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.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Earth on fire

the planet is on fire
first responders are
burnt out from drought
and shoppers too consumed
to do much but make for
that fire sale, that sale
to end all sales, but it's
getting hot as hell in
here and the power is
going out and outside
the flames are growing,
sucking the air right out
of thin air, roaring into
canyons all over the map.

the planet is on fire with
enough carbon dioxide for
everyone and the future
holds little promise for
yet another run of distraction
and clever commercials to
entertain the marks and
their endless dogged
displacements securely tied
to such notions and oceans
of thoughts about games
played out, imaginary worlds
where all fires are under
control unlike the real world
where hot is not really
what's-her-name but gaia
is burning and who is alarmed?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bad Atmosphere

this is not what it was supposed to be
how many fields ago, clear blue and clouds
billowing and soft breeze, dancing leaves
us wondering if our own children, grand
children will be left with broken days
loss of ways what was such a gift to us:
birdsong moments and fragile wings so bright,
colors and scents molding memory then
something, a shadow, a careless movement
beyond the yard, in the distance, in the house
unnamed unease and a growing world of
bad ideas, bad atmosphere for all the best
reasons, for the children playing outside.

all the human population has more than doubled
since then, the others have dwindled and
the children's time to play, scheduled, gone
the way of no one does that any more, and
they get in the car and drive off the edge
of the chart where everything is made away
where science meets the unknown and
the air is seemingly conditioned for your
comfort until the lights go out and the gas
runs out there on that hot asphalt hell and
the angry yells and the wars, the wars, and
the empty silence. try texting that. try liking
that. the links are numbered now. there are
only so many "resources" and that
away is right here today and the
atmosphere? the atmosphere is bad.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Honor Off

Throughout its' short history, this nation has undergone periods of extreme polarization. We all know this. The Civil War is probably the best example, when the war of words really became a shooting war. The present however, is something we can actually observe and, make no mistake, an ugly atmosphere surrounds us both politically and culturally. Who among us hasn't witnessed the lack of civility celebrated in nearly all forms of media in the U.S.? From the unreal behavior on "reality" television; the ugly hostility and revenge promoted in films; the hyper-competitiveness acted out on our highways; the road rage; line cutting; flaming on the internet; and the kind of hostility displayed by so-called Tea Party activists towards anyone who disagrees with them, all of these and more are indicators of a society in decline.

So, where does a sense of honor fit into this sorry picture? Sadly, the concept of honor has often been manipulated for personal or political purposes. This may have been going on for a very long time, but for the purposes of this writing it may be most useful to focus on contemporary distortions of honorable thinking and behavior. First however: define your terms! Webster's defines honor as "that which rightfully attracts esteem, respect, or consideration; self-respect; dignity; courage; fidelity; especially, excellence of character; high moral worth; virtue; nobleness". Do any of those terms apply to the behavior noted above? I don't think so!

It may take a little courage to scream and threaten one's perceived opponents in public, say at town meetings or on the street; and one may have fidelity with a given cause and one's allies, but having just those two traits and none of the others hardly qualifies as being honorable. No, an honorable person displays respect for others, even if he or she disagrees with their beliefs. It may be considered corny in an age of alleged sophistication, in a time where clever one-liner put-downs are viewed as enhancing one's own image, but having a sense of honor and honoring others regardless of differences makes for a better functioning society.

Real honorable behavior, not just wrapping one's self in the flag and spinning accolades to say the troops or first responders (while supporting policies that may be detrimental to them), is what we should expect from those we send into government to do the work of managing society. There's not a whole lot of that going on these days, especially among the rightwing in this nation. On a personal level, members of both parties in congress have shown an increasing degree of dishonorable behavior, but on a policy level it is the Republican party that has brought dishonor upon themselves and this nation.

Revisit those terms for honor above. Do the policies promoted by rightwingers in Washington seem to apply? Where's the virtue and high moral worth of continuing to enrich the already obscenely wealthy while cutting back on Social Security and Medicaid? Where's the dignity in insulting the President or other Democrats, in lying about their beliefs or positions on any given issue? Ask yourself if so-called conservatives are displaying excellence of character. They are not, and in not doing so they dishonor this nation.