Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


any plumber will tell you
two sorts of water carry
waste away, effluent
greywater is the wash
blackwater is the sewage
that’s what they call it,
that’s what it is, blackwater
pouring out of the White House
into the streets, Iraq, the
Big Easy, contaminating
all that it touches, it is
so fitting mercenaries chose
this name, blackwater, they
are so full of shit and death,
all the wrong choices, sociopaths,
damaged goods in need of
treatment before returning
to the mainstream.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Republicans: the Torture Party

This is why we call them Repugnicans. Recently, Republican Party apparatchiks voted in the U.S. House of Representatives to sustain George W. Bush’s veto of a bill that would have prohibited the CIA from using torture techniques like waterboarding. With such a vote these politicians placed themselves firmly in support of torture. In other words, the Republican Party is the Torture Party. At the risk of speaking the obvious, they are a national disgrace. The former “family values” party reveals its true colors: blood red with a black heart. So much for the U.S. moral high ground. In the opening decade of the 21st Century far-right neo-cons and bible-banging theocrats have dragged this nation back into the medieval dungeons it took hundreds of years for humanity to crawl out of.

The far-right occupiers of the White House and Congress may call it “specialized interrogation techniques” , but torture by any other name would be as evil. The Repugnicans may be THE most Orwellian of signifiers ever to walk the planet. Voter suppression is called the Help America Vote Act; wholesale attacks on the U.S. Constitution is called the Patriot Act; gutting air pollution standards is called the Clear Skies Initiative. In order to create their own dysfunctional reality, to name a thing they must call it by its opposite. You know the drill: war is peace, hate is love. All it takes is a sociopathic college Republican mindset, a willingness to subvert the U.S. Constitution, and a blank check from the robber barons on Wall Street. And what a twisted web they weave: destroying nations while looting their oil; sacrificing young American soldiers to satisfy their lust for wealth and power; cynically transforming the Department of Justice and other agencies into tools for their own neo-fascist state. You think fascist is too strong a term? Think again. Look it up. Can you believe these people? You better believe!

As the little that’s left that passes for democracy in this nation slips from our hands, Democrats in Congress seem powerless to do anything to save what remains. Everyone’s praying for Clinton or Obama to ride in on a white horse and save the day. My advice is to prepare for the worse, now. Deus ex machine works well enough on stage, but here in the real world there are some seriously bad actors stealing the show in Washington. It’s like torture waiting to see what damage they will inflict next, but it’s not really torture. So far, we are led to believe, the Repugnicans have saved that for suspected terrorists. Yet, given that more than a few cops in this country have been torturing suspects all along, given that torture is being glorified in the corporate media by shows like “24”, how long do you think it will be before torture is common practice? How long before they get around to say, progressive activists?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

To your left: Gen Wars

It's conflicting. As this writer heads into his sixth decade, I laugh along with Stephanie Miller and the Mooks' references to Grandpa McCain or to random blog entries such as "John McCain: same old, same OLD", while also hearing small voices on the phone refer to ME as grampa. If I recall correctly, I can easily laugh at senior moment jokes. I can identify with the growing old humor my peers seem to delight in filling my emailbox with, but that's like black comedians joking about other "niggas", isn't it? Is it OK for young liberal-minded people to joke about seniors? Maybe it is because they themselves will be seniors one day (though they may not fully grasp that reality). Still though, I do seem to get a little uncomfortable when I hear younger progressives, who should perhaps be more sensitive, engage in humor that is overtly ageist.

Sexist and racist humor is, of course, officially dead on arrival on the Left, unless it is delivered by a member of the oppressed class; even then it may be condemned for perpetrating damaging stereotypes. So, I ask again: why is it OK for young people to joke about memory loss; lowered energy levels; ill health; perceived "creepy" sex; or say, grumpiness among seniors? Frankly, that makes me rather cranky!

There already exists an inordinate amount of '60s bashing among Generations X, Y & Z here in the U.S. Such attacks come from across the political spectrum and are a disheartening source of alienation. On the Left, such language serves only to divide a resurgent movement for social justice. The unfortunate circumstance of '60s bashing requires a whole other conversation, but it can hardly be separated from the Baby Boomers to whom it is directed and they are now approaching senior citizen status. For my purposes here, let me simply point out that ageism on the Left, be it in the form of exclusion, derision, or perceived humor may well be the next civil rights issue in this nation. Liberals, progressives or radicals would be wise to take the lead in overcoming it.