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Jan 19
.              <Once ShallowMan had dared to question>
              <FactoidMan’s sublime suggestion:>
“With a little predigestion
all my Facts compel ingestion
helping shallow decongestion.”

                               “FactoidMan, take no offense,
                               I know your knowledge is immense
                               amidst your store of Facts quite dense,
                               yet still I’m hanging in suspense
                               about your unassumed pretense
                               and if (or not) your Facts make sense.
                               What say you, sage, in your defense?”

“My Facts are self-sustaining views
supported by my mighty muse;
if disbelief is what you choose
just listen to the gull that mews,
eructing fake and faulty news.”

“My Facts are meant for one and all”
              <cried FactoidMan within the stall>
“I plop them out and when they fall
(yes, be they large or be they small)
they leave all witnesses in thrall.”

              <Then FactoidMan informed the crew>
              <(you know the ones, the chosen few,>
              <who try to twist his Facts askew,>
              <subjecting them to peer review>
              <which puts them in the waiting queue>
              <for litter to be hid from view):>
“Well Facts are Facts, yes that is true
so don’t be sad and don’t feel blue
when sitting dazed without a clue;
once more, that’s why I’m here for you.”

“For in my wisdom you may wallow
if you simply seek and follow,
chew my Facts, then gulp and swallow,
stuff your soul, now blank and hollow.”

                               “But FactoidMan, I fail to see
                               the emptiness inside of me”
              <said ShallowMan with modesty>
              <and cert’nly not hyperbole.>
                               “You’ve filled me with a potpourri
                               of concepts bathed in harmony
                               all self-contained and error free
                               (adjudged by you, the referee,
                               with whom no one could disagree
                               and still remain your devotee).”

              <FactoidMan may steal a stride>
              <with Miss Direction at his side>
              <to conquer, baffle or divide;>
              <she sometimes slyly serves to guide>
              <us on a roller coaster ride>
              <through subtle logic simplified>
              <and fuzzy Facts unverified.>

“We’ll make you guys sit back in wonder
stealing all your blood and thunder
when you’ve found you’ve made a blunder,
thrusting you to realms down under
dank defeat, dun dirt and dunder
(pseudo-logic’s would-be plunder,
Miss Direction’s torn asunder).”

                               “Do Miss Direction’s humble graces
                               pivot progress towards new places
                               into which loose logic races
                               (hinged on fundamental bases
                               counter argument outpaces)?
                               And what about the other cases
                               tied with loose ends time unlaces?
                               Just *******, reason soon erases
                               leaving lumps or tiny traces
                               in the gaps and other spaces?”

“Yes, Miss Direction will confirm
my wisdom hides no wily worm,
though simpletons will surely squirm
with Facts they fail to disaffirm
within the short or longer term.”

“She can lecture, you can learn
about the twists at every at every turn
in arguments that you should spurn
when served an ace but can’t return
without disgrace and ego burn
that leaves your ashes in an urn.
(In case you listen, you’ll discern
that winning spins are my concern.)”

              <Well ShallowMan was full of stunts,>
              <posed one more question which confronts:>
                               “Although your data sometimes blunts
                               the points of other’s arguments
                               your reasoning quite oft affronts
                               when based on claims  that logic shunts.
                               Well, won’t this break your covenants?”
              <Then Miss Direction screamed at once>
              <that “ShallowMan’s a silly munce”.>

“But that is neither here nor there”
              <said FactoidMan with scant a care>
“for ShallowMan may often err:
without my Facts, he’s not a prayer,
so should believe and be aware
that truth is mine and never dare
to think new thoughts (and so despair).”

              <Then FactoidMan revealed a frown>
              <in which a pompous smirk could drown:>
“Yes, ShallowMan’s a depthless clown
who must look up for seeing down;
he lives his life in Flatland Town,
his thinking cap’s a dunce’s crown.”

              <But ShallowMan took no offence>
              <though things were getting kind of tense>
              <(with some regrets for being dense)>
               <and answered in his own defense:>
                               “At times credulity replaces
                               rationality in cases
                               where belief in faith’s the basis
                               (filling holes with empty spaces)
                               voiding proofs that logic traces.”

“Does logic really play a role?
It’s certainly not the aim or goal!
Instead, to wheedle or cajole,
while using Facts which I control,
is somewhat simpler on the whole.”

                              “Oh FactoidMan, it’s now so clear
                               the reason why we need you here,
                               protecting from the puppeteer
                               who pulls our strings to interfere
                               with Facts of yours we should revere,
                               and paves our path with morbid fear
                               our straight and narrow bent may veer
                               from certainty you hold so dear,
                               rejecting theories which cohere,
                                ensconced in science, so sincere;
                               and all be ****** should doubts appear.”

“ShallowMan, if you’ve conflictions
owing to your mind’s addictions
to subconscious maledictions,
due to doubt in old convictions;
tell me now of your afflictions.”

                               “FactoidMan, I must confess
                               I understand you more or less
                               though subtleties provoke distress,
                               and even more your fine finesse
                               inclines to make my mind compress.
                               Forgive me now my cheekiness
                               in asking you for some redress;
                               although you’ve certainly gained success
                               convincing others, nonetheless
                               my valuations retrogress
                               to untold depths of shallowness
                               the more your reasons (which impress
                               onlookers with your cleverness
                               at citing Facts, most referenceless)
                               dissolve like dragons in Loch Ness.”

              <Well FactoidMan must simply smile>
              <(and sometimes chuckles for a while)>
              <when ShallowMan acts infantile>
              <and won’t attempt to reconcile>
              <those Facts that rhyme like truth and guile.>

                               “I know that all you say’s legit
                               though oft your Facts sound counterfeit
                               and leave my dawning mind unlit
                               (just feeling like a retrofit).
                               But, on the whole, I must admit,
                               a mental fog’s a benefit;
                               when eyes are closed and hairs are split
                               expressions vague, I might submit
                               although the Facts don’t seem to fit!
                               Please help me once to cope with it.”

“Oh ShallowMan you’re so amusing
when my Facts you find confusing;
you’ve no profit when refusing
simple truths of my own choosing;
bathe in wisdom I’m suffusing
when awake or else while snoozing.”

                               “Oh FactoidMan, ’twould be a sin
                               to mourn for thoughts that might-have-been
                               if you had had more time to spin
                               some arguments to underpin
                               conclusions bringing much chagrin
                               to those who try to do yours in.
                               For yes, it seems your notion’s thin
                               (though acrid, sweetened up within
                               a grain of salt called saccharin).”

“Yes, ShallowMan, you must have known,
I’d find your mindset set-in-stone
when claiming notions underblown
(especially those I call my own)
ignoring all the Facts I’ve shown,
a lapse to which you’re plainly prone.”

                               “No, FactoidMan, I’m not disbanding
                               your contentions so outstanding
                               (even though they need expanding
                               for a thorough understanding);
                               with some polish or else sanding
                               (you know, somewhat less demanding)
                               they might make a model landing,
                               lack of catwalk notwithstanding.”

“To answer you I’ll write a ditty
getting to the nitty-gritty,
oh so lofty, oh so witty,
where the Facts shine, oh so pretty;
if you’re lost, then more’s the pity,
tell it to my subcommittee,
‘Miss Direction’s Detour City’.
Now it’s time to feed the kitty.”

              <Well FactoidMan’s concluding quip>
              <to give advice and hold his grip>
              <(by letting words of wisdom drip)>
              <displayed adroit one-upmanship:>
“Hubba hubba, ching ching ching,
now I’ve taught you everything
without a hook, without  a string;
you needn’t clutch, you needn’t cling,
just bow instead and kiss my ring.”
Written by
Terry O'Leary
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