: NO, I’m not posting that pict.

    Stringbean: I know, I can’t believe it either.

    Dixie: Its way easier to like Marx from America. Tell B I did a really good job in the basement.

    Traveller One: It was. it just kinda got away from me.

    Gaijin: Thanks.

    Claire: You are far too kind. At that time it was impressionable, very very impressionable. I read “Scarlett” shortly after and decided I wanted to be just like her. I wanted something to hold on to, to belong to if you will. It took me a long time to figure out I was enough.

    Mr. Fab: I’m glad i could return the favor. you always have me rolling.

    Lisa: Happy Easter, Bunny. and a meow from the kitts

  5. Yep, that’s a quote to note:

    “I ate five onions and pooped in Karl Marx’s house.”

    I want to professionally produce this with you doing the voiceover on a music bed of “Loosing my Religion” by REM. Bet we could get it played on All Things Considered as guest commentary.

    Happy Easter, or whatever.

  6. Hmmm, I was never a young republican, but I DID at one point think that (gulp) Dan Quayle was kinda cute. The shame…

  7. I was listening intently on all the religion talk, soo funny.

    Then I read the young republican and my mouth popped open, (it just didn’t make sense, I mean come on, you have such a great sense of humour)

    So I kept reading, then I read about the yellow spotted lizards, and I though, she is cool, she read “holes”…

    And then phew…I got to the part about being a women and democrat, (love that quote)…and when I read about you pooping in Karl Marx’ birthplace, I almost pee’d myself!!

    Glad to know we are not the only ones who speak about poop freely:) (everybody poops, come on, they even wrote a book about it!!)
    k

  8. ET: I can see that, in a way, if you make sure he never, ever speaks.

    Kim: I know it was quite a long read. thanks for hanging in there. The whole thing just got away from me.

    I read holes about three years ago and i love it!

    About that pooping thing, i have to say, when i was younger I was much more reservered in talking about such matters, but i live with a man who informs me of the approximate weight, consistancy and frequenty of downloads, so its kinda lost its mystery.

  9. Found you through Blue Poppy and was fascinated by this one post which outlined your various religious transformations. I think Marx might have appreciated you using his bathroom, but only if they didn’t charge you to tour the house. I’d also be very disappointed if they are using some fancy toilet paper, like Charmin Ultra.

  10. Neil: There was a charge to enter the house. And funnily enough there was so much overpriced schwag from t-shirts and bronze busts to wine openers and tote bags. There was even Karl Marx wine. I found this hysterical. Sparky refused to let me get a bronze bust. Ah well.

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