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POETRYETC  November 2006

POETRYETC November 2006

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Subject:

Re: testing

From:

Kenneth Wolman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 7 Nov 2006 15:59:44 -0500

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Halvard Johnson wrote:
> Yes, I hope that those in the world aspiring to democracy notice the
> "first Tuesday in November" part of this. It's important, in learning
> how to hold elections, to learn how to suppress the vote. Hold elections
> on work days (that will keep lots of folks from voting, particularly
> those who need to work for their livings), and hold them in some month
> when there's a good chance of bad weather (November's good for
> that in these latitudes). Also, it helps to make sure that polls in most
> of the country close well before polls in the rest of the country. I 
> mean,
> who wants to vote after the election's already more or less decided
> (except, of course, for destroying absentee ballots that aren't likely to
> do the powers that be much good).
>
> Hal
Not so oddly, given the ongoing slide of my mind toward the condition of 
asparagus (spiky and makes piss smell awful), the Tuesday "coincidence" 
never before occurred to me.  I always thought it odd that other 
nations--even those in so-called "undemocratic" states in Central and 
Latin America--held elections on weekends, most often Sunday(?).  Now 
it's not at all odd...especially in the States, where the candidate for 
Whatever always has the same name: Ben Dover.  I gather that this year's 
Congressional and Senatorial things are really a referendum on Iraq and 
on Bush himself, a figure increasingly reminiscent of the King of Id in 
the comics, i.e., a little putz who wins a few only by accident because 
all his subjects hold him in utter contempt if they notice him at all.  
We're so frigging obedient it's like 95% of the citizenry graduated from 
Captain Haggerty's School for Dogs.  Because of the Gimme gene that 
lives in us.  Lars von Trier nailed it: "People are the same all over: 
greedy as animals."  The dogs are another story.  They think for themselves.

Now perhaps I am getting it: why we have the shittiest voter turnout in 
the world.  Because by the time you get home from NYC after a day of 
terrified ass-kissing to keep your job, you're too emotionally and 
physically annihilated out to go vote.  It won't change YOUR life so why 
bother?  The educated ones who might make informed decisions are too 
beat.  It's no lie.  Our local school board vote...and I believe school 
budgets are the most important things we vote on because most if not all 
politics truly IS local...was defeated, thank God, but in Toontown only 
400 of 1800 eligible voters turned out.  Oh...why Thank God?  The local 
high school that draws students from four tank-towns--Toontown, 
Hooterville, Petticoat Junction, and Bedford Falls--wanted to raise 
$50,000,000 through our taxes to make some vague improvements, probably 
to the zipgun and bong lathing shops.  The high school is a pit.  It is 
the best recruiting poster imaginable for the half dozen Catholic high 
schools around here; probably 1/2 the students are not Catholic.

The newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin, when he ran for City Council 
President opposite Norman Mailer for Mayor, said "I will never again 
participate in any process where they close the bars."  They used to do 
that in New York: I don't know that they do anymore, or whether they 
care if you go to the polls as you would have in 1870, after Tammany 
Hall bought your vote, shitfaced to the nth degree.  It probably makes 
the rape a bit easier to bear if you're tanked.  At least back then the 
Tammany Hall boys got you a job with enough money to feed your family.  
There was no WalMart.

I try to avoid Jeremiads (good luck)--unless they're Jeremiah's--but 
this is a good year to see how truly Jeffers wrote when he referred to 
the Perishing Republic.  We seem to be a dying nation: oh yes, the sins 
of the past are still huge, but there was some degree of vitality too, 
and some people actually could climb out of the collective shitpit.  So 
we are sliding away from inner strength and turning (if we haven't 
already) into a nation that has sacrificed self-control in the name of 
the aforementioned ethic of Gimme.  It's Dogville.  Lance Armstrong 
running the NYC Marathon in 31 seconds under three hours gave me one of 
the few people in my lifetime to admire.  I don't know what he's like in 
person and I don't give a damn.  William Burroughs wrote an episode in 
Naked Lunch about a talking asshole that consumes its human host: and 
so, unoriginally, I think of G. W. Bush enervating the vitality out of 
this country, his moronism a vacuum cleaner sucking the air out of us.

I have just begun reading Barbara Ehrenreich's "Bait and Switch: The 
Futile Pursuit of the American Dream," and even if it mirrors 90% of my 
hopefully-ended "career" as a "knowledge worker," it offers no 
identification beyond knowing that Ben Dover has gotten me too.  I must 
be so out of it...I cannot imagine a kid just of of law school going to 
work for Cravath Swain & Moore for $180K a year (at age 24!!) but then 
working 90 hour weeks like any of the happy horseshit he does makes a 
difference to anyone.  Except the kid who is building a bank account you 
would not believe, only to be bounced onto his ass at age 29 because 
they have enough partners already.

Ken <what, me worry>

-- 
Ken Wolman     andreachenier.net	rainermaria.typepad.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
                                --from Christopher Smart, "Jubilate Agno"

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