By the way, Cage the Elephant lead singer, Matt Shultz--that's right, like Peanuts creator Charles Shultz--was working construction when he met the inspiration for the song and its title. One of his co-workers also happened to be a drug dealer. He'd always come to work exhausted. Shultz asked his co-worker why he bothered dealing and working construction if it was so tiring. The man simply replied, "Ain't no rest for the wicked...."
But that's not really true, is it?
People who are terribly busy, like almost all people in the 21st century, are far from wicked--distracted, yes, but wicked? And they don't rest. I know. I used to be one of them.
The truly wicked get all kinds of rest--in prison. Rehab hospitals. Psych wards. Cushy corporate corner offices with a view. The beginnings of many such rumors, because that what the saying really is, were literally made up to discount the real truth.
The anti-Semetic propoganda from...well, from every century was always used to demonize, villify Jewish people when in fact, Jewish people have been victims of prejudice and hatred for millenia--without provocation. The Nazis are, of course, the most notorious in this century but there hasn't been a single country, world-wide, who hasn't persecuted Jewish people in some way. Except maybe New Zealand. Even Switzerland, who claimed to be neutral during WWII, had no problem taking and hiding Nazi wealth. And it took almost no effort to accomplish the heinous task of spreading hatred--basically, through rumors.
The word "hysterectomy" which is still used today to describe total removal of a woman's reproductive organs, is another great example. It comes from the word "hysterical" and was historically used as a medical treatment by male doctors (because women weren't allowed to go to college until the late 19th century--early twentieth for certain schools like my alma mater, University of Rochester--and closer to mid-twentieth for certain graduate programs like Yale, ahem...) for female patients who were not hysterical at all--they were simply voicing their opinions--perhaps they refused their husband's sexual advances--so they were declared hysterical and were doped up, their insides completely removed. And lo, doctors found female patients to be much, much calmer after the "procedure." Really??? Shocker.
Prejudice. Abuse. Slavery. Domestic violence. Murder. Oppression. Bullying. All "wicked" and all fairly easy to acheive. You know what's not easy though? Undoing the wickedness of this world. It's all backwards, as usual. Philosopher Richard Rorty called it the "mirror of nature" and the "correspondence theory of truth." Rorty asserted in his 1979 treatise on the subject, that people use language to form new realities in hopes true reality will follow or "mirror" what we say to be true. Scary, isn't it? Reality--just a rumor? Yup.
You can't really trust words then, can you? Not even mine. Like I said earlier, welcome to hell.
Shakespeare said, "Hell is empty, and all the devils are here...." It's one of my favorite quotes from his play, The Tempest. The play is all about using illusion and manipulation to reveal truth--or create a new one, depending on how you look at it. That's the thing to remember as you attempt to negotiate the tempest that is our reality, don't blindly trust anyone's words. Look to their actions to know an angel from a true devil.
So while there may, in fact, be rest for the wicked--it's the rest of us, or should I say, the best of us, who get little-to-no sleep....