The Origin of Bullshit

In ancient Crete and ancient Anatolia,
Et alia,
the bull was a symbol of sovereign power
the one who commands,
who decides who dies, and what lives —
as such,
it’s not coincidental
that the bull’s as well a symbol
of not Wall Street just but capital in general
and all that wields coercive power

Relevant as well’s that bull
the word’s derived from bhel
the root of phalle — the Greek for whale
(as in Leviathan’s coercion) —
is the origin of phallus
id est, rigid stick of order,
stiff as dogma, rod of discipline,
tradition as unbending as the written law,
the rods and laws of gods, and kings,
and patriarchs
and all of that which flows from this
Archaic Bull of violence
is bullshit


Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at and on twitter @elliot_sperber