Tuesday, August 31, 2010


What the hell.... I know the rest of the posts today were centered around Mark Twain, but I couldn't help myself to one last article about 'Maverick' to finish off the TV Western theme.

And since it concerns another writer, one played by Kevin McCarthy who also portrayed Mark Twain on TV, why not?

Thanks to my fellow Iddiot, the Kryptonian Uncle Brian-El, I now have my own copy of "Between Time And Timbuktu" which was based on the various stories by Kurt Vonnegut.

My favorite character in the tele-play is the gentle holy man in the forests of San Lorenzo, Bokonon. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that Kevin McCarthy played the role.

Bokonon was something of a con man, not unlike the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz; only instead of floating down onto the island of San Lorenzo in a balloon, he washed up on its shores some 47 years before we meet him. (As Stony Stephenson is being tossed about in Time and Space via the Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum, we have no clue as to when in Time he meets Bokonon. But I do like to think it's on Earth Prime-Time.)

No matter the intent Vonnegut had in mind for Bokonon in his original incarnation - the Literary Universe - we only deal with the televersion. And it occurred to me that he might be related to one of the most famous families in all of the Old West.

I think Bokonon could be descended from the Mavericks.

Here he is, washed ashore in a foreign land with no means to take care of his needs. Does he try to get a real job, make some money? Hardly. Instead he takes the L. Ron Hubbard approach.....

"When I washed ashore on this island, I found a people almost crushed by poverty and political repression. I have given them a religion of harmless lies, and you can see how happy they are." - Bokonon

With his religion came the best-seller: "The Books of Bokonon". It's filled with such aphorisms as:

"When the truth of your life is too terrible, that truth becomes your enemy."


"You have to be careful what you pretend to be.... Because one day you may wake up to find that's what you are."

Those are the types of sayings one would expect to hear being quoted as being the words of wisdom from Beauregard "Pappy" Maverick, the head of the Maverick clan back in the mid-1800's. He was known for the following "Pappyisms":

"Some men are afraid of the dark, and some men are afraid to leave it."

"A coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero dies but one. - A thousand to one is pretty good odds."

"A man does what he has to do - if he can't get out of it."

"Early to bed and early to rise’ is the curse of the working class."

"If at first you don't succeed, try something else."

"If you haven't got something nice to say about a man, it's time to change the subject."

"Love your fellow man, and stay out of his troubles if you can."

"Man is the only animal you can skin more than once."

"Marriage is the only game of chance I know of where both people can lose."

"Never cry over spilled milk... it could've been whiskey."

"Son, stay clear of weddings because one of them is liable to be your own."

And those aren't bad proverbs on which to found a religion.

Somewhere along the branch of that family tree, I'd hazard a guess that a veteran of the Civil War married into the Maverick clan. (Well, the odds would suggest there'd have to be a girl Maverick eventually.) And that man would be later known as Walter Jameson; he'd go on to outlive most of his in-laws and probably all of his children and grandchildren as well.

It would be his introduction into the Maverick genetic line that would account for the... Face of Bokonon, as it were.....

"Between Time And Timbuktu"
'Maverick' - "Pappy" (many others)
'The Twilight Zone' - "Long Live Walter Jameson"


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