Featured Post

Hope Springs Eternal: The Mary Wheeler Interview

Mary and Tim Wheeler, with son Christopher.  Courtesy Mary Wheeler. Prepare yourself(s) for an amazing interview with a largely u...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dull Care: Origin, Usages and Meanings

Use of the 1st-person "I" notwithstanding, this article was authored jointly by Daurade and The Gid.

If you are reading this article, chances are you are already familiar with the Bohemian Club and its encampment, the Bohemian Grove. So I won't go into too much detail on either, but perhaps a little background is in order.

A lot of people have almost virulently negative opinions about the Club; to them, I might sound like some sort of apologist.  I am not.  I feel that a club which brings politicians and policy-makers together with captains of industry in an aggressively secretive conclave is a potentially dangerous subversion of a free and open democracy.  The fact that a group of rich and powerful men get together and so cavalierly reduce "Dull Care" to ashes is offensive, especially in a time when unemployment and other devastating symptoms of economic uncertainty are so rampant.  Fiddling while Rome burns, so to speak.  That said, the wild claims of Satanism and Moloch-worship only undermine any serious attempt to discuss the issues raised by the Club's encampments.  The claims by a certain type of conspiracy theorist regarding the Cremation of Care ceremony are ridiculous; I have thus endeavored to look at the history of the expression as objectively as possible, not to excuse or defend the Club, but to try and understand the context of what the ceremony actually represents.  Some have already made up their minds and what I write here will not sway them. 

A little background 

The Bohemian Club is a men's club based in San Francisco, founded in 1872 by a group of artists, intellectuals and newspaper men: self-described "bohemians".  Over time it extended its ranks to include businessmen and politicians.  It is very exclusive and expensive to join and its rosters have included some of the most powerful men in America.  Guest speakers have included equally prominent international figures as well.

The purpose of the group is ostensibly social.  Their motto, "Weaving Spiders Come Not Here", is officially explained to mean that business and political affairs are to be left at the door, for the club's goal is to provide merriment and good times.  This will be an important concept in the discussion of Dull Care.

Every summer the Club meets at their campground, the Bohemian Grove, for two weeks of fun and fellowship.  There are several encampments with different levels of prestige, but their activities are pretty much the same:  drink, song and some interesting "rituals".

One tradition is the Grove Play, of which there are two:  a serious "High Jinks" and more ribald "Low Jinks".  These plays are usually written and performed by Club members and can be quite elaborate, sometimes involving over 100 people (most of whom are extras) and costing thousands.  It's taken seriously and rehearsals are reportedly begun a year in advance.  (Here's Wikipedia on the topic.)

What has excited the popular imagination the most, however, is a ceremony or ritual called the "Cremation of Care".  This ceremony takes place on the first night of the camp and its purpose is to symbolically burn away the worldly cares of participants, who can throw their worries on the fire and get on with having a good time.

I have always been surprised about the confusion surrounding the phrase "Dull Care".  I first heard it and thought meant exactly what the Grovers say it means.  On the other hand, many have assumed "dull" was more akin to "stupid", and "care" was used to indicate concern or compassion for others.  In other words, many assumed that the Cremation of Care was a way to reaffirm a malign commitment to a cruel and uncaring world view.  This is, however, wrapped up with the mistaken belief that the owl represents an evil Canaanite deity called Moloch.



First let's take a brief look at the ceremony, quoting here from Wikipedia: 

The ceremony involves the poling across a lake of a small boat containing an effigy of Care (called "Dull Care"). Dark, hooded figures receive from the ferryman the effigy which is placed on an altar, and, at the end of the ceremony, set on fire. This "cremation" symbolizes that members are banishing the "dull cares" of conscience.  At the time the script was developed, the primary meaning of the word 'care' (O.E. cearu, "anxiety, anguish") was synonymous with 'worry', having more negative connotations than in modern times when it tends to be associated more positively with compassion. 

The ceremony takes place in front of the Owl Shrine, a 40-foot (12 m) hollow owl statue made of concrete over steel supports. The moss- and lichen-covered statue simulates a natural rock formation, yet holds electrical and audio equipment within it. During the ceremony, a recording is used as the voice of The Owl. For many years the recorded voice was club guest Walter Cronkite.  Music and pyrotechnics accompany the ritual for dramatic effect. 

Conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones have stated flat out that the Cremation of Care is in a fact a rite to honor Moloch.  Moloch was said to have been worshiped by the Phoenicians and Canaanites and by other groups along the Levant.  Moloch worship was described in the Bible and by Roman writers as one involving the regular sacrifice of children by fire.  There is some evidence in the archaeological record at Carthage that has been interpreted as an indication of human sacrifice by fire, but this interpretation is still under debate.  Furthermore, contemporary scholars do not even agree as to whether or not there was actually a god called Moloch!  It' worth noting that the sources about these alleged Phoenician and later Carthaginian practices were all written by their bitter enemies.

Perhaps what is so grievous about the claim that this ceremony is a form of Moloch worship is that there is no evidence whatsoever that an owl was ever used to symbolize Moloch, either by the Bohemians or the Carthaginians.  There are images of Moloch, dating from the 18th century, where he is depicted as a bull with long horns.  If you squint correctly, he could be said to resemble an owl, but the fact remains that a bull is not an owl and if it were, it would not be a representation of Moloch anyway.

Some will say that where there's smoke there's fire.  I would say that this isn't true if said smoke is billowing from one's ass.  In other words, falsehoods repeated ad infinitum might begin to bear the weight of truth, but they remain falsehoods.

According to Terry Melanson (author of Perfectibilists and researcher about the Illuminati, Bilderberg Club, Bohemian Club and other secretive elites), the idea of Moloch-worship was first presented as an analogy in an article by Mark Walter Evans.  Evans and other early witnesses to the ceremony described it in terms that defined an occult experience which functions as a religious ritual.  This was then taken up by David Icke in The Biggest Secret, who took the Moloch analogy and the religious sensibility of ceremony and conflated the two, stating flat-out that the Grovers were worshipping Moloch.

Icke also proposes that elites such as the "Bohos" are shape-shifting aliens, which to me speaks volumes about the validity of his claims.

Alex Jones, like others before him, infiltrated the Grove and witnessed the ceremony, but he had the good sense to actually film it.  This powerful video, with narration stating that what we are seeing is Moloch worship, has been so effective that it's now difficult to find an online reference that doesn't repeat as fact something which began with Evans as a comparison.

See Melanson's Bohemian Grove: Molochs, Moles and Rituals on the origin and development of the Moloch story.

So what does the owl represent, if not Moloch?

From A Relative Advantage:  Sociology of the San Francisco Bohemian Club, the Doctoral thesis of Peter Martin Phillips (1994): 

Bohemia's symbol is an owl, which has been in use since the first year the Club started. The owl has come to symbolize the wisdom of life and companionship, that allows humans to struggle with and survive the cares and frustration of the world. The owl is found on all Bohemian materials from matchbook covers and doormats to the most elaborate Club publications. 
.... 
Baxter [a member] claims the cremation ceremony is not symbolic of the destruction of human sympathy but it is meant "to set aside the nagging and often unworthy preoccupations which inhibit openness and warm sympathy for human affairs generally and for works of artistic and moral creativity in particular (p. 14)."  The cremation ceremony may mean different things to different Bohemians, but the consistent theme for eighty-four years is the release of everyday mundane concerns for the brotherhood of Bohemian friendship. The ritual continues to be an important event in the annual Bohemian trek to the redwoods.

The owl, animal of Athena, goddess of wisdom, has long been used to symbolize wisdom.  Before the 40-foot owl was erected, the Grove featured another statue, not of Moloch or an owl or a demon, but 70-foot-tall Daibutsu Buddha, according to the National Park Service. Unfortunately it wasn't built to last.  Erected in 1892 of plaster and lathing, it didn't make it past the 1920's.


 

I think it's safe to say we are looking at an effigy of wisdom and not of Moloch. 

Back to Dull Care 

Now let's get back to the expression "Dull Care" and trace its usage through the ages.

Before publishing this post I asked Terry Melanson to read it and give me his opinion.  Good decision.  In addition to referring me to his article which reveals the source of the Moloch story as Evans, he turned me on to an article entitled Bohemian Grove Symbolism by Joël van der Reijden.

Let's take a look at the extensive use of the expression, which seems to have been used most widely in the 19th century, although we found some earlier occurrences. 

1st century, BCE 

I believe the phrase "dull care" originates with Roman poet Horace (65-27 BCE), which as I later leaned, is also Reijden's conclusion.  His article is worth reading, and I was glad to see the article's subtitle is Deeper meaning, or not a deeper meaning? That is the question?  He thankfully doesn't mention Moloch, but he does discuss some other mythological figures. 

The first (and what I assumed was the only) mention of dull care by Horace that I came across is: 

Vinum eique arcana secretorum anima dat esse spes iubet ignavos fuga curam agit hebetes, et novis rationibus docet complementum votis. 

"Wine brings to light the hidden secrets of the soul, gives being to our hopes, bids the coward flight, drives dull care away, and teaches new means for the accomplishment of our wishes." 

Horace was a very influential poet in his own time and his texts were studied in schools throughout antiquity, was quoted ubiquitously in all genres of Medieval literature and continued to be studied widely throughout the Renaissance and Enlightenment.  His works have never gone out of print and have "maintained a central role in the education of English-speaking elites right up until the 1960s" (source).

Unfortunately, I cannot find in which of Horace's poems this appears, so I can't say whether or not it's an accurate transcription.  Nor can I vouch for the translation.  (Later comparison of translations from Horace show wild differences in wording).  If anyone out there is familiar with Horace or can translate Latin, please contact us and let us know if it's an accurate quote and translation.

Here is what we can tell. "Fuga curam agit hebetes" is translated as "drives dull care away", which, if we were foolish enough to think that word-for-word transference works, we would conclude that:

* fuga = away
* curam = care
* agit = drives
* hebetes = dull

Yeah, we know that word-for-word translations are not the right way to consider moving something from one language to the next. In fact, our point is that there is obviously more than one way to translate "fuga curam agit hebetes".

We'll address this in our conclusion, but we should note here that it is interesting that "drives dull care away" seems to have become the canonical translation like a stock phrase or epithet. Why? We suspect that there are issues with this translation. The online OED, for example, makes special note that "care" has Germanic roots and does not stem from the Latin "cura". This doesn't preclude "care" from being the best translation of "curam", but it does suggest that there are some unspoken complexities in translation occurring here. Likewise, "hebetes" as "dull" seems, based on our not understanding Latin and relying on potentially unreliable online translations, to be even more open for different translations.

Can anyone who actually knows something about Latin lend us a hand here? We don't pretend to know Latin. We are just trying to point out that there is more than one way to interpret this phrase so that you might wonder with us why "drives dull care away" has become such a canonical translation.

Now, as we eventually discovered, we should point out that this phrase seems to appear in other works by Horace. Emphasis on seems, because we have doubts, as we'll explain. 

In "Epistulae I", Horace wrote: 

ad mare cum veni, generosum et lene 
requiro, quod curas abigat, quod cum spe divite manet in 
venas animumque mewn, quod verba ministrei 

This is translated by multiple sources (including this 1901 source) as: 

when I get down to the sea, 
I want a rich and mellow wine, (one) that 
shall drive dull care away, that shall flow with rich hope into 
my veins and soul, that shall find me in words 

Pardon our ham-fisted considerations of the translation, but we see "curas" here being translated as "care"-- like the previous quote. We also see "abigat" here as, roughly, "drive away", which is a different phrasing than the previous quote. It seems to hit the same idea, but any subtle differences in meaning are lost on us.

Here's where it gets strange, however: Is there actually a Latin word in this text that translates as "dull"? We couldn't find one. Lene seems like a contender, but it's in reference to the wine, not the cares, right?

Is "curas" translated here as "dull care" because the translators felt that this was clearer than just the word "care" on its own? Were translators simply influenced by previous translations of the other Horace quote which, while closely paralleling this one, does state hebetes (dull)? If any of this is correct, it suggests that the phrase "dull care" was considered so common place that the translators felt that it would be readily understood by English speakers. In fact, it would suggest that "care" might suggest multiple meanings, whereas "dull care" would provide a more accurate rendering of Horace's use of the word "curas". Please let us know if we're off base here.

Here is another Horace quote that seems to possibly be the same idea. It's from "The Odes' Book II: I Odi Profanum". We grabbed the Latin and the translation from here. 

sed Timor et Minae
scandunt eodem quo dominus, neque

decedit aerata triremi et
post equitem sedet atra Cura. 

But Fear and Threats climb to the selfsame
spot the owner does; nor does black Care quit
the brass-bound galley and even takes her
seat behind the horseman.
 

Some other sources translate the phrase atra Cura as "dark Care". Either way, this seems similar to "dull care", although perhaps it suggests a more malevolent form of "Care". In English, "dark" and "black" are more evil sounding then "dull" (which seems merely dim or dimming rather than black; more wearing/grating/wearying than all-encompassing and/or consuming). Furthermore, in English, the capitalization suggests anthropomorphism, as if Care were a living thing that could work dark magic upon us. We have to be, er, careful here, however, because capitalization may convey different meanings in Latin. Also, is cura a one-to-one translation to "care", or do the terms have different connotations to the different cultures?

We looked around for other similar statements by Horace but couldn't find any. Our quest was severely hampered by our lack of Latin. If you speak Latin and would like to take a look, here is a "A Concordance to the Works of Horace". You could look up "curam", "curas", etc., and we would be thrilled if you let us know what you found.

Likewise, we tried to dig up other usages of the phrase "dull care" by other authors from this era, but that's tough when you don't know Latin and, thanks to time constraints, etc., are limiting your search to the Internet. If you know of something we didn't find, please let us know! 

1594? 

From Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors (Act I, Scene II), which was written around 1600, possibly in 1594: 

A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,
When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Lightens my humour with his merry jests.
 

Here we see Shakespeare place care in the dull camp -- and also talks about driving it away.

Reijden's article also mentions  Giusppe Verdi's (1813-1901) adaptation of Macbeth, which has lady Macbeth saying, following a reference to wine: 

Let us cast dull care
from our hearts;
give life to pleasure
and death to sorrow.

All characters then repeat:  Let us cast dull care. 

Melanson pointed out that it is interesting to see this phrase in a Shakespearean context, as the Bohemian Club motto "Weaving spiders come not here" is also from Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream).  It's important to point out, however, that the "dull care" lines were not in Shakespeare's Macbeth, but in additions found in Verdi's adaptation. 

17th century 

The earliest exact usage that I've found, after Horace and the near-quote by Shakespeare, comes from an anonymous volume entitled Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England (1857) which contains a note that the song cannot be traced "beyond the reign of James II", but the author believed it to be older and derived from a French song.  James II lived from 1633 to 1701.

Begone Dull Care (Traditional)

We cannot trace this popular ditty beyond the reign of James II, but we believe it to be older. The origin is to be found in an early French chanson. The present version has been taken down from the singing of an old Yorkshire yeoman. The third verse we have never seen in print, but it is always sung in the west of Yorkshire. 

Begone, dull care!
I prithee begone from me;
Begone, dull care!
Thou and I can never agree.
Long while thou hast been tarrying here,
And fain thou wouldst me kill;
But i' faith, dull care,
Thou never shalt have thy will.

Too much care
Will make a young man grey;
Too much care
Will turn an old man to clay.
My wife shall dance, and I shall sing,
So merrily pass the day;
For I hold it is the wisest thing,
To drive dull care away.

Hence, dull care,
I'll none of thy company;
Hence, dull care,
Thou art no pair for me.
We'll hunt the wild boar through the wold,
So merrily pass the day;
And then at night, o'er a cheerful bowl,
We'll drive dull care away.

1762 (actually a little earlier) 

Next we turn to Elizabeth Carter (1717-1806), poet, classicist and translator, who was quite renowned in her day. Her Ode to Wisdom, published in 1762 was actually used by the Illuminati....

According to Melanson, a translated and "slightly altered" version was used in the Minerval initiation ceremony.  Initiates were given a lecture on the poem, which was also recited.

Stanza VI reads:

Not Fortune's Gem, Ambition's Plume,
Nor Cytherea's fading Bloom,
    Be Objects of my Pray'r:
Let Av'rice, Vanity, and Pride,
Those envy'd glitt'ring Toys divide,
    The dull Rewards of Care.

Minerva is the Roman equivalent of Athena and thus, a goddess of wisdom.  Carter was actually depicted as Minerva by John Fayram in a portrait dating from somewhere between 1735-1741.

Obviously, including a poem later used by the Illuminati doesn't do much to clear this phrase of nefarious connotations, given the overwhelmingly negative view of it and the widespread belief that it continues today in an unbroken line from Weishapt's original organization.  It should be pointed out that Carter's poem predated the founding of the Illuminati by at least 14 years.

That said, it would be remiss not to point out that the symbol of the Illuminati is an owl.  Perhaps this poem was chosen due to the first stanza:

I.
The solitary Bird of Night
Thro' the thick Shades now wings his Flight,
   And quits his Time-shook Tow'r;
Where, shelter'd from the Blaze of Day,
In Philosophic Gloom he lay,
   Beneath his Ivy Bow'r.

That solitary bird of night must be the owl of wisdom, the premium objective of a group which placed itself in the Minerval tradition.

Carter's poem goes on to praise the owl and her Goddess:  Pallas Athena, aka Minerva.  See Terry Melanson's Owl of Wisdom to read the full text.

Melanson later gave me a bit more detail about the poem.  It was written much earlier than 1762, as it was later Incorporated into Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa; Or, The History of A Young Lady (1747-48).  Poet Johann Peter Uz  (1720-1796) translated it (from Clarissa) for his German audience in 1757.  It was the Uz translation of  “Ode to Wisdom” that Weishaupt personally chose for inclusion in the Minerval ritual.  It is apparently a faithful translation.  Thus it would seem the poem as used by the Illuminati was not in fact altered, as he had earlier concluded.

Elizabeth Carter ('Elizabeth Carter as Minerva')
by John Fayram
oil on canvas, circa 1735-1741  National Gallery, London
1808 

Begone Dull Care: A Comedy, in Five Acts by Frederick Reynolds (1764-1841) and George Colman (1762-1836). 

Colman's father had produced an edition of Horace's Ars Poëtica in 1783. 

1814  

The Wanderer: Or, Female Difficulties, Volume 4, by Fanny Burney (1752-1840). 

I ought to make a million of apologies for supposing that a young lady,--for you are a lady, no doubt! every body is a lady, now!--of your extraordinary turn and talents the insupportable insipidity of a tête à tête with a female; or the dull care of a bantling; when a splendid, flashy, rich, young travelled gentleman, chusing, also, to remain behind, may be tired, and want some amusement! 

1814 

Epistle to Andrew Scott 

In singing, no mortal could with him compare; 
Contented and prudent, he hated dull Care, 
He smil'd at the Miser, he sneer'd at the fop,
When he wanted his dinner, Had patience and Hope! 

According to John Wilson (1785-1854):  "He compounded better punch than poetry -- the latter being doggerel".

1820 

Percy Bysse Shelley's poem The Witch of Atlas. 

IV.

Wordsworth informs us he was nineteen years 
Considering and retouching Peter Bell; 
Watering his laurels with the killing tears 
Of slow, dull care, so that their roots to Hell 
Might pierce, and their wide branches blot the spheres
Of Heaven, with dewy leaves and flowers; this well
May be, for Heaven and Earth conspire to foil 
The over-busy gardener's blundering toil. 

1831 

"Blue Devils" is old slang for the "blues" or depression.

1834 

By 1834, the phrase "dull care" was so common that it pops up ten times in "The Universal Songster, Volume 3". Most and perhaps all of the ten songs link mirth and drink as the means to kill dull care. One of the ten really pops out because it links the death of dull care to the death of wisdom, much as the ceremony at the the Bohemian Grove does (see page 138): 

The Goblet Fill (F. F. Cooper) 

The goblet fill,
Dull care to kill,
And banish grief and sadness;
For mighty wine,
With power divine,
Oft moves the soul to gladness.

‘Tis not in books,
Or sages’ looks,
We find relief from sorrow;
So gaily pass
The sparkling glass,
We’ll part but with the morrow 

It also calls to mind the phrase the "Philosophical Gloom" of the owl in Liz Carter's poem.

1844 

Dull Care, by Elisha J. King (1821-1844)King, along with B.F. White compiled and composed hymns for The Sacred Harp, published in 1844.

According to Wikipedia "Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of sacred choral music that took root in the Southern region of the United States. It is part of the larger tradition of shape note music. Sacred Harp music is performed a capella (voice only, without instruments) and originated as Protestant Christian music. The songs sung are primarily from the book The Sacred Harp." 

The reference I came across (1991 ed. of The Sacred Harp) says the tune is by KingI'm pretty sure King is not the author of the text, for I follow this hymn with another version, which shares many of the same lyrics but differs quite a bit and does not have any references to the Savior.  I imagine this is a folk song King adapted into a hymn.

98 Dull Care

Why should we at our lot complain,
Or grieve at our distress?
Some think if they could riches gain,
They’d gain true happiness.
 

Chorus: 

Ah! we’re much to blame,
We’re all the same —
Alike we’re made of clay;
Then, since we have a Savior dear,
Let’s drive all care away.

Why should the rich despise the poor?
Why should the poor repine?
A little time will make us all
In equal friendship join.
 

Chorus: 

The only circumstance of life
That ever I could find
To soften cares and temper strife
Was a contented mind
;

Chorus: 

When we’ve this in store,
We have much more,
Than wealth could e’er convey;
Then, since we have a Savior dear,
Let’s drive all care away.

When age, old creeping age comes on,
And we are young no more,
Let’s all repent the sins we’ve done,
Nor grieve that youth is o’er;
 

Chorus: 

We’ll more faithful be
Than formerly,
And constantly to pray;
Then, since we have a Savior dear,
Let’s drive all care away.
 

This song is copyrighted by Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association.

The other version is described as "a folksong from Prince Edwards Island" as performed by Joe Hickerson (b. 1935).  I don't know if Hickerson has added lyrics or if it is a faithful rendering.  You will notice some phrases are the same, word for word, but the version by Hickerson has lines which do not appear in King's Dull Care.  This version was released on an album of the same name in 1976. 

Drive Dull Care Away 

Why should we of our lot complain
Or grieve at our distress?
Some think if riches they could gain
T'would be true happiness
Alas in vain is all their strife
Life's cares will not allay,

So while we're here with our friends so dear
We'll drive dull care away.
Away, away, away away.
We will drive dull care away.
So while we're here with our friends so dear
We'll drive dull care away.

Why should the rich despise the poor?
Why should the poor repine?
While in a few short years we shall
In equal friendship bind.
They're both to blame, they're all the same
We are all made of one clay,

The only circumstance in life
That ever I could find,
To conquer care and temper strife
Was a contented mind.
With this in store we have much more
Than all things else convey,

So always make the best of life
Nor render it a curse,
But take it as you would a wife
For better or for worse.
Life at its best is but a jest,
Like a dreary winter's day 

1865? 

Fairlop Fair began one year in the early 1720's as a private party thrown by one Daniel Day, but by 1725 had begun to look more and more like a real fair.  According to this website "The Fair continued to 1900 being held in various venues in the area.  In 1865 a Mr. Hemmingway, a ballad singer arrived at the fair in a boat on wheels which was decked in flags and bunting. Song sheets were handed out with songs of the Fair."

I'm not sure is the following song was one of those sung by Hemmingway, but I haven't found a date for it.  "Booze" is actually a rather old word so it's possible it dates to 1865 or even earlier.  I'm sure a musicologist could help us out here? 

Fairlop Fair Song 

Come, come, my boys, with a hearty glee,
To Fairlop fair, bear chorus with me;
At Hainault forest is known very well,
This famous oak has long bore the bell.

Chorus: 

Let music sound as the boat goes round,
If we tumble on the ground, we'll be merry, I'll be bound;
We will booze it away, dull care we will defy,
And be happy on the first Friday in July. 

2. At Tainhall forest, Queen Anne she did ride,
And beheld the beautiful oak by her side,
And after viewing it from bottom to top,
She said that her court should be at Fairlop. 

Chorus:

3. It is eight fathom round, spreads an acre of ground,
They plastered it round to keep the tree sound.
So we'll booze it away, dull care we'll defy,
And be happy on the first Friday in July.

Chorus: 

4. About a century ago, as I have heard say,
This fair it was kept by one Daniel Day,
A hearty good fellow as ever could be,
His coffin was made of a limb of the tree.

Chorus:

5. With black-strap and perry he made his friends merry,
All sorrow for to drown with brandy and sherry.
So we'll booze it away, dull care we'll defy,
And be happy on the first Friday in July. 

Chorus:

6. At Tainhall forest there stands a tree,
And it has performed a wonderful bounty,
It is surrounded by woods and plains,
The merry little warblers chant their strains. 

Chorus:

7. So we'll dance round the tree, and merry we will be,
Every year we'll agree the fair for to see;
And we'll booze it away, dull care we'll defy,
And be happy on the first Friday in July.

Chorus: 

1869 

Away, dull care and sorrow appears in hymn 129 Hymn, Tune, and Service Book for Sunday Schools and is "For a Sabbath School Excursion."

Interesting that in these usages contemporaneous with the Bohemian Club ceremony, the phrase is used in hymns.  The first stanza even speaks of going to the "wildwood, for song and pastime sweet."  Pretty nefarious stuff!

1879  

Dull care begone, published by J.N. Pattison.  This is sheet music for piano.  I'm not sure if there are words or not and there is no author given.  This reference from the Library of Congress is labelled "Postillion Song" and the collection's other titles are light and sentimental.  A postillion is a horseman who rides next to a carriage to help guide it. 

1881 

In this year, the first Cremation of Care ceremony was performed by the Bohemian Club.

Here are excerpts from a  purported transcript of the Cremation of Care ceremony.  These are examples where "Care" is addressed by name or speaks, but the whole dialogue is an argument between Care and his executioners.  The full text can be read here. 

The Sire

Bohemians, by the power of our fellowship,
Dull care is slain.
Hearken!
High up the hill you may hear Care's funeral music.

[Tolling of the bell and faint, far strains of the funeral dirge (DENKE). Torches are glimpsed in the distance. Music and light approach]

The Sire

Behold, the effigy of this, our enemy, is carried hither for our ancient rites.

****

The High Priest

Our funeral pyre awaits the corpse of Care.

[The Barcarolle by Charles Hart. The introductory horn solo comes from
the direction of the ferry slip. The ferry of Care, poled by a lone
boatman, appears and passes up the lake to the foot of the shrine.
Acolytes await the barge]

****
THE VOICE OF CARE

Fools! Fools! Fools!
When will ye learn that me ye cannot slay?
Year after year ye burn me in this Grove, lifting your silly shouts of
triumph to the stars.
But when again ye turn your feet toward the
market-place, am I not waiting for you, as of old?
Fools! Fools! Fools!

To dream ye conquer Care!

[The High Priest has come down to the lake's edge and stands gazing up
at the ghostly tree from which the voice of Care has come]

****

THE VOICE OF THE OWL

No fire, if it be kindled from the world

Where Care is nourished on the hates of men
Shall drive him from this Grove

One flame alone

Must light this pyre, the pure eternal flame
That burns within the Lamp
of Fellowship
Upon the altar of Bohemia. (GARTHWAITE) 

[High Priest rises and ascends to Lamp of Fellowship]

High Priest

Great Owl of Bohemia, we thank thee for thy adjuration.

[lights torch and turns toward Pyre]

Well should we know our living flame
Of Fellowship can sear
The grasping claws of Care,
Throttle his impious screams
And send his cowering carcass
From this Grove.
Begone, detested Care, begone!
Once more we banish thee!
Let the all potent spirit of this lamp
By its cleansing and ambient fire
Encircle the mystic scene
Hail Fellowship; begone Dull Care!
Once again Midsummer sets us free!
 

1881 

Carmina Universitatis Novi Brunsvici was published by University of New Brunswick (UNB) and contains the following song.  A note at the end says "This song probably refers to the Encaenia tradition of the Firing of the Cannon."  Encaeina is apparently a week long tradition at UNB originally intended to honor the founders of the university and involved shooting off cannon.
I'm not sure why this claim is made, as it seems to be a standard hymn to a fallen soldier.  I find the theme of death and burial interesting in that it echoes the death and cremation of care in the Grove ritual, but I don't think there's any link beyond coincidence.  The title refers to smoking a cigar, as it says in the chorus:  smoke away  "For a cheerful cigar, like a shield in the war / Drives away dull care and sorrow."

Here again "Dull Care" is coupled with "sorrow." 

Smoke, Smoke, Away 

Lyrics: 

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corpse to the ramparts we hurried,
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot,
O'er the grave where our hero we buried. 

Chorus-- 

Then smoke, smoke away, till the golden ray
Lights up the dawn of the morrow,
For a cheerful cigar, like a shield in the war,
Drives away dull care and sorrow.

We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning;
By the struggling moonbeams misty light,
And the lantern dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in sheet, nor in shroud we wound him,
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow,
But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame, fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone in his glory. 

1885 

Nuttie's Father by Charlotte M. Yonge (1823-1901).

This novel contains the line:

"The Rectory folks were dining out, so she could only have recourse to Mudie's box to try to drive dull care away."

The novel doesn't reference Mudie or boxes anywhere else, but Charles Mudie (1818-1890) was an English publisher, who, among other ventures, exported books in watertight boxes.  The Wikipedia article on Mudie mentions this, so one must assume he was pretty well-known for it.  Plus, Mudie isn't the most common of names so I'm assuming Yonge is referring to a box full of books.  A preceding line is "And a very forlorn and deplorable person was left behind, feeling as if her father, after carrying her away from everything else that she loved, had ended by robbing her of her mother."  So yes, dull care again refers to sorrow and she will read to drive it away.

A few thoughts.  Quite of few references to "dull care" come from women writers.  Plus, "driving" it away seems to be part of a stock phrase.  Again, I submit this is a phrase that entered the language through the teaching of Horace, who would have been well-known to the educated and literary-minded. 

1887 

This is another reference found by Reijden. 

Ode to the Queen on her Jubilee Year (1887) by William Topaz McGonagall's (1825 -1902):

And let bonfires be kindled on every hill
And let her subjects dance around them at their freewill;
And try to drive dull care away
By singing and rejoicing on the Queen's Jubilee day. 

While we're at it, Reijden also quotes an anonymous toast and gives no date.  I may as well put it here: 

A little whiskey now and then
Is relished by the best of men;
It surely drives away dull care,
And makes ace high look like two pair. 

1890's-early 1900's 

According to a note about the following song from Ohio State University:

"Here is a drinking song that was popular in the 1890s and early 1900s. The song actually combines two melodies, the first three verses uses the melody of For He Is A Jolly Good Fellow, the final verse uses the melody of God Save The Queen or My Country Tis of Thee. In addition to drinking, the song also mentions more about Freshmen an their relationship to the upperclassmen. There is no date of composition or author for this song."

Note again that we "drive" dull care away. 

It's A Way We Have It At Old O. S. U.

 It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
.It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
To drive dull care away.
To drive dull care away, to drive dull care away,
It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
To drive dull care away.


We think it is no sin, sir
To rope the Freshmen in, sir
And to ease them of thir tin, sir
To drive dull care away.
To drive dull care away, to drive dull care away,
We think it is no sin, sir
To rope the Freshmen in, sir
And to ease them of thir tin, sir
To drive dull care away.
 


And we won't be home until morning,
We won't be home until morning,
We won't be home until morning,
Till daylight doth appear.
Till daylight doth appear, till daylight doth appear
And we won't be home until morning,
We won't be home until morning,
We won't be home until morning,
Till daylight doth appear.


So say we all of us,
So say we all of us,
So say we all;
So say we all of us,
So say we all of us,
So say we all of us,
So say we all.

It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
To drive dull care away.
To drive dull care away, to drive dull care away,
It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
To drive dull care away.


We think it is no sin, sir
To rope the Freshmen in, sir
And to ease them of thir tin, sir
To drive dull care away.
To drive dull care away, to drive dull care away,
We think it is no sin, sir
To rope the Freshmen in, sir
And to ease them of thir tin, sir
To drive dull care away.


And we won't be home until morning,
We won't be home until morning,
We won't be home until morning,
Till daylight doth appear.
Till daylight doth appear, till daylight doth appear
And we won't be home until morning,
We won't be home until morning,
We won't be home until morning,
Till daylight doth appear.


So say we all of us,
So say we all of us,
So say we all;
So say we all of us,
So say we all of us,
So say we all of us,
So say we all.
 


1908 

Wallace Stevens wrote in a letter to  Elsie Moll:

 Here's a list of Pleasant Things to drive dull care away, my lass, oh, to drive dull care away — and a jig, and a jig, and a jig, jig, jig: 

    black-birds
    blue-birds
    wrens
    crocks of milk
    pumpkin custards
    hussars
    drum-majors
    young chickens
 


1919 

Dull Care is silent comedy featuring Oliver Hardy. 

Janiss Garza writes: 

"Although Hardy plays a hefty apartment building janitor in this two-reeler, he's not the biggest guy in the film -- that credit goes to Frank Alexander, who frequently got the worst of it in Semon's pictures. Alexander plays the chief of police who, in spite of his heft, is a coward. He and his force spend more time trying to stay away from bad guys than they do trying to capture them. One detective (Semon) is assigned to the chief's wife (Lucille Carlisle), because it is known that the crooks are planning to rob her. The detective, the building's janitor, a newlywed groom, and the mayor (who's another tenant) all fall in love with the wife. They find their way to her room, only to be discovered by the chief, whose jealously overcomes his cowardice. He chases the men all over the building until the crooks arrive and rob them. Larry goes after them and recovers the loot."

1935 

Benjamin Britten's (1913 - 1976) "Begone, dull care!", op. 7 no. 1 was the first of 12 songs in his collection entitled Friday Afternoons. This was music composed for a children's chorus and piano for a school where his brother was the headmaster. 




 1949 

Begone Dull Care is an animated film by Scottish/Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren (1914-1987) and Evelyn Lambert (1914-1999).  Mclaren and Lambert scratched and painted directly onto the film and it is set to music by Oscar Peterson.


I assume the music is inspired by the folk songs and hymns of the same name and or theme. 

2009 

Begone Dull Care is an album by Junior Boys, a synthpop duo from Canada.  It is inspired by the music of Oscar Peterson used in McLaren's film. 

Conclusion 

This is undoubtedly an incomplete list, culled as it is from the Internet.  Any real understanding of the origin and diffusion of this phrase is impossible without more data.  I have a dozen or so examples distributed over a two-thousand year period!  One thing is that it seems consistent in meaning, which corresponds to the Bohemian Club's usage.  Dull Care is not only the ensemble of the mundane woes of life, finances, marriage and struggles with anxieties and boredom, but it would seem to include general sorrow.  Starting with Horace, driving it away with alcohol seems to be a common solution; several of my examples are drinking songs, but whimsical solutions accompany merriment and even the pursuit of higher things.  Perhaps that Daibutsu Buddha was telling, in that the shedding of worldly concerns was a necessary step on the path to wisdom.  This in turn has much in common with the mystical traditions of other religions.  So there are somewhat contradictory elements, in that Dull Care's nemesis often seems to be more earthly delights.

It is clear we need to locate the source of Horace's quote and whether or not the phrase appears elsewhere in Classical literature.  Likewise the Middle Ages, during which time Horace was widely quoted among the literate.  Perhaps given its use in music, we might find some reference in the songs of the troubadours.  Not having any example in French, Occitan or German seems almost criminal.  Given the reference in one book to the origin of a traditional ballad in French chanson, this is doubly true.  It's quite possible, one supposes, that in English literature the phrase was picked up in the late Renaissance or early Enlightenment and then it carried on from there.  Most of the authors, poets and playwrights mentioned in this list were quite popular in their day, so picking up the term wouldn't have been the laborious process over what are now obscure works.  The phrase appears in hymns, drinking songs, serious poems, rituals and the 19th-century equivalent of a joke book.

Except for the Bohemian Club, the references are hardly nefarious.  Melancholy yes, at times, but more often rather light-hearted.   Given that cremating Dull Care is the entire point of an admittedly strange Club ritual, it's hard to shake the notion that there is something crueler intended by the phrase than merely letting the weight of the world slip off one's shoulders with some friends and a few bottles.

These are generalities and a lot of nuance can be picked up by looking at each reference more closely, but I'm not a literary scholar and it would be more interesting to see this as the beginning of a dialogue.  Please, comments are more than welcome, but keep the thoughts of a Satanic conspiracy out of your mind and approach each reference as a piece of information, a "neutral" example to be mined for a deeper meanings.  Again, I'm far from a defender of the Grove activities, so don't paint me as some kind of naive fool or worse yet, an apologist stooge.  I suppose what may be offensive here for those who want to see the ritual as some evil invocation of the Devil is that if we come to the conclusion that the phrase means exactly what it has been said to mean, we demystify the Cremation of Care and render it less sinister.  As it is the ceremony that kicks off the Club's annual encampment, such a conclusion risks trivializing the danger, in some minds, of the Club itself.

I have stated that any private meeting of rich and powerful elites, aggressively shutting out their constituents in a democratic society, risks undermining that democracy when what should be public debates on policy are held behind closed doors.  If such policy is therein debated, might it not also suggest that decisions are reached and plans made?  I stand by that concern and worry that accusations of Satan or Moloch-worship and human sacrifice undermine any serious attempt to discuss whether or not the Club -- including as it does so many elected officials and wealthy private citizens -- should be accountable to the public.  Another concern, then, is in what way does the Club differ from a think-tank or lobby, or a corporate boardroom?  Do they have the same right to privacy as any other private organization?  Would the same standards apply to the Bilderberg Club, the Trilateral Commission or the G8?  The NRA?  The AARP?

I would say these people should be held accountable, despite the fact the club is private, because so many of them are in the public sector and are in a position to make very important decisions involving their fellow club members in the private sector.  But that is of course my opinion and a result of the stubborn "what-the-hell" faith I have in democracy, for what it's worth....and while it lasts....

I'm feeling some Dull Care creeping into my heart.  Think I'll go grab a cocktail.

Turns out when I wrote that I should have anticipated more cocktails.  Terry Melanson suggested I go to Google Books and search for "Horace" + "Dull Care".  If I'd done that first I may never have bothered with this post, as there are literally dozens more references to "Dull Care" scattered throughout the centuries.  These references don't offer any new meanings for the phrase, but do lend credence to my belief that the origin of the phrase lies with Horace.

Thing is, "dull care" is just one rendering of the phrase.  Some translations differ so wildly it's hard to believe they're from the same source.  Take this anonymous translation (1857) from Book 4 Ode 12 (speaking about wine): 

And o'er dull care its opiate fling
To cheat the gloomy hour. 

In 1910, Paul Shorey gave the following translation in Horace;  Odes and epodes.

O, it can give new hopes, so fresh and bright,
And gladden gloomy eyes.


The only word shared between the two is gloomy.  I'm sure there are good reasons for this involving declensions of the previous phrases and whatnot, but again, we here at LoS know diddly squat about how to translate Latin and can make no presumptions as to which one is more accurate.  Maybe it's a question of laziness; one translator goes for the stock phrase or the cliché, while another searches for something more unique.  Which doesn't necessarily mean the unique rendering is more accurate.

Shorey, from Book 2 Ode 11: 

Bacchus puts to shame
The cares that waste us. 

And then from Usher, 1842: 

For Bacchus o'er dull care prevails. 

There are others, all equally baffling in their differences, for sure. 

There is Book 1 Ode 7 by John Whyte Melville.  This poem includes a reference to Bacchus, and thus wine, all well as Minerva:

By Nature taught, remember still to drive away dull care
    and all life's woes and clear thy clouded brow,
Plancus, with mellow wine, as well in bannered tents as where
Dark Tibur waves for thee each leafy bough. 

[Very evocative of a forest encampment, come to think of it.... ]

Shorey translates: 

You too be wise, my Plancus: life's worst cloud
Will melt in air, by mellow wine allay'd,
Dwell you in camps, with glittering banners proud,
Or 'neath your Tibur's canopy of shade. 

No use of the expression "Dull Care", but instead, an admonition to wisdom.  Is it possible then, this Ode is the source of the Boho's usage, where the elimination of Dull Care and a state of Wisdom seem to go hand in hand?

The expression, which I'd assumed must be pretty widespread, is.  Widespread that is.  So much so that trying to list them all would be a fool's errand, an exercise in unrestrained OCD.  I'm just glad I got so many down before I realized this or, as I said, I may never have undertaken the list I have compiled.

On a final note, I've said that Horace was widely read and his phrase inspired poets and playwrights right up until the 20th century.  I ran across an interesting note to one his letters in The works of Horace: with English notes by A.J. Macleane (1878).  He suggests that Horace faces a problem some readers might recognize in our contemporary poet and prodigious drinker Charles Bukowski.  Young imitators without much talent thought they could become great poets by drinking heavily.

MacLeane: 

It would appear that Horace had imitators among those who abused him; and if we are to understand him to mean what he says, there were those who took his convivial odes literally, and, coupling them with the example of the old Greek poets, conceived that the way to write verses was to propitiate Bacchus and drink a great deal of wine. Or else he means that they took to writing in the same strain, all about wine and driving dull care away, and so forth, which at second hand would be very poor stuff. Such servile imitators he speaks of with great disgust; and, while he exposes their shallowness, he accounts for their malevolence towards himself by the fact of his not having sought their company or hired their applause.  He at the same time claims to have been the first to dress the lyric measures in the Latin language, while he defends himself for having adopted the metres of another, by pointing to the examples of Sappho and Alc aeus, and takes credit for having avoided the virulence of Archilochus, while he imitated his verse. This is introduced by the way, the chief purpose of the Epistle being to show the folly of his calumniators and the cause of their abuse. 

Perhaps the most interesting spin on the phrase "drives dull care away" has occurred relatively frequently as the word "care" has shifted from the negative ("worries") to the positive ("love").  History of Care addresses this point, although it doesn't seem to address the OED calling out "cura" for not being the source for the word "care", which seems an odd silence.  Anyhow, this shift in meaning really has thrown the "dull care" phrase into a new and unpleasant light.  Why has this shift in common meaning happened here during the past 100 years of a 2,000 year history?

Previously on LoS:
For some reliable accounts of the Grove, please see:

10 comments:

  1. Nice work.

    I had a thought: you might want to solicit a response from someone in the Bohemian Club, perhaps someone involved with preserving its history. In 2004, for instance, I called the club (about Minerva and the weaving contest with Arachne) and recounted the conversation in my book. The librarian I spoke to wasn't particularly knowledgeable about mythology, but I'm sure someone there will be, and if they look at this link they will probably be fascinated by your research and perhaps try and find someone who has knowledge on precise lines of influence.

    Something else interesting I found just minutes ago is the fact that Samuel Richardson's "Clarissa" was a weaver and the story refers somewhat to the Minerva/Arachne myth. Richardson included the Carter's poem without her permission. She then published it (with corrections) for the first time in 1747 in Gentelman's Magazine. See this link: http://tinyurl.com/p38wbh8

    ReplyDelete
  2. Terry, that's a great idea. I should ask my comrade Dave to give them a call. Actually, I could do that as my calls to the US are free....

    Maybe I could email them first.

    Great find on the Richardson book. Did you see this on p. 62?: "Clarissa is, however, no mere Arachne, but a representation of Pallas Athena herself."

    That's darn interesting, given the meaning of the Boho owl.

    To be continued....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Also, dig p. 54. Apparently Clarissa's country estate had been known as "The Grove" !

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Like Dr. Pill, Mr. Bunion carries a valise. His valise is (usually) labeled DULL CARE, and it is his burden in life to carry it. Several of the episodes are built around Mr. Bunion's attempts to rid himself of the accursed suitcase. These attempts, of course, never work. In one example, he hurls it into the Grand Canyon. In the strip below, he climbs to the top of the Washington Monument, hoping the fall from such a height might destroy the valise and free him."

    re: Winsor McCay's A Pilgrim's Progress by Mister Bunion. (1905-1909)

    HERE!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Horribly! Your research is rooted in deception! Bowing down to any idol owl,bull..whatever is an abomination to God,so I stand by the truth of what Alex exposed! Our world leaders have sold their souls,and have made money their God!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex Jones is talking nonsense about the Owl representing Moloch. There be some sinister stuff going down at the Grove and it's certainly a questionable affair in a society striving to be open and free. But flinging around untruths does no one any good.

      This research is to show that the term "dull care" pre-dates the Bohemian Club and Cremation of Care. By the time they got hold of it, the term was common currency, a stock phrase, a shortcut used in song, poetry and prose to indicate the worries of the world. Often we saw it being chased away with wine and merriment. I think the Cremation of Care is weird, but basically just bear coat-era 23 skidoo hijinx, meaning exactly what it says it means: let's get busy boozing it up. The ritual is laden with classical references and mock-sinister immolation of coffins, the death imagery a symbol of the transience of life.

      Of course, the propriety of Richie Rich tying one on in the redwoods, throwing care to the wind in a costly bit of frat-boy pageantry is certainly hackle-raising in such an time of economic freefall. Some live check to check, other light cigars with them.

      So, I don't think too highly of the BC and maybe even mock-idol worship is an affront to God. I don't know. But I do know that Alex Jones is full of baloney when it comes to Moloch and any number of other assertions made in his exposé. My research is rooted is widely-available texts I've referenced and made available for those who want to learn something. Jones is an entrepreneur and a blowhard.

      I agree with your last sentence though.

      Delete
  6. Even if the term "dull care" winks at all the classical references you have cited, I can't see this kind of ritual as "casual". A lot of the members are self-proclaimed Christians. You invite an every-day run-of-the-mill Christian to an event like this they are gonna be high-tailing it out of there the second things start to get creepy in a non-Christian way. lol. I get creeped out big-time just watching Catholic-style rituals and religious practices. Even the extremely mild Christian symbolism in a Church of Christ makes me uncomfortable. Yet you expect me to believe that all these white Christian guys participate in this spooky rite with a 40' statue (idol)? So that line of thought opens up 2 options in my mind. 1) These guys really are Christians. They believe in supernatural things, just not this ritual. While believing that 4000+ years ago 2 kangaroos got off a huge boat on top of a mountain in the middle-east then swam all the way back to Australia, they are still smart enough to see that a ritual with pagan, even demonic undertones holds no power whatsoever and it's all just done in good fun. 2) These guys just pretend to be Christians because they know they would never get elected if they didn't give lip-service to the whole religion thing. This hypocrisy, and a thousand more just like them, are how these people became rich and powerful. Believing one thing while espousing to believe another, enriching themselves while impoverishing others, making themselves rich even when it means the lives of innocents. This is not demonic worship. But it is the sort of thing that lead to demon worshiping cults in man's ancient past. This is not a casual practice by people with "stressful" jobs. It is a practice to assuage the almost non-existent conscience of the most integrity-lacking, disingenuous, degenerated cretins on the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think this a very thoughtful comment, thanks. I pretty much agree with you. This is not a "casual" jokey tradition to start the week of "stress-free" forest living. It does run deeper than that. The very complexity and cost of the Cremation of Care attest to the fact that it's a serious affair. I don't know if members literally think of this as a ritual in the sense of a magickal working, that is to say they're going to manifest their collective will upon nature in order to bend reality to be in accordance with their desires -- ritual magick as I see it, but it does serve a function of some kind, maybe as you say, to assuage their consciences before embarking on an expensive and frivolous summer camp combined with rather serious opportunities for networking, hashing out policy ideas, etc. I suppose it also consolidates their sense of identity, their sense of caste. There are definitely occult aspects of the ceremony, one might even say "religious". Not in the sense of worship, well maybe a worship of power and money. Like I said, the idea of a group of elites holding a ritual/pageant to celebrate the release from dull care while so many people are being suffocated by the "dull care" created in large part by that very same group of elites is offensive. To what degree these guys see their Cremation ceremony as a fun bit of theater versus an effective magickal ritual, who can say? I'm sure the perspective varies from member to member.

    What gets me is why these elite groups are so focused on death and rebirth imagery. I suppose it's because death is something they can't buy or bully their way out of, the one thing that they can't overcome. So maybe it's just a philosophical reminder to live it up a bit cuz tomorrow we may die etc. or some people actually think they're ritual may help them overcome death in the form of resurrection, reincarnation, whatever else they come up with. I'm thinking of Skull and Bones, the Masonic 3rd degree in this death/rebirth category. Have you read my other post on the Grove? There's a weird photo of some of this kind of stuff. See <a href="http://lawsofsilence.blogspot.fr/2011/03/power-corruption-and-lies.html>Power, Corruption and Lies</a>

    Boils down to a kind of synthesis of being good fun on one hand and a way to bond on the other, declare their "otherness", their capacity to drive away the dull care by which most of us are run over. Then there's the third hand, the kind of breezy bird-flipping towards death, the biggest little dull care of them all!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just figure the phrase Dull Cares means worries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to agree. I don't think it refers to "care" in the sense of caring or having compassion towards others.

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Need to add an image? Use this code: [ximg]IMAGE-URL-HERE[x/img]. You will need to remove the the boldface x's from the code to make it work.