On Hubert Humdinger, the Forgotten Exiled Cultural Philosopher
ADAM MICHAEL LUEBKE
I NEED MORE HUMDINGER!
That was the anonymous comment left on an article I’d written over a year ago called Kim Kardashian made so much money at her wedding she could fund this blog.
What an odd comment. Who would want more Humdinger? A man who had been cast out of his own country, and his existence nearly wiped clean from the face of the planet.
The comment is referring to the exiled cultural philosopher I often quote. His full name is Hubert Humdinger. He’s a bald-headed, red-chested, ornery old son of a bitch, but his insight is second to none. He’s been a gift to this planet, and a lifelong foe to the tyrannical governments and big business leaders of the world.
Humdinger (pronounced hum-din-jer), is the author of 367 books about cultural phenomena and disinformation found in the world of accepted psychology, science, politics, and sociology. But don’t expect to find his page on Wikipedia. All of his books were burnt in a little remembered event called the Humdinger Purge. If you can find a Humdinger book tucked away in your local library, please let me know. I will pay you enormous gobs of money for it. It is worth a fortune. (please see this article for more information on the good philosopher)
Why were all of Humdinger’s books burned? The State Department said the First Amendment did not apply to ideas as frighteningly clear and creative as Humdinger’s. Freedom of speech did not protect connecting so many universal truths in such precise ways, just as certain simple chemicals shouldn’t be stored right beside each other for risk of combustion.
“The alignment of unorthodox ideas into grand unity provide, we believe, an unhealthy access to mental and spiritual power that resides in each human, but isn’t meant to be awakened all at once,” a government spokesman said in a brief press conference in 1971. “Words can and do light fires in the minds of men,” the spokesman said, “and it seems Humdinger strives to not only start the fires, but pour gasoline onto them, and blow them into whirlwinds of uncontrollable fire.”
Humdinger shortly thereafter fled to an undisclosed location in Northern Europe, where he has stubbornly persisted to live, despite the legions of public and private officials who wish he’d finally give up the ghost. I have been in contact with the great exiled philosopher since 1989 when I first talked to him while sitting on a bench outside of 7-11 in a small Wyoming town, just outside of Yellowstone National Park.
He’d sneaked back into the US for a few weeks to tie up some loose ends, he told me many years later.”The Pentagon, and other great governmental institutions around the world do not suppress ideas because they are bad guys,” he continued, “or because it’s cute to manipulate the public. It is done because the majority of humanity cannot handle this type of knowledge without further refinement and evolution. You wouldn’t give hand grenades to monkeys in a zoo, would you?” he asked, “and nor would you teach a shopping mall full of humans how to align the collective power of their minds and spirits.”
I was five at that time I met him. My mother and father and younger brother had stepped into the convenience store to buy bottles of juice and quick breakfast items, like wrapped blueberry muffins or slices of banana bread baked weeks ago and loaded with preservatives.
We were on our journey through the Midwest to visit the Rocky Mountains. My parents, who had thought I’d stayed in the station wagon while they went into the store, came out to find me sitting next to a sour-looking older gentleman with a bull’s neck and squat legs and torso.
He kept stretching his legs out in front of him, and letting his feet fall back toward the bench. The soles of his shoes would swing just inches above the pavement. I mimicked his movements with my little Marvel comics Velcro shoes swinging back and forth like Humdinger’s clunkier, dirtier whites. His shoes were also Velcro, if I remember correctly. It turned out he was doing lower abdominal exercises. “No reason to sit still,” he said, “there’s plenty of time for that in the afterlife.”
I’d seen him sitting on the bench, lifting and dropping his feet, so I’d left the car to ask him what his problem was. “What’s your problem?” I’d seen one stern character ask another in a movie. I was a child without mental filters (like many children, like Gary Busey, too), and I approached Mr Humdinger in the bold way that he’s always respected.
“Child,” he said, “if there were more adults like you, we’d live in a peaceful world. No fear. No parsing of words. No superficial conversation about ball game scores or petty nitpicking about personal trivialities. You’ve got an iron rod running from your head to your feet. That’s your will. That’s your spirit. Hold it tight, before the bastards tear it out of you and beat you down with it. They’ll drink your blood. They’ll eat your heart out.”
Of course, as a child, I had no idea what that meant. I’m still pondering it today. I hopped onto the bench and sat beside him. I asked him what happened to his iron rod, as I looked between my legs and around the bench for mine.
|photo by Calvin Teo|
“I’ve still got it,” he said. “My will is strong, despite what they’ve done to me.” He then chided me for continuing to search for my iron rod. “It’s a metaphor!” he said briskly. “It’s your willpower. In a few years, when you grow into an adult, and some twit tells you to get on your knees and do his bidding, and he’ll pay you a wage less than what it costs to live, I already know what you’ll say. You’ll tell that twit where to go. You’ll tell him and his jellyfish spine to step off of you. Most importantly, you’ll inform him that he’s a twit.”
Humdinger used his right hand to chop the cool morning air as he spoke. “That is what I mean. It is that unbreakable spirit that every human being is endowed with, but most lose over a short period of time. I have hope you’ll keep yours. I’ve been through tremendous turmoil, but I’ve still got my iron rod,” and he pointed to his head, then dragged his first two fingers over his sternum, his belly button, and finally between his legs, until his fingers touched the bench. He mentioned he also carried the real thing in the trunk of his 1985 blue Honda Civic.
That was the beginning of my dealings with Hubert Humdinger. My mother came out of the store first. She held a bottle of orange juice and a small plastic bag. My father stepped out next, carrying apple juice in one hand, and my tiny brother underneath his other arm.
My father placed my brother on his feet. My mother looked at my father. They were alarmed and thinking I’d been lured away and nearly captured by a pedophile. Any sudden movement and they could lose me forever. Did that crass bald man carry a pistol? Or a knife? Was he belligerent? He sure was muscular.
Humdinger finally smiled. He stood, bent to one knee, and kissed my mother’s hand. He shook my father’s hand and said my parents had raised two special sons. Humdinger patted my brother’s fine blonde hair and winked at me. “Another iron rod!” he said.
With some reluctance my parents wrote down Humdinger’s address. A PO box in that little Wyoming town. “The boy is going to write me a letter, and I’m going to coach him on life,” Humdinger said, and he sat back down on the bench.
I did send him a letter when we got home from the vacation in the mountains. It was mostly scribble. I received a letter back, over twenty pages of finely handwritten prose that explained the genesis of the American public school system, its inclusion of John Dewey’s work, per the requests of the new school board put into place by the Rockefeller family, as the primary philosophical source behind the tooling of the curriculum, and how knowledge would be imparted to children. His letter also included instructions on how to navigate high school and college and never break my will.
I was so overwhelmed I never wrote him another letter. I was but a child!
Years later, just after I’d graduated college, my mother received a letter from overseas that was addressed to me. In the letter were instructions to never disclose the address, and to destroy the information after it was passed onto me. It was there we started our email and Skype correspondence.
Humdinger is very old, yet he seems to have not aged a bit since that day in 1989. He has forgiven me for not corresponding with him for that 20 year stretch of my life. He calls it our relative “dark age”. He was dismayed to find that my iron rod had been “somewhat weakened”, but was still intact enough to be strengthened and forged into an “unforgiving column of truth and willpower.”
He only recently allowed me to incorporate his ideas into this blog, and my other writings. How old Humdinger really is, is anybody’s guess. He claims that he doesn’t even know.
“Years go by,” he once said to me online, his bald head as chiseled and firm as a statue’s, “but I do not believe in time. I walk with ease. My mind does not toil, nor does it wander beyond my conscious control. I eat healthy and light. I sleep like a dog. If I worried about my age, or about time,” he continued, “my mind would toil, and that anxiety would seep into my body and disrupt my cells and make more difficult the immaculate lifestyle I’ve upheld for most of my life.”
If he had to speculate on his age, as I pushed him to do that day, Humdinger would say, with a slight tilt of his head, that he might be anywhere between 90-140 years old. I told him he was like Li Ching-Yuen, a Chinese man who lived for either 197 or 256 years, depending on which account you believe. Even the New York Times reported on that phenomenal man.
“Who cares?” he hollered at me soon after. His hoarse voice crackled over my computer’s speakers. Humdinger brought his face close to the webcam, so I could see the tight pores in his nose, and his shiny, worn teeth between his parted lips. “Who gives a flying fuck?” he scowled.
[the burning of “dirt and trash literature” in Berlin, 1955, which is not unlike the great Humdinger book burning orchestration]