Cletus E. Ford sent me this interesting email



Dear Sir,

While recently perusing the web, I stumbled upon your correspondence and self-described "rant" with a Mr. Cletus Cavanah Jr.
First, I would like to clearly state that I am in no way associated with, or even mildly interested in the motorcycle community. However, hypocrisy and a lack of research do tend to catch my eye.

In your article/reply you say:

"Personally, from all my history courses and the books that I have read, I can't remember anyone named "Cletus" who truly helped guide the development of modern civilization or the human race. You never read about Emperor Cletus Augustus IV, or Pope Cletus The Pious II, etc. Of course, if you had a name like "Cletus", you're either going to be a natural born Harley supporter / owner, with a meth lab / NASCAR souvenir stand / baitshop, or be an amateur wrestler at the local National Guard Armory on weekends."

Please note:

Pope St. Cletus

c.a. 76 - 91 AD

"St. Cletus has given earlier historians some trouble because of his name. Two of the early lists of the popes, the so-called "Liberian Catalogue" and the "Poem Against Marcion" list an Anacletus as well as a Cletus. Most ancient lists, however, give the papal succession as Peter, Linus, Cletus, Clement; and modern scholars agree that this is the correct listing. Anacletus is a variant of Cletus, and this seems to have caused the difficulty. St. Cletus was a Roman. His father's name was Emilianus. Cletus ruled the Church from some time in the reign of the Emperor Vespasian to some time in the reign of Domitian. He was martyred and buried near St. Peter on the Vatican. St. Cletus' feast is celebrated along with that of St. Marcellinus on the twenty-sixth of April."
Furthermore, one of history's most notable leaders (Alexander the Great) owed his life to a trusted soldier/commander serving under him.

The battle of Jhelum (326 B.C.)

"Alexander built up a turning force from the units of the Royal Squadron of the Companions and the cavalry divisions under Hephestion, Perdiccas, and Demetrius, the Guards Brigade, two phalanx battalions, who were commanded by Coenus and Cletus the White, archers, cavalry from Bactria and Turkestan, and a special force of Scythan horse archers. This force was 15,000-16,000 strong."

The battle of Granicus (334 B.C.)

"Mithridates then drew out his sword for hand-to-hand fighting. Alexander, however, was not about to do that. Alexander retrieved his broken spear and jabbed it into Mithridates' face, hurling him to the ground. As this happened, Rhosaces(a Persian) came at him from behind. He rode at Alexander from a flank with his saber, striking with such force that it went through Alexander's helmet to the bone of his scalp. Alexander, swaying and dizzy, managed to kill Rhosaces.

Meanwhile, Spithridates, the governor of Lydia and Ionia, moved in behind Alexander. He was about to kill him when Cletus, Alexander's nurse's brother, severed Spithridates' arm at his shoulder. After this, Alexander, probably from his scalp injury, half-fainted. While Alexander was in the half-faint, his phalanx poured through a gap in the Persian center, and had started to get rid of Arsites' native infantry.

Alexander managed to struggle back onto his horse, and his companions rallied around him. During this, the enemy center began to cave in, leaving their flanks exposed."

My dear friend, these are only two examples of historical figures named Cletus (Greek origin meaning "summoned" or "the summoned one.") that have in fact contributed to the "development of modern civilization or the human race."

Further investigation on your part, or perhaps a new set of history books, will clearly reveal that you are in grievous error.
Those who so vainly attempt to secure their own place in history by quoting themselves often amuse me with an obvious lack of short-term memory that clearly proclaims their hypocrisy. I note the following:

"I completely fail to see how we create a more tolerant society by implementing so many zero tolerance policies." B.E.

For one that proclaims tolerance, you seem quick to cast aspersions upon a name. I dare say that when all is said and done, "Cletus" will continue to be recognized as a noble and respected name, recognized for true tolerance, especially of those who would falsely portray themselves as "intellects."


Cletus E. Ford, CPC


To which I replied


Dear Summoned One,

Thank you oh so very much for the educational and wholly entertaining email. I have to say that while I would never have honestly asked for such useless knowledge to be sent to me, I gladly perused it once it was freely received. Who knows, maybe one day, I might find a use for this information in some meaningful manner or endeavor, such as winning a tie-breaking round of Trivia Pursuit. I will dutifully print this information out and store it in a safe spot, such as right next to my copy of “A History of the Urinal Cake in Western Civilization: Abridged

After reviewing your email, I still stand by my original declaration on the importance of the name “Cletus” throughout history. While, as you have so thoughtfully pointed out, there may have been some minor figures in human history named Cletus, none were worth more than a casual mention, at best, and while they may have helped history by being in a certain place at a certain time to aid a far more pivotal historic figure, the day was never, ever carried by someone named Cletus. In other words, they were merely extras on the grand stage of life.

As for the Catholic Church, they’ve always been fond of finding one trendy sounding name and hanging unto it forever, case in point, John Paul. Given the Catholic Church’s track record, I’m honestly surprised that we didn’t have thirty different Popes named Cletus. Also, your history of this figure does nothing to shed any light on why we should remember him. His name was Cletus, he was a pope for fifteen years, the church killed him and put him six feet under. Then they got hungry and named a day of feasting after him to keep his loyal followers from getting revenge upon his murderers. There were probably a lot of “Pope Cletus”-es in the Catholic Church, ineffective little place markers in the history of the church, or as I like to call them, ‘pope for a quarter of a page’ in the history books.

I find no validation in your argument with that respect.

I especially liked this next part of your email, simply because you totally missed the point of what I said, which is to be expected, since my humor is for the mentally gifted, as opposed to the mentally challenged (which tragically seem to make up a mind bogglingly large portion of our contemporary society).

“Those who so vainly attempt to secure their own place in history by quoting themselves often amuse me with an obvious lack of short-term memory that clearly proclaims their hypocrisy. I note the following: "I completely fail to see how we create a more tolerant society by implementing so many zero tolerance policies." B.E.

That quote, sir, is not hypocrisy, it is sarcasm, dripping with rampant, undiluted essence.

Sarcasm is an important part of humor and a valuable tool in the human language, if used properly. Of course, it does require a teenie-eenie-weenie-modicum of intelligence on the receiving end to be truly effective, otherwise its value is rapidly diminished. The meaning of the quote which you reference above is rather simple to explain: How can you be tolerant if you pass laws that punish people for being in-tolerant? That’s being intolerant in and of itself.

How can you be more tolerant as a society by being intolerant of intolerance? Have we now identified different levels of intolerance, where there is a good kind of intolerance (like being intolerant of people who are intolerant) and a bad kind of intolerance (like people who are intolerant). It’s so poetically ironic that it makes even a dark old jaded soul like myself laugh. It’s a catch-22 situation, pure and simple. It's the stuff that only liberals could ever see as being logical. 

Your inability to tell the difference between hypocrisy and sarcasm amuses me in turn.

That quote, however, in no way implies that I myself am tolerant, another grievous mistake that you have made.

I’m probably one of the most intolerant people on the planet, the Internet, and quite possibly the universe.  I'm quite proud of it. Tolerance is a sign of weakness, it is a losing strategy and always has been. Those who were tolerant in history never lived to make history. Sheep are tolerant, wolves are not. Nature, on a whole, abhors tolerance and punishes it justly, if not mercilessly. I’d rather be a wolf than a sheep any day. What you view yourself as may differ.

With respect to history, the intolerant wolves have always carried the day, and often feasted on the tolerant sheep in the process.   The tolerant make for good spoils of war.

“For one that proclaims tolerance, you seem quick to cast aspersions upon a name. I dare say that when all is said and done, "Cletus" will continue to be recognized as a noble and respected name, recognized for true tolerance, especially of those who would falsely portray themselves as "intellects."”

Again, you are thoroughly mistaken.  I do not proclaim tolerance in any way. Perish the thought, my dim minded soul! You have misinterpreted reflected sarcasm for personal belief, a rather huge mistake on your part (and one that is inexcusable given your self proclaimed intellect). I do not advocate tolerance, I find no use for the tolerant or those whom I view as nothing more than appeasement artists.

Tolerance is one step short of surrender in the same manner that nepotism is one step short of inbreeding.

I make my stand, I stick to my principles, I make no compromises, and I have no remorse in doing so. I am not tolerant. At all. I’m shocked (and not a little pissed off) that you would even begin to think that I was tolerant. I must redouble my efforts to make it expressly clear that I am not tolerant. Oh, some peoples feelings are going to get hurt now, the kid gloves are coming off right now!

On a side note, the name Cletus will always be historically overshadowed by the name Christopher. I’ve researched my name as well, there are infinitely more famous Christophers than Cletuses in history. You have Christopher Columbus, Saint Christopher (to nullify your Saint Cletus which is the patron saint of NASCAR fans and trailer parks), Christopher Clavius (an astronomer who advised the Pope on the Gregorian calendar), and many, many others.  Christophers have always been great thinkers, great do'ers, and great explorers.  They probably had a few Cletuses along to help carry their baggage and supplies.  Many famous astronomers had the first name of Christopher, but the origin of the name goes back even farther into the heavens, to one single, great non-human being from which the name “Christopher” is derived.


It was Jesus Christ who funded Christianity and the Christian Theology, which has had and continues to have an enormous impact in the history of humanity. The name Christ has served as inspiration for the making of magnificent works of arts, paintings, sculptures, churches, cathedrals, poems and even musical hymns. The name Christ has been invoked, unfortunately, in many religious wars. The name of Christ has also been used in a variety of nomenclature including the root of the personal name: Christopher.

Christopher means “Christ bearer”, while Cletus means “the summoned” or to be rather blunt, since I am intolerant, “errand boy”.

An interesting debate, errand boy, except that you forgot two very important things in your academic reflection of my work.

1)    It’s all in fun. If your feelings got hurt, well now that’s just too damn bad. I certainly won’t lose any sleep over it. I suggest that you don’t either. If you feel the need to tear up and get misty-eyed on me, you’ll find tissues in your desk drawer, next to your pocket sized bottle of Jergens lotion and last months wrinkled up issue of Easy Rider.

2)    It’s all very tongue in cheek. Deal with it soon and get over it even quicker.


Christopher T. Shields

aka "Black Echo"

aka "Mr. Intolerant"