Friday, September 16, 2005

Empire Rage



Catching Lines

I admit to being one of those people who can't listen to the
President.

Lines like, "The votes have been counted and recounted," still
hang me up, "Bringing democracy to the Middle East,"
reminds me of Mark Twain who suggested the Missionaries
come back from Africa and save the Presbyterians.

While my own personal favorite line was "Japan and the
United States have been good friends for a hundred years,"
it wasn't long before I stopped laughing at anything he said.
Even the News screen last week with his picture and a
title line below that said --
Bush: The Worst Disaster in History
didn't make me laugh out loud.

In the early years, when we were only invading one
country at a time, before American kids looted Baghdad, set up
torture camps, about the time the GW declared the right
to assassinate anyone anywhere in the world, when they
were spying on the books we took out of the library, before
the colossal incompetence of the Federal response to Katrina--

I began to exhibit disturbing symptoms of a disorder
that hasn't yet been listed in the mental health diagnostic books,
but will--

Empire Rage.

I lost my sense of humor, scowled at babies, neglected
to feed the outdoor cats, possums, raccoons, ferrets, armadillos,
grackles, doves, mockingbirds. I was permanently pissed off.
If George W. Bush, or Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfield,
Gale Norton, or even Colin Powell flashed on television
I hit the mute button, and fumed.

I thought about the Republicans who were red faced furious
because Bill Clinton liked oral sex.

I didn't want to be as sick as that,
decided to find something about GW that didn't make
me furious.

Some people have been able to like his wife,
but look who she hangs out with.
After months of photo ops -- that jerk striding across the
lawn of the White House, he waves to the press, giggles,
then stoops to pat his dog--
I realized I like dogs.

So while Laura and the twins are odious to me, the dog
is probably just a dog. I am able to like it.

Tonite we played
"catch a line," while Bush in a blue work
shirt addressed the nation from the French Quarter
in New Orleans.

Reporters weren't allowed on the lawn, had to sit in trucks
across the street while the Prez was guarded by the likes of the
Blackwater Brigade, the highest paid assassins in the world,
just back from Iraq.

We clicked him on and off, catching lines --

"An opportunity for military involvement."

"The Gulf Coast was swept clean by wind and water."

"An Army of Compassion."

"Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship."

"In this age of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction
there are worse things than a flood or earthquake fault."

It is perhaps a sign that I am recovering from Empire Rage that
I was able to refrain from tirades between lines -- tho it was hard
to resist "swept clean by wind and water."

He went out fantasizing a jazz funeral,
hangin' on the dirge line, but indicated, it would soon turn celebratory.

Wow.
Are there 12 Step programs for Empire Rage?


┬ęcopyright, Susan Bright

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

folks down here do the 2 step.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Bonnie W said...

Thank you for giving this disorder a name. I had to print your posting for my husband to read. I needed to show him that I wasn't the only one that had tirades during Bush's speeches. He's always telling me to holster my finger because I'm constantly waving it at the television. He tells me the cure for this disorder is coming to terms with the fact that not everyone is intelligent and that there are some politicians in "public service" just for the power and financial windfalls. I'm sure that once I can internalize these truths I too can begin to recover from "empire rage". I have found that it helps to count the number of times Bush has uncontrolled jaw movements during his speeches. It helps me to realize that I'm listening to a man with some serious mental health issues.

3:14 AM  
Blogger glycotech said...

Of course he has mental problems. Look who his mother is.

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhhh. I really like this one. Count me in as afflicted, my boyfriend too. For a long time now, I've voiced my intense dislike of Laura, Mama, Papa, and the twins in the face of "What have they done (to incur your wrath?). They prop up the SOB and enable him to be the unconscious *@#$@#@ that he is.

We're like rubes at the carnival. We had never seen the likes of the spin that Rove and Co. put on, and it's taken a while for the majority to see through it. When they do, look out. (At least this is my hope).

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit I have Empire Rage too. I wish everyone,who voted for that[ hole ] were the only ones that had to suffer from his policies.Then I could turn a deaf ear to him.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another symptom - the expectation that you/we would feel better on wednesday (nov. 3 ?), 2004, the day after the election, when jfk2 was the president-elect.

i had this expectation.

you know the rest !

rogerV6E1E2@yahoo.com

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I spent all that money with the therapist, now I know.

8:47 AM  
Blogger MZ said...

It's true!!! I literally can't watch him. When I do, my heart races and I have to take a pill. I'm not kidding. I think the worst specific feature (may I vent?) is, when he finishes a sentence that has a word or two with more than one syllable, and doesn't fumble it (for once) he stops and smirks. Like, See, I can talk.

Then there's Condoleezza who went to a Broadway show and went shoe-shopping before taking a photo op in her (home!!!) state. I agree. I can't watch them. My Mother used to yell at the TV during the Nixon years and my sisters and I would giggle, and my Dad would roll his eyes. Now I know how she felt. Find myself sadly relieved my late liberal Democrat parents don't have to endure this sickening charade.

The worst part (!!) is that it's ALL about money. Money for Halliburton and all of the rest of them. Even the Blackwater guys are about GUARDING the money. And so on. The oil (in the Middle East) since they're all oil guys, and pork belly contracs for each other (where is the so-called $61 billion GOING? My friend in Lousiana can't even get a tarp from FEMA until, they say, "You have to get the tree off your roof" and when she asked them to help her get it off there they said, "We don't do that." The money for it all, and the show, that's what they want and all they want. Another friend says they are literally "evil" and that we didn't used to believe in such a force but maybe do now. If so, they've sold their souls (but innocents are paying the price).

I wish I could be really spiritual and love them anyway but I can't. They even twist the words of Jesus!!! Okay, thanks again for giving this a name, my friend and for sharing your brilliant observations about this tragic syndrome we are yes, defintely developing!!

10:01 AM  
Blogger Brian de Ford said...

So you think the dog is OK?

Dogs chew up your shoes because they are so stupid they think the shoes are toys. Dogs (particularly the small breeds like Bush's dog) hump your leg because they are so stupid they think your leg is another dog. Dogs crap anywhere they feel like it because they are so stupid they have no concept of other people's property.

If you can forgive all those things of a dog because the dog is stupid, why can you not forgive Bush for his sins? Bush isn't much smarter than a dog, after all.

The reason we can forgive a dog but not Bush is because the dog can do only a very limited amount of damage to us. Toxicara canis from dog crap in a park might send a few kids blind. A rabid rottweiler might kill a few people before somebody shoots it. Bush is destroying the entire planet.

11:52 AM  
Blogger erin said...

I think my strain of Empire Rage comes with Empire Depression. More often I just feel incredibly, hopelessly sad about the amazing depth of the administration's hubris. It's the way they're getting away with all of it; the no bid Halliburton contracts, the giving to the rich and stealing from the poor, the smirking denial of science to the detriment of our environment- we could all go on and on. And I read about it all day and it hits a fever pitch probably just before The Daily Show comes on. So Jon Stewart is basically my therapist.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Rod said...

Allow me to join in with the chorus, yes, thank you for putting into words my affliction, fortunately, I have poetry to help self-medicate until 2008, when (I HOPE) we get an intelligent human instead of this pathetic, parroting chimp (and I hate to denigrate chimpanzees) of a Bush.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous CV said...

In a prescient decision in the early 60s, my parents banned Tv from our house, to this day I'm disgusted by the box full of howling monkeys and sales lizards, I do radio (and now the web). As soon as I hear that voice, I have to slap the radio off to preserve public safety. I didn't used to hate him. Back when that was the riechwing talking point, you know, those Bush-Haters... But now he's earned all of our hatred, him and his gang.
Empire rage... is it debilitating? or motivating? If you are mad enough and frustrated enough, come to DC on the 24th of September, camp with Cindy and the Vets for Peace on the mall, concert and vigils throughout the weekend and monday, the 26th, no more business as usual, A million pissed off voters lobbying their congress critters directly, right?
Anger in the face of the Thug crimewave is appropriate, sitting on yer butt aint.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous CV said...

BTW, Nice art!

3:51 PM  
Blogger OZ said...

I usually have a credit for the art at the bottom of the post, and in this case I don't because I can't find it again. I will.

I thought it was pretty close to perfect to visually describe the disorder.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susan Bright's words speak for many of us. I have chosen not to watch him - especially when he addresses the nation. The spin usually makes my blood boil.

Lately, I have begun to pray for him - that he will find his heart - that he will come to his senses - or some sense.

They say that in olden times, people were often struck dumb when God appeared to them.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok dammit, I'm going to have to get a book or more of yours. Somehow, while googling current events, finding articles that interest me, I find I"m reading Suzie Bright. I've always enjoyed your commentary & analysis, whenever I've noticed. Now to find this blog, get worked up on empire rage, and see that it's Ms. Bright, well, I figured I finally owe you a big *Thank You* for telling it how you see it! *or how it really is*

Thanks Suzie, as depressing as our neo-con situation is, you make me grin/giggle once in a while about it.

Mark

4:56 PM  
Blogger OZ said...

Susan Bright and Suzie Bright are not the same. They are not nearly the same.

5:58 PM  

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