Friday, August 7, 2009

America Honors its Poets: Where are we Now?


Found this on Silliman's blog...

We can see an absolute dividing line here (one of many in the U.S.A.). White middle class suburban males--though it can and does happen to them) believe until it does, that this sort of thing doesn't exist. Or if it does... 'they' deserved it.. or, it was a mistake... an aberration.

When in reality, it's a pattern

An erratic and unpredictable pattern in the particular, like weather, but clear in the larger picture, like climate.

Until we all believe, as members of our community, our nation, as citizens of the world, that injustice to one is injustice to all, nothing will change.

Until we in this U.S. of A. understand that--we are in danger. The world is in danger.

We (in the U.S.A) are inclined to assume that 'justice' is automatic. That it does not require vigilance to maintain and perpetuate. Until we are hauled in, handcuffed and humiliated for nothing. We think that "Freedom" is likewise, automatic... as long as we perpetuate the cycle of killing and dying in its name. Look at all those crosses (a Mogan David here and there)... isn't that proof enough?

Freedom for what? For whom does Freedom's bell toll... and for whom does it remain silent? These questions are not our concern. So long as we can answer: "for ME!"

We are in danger. Watch those videos of the bought-and-paid-for corporate disrupters at meetings organized as vehicles of education, meetings for public dialog.

Since the fraudulent election of 2000 it's been clear: those on that side of the power divide will do anything to remain in power. If they perceive it to be 1) in their interest and 2) they think they can get away with it--there is no crime, no outrage, no number of victims they will not sacrifice to achieve their ends. I've been saying this for years.

We are in danger. What are we going to do to stop them?

Remember THIS? Day after day. Knocking on doors, filling out forms... in heat, in rain. We knew he was just a man... a good man. He couldn't save us. No one could. But we believed that we were the power he had unleashed. We would back him up. We would scold when he fell short. We would bring forward what we all knew he had only begun.

We are in danger. Where are we now? Think of those in Iran--risking everything for a better future. Where are we now? It was a beautiful day... but the day had only hinted at dawn... sunrise is yet to come. Sunrise is up to us


  1. Interesting you should link the two events. One evening over a glass of Shiraz on your porch, I'll tell you the story, if you like, of a woman who was arrested in the train station on her way to the inauguration. Her crime? Sitting on the floor in the main area. The waiting room was full. When she refused to get up (people often sit on the floor and she didn't take their request seriously) eight officers surrounded her and literally dragged her to a cell, where they threw her up against the bars, ripped her clothes for the fun of it, manacled her wrists behind her back in metal handcuffs, shackled her ankles to the wall with chains (I saw the bruises on her wrists and arms, which were hideous) and a whole lot more. Her friends, who were waiting for her in DC, were distressed when she didn't show up, and her husband was nearly traumatized when they contacted him with the news she had gone missing. It took days to sort out and the incident dealt what turned out to be a fatal blow to their marriage. Her tickets to the swearing in and one of the balls attended by the Obamas went unused, and her gown went back to the department store with the price tags still on. My sense is that her experiences didn't so much shake her as confirm her worst fears about the police state America has largely become. If anyone ever asks her where she was for the inauguration, she simply answers, "I was where I was supposed to be."

    Good for you for speaking out, Jacob. Good for you.

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  3. ... I can't imagine. Once this has happened to you, there's no new information. You get it. You find your own way to deal with it... or deny it. But the first time: to have to reconfigure your whole grasp of what the world is made of and your place in it... if you haven't experienced it, it takes an extraordinary mind and imagination to grasp what that means.

    I had a similar experience--more an intimation than the thing itself. Maybe 18, in a bus station in Chicago. Sitting on the floor. Why not?

    No fewer than three uniformed men 'explained "why not." I go it. I stood up. I waited for my next ride.

    I said, an intimation. Here is one of many more convincing experiences. The young man in the linked photo HEREmight or might not be me.