Sunday, June 03, 2018

Like it or lump it


Like it or lump it is common in English, and
‘lumpers’ unload from United States docks
(such as Gloucester in Mass.), but the
Germans (as often) make best use of Lumpen,
a rag-word (not ragwort) pursued by
a ragtag of rag and bone words like
Lumpensammler, and
Lumpensgesindel, and dear old
Karl Marx’s (maybe insulting)
Lumpenproletariat,
those at the bottom, the
ones most degraded, the
working class, poverty-
ridden, prone-to-diseases,
consumptive, those dying too young,
those losing their children, so that
one single name might be
used for two infants, (confusing
descendants and family historians),
for whom children composed
all their wealth, and the loss of one,
two, or more was like losing the
bank notes hid in your mattress, or
having a thug mugging you down some tight
alleyway, coshing you, uncashing you,
or a man skyscraper-leaping on
hearing investments have gone down the
plughole. 
     Lump is a mass undiffer-
entiated, the lumper the man who
understands mass, who humps on his
single hump the weight of a camel whose
double humps saddle the mass of a
man.  Lumpensgesindel, the
rag-taggle rabble, whose weight
dear old Karl wrangled into his
brain, commonsensical,
dialectically logical,
straining to see, to bring to
reality the Proletariat Dic-
tatorship, to envisage the
people, the workers, the mass in
charge, to see the demise of the
capitalists, to see inequality
quitted.  Marx was the
Lumpensammler, the rag-and-
bone man whose revolutionary
ideas were red rags to
bulls who horned them up,
tossed them, crossed them and
in general lost them.  Red was the
colour of their true love’s hair, but
this girl was blood through and
through.

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