Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Will this revolution be televised or streamed?

For some time now, we've been repressing a rant or two. In several ways, Rebecca Solnit beat us to it.

REBECCA SOLNIT: THE COUP HAS ALREADY HAPPENED

SO WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

In yet another way, we wonder why we, or anyone would get upset about a foreign power taking over a dysfunctional government in a country where the dysfunctionality extends from the federal to at least the state level:
There are other issues we've noted in the past, such as the legislature's interest in reducing water quality standards for sulfate and nitrates in order to accommodate mining and agricultural interests in a state where about 40% of all the waters fail to meet standards.

You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows

Photo by J. Harrington
Meanwhile, both the Democratic and Republican parties seem more interested in protecting corporate interests and short term profits and the reelection of politicians more than protecting public health and public education.

Please repeat after us:
  • MONEY IS NOT SPEECH!

  • CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE

  • THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS
At the moment we don't have a really good answer to these problems other than all of us starting to become full-time citizens and get off our butts, stop watching cable and/or reading the internet, get out and talk to our neighbors and figure out what's in it for US, not just me! We've been doing more of that over the past year or so. It's annoying, time consuming, mostly unrewarding and fundamentally necessary if we want to live in a functioning democracy. Too many of us can't even find the time and energy to get and stay registered and vote. Look where that's got us!

September 1, 1939


W. H. Auden19071973

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright 
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can 
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return. 

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire 
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
“I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.


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