Monthly Archives: December 2012

Cambridge senior citizen releases stunning manuscript of Herod, King of the Jews. Astonishing revelations from the man accused of ‘The Slaughter of the Innocents’ and intended murder of Jesus The Christ.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s note: I have held this story privily unto myself for over four decades now. Not a day goes by, not an hour, that I have failed to examine this manuscript, touch it, venerate it, until I have come to know each sentence, every word, indeed every smudge and discoloration.

Since the very day this story begins, so many years ago, this document has determined the course of my life. Instead of merely discovering perhaps the most important of historical documents — the apologia pro vita sua of Herod, King of the Jews, archetype of majesty, I have found a master… for whatever role I have played in this matter, it has always been Herod who has called all the shots, just as he called them every day of his life, as much a King in death as he was most assuredly King in life.

This papyrus clearly marked with the royal seal of Herod, King has held me in thrall. I have wondered, indeed dwelt on the matter with near manic intensity, whether I was right to withhold notifying my dissertation advisor of a find I knew almost instantly was a matter of the first importance, a certain wonder to the world, significant to people everywhere.

I was, however, just a second-year graduate student at the time and was as such unsure of my way; of no consequence or standing whatsoever. I decided then, and have lived with the consequences of this decision ever since, that when I was “ready” I would release the fateful document I have always known would make my career, guarantee a plum academic appointment, respect and admiration my certain portion…

… along, of course, with the jealous denunciations, painful abuses, and hurtful execrations of those who were determined to bring low anyone who threatens, as I and this seminal document would most certainly threaten, the version of events they had propounded and rested their careers, well being and reputations upon.

I was convinced then that I was not ready to withstand such abuse, which I knew was certain and so made the far-reaching decision to be silent and maintain this silence. Each time thereafter I determined I was at last “ready” for the world to know and take my rightful place amongst today’s Sadducees, I paused knowing the first query I would be universally subjected to was “why?”…. why had I waited even a single minute for revelation, the fateful query which even I recognized would undercut my case and make its acceptance even more difficult than I knew it would be.

Thus from the moment I determined I would not inform my advisor, would not inform anyone, my fate was sealed. Herod gained a loyal servant… I gained a boot on my neck, for I lived no longer my life; I lived only the life Herod, King permitted me. Here’s how it all began…

In Widener’s stacks, a bomb shell.

I was, I admit, a diligent, more plodding than brilliant student for all that Fair Harvard selected me. As such I was guaranteed a “good” job, at a “respectable” university… secured sustenance, but not one scintilla of the glory, fame and fanfare I yearned for. To avoid this fate, one known by most graduate students and the average Academician, I needed a dissertation that was at once meal ticket and masterpiece. And for that I needed just the right topic.

After discussion, I was given permission to write on the role of the “Slaughter of the Innocents” in the development of Christian theology, iconography, hagiography, and belief… and as such was immediately introduced to Herod, King, the designated villain of the matter.

Herod, scoundrel, murderer, infanticide, scourge of every decency, infamous traducer of every humane value, King.

The point of a dissertation, a doctoral thesis, is for the designated educational authorities to determine if you, aspirant to the Academy, can advance the cause of truth (“Veritas” as they simply say at Harvard) and, having advanced your point of view, defend it against all comers, and so enrich humanity.

It is the noblest occupation of all, the process through which assertions, however audacious and astonishing, shine out not as opinions but as Truth… thereby taking the place of mere arguments once regarded as important, now instead to be regarded as untenable propositions; no longer regarded as anything but the quaint beliefs of earlier, less enlightened times. All true scholars participate in this crucial work, indeed it is the major reason for the very existence of the Academy, where all work hard for wages ample but not excessive, shaping society, enriching society, advancing society word by careful word, idea by new idea.

I was proud to walk this road, honored, humble before such a great goal, determined to be worthy of the name Scholar. And so I opened my research on Herod (born 73/74 BCE, died 4 BCE aged 70); his reign (37-4 BCE), his wives (10), his children (at least 10), his vast achievements (particularly the construction of the Second Temple of Judaism and the astonishing engineering feat that was Caesarea Maritima and its breathtaking port, the envy of every governor and autocrat necessitous of tax revenues and wishing new ways to tap into the never ending bounty that was the trade of the Orient. Herod was the envy and inspiration of all, even unto the reigning Roman emperor himself.

The dark, sinister, paranoid, sleepless, fearful ruler, murder always at the ready to ease his uneasy spirit.

Then there was the “other” Herod, the one whose violent deeds continue to shock, disquiet, and disgust. This was a man of dark thoughts and darker deeds, a man whose penchant for murder as statecraft still reeks two millennia later. This was the man who killed his second wife Queen Mariamne, likely the only woman he ever loved; who then roamed the corridors of his many palaces calling her name, summoning her back to the life he had summarily ended.

He likewise killed his three sons by this queen as well as unnumbered officials, soldiers, priests, subjects, and nobles. Such a man well knew there would be jubilation at his death and so ordained that the leading men of every family, tribe, and section should die with him, thereby producing distress, lamentation and grief suitable for his stature and majesty.

Such a man could easily be thought to commit the unthinkable, the one act universally regarded as unmitigated evil, the act known to history as “The Slaughter of the Innocents”, enshrined for all the world to know and judge in The Holy Bible (St Matthew, 3,13-16)

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years and older, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.”

This was and has always been the gravamen against this notorious sovereign, a grave charge found no where else. Even so, this heinous deed was accepted by all, historical fact, the very gospel. My diligent researches revealed nothing more… until one unforgettable afternoon in the cool recesses of Widener Library.

There at the bottom of a dusty box, tied in heavy string, marked as a previously unopened, uncataloged bequest of Judaica was destiny in the form of a seal, the kind of official marking on the correspondence of some great man indicating a matter of significance. And so it most assuredly was…

The Gospel according to Herod, King of the Jews.

I would have removed the document from the box in any case. The shear beauty and intricacy of the seal, remarkably intact, assured that. Its design I later identified as an element from the facade of Herod’s masterwork, the Great Temple of the Jews. The document that followed was in Greek, a language Herod knew well from his extensive classical education. Here, too, he had the advantage of me…

But I knew enough to know the salutation was the king’s own. It said “Attend! To Herod, King!” He used the Greek word, “Basileus.”

Soon I was giving every moment that I could enter the stacks to this document; early and late I thought of nothing but its translation. But this was not enough. My poor Greek made for slow progress…. and so I determined to “borrow” this document from the library, promising to return it as soon as I had finished, but of course that day never dawned. I am looking at it now…

Obsession, a secret life, Herod rules my life.

Over the course of the next months, which ultimately turned into long years, my entire attention was focused on the document, which in due time proved to be a death-bed justification of the events of his momentous reign. The drift was always the same, I did such and such a thing because I was King, not saint.

Yes, he killed Queen Mariamne “a tiresome woman who would not keep to her place”. Yes, he murdered her brother the High Priest “an ambitious man with his eye on my crown and the head in it.”

Yes, he murdered his three sons by Mariamne “useless drones with only one interest in life… seeing me dead.”

The document, running some 5,000 words in the most elegant and sophisticated Greek imaginable, was a treasure trove of valuable insights. He made it clear each word was the word of a king, as such sacrosanct; that he would not deign to dissemble even if it were to his interest. And so he produced a document only the ultimate insider could have produced. That is why his remarks about “The Slaughter of the Innocents” disturbed me so…

In whose interest?

Herod, King, so renowned and powerful even on his bier that he could afford to tell the whole truth about himself, was forthright on this matter, too. He never saw any “wise men” (characteristically saying that he had been looking for such men quite unsuccessfully for his entire life); never received them; was never told that they sought the infant “King of the Jews”. If they had he could have directed them to dozens of such people in and around his kingdom, claimants to the throne being “common as dust”.

Moreover, should he have wished to kill the children of Bethlehem as the legend states, he could easily have found methods at once less flamboyant and more effective, starting a pest house there for instance, thereby introducing new plagues and contagions. He then went on to another matter. But before he did, he asked his reader to consider in whose interest such a canard might be. Certainly not his.

Over time the likely answer to Herod’s sharp question emerged. The early Christians lacked credibility and needed as many “miracles” as quickly as possible, to grow and prosper. Casting Herod as the certain cause for one of history’s most tragic and cruel events allowed the early fathers to dazzle by claiming miracles, indeed the very involvement of God Himself on their behalf, never mind it was untrue. Thus instead of this Biblical “truth”, I came to adhere to Herod’s no nonsense conclusion; that the entire matter of this slaughter was fraudulent, a pack of convenient lies composed for their own purposes.

What was I to do? I had by now been expelled from Harvard, not for the theft of one of history’s most important documents; that was child’s play. Rather for neglecting my other work and classes. Thus, I had even less standing than before. And so the matter rested for all these years. Thus, I allowed the selfish beneficiaries of the hoax known as “The Slaughter of the Innocents” to continue their falsehood and deception.

A special message from Dr. Lant.

Three months ago, I found in the lobby of the building where I live a hand-delivered package hand-addressed to me. I noticed at once it had no return address. Per my invariable custom, I opened the box at once, only to find all the documents collected by the ex-Harvard graduate student whose research on the matter has been so meticulous and invaluable. It even contained the headline he once expected to appear upon publication of his discovery.

However while I have used this headline above, I am by no means sure I shall ever publish this article, much less the poor man’s work, acute discoveries and conclusions as he clearly expected me to do. Here’s the rub…

Myths are important, you see, none more so than this one. For, yes, I am fully persuaded King Herod, not the single reference found in The Holy Bible, was right, that the research of our scholar was right. However their conclusions are inconvenient, to say nothing more, to churches and Christians everywhere. They need belief and Herod’s truth would only unsettle them so, especially at Christmas. For the story of Christmas relies on Herod, the three wise men, the dream God gave Joseph to flee into Egypt, and “the slaughter of the Innocents’. You see my dilemma….

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer http://SuccessClicks.com.

‘We’re starting up a brand new day… I’m thinking in a brand new way.’ New Year’s Eve. 2012. Unbidden thoughts.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. All of a sudden there was a bone-chilling gust of frigid air right off the punishing Atlantic filling the night… it was the kind of gust we here in Cambridge call the Montreal Express… not merely cold but gelid, polar, arctic… than which there is nothing colder but the morning after the greatest love of your life said good-bye, this time for good.

Shivering, I had to get up… present reality, even though freezing, being preferable to another minute of the dream being played out sharply in cinemascope in my brain. In it I was marrying Hillary Clinton, and we were redecorating my condo as our love nest after a cosmic flood. Yikes, it was indeed time for this article… and the music for it came swiftly out of no where saying, ” I think you’ve been looking for me.” And indeed I had…

I was smiling…. this was how Marley (in clanking chains of course) summoned Scrooge to his destiny… and look what happened to them. I’m a literary gent, and I appreciated the reference… and this song by Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, born October 2 1951, known to the world by his sobriquet “Sting”, a name, a description, a declaration, a clear statement of what you must do when the world is too much with you late and soon. Yes, that Sting.

I don’t think much about Sting. I’m not a rabid fan or anything close, but he’s got the poet’s own way of insinuating himself into my life at significant moments. His words are often mine fields, often verbal shrapnel, the kinds of words one fastidious word smith appreciates in another who like you demands respect for the language and mastery from himself.

Cold reality.

My hands are cold… my fingers are stiff. It is 3:25 a.m., and Sting and his lyrical insights, melodic, as deep as you want them to go, fill the crucial space between two ears. I am listening, because here is a man who has something important to say to me, about the year now past, about you and me, and how we’re glad to be alive and give thanks to whoever made it possible. The song is called “Brand New Day” and I hadn’t heard it since it debuted in 1999, just in time for the new millennium.

I remember hearing this song in this very room, where I sat at this very desk in this very chair as I watched the clock move inexorably to the first midnight of the new century, the Y2K midnight that was supposed to bring cosmic computer chaos, so admonishing experts had told us. And so I, like so many others, worried myself into the new year, following the advent of midnight around the globe… only to discover that nothing happened anywhere… the biggest “same old, same old” ever. Yes, I was listening to this song that night. It couldn’t really be so many years ago, could it? Go now and find it in any search engine and listen carefully….

“There’s simply no immunity/There’s no guarantee.”

2012. I lived it. Which is to say I was alone, I was together, I made money. I squandered money. I lied. I deceived. I was cruel. I was affectionate. I made messes and ignored them. I cleaned up messes made by others who ignored them.

I cursed. I adored. I slept the sleep of the just. I just barely slept at all. I did random good deeds… I insulted those who meant me well. I hugged strangers… and ignored those nearest and dearest. I ate too much cake… and told others they shouldn’t eat cake at all, then ate theirs.

I knew the bite of the flesh… I abjured God… then went in panicked search of Him all over again. I was magnificent. I was squalid. I was the best of friends and the most unrelenting and tenacious of foes.

I demanded mercy and gave none. I wanted to make a difference and the difference I made was miniscule and negative. I ate without savor. I loved without passion and thought well of myself when there was not a single reason for so much conceit. I always took the easy way and had the temerity to tell others they must sacrifice when I would not. I took, always took, more than my share and bellowed that it was not more. I winked at injustice until I became an injustice.

I hated. I condemned. I demeaned. I disdained. I hurt whenever possible and denied whenever feasible. I exulted in the misfortunes of others and laid the burden of mine at the feet of God Almighty whose name in vane passed often through my lips.

I chose to misunderstand when understanding was facile… and blamed everyone but me on what was so readily apparent to others but willfully ignored by me. And yet I never lost the deep belief that I was a hero to others, a paragon to myself.

I was all this and more, I did all this and more in the tiniest morsel of time we call one year … as if it was something that could be neatly boxed and neatly understood. But even now this year, waning, its end in sight, abides… with possibilities still to come before it is played out, kaput, history we are glad to dispose of and forget, as if forgetting was even an option. It isn’t.

“Turn the clock all the way back.”

How many hours of 2012, how many hours of your life have you now wasted wishing you could regain even a single moment of time, to live it, savor it, even the most commonplace of activities? It is natural to think so for our system is profoundly exasperating… you lived that moment. It is yours. You want it back. You must have it back. And so you expostulate against your fate, the inevitability that defines us. You must go forward, only forward, never back no matter how badly you want it. and you know how badly that is.

Right this minute, the sands of time are escaping through your open hands, hands you long to close and stop the inexorable… but you cannot close them. And so, you experience the pain of certain loss that defines each of us in a world that we live in, are destroying, but cannot stop and enjoy without anxiety.

Each word you now read here takes you into a future that challenges us, a future we must engage whether we want to or not. We stand alone before eternity… and it frightens us to our very core. That is why next year, the year after that. and all the next years to come you will fail to stand tall and courageous before the vast immensity we call The Future and why instead we will take what comfort we can from what our species is most expert at doing: dissipation, distraction, diversion, self destruction.

Only by such devices can we face that which most concerns us… and so we are profligate about the time which constitutes our essence. Sic semper gloria mundi.

The only resolution that matters.

At this moment of peril for each of us, all of us, for our planet and our Cosmos, for our very God, what are we offering to change our course and destiny? Some opt for trivial resolutions about increased exercise and ways to diminish pounds. Others still seize upon any one or two of a myriad of possibilities to improve themselves, all petit, inconsequential, trifling, insignificant. Is this the best we can do against the daunting, monumental challenges we face? We must do better. And what better time to begin than now as a new year signals the commencement of a brand new day?

What then must we resolve and do? Just one thing: Love. For in this single thing there is everything and everyone. Where we dismissed and condemned… we must love. Where we demeaned and destroyed…. we must love. Where we insulted and hated… we must love. Where we divided and estranged…. we must love. And where we worked to rend asunder and alienate… we must love.

” ‘Love is pain,’ I hear you say/Love has a cruel and bitter way of Paying you back for all the faith you ever had in your brain.”

But it’s the only and certain way to start up the brand new day that dawns radiant this very day.

Christmas from another point of view. The Grinch has his day… astonishing revelations from his first-ever interview exclusive to me exclusively here.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. You just never know what impact the printed word is going to have, and this tale of The Grinch proves the point. Thanksgiving Day, The Grinch (he insists upon the use of the capital “T” ) was sitting at home having polished off last year’s holiday left-overs as his wont, when his eye happened to see a corner of an article used to wrap the garbage. It was my report on “Squawk”, the valiant leader of the “Young Turks” fighting for the freedom of turkeys everywhere.

The paper was greasy, ripped, noisome from the remainder of The Grinch’s favorite morsels which stank to high heaven…. in fact, he could only finish the article by searching online for it at jeffreylantarticles.com. He liked what he read… and at that moment (as he later told me) he determined to break his lifetime of media silence. He wanted his story to be told, and he wanted me to tell it.

Within the hour, his invitation was en route to me, never mind that it was the middle of the night, 3:22 a.m. Eastern. The Grinch knew his man. You can sleep anytime; but such an interview comes but once in a lifetime.

The letter to me from The Grinch.

There was a sharp knock at the door, the kind of knock that summons you to Destiny. I couldn’t immediately tell if it were real or a dream but its insistence made the point. There was a note under the door. It said, “Open the door!”, nothing more. So more irritated than apprehensive, I did. There was a Christmas bouquet on the welcome mat, wilted, one half- eaten candy-cane alone amongst the dying foliage. And there was a message, too, on stationery engraved with this motto, “After me, you are the most important person on Earth.”

The message couldn’t have been clearer: “You have 10.5 minutes to get dressed and leave for your Exclusive Interview With The Grinch. Be sure to brush your teeth. Don’t keep your car and driver waiting!”

I’m proud to tell you, nearly 66 that I am, that I was ready with a minute to spare, though there was, I confess, stubble on my noble chin.

A black limousine was waiting, sleek, important looking… and clearly in need of a good wash. The night was chill, the breeze off the snow piecing and unremitting. The door to my car was open, and I could hear rock music from within. It was Eric Clapton singing “After Midnight” where “we’re gonna let it all hang out”, where “we’re gonna find out what it’s all about.” It was astonishingly apt music….

I slid into the back seat, where my full attention was immediately arrested by a pair of creme colored eyes looking directly into mine. At the same moment he merely brushed my hand by way of greeting. It was fur, not flesh, and it was a shade of green I had never seen before. Then right beside a dog, his dog Max, a half-breed rumored to be The Grinch’s only friend, faithful to his Master, his aspect anything but welcoming. Throughout our interview The Grinch idly stroked his hide. I liked him the better for it.

“Well, get in, Mack, it’s cold out there,” a directive swiftly followed by a short, sharp nudge to my rib cage. My encounter with The Grinch was well and truly underway.

“Ask me anything….”, and he grinned broadly, the kind of grin of ribald remarks, very dry martinis perfectly made, and bottoms pinched just so. Thus I learned that The Grinch liked the good life. “Cookie, Mack?” He offered a box of demolished Christmas cookies with the air of a prince. There were dog hairs in the mix. I declined the dainty. “Your loss, Mack. Now what do you want to know?”, and he told his driver to “get the lead out.”

The Grinch’s personal history.

“Tell me about yourself, Mr. Grinch,” I asked. “Nothing I’d rather do, Mack. For as you know, I am a most interesting fellow”. Max’s tail wagged as if in confirmation. And so in a voice that mixed insinuation, wisecracks, and sweet self satisfaction, he laid out the broad outlines of his unlikely life, the life that made him one of the handful of the immediately recognized. He laid back, lit a stoggie (whether I liked it or not) and readied himself for his favorite story… his, at which there came into his eyes a look of reverie, fond remembrance, and Olde Lang Syne. He smiled the smile of those who love themselves to distraction, not wisely but too well.

Yes, there he was, the creature of the hour, the creature the world loved to revile, sitting back, oozing self satisfaction, toodling through the darkness of the night, going nowhere in particular, loving the high life. It was all so wicked cool… and then he remembered this all had a purpose. “Now, Mack, what is it you wanted to know?”

The facts.

“What started it off, sir?”

And darned if The Grinch didn’t shake his tambourine and so begin his tale.

“Mack, it all happened a very long time ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was near Christmas. I was a shy kid and had only a small role in the school pageant. I played one of the extra shepherds who get put in the back because they have to be put somewhere. It was not my finest hour.”

“It so happened that from the time I was a nipper I had a beard, full, rich, patriarchal. The day of the pageant, my mother decided her shepherd needed a freshly shaved look. But she was terrible, absolutely awful at what she was doing and cut me to ribbons. I was in despair knowing what the other kids would say.”

“Mom, was horrified by what she had done. She took some ointment from the cabinet and applied it liberally. Then she kissed me and sent me on my way.”

At this point he closed his eyes, the better to recall his affecting story.

“I thought the matter was closed, but as I got closer to school, the kids started pointing at me, using some pretty strong words I can tell you. To a certain extent I was used to them; after all I was a kid with a beard. But these remarks were nothing compared to what they were calling me this day. It was the worst ever and every single one of them was pointing at my face.”

“As soon as I could I went to the boys’ room to see what I could see. And what I saw horrified me. My whole face was green, I mean every single inch. It had to be that ointment.” “I wanted to run away.”

The hot words came thick and fast, every aspect of the incident at his fingertips. He decided to run home and hide. But he was grabbed by a teacher who thought he was trying to escape from the pageant, something boys did. He was deposited on stage… and then it happened.

The Grinch explodes.

“I couldn’t stay on that stage. I couldn’t face the teachers and all the kids who started to snigger and point the minute they saw me. I just had to get out of there.”

He turned. He tripped. He fell on a pile of boxes wrapped like Christmas presents under the tree. He crushed the boxes. The tree fell. The crowd roared. The kids jumped all over the place pointing at me and shouting. There was the pop, pop, pop as incriminating photos were snapped in their hundreds.

And then The Grinch heard himself shout in a voice not his own…

“I hate Christmas. I hate everything about it,” sing song like a chant. “I hate Christmas. I hate everything about it. I hate Christmas. I hate everything about it.” The crowd went bananas.

Dr. Seuss heard it all, too, because he was in the audience that fateful day. And he knew a great story when he heard one. He went home and started work on the book which after many drafts and edits became in 1957, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

“Mack, I get a nice fat royalty check every Christmas, which enables me to live in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed.”

The car was just pulling up to my house. The dawn was just about to break. I had just one more question to ask, but when we arrived, the door opened as if by magic. The Grinch poked my rib cage again, Max glowered at me.

“It’s been real, Mack. Write me a good story.” He told the driver to “put pedal to the metal”. And he turned his head in my direction and seemed to say something. But Max was barking, while the car shot away and I couldn’t be sure. I thought I heard him say something like “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night”. But I can’t be sure… it’s so unGrinch-like.

And then I heard one more line from Clapton in The Grinch’s unmistable voice:

“We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion”…… and he was laughing, Mack, he was laughing….

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer http://SuccessClicks.com.

‘This eager heart of mine was singing. Lover, where can you be?’ Hostess Brandsbites the dust… Twinkies on the block.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. It’s my fault… I loved Twinkies once upon a time. Yes, when I was young and innocent, so long ago I can hardly imagine, Twinkies and I were an item, a couple, just the two of us, no need for anyone else. We had everything we needed in one neat little package. I was complete, satisfied, blissful.

However the road of love is a rocky road. My mother disapproved of you, Twink… and there was that fateful day she found you in my Howdy Doody lunch box, dumped you unceremoniously on the ground and crushed you beneath her adamant shoe. I wanted to rescue you, hold you, bring you to my ardent lips and tell you how much I still cared… but the woman was obstinate, stubborn, determined to have her way, as I have long since discovered women can be. Something changed in our perfect relationship that day… I loved you… but she was the one who must be obeyed…

But there’s something else, something I must tell you now; something that’s been on my conscience for over 50 years. I was unfaithful to you, Twink. There was the delectable affair I had with… and the delicious one with… and of course that wild and crazy thing, that fabulous fling in chocolate with… but why humiliate myself further? I loved you in my way; gave myself to you; you were always there for me… and I cheated. You would have forgiven me, I know… you always forgave me… but I couldn’t forgive myself.

And so guilt entered and tainted our perfect relationship. When we met in ways secret and clandestine I felt ashamed about the lies and deceptions… and I couldn’t, just couldn’t, meet you in the open, anywhere. What would have happened if she had found out causes me to quake and tremble to this very day. I was a lover, not a fighter.

Besides, Twink, and I must be severely honest and candid here, as we said we’d always be with each other; by then your pristine reputation was tainted. People were saying terrible things about you, awful, horrid, things I couldn’t bear. And it hurt, Twink, and made me doubt you and whether our love was pure and healthy, not stale with a passed shelf life.

Detectives, gum shoes, sleuths.

With so much negativity, with so many doubts now circulating, I was frantic. I loved you, despite my infidelities, how I loved you. But how could I not doubt you with so much said against you? It was driving me crazy… and so I went undercover with the hope that nothing I was hearing, nothing that was eating at me was true… and profoundly fearful that it was. My work was long, arduous, exhaustive. This is what my agile search assistants and I discovered…

The truth, the whole truth.

First of all, you were a lot older than you let me believe. You came from Schiller Park, Illinois, not so far from where we met, in Downers Grove. You were born in 1930 and given your peppy name by James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company. He named you after “Twinkle Toe Shoes”.

I wanted to believe your age didn’t matter, but it did. You treated me like Norma Desmond did her boy toys; like Blanche DuBois treated hers. You said you’d last forever; love me forever; feed and comfort me forever. You were a panther like Circe, Morgan le Fay, Omphale combined … ageless you said, cleverer than me, that was certain, for you had never said more than necessary, whilst never disclosing a single extra word or fact. Bravissisma!

These reports, so detailed, made it clear that you were always the “hostess with the mostest,” a crowd pleaser, making millions smile from your protected formula of wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable and/or animal shortening, and…

partially hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed and canola oil, and beef fat, dextrose, whole eggs, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, corn flour, solids, mono diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow No. 5, red No. 40, and…

one or two secret ingredients even my highly capable spies could not discern, plus la piece de resistance, vanilla cream filling, literally la creme de la creme. But you liked being unpredictable, experimenting with other cream flavors, particularly banana. I always thought we had chemistry, Twink… but it was you.

More that I learned about the Twink of my life.

I was obsessed with you, Twink. And the fact that she kept me from you, only made me want you more. I had to know about you; everything about you. Nothing was too small or insignificant. Like I said, I had to learn everything… and so much truly shocked me. Like this… just one Twinkie, a single one, contains 2.5 grams of saturated fat, representing 13% of the recommended daily intake of saturated fat based on a 2,000 calorie diet. It is 42% sugar, 21% complex carbohydrates and 11% fat by weight. No wonder every time I nibbled on your delectable ear I felt like flying. And I thought it was love…

Rumors, misinformation, lies, humbug, distortions… oh, Twink!!!

I am at the tail end of the last generation to believe a lady only appears in the newspapers 3 times… when she is born, when she marries, and when she dies. But Twink I found page after page of the most lurid information about you…

About how cute young gay boys, boys noted for living on the edge, are called Twinks… after you,Twink, you.

And how good people worldwide have been duped into believing that you are infinite, immortal, as eternal as the Eternal City itself; that you don’t age, can be eaten with confidence and joy dozens, even hundreds of years after creation; the common and widespread belief that Twinkies are forever, a belief put to the test by the 1988 film, “Die Hard”, where John McClane gets sick after eating a “thousand year old Twinkie” found in an under-construction floor of the Nakatomi Plaza building.

Twink, my once honored and profoundly cherished, revered partner, where were you when these hideous charges, falsehoods, these deceits, deceptions and lies were disseminated? Have you no shame, no desire to stand tall as a truth teller. Is filthy lucre your only objective? Where did you go so very wrong? When did your very name conjure the shameful and disreputable… as in…

The Twinkie Defense.

The expression derives from the 1979 trial of Dan White, a former San Francisco, California police officer, fire fighter and city district Supervisor. On November 27, 1978, White assassinated Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. A significant element raised by the defense was White’s consumption before the incident of junk food and sugar- laden soft drinks. So low had your reputation sunk by then,Twink, that when this was dubbed “The Twinkie Defense”, the name stuck and your stock fell further still. Many people, former advocates for Twinkies now believed you could and should be held responsible for most any social problem or outrage. Sales, of course, took a beating… I was one of the disenchanted who left, walking out on you, loving elsewhere.

Crisis at Hostess Brands.

Thus matters rested for a long chain of years. Though I had loved you once with fervid adolescent passion, I loved you no longer and scarcely ever thought of you and your sorcery and taste. Then just the other day, I heard that Hostess Brands, your home, was in bankruptcy, its assets including you to be sold to the highest bidder. Every kind of “reason” was advanced for this sad state of affairs, changing taste, a more heath conscious society and consumer, greedy employees whose recent strike crippled the company, clueless but egregiously overpaid executives. Perhaps.

Now, Twink, I give you my explanation, and it’s simply this: you didn’t love me as deeply and profoundly as I loved you… and so you broke my heart.

But, Twink, here’s the punch line: I miss you; have missed you for years and want you back. Wherever you end up, Twink, I’ll be the first in line. In the meantime, let me sing this tune for you: “Lover, Come Back to Me”, music written by Sigmund Romberg with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II for the 1928 Broadway show “The New Moon”. I like the versions by Billie Holiday and Barbra Streisand you can find in any search engine.

“The moon was new/ And so was love/ This eager heart of mine was singing/ Lover where can you be/ You came at last/ Love had its day/ That day is past/ You’ve gone away/ This aching heart of mine is singing/ Lover come back to me

Forgive me, Twink! Come into my home and heart again! Don’t leave me when I love you so!

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer http://SuccessClicks.com. Check out Total Traffic Annihilation -> http://khdfshops.totaltra.hop.clickbank.net

Of principals and principles, my mother at her glorious best, the First Amendment and me. University High School, Los Angeles. High Noon 1963.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. In 1962, my father Donald Marshall Lant was invited to accept a better job in West Los Angeles… and as a result, having removed ourselves from Downers Grove, Illinois, where we either knew or were related to absolutely everyone, we found ourselves in the City of Angels where the only people we knew were my father’s boss and his numerous progeny.

Thus, for the first time, but no where near the last, I entered a place where I knew no one and no one knew me. It was do or die… sink or swim… up or out. It was University High School…. and here, in due course, I discovered some very useful things about who I was and what I could do, not the least of which being a certain talent for mastering communications media and influencing people, skills I am putting to work right here, right now.

Telstar.

On October 4, 1957, the Great Republic and its comfortable verities were challenged by a device called “Sputnik”. In it we saw the end of civilization as we understood it, “Leave It To Beaver” and all. Yes, we saw the future (or surely thought we did) , and it was ominous, threatening, and Red.

This hysterical vision of living hell, more lurid than Dante, got more insistent, likely and proximate when just a few weeks later in November 1957 the Russkies launched a dog named Laika. If they could launch a pooch, surely they could — and lickety-split, too — launch a man with The Bomb. This vision developed further when the infernal Soviets put cosmonaut Yuri Gagaran into orbit. From that date, April 12, 1961, we were sure, absolutely, positively that Armageddon was nigh…

but it wasn’t… not by a long shot.

One big reason why was the first active, direct relay communications satellite Telstar 1, launched on top of a Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962. It successfully provided the first television pictures, telephone calls, fax images and the first live transatlantic television feed. Unwittingly it was the most effective weapon the Great Republic could have lobbed at Moscow and company… for it enticingly showed its oppressive regimes and oppressed millions what awaited them if only they had the good sense to surrender and stop spooking us.

Of how sweet life could be with… Coca Cola…Skippy Peanut Butter… Swanson TV Dinners … Kraft Mac and Cheese… Chevrolet (with Dinah Shore’s sweet down-home invite) … Kool Aid …Lux Liquid… and, of course, Mr. Ah-Wunnnerful, Ah-Wunnerful himself, Lawrence Welk and his irresistible “Champagne Music Makers” and their impossibly immaculate lives.

Those Commies with their grim KGB realities and gelid gulags never had a chance despite the stolid attributes of Laika, Juri, and a commissar named Kruschchev whose abiding dream was to bury us. Kinky. None of it worked against the verdant lawns and anti-BO aerosols of “American Graffiti”. They were omnipotent.

And thus for the music accompanying this article I give you “Telstar” the 1962 novelty instrumental record performed by The Tornados. It was the first single by a British band to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Written and produced by Joe Meek, it worked because its over 5 million purchasers heard in its eerie space-like sound effects a future that was sure to be good for them and the world.

Sadly, that wasn’t true for Meek who killed himself just three weeks before a court awarded him the whopping royalties from this very popular hit. It was all about the money… as it always is. Go to any search engine now and listen to Meek’s signal contribution to culture… its distortions and background noises the authentic music of the spheres. Telstar satellite up. Telstar song up. Me on the launching pad.

I knew very early in life that I wanted a career with words, a career which would pay me for thinking, writing, talking, influencing not just mankind but the galaxy and beyond. In short I wanted to put the universe under my microscope and report on what I saw, good, bad, absurd, painful, whatever, just so I got it right, got it first, got it the most beautifully written, no holds barred. As such I naturally gravitated to the journalism department where being new and friendless didn’t matter at all; all that counted was being able to use words properly and meet deadlines. Everything else would follow.

Mr. Germain.

I think I understand Mr. Germain now; I’m much older after all than he was when I knew him. I suspect he wanted to be a journalist… wanted to move multitudes and influence the course of human events with words, powerful, motivating, challenging, demanding words. But he had bills to pay, perhaps a family to support, and he couldn’t just give up a good job cold turkey… yet the evenings and week-ends that he had didn’t seem enough time to write. And so he became the most unhappy of people… the writer who could not write… and perhaps it was this which accounted for the whiff of sadness and resignation about him for otherwise he was likable indeed.

We got along at once. I saw in him what I needed… a place where I could write, find supportive criticism and rewrite to perfection. He found what every teacher wants… a bright student who will listen and justify their career choice. And so on this basis I became a cub reporter and in short order I requested and was given what every commentator must have — a designated space in the newspaper (called “the Warrior”) that was mine, all mine. It was my launching pad… and so the boy who entered University High School knowing absolutely no one, quite literally without pal or buddy, was shortly known by all.

In hot pursuit of the story.

I could be found roaming the expansive campus that “Uni” provided talking to people, taking notes, always scribbling. One aspect of my column concerned favorite tunes and who was listening to what. “Telstar” popped up again and again on the most popular list. So did my interviews with Hollywood stars, reviews, etc.. One of the great perquisites of my office was access to an unending stream of “comp” tickets sent to “The Warrior” by every movie and television studio. I didn’t drive then and so I bribed my friends like Norman Leavitt with a free pass if he’d chauffeur me and generally be my good gofer. It was a system that worked.

I particularly liked events that took place during school hours. We had a pre-authorized pass available to hand to the teachers whose classes we would miss… I loved using it with the gym teachers whose petty brutalities affronted me. I knew where I needed to be and sweating profusely with adolescent boys wasn’t it. Cruising down Sunset Boulevard in Norman’s bright red sports car en route to one studio or another was.

Editor-in-Chief.

In due course, I rose to the position which might have been created just for me… Editor-in- Chief. I was, I think, still a Junior when I was elevated. I had no precise agenda, certainly no list of abuses to expose with the power of the press. Still, newspapers have editorials for a reason, and therefore I must have editorials, too. And thus came trouble… its name was Hugh Foley, Principal. He might have come straight from central casting, tailor-made for the roll of petty bureaucrat, porcine, tyrant, prig. You know the type. We hated each other on sight. And so we both bided our time, wary, guarded, certain something would happen .

The editorial, the reaction, just the bare facts.

Let me be clear with you. I was not an editorial fire brand like, say, William Lloyd Garrison and “The Liberator”. I liked my life as it was, perks and all, and didn’t mean to rock too many boats. Still, I thought then what I continue to think today; that each of us has the duty to improve matters where we can do so. And on this basis, I typed an editorial that urged certain positive (in my opinion) changes, including changes in Principal Foley’s administration.

He learned of this (mild) editorial from his snitch, the print shop teacher. He alerted Foley who left his throne long enough to march to the print shop, rip the editorial off the printing press and order the paper printed with a blank space where my article had been.

A sensation.

Of course, the entire school, administrators, teachers, staff, students, were immediately a buzz. My name was on everyone’s lips… and, to many, I became an instant celebrity, the truthful man oppressed by wanton authority. This opinion surged when Foley cashiered me as editor, thereby establishing me as akin to Joan of Arc or Martin Luther. This was Big… and I would have savored the story except for the fact that it was about me.

It was at this point that my mother Shirley Mae Lant (nee Lauing) intervened in the matter. Parents in those days were, it seems to me, much more actively involved with their children’s education and school in general. My parents surely were and in no case more than this one. And so she went to see Mr. Foley. The matter was about me, but I was largely an onlooker, almost the fly on the wall every commentator wishes to be.

Adamant mother, adamant principal.

My mother was a formidable woman, a fact Principal Foley was about to discover. She also had the better case, buttressed as it was by the Constitution of the Great Republic and its sacred First Amendment. For she had been a cub reporter once upon a time and for her the Amendment meant exactly as stated… “Congress shall make no law….” And so Hugh Foley, to his acute chagrin, found himself defending the indefensible against a practiced foe who wasn’t about to let him get away with a grave injustice that besmirched my name and record. I never admired her more than then.

And so Hugh Foley, the most petty of tyrants, backed down, reinstating the culprit, but vowing revenge in his heart, all done with the most ill grace possible. But here he was wrong. I was no revolutionary, no trouble maker. He would have done far better to make a friend, an ally. My mother and I would have welcomed such an amiable solution, and it is that which shows that 1963, its manners, its mores, are those of the old regime, about to be swept away, collateral casualties of Vietnam and all its consequences, including pictures of carnage, napalm and death transmitted worldwide by Telstar, a revolutionary machine which in every aspect changed the world, one eerie beep at a time.

How to move up and up where you work, even in a punk economy. These vitalpoints guarantee your success. That’s why you should carry them with youeverywhere.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. I’m writing this article at 5 a.m. Sunday morning, the time when my more leaden-footed competitors are still fast asleep dreaming of the next Jimmy Buffett concert they just can’t wait to attend. Yes, per usual, I have stolen a march, maybe two, on those who may say they value time managed for maximum effect… but show by their every word and action that they just don’t get it… and that’s very good news for you who adhere to the “lead, follow, or get out of the way” School of Upward Mobility. After all, the less they understand, know and do about the matter, the faster you ascend to greatness — if and only if you follow these recommendations.

You are your chief cheerleader. Better start acting like it.

Riddle me this, bat person. When you last entered the parking lot at your place of employ were there beaming colleagues strategically positioned to wish you well, Godspeed and up, up and away? Of course not… you got the same lame greetings and comments (if those) you always get… pathetic, forgettable, pitiful. It was hardly like the great Pasadena Rose Parade, a celestial flurry of flower petals to provide just the right effect for you.

Fast Breaking News: The off-handed way you were treated today when you arrived at your place of (not nearly gainful enough) employment is what you can expect in the interminable days, months, and years ahead… and if this doesn’t motivate you to take your so-called career in hand and make radical changes in how you’ll approach it, maximum success being the only acceptable goal, then shame on you.

I want you to grasp one fundamental truth about you, your career and your trek for succeess. NO ONE (even sometime spouses and adult children who, to your acute exasperation, still live with you at age 45); NO ONE, I aver, asseverate and decidedly assert, cares about your current career and the radical retooling you must begin at once so as to achieve goals which are of prime importance only to you. In short, you need to station yourself in front of the mirror and take a good, close look at the only person in your life who will sincerely and from the heart welcome your constant success… instead of greeting it with two of the most dismissive and disdainful words in the language: “WHO CARES?”

“Who cares if the sky cares to fall in the sea? / Who cares what banks fail in Yonkers? Long as you’ve got a kiss that conquers?”

You care, and that must be enough to begin the beguine.

Thus, for the tune to accompany this most important article, I give you a pair of Gershwins, George and Ira, geniuses both, who respectively in 1931 wrote the dazzling music and peppy lyrics for “Who Cares?”; found in the hit Broadway production of “Of Thee I Sing.” Go to any search engine and find the version that most appeals to you. There are many to choose from. Then make G. Gershwin’s sophisticated, quick-stepping melody your particular and long-overdue theme song.

Study the company that pays you… do you really understand it and its mission?

Chances are that the lower you go in the personnel ranks of the enterprise which values you so much that it actually pays you, the less those personnel know about that enterprise. But this is not the case with those who aim for upward advance. These people make it a point not merely to have (at least) the last five years of annual reports and other useful findings and revelations but actually to scrutinize them. Such people come clearly to know how valuable such information can be — to you.

In addition, gather current expert analyses of the company’s stock and overall business situation, benefits, problems, data which top officers have and the lower ranks don’t. The more such timely, strategic data you gather and master, the more clearly you mark your place amongst the great ones of your business. The faster you wish to advance, the more assiduous you will be not merely in collecting such data… but truly understanding them.

Next, search the greatest repository of business information in the history of ambitious human kind, the ‘net. Make it a point to locate valuable intelligence, on its products, services, biographies of key employees, executives, directors, etc. Nothing that a senior executive would find helpful should fail to find its way into your bulging portfolios.

Meet the boss, understand the boss, help the boss…. and the boss will help you.

Generations of sad sacks and the terminally clueless have wasted untold millions of hours complaining about the boss, making sure that not a single blemish or imperfection goes unnoticed and commented upon. This is helpful to no one. Humbly, I am here to offer a better, more sensible policy. Help your boss. Here’s how to do it:

First, resolve that you will forego the thrill of shredding your boss. Generations of employees have turned this into a rite of passage; you can’t be “one of us” they say unless you turn the boss into dross. YOU, reader, must rise above this and keep YOUR objective always in mind. This means working with, not working against, your boss.

Open a file called “helping the boss.” On Day 1 you’ve got nothing in that file. Make sure this situation is as short as possible. Keep your eyes open for aspects of the company that need improvement, immediate, intermediate, and long-term. Your job is to see… and report…. on problems… and possible solutions. How do you do this? By not merely walking through things but perceiving them, perhaps for the first time.

Thus, even as you drive into the parking lot, go into improvement mode. See it as a discerning critic would see it. Is it clean, for instance? Does it make a good impression on visitors as well as workers? In short, is it a credit to your company… or a certain demerit?

Now do this with every aspect of the company, your company, the company YOU want to improve your life by joining its leadership team, even becoming El Jefe Maximo.

Slow and steady wins the race.

It is very important that you approach this project slowly and deliberately, always keeping your objective clear in mind. Thus, be discrete. Do not draw attention to yourself and never, ever tell anyone what you’re doing or your ultimate goal. Mum’s the word.

“Only those who look can see.”

Every working day you and your fellow employees go through a series of steps, all supposed to assist in the company’s growth and development. The longer you have been going through these steps the more likely you do them automatically, without thinking, without seeing, and certainly without the idea of scrutinizing and improving. If you mean to move up, you must be different. You must not pass by casually without actually considering what you’ve seen. You must see with the eagle-eye of someone determined to move up by pointing out and eradicating flaws, imperfections, errors, and money draining problems.

Pay dirt.

Now hear this! Every time you see a problem, see it as an opportunity for you to shine by improving the company and its operations whilst giving you a leg up on your flat-footed competitors. What to do now calls for determination, delicacy, discretion and action. As you mean to become a leader, so now must you act like one.

Once you have found something that needs correction (and, remember, every company has a plethora of such matters) write it down. Then consider whether you can solve the matter yourself, or not. In short, once you have identified the problem what comes next?

If you can solve the problem, do so. Then send a short note to the CEO indicating the problem and what you did. Please note that solving the problem yourself without notifying the CEO or proper authority within the company is only recommended when the problem is small and easily fixed.

Otherwise…

Write to the CEO.

I must say and say strongly that this message must be a minor work of art. Your job is merely to point out the problem. No criticism of any kind, much less criticism that might fall upon the CEO and his “watch” must ever be made. You want to be a member, and a respected one, of the leadership team. This means picking your shots and always being chary about what you write and how you write it.

No answer?

Once you have identified the problem and so advised the CEO (or appropriate company officer if you know who that may be) sit back and relax. Be patient. Give it two-three weeks for response. Do not follow up prematurely or give the CEO the feeling you are pushing or pressuring. That defeats your purpose. And if you must follow up just do so in a line or two.

More likely the CEO will send you a brief note of acknowledgement and thanks. Eureka! When he does, put this golden missive in your hope chest. You are now on the blissful ladder of success. Wait three or four weeks, then do it again. Soon the CEO will get the point of you, golden guy or gal that you are, and you’ll be singing Gershwin in the shower. After all, your lunch with the CEO must soon occur…

“Life is one long jubilee/So long as I care for you/ and you care for me!”

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer http://SuccessClicks.com.