Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Metaphors and Methods


The Guillotine, a metaphor

I keep thinking about the French Revolution,
about Marie Antoinette whose famous,
"Let them eat cake," has, for two and a half hundred
years, been the epitome of richthink.

I hold that in my mind opposite the tattoo
on a Detroit poet's arm that says -
"Eat the Rich."

I keep thinking about Cindy Sheehan, Camp Casey,
and I wonder why the Bush twins didn't go to Iraq.

I hear newscasters call New Orleans Police officers
who evacuated with their families "deserters."

People who were invited into stores like Whole Foods,
even Walmart, and told to take what they need are "looters."

Locals who kept order in their neighborhoods
are "stragglers," are "vigilantes."

People who rode out Katrina, or want
to go home again are "in denial?"

People who went to the New Orleans Convention
Center, "didn't follow orders."

People who won't leave town, "won't be given water."

Anyone who criticizes the administration is
"using disaster to make political hay."

"Many of these people are underprivileged,
so this is working out well for them,"
says the mother of the President.

Working out well for them?

Is Barbara Bush going to give them new mothers,
fathers, sisters, houses, dogs, jobs,
neighborhoods?

I wonder if we will ever stop falling for the
"Blame the Victim" ploy, the "Trivialize the Victim" gambit,
the Machiavellian Big Lie.

Will we give this insane way of thinking and acting
in the world, not one, but two, Supreme Court Justices?

Has Haliburton grabbed another uncontested contract?

Unlike John Milton, the British poet who
wrote "Paradise Lost," and "Paradise Regained," whose
brilliant free verse filled my dreams with hosts of angels
when I was in college, whose verse sentences
showed me how language flows out of the
mind of the universe, who nearly lost his life for a pamphlet
suggesting regicide was a reasonable solution
to the rampant injustice of his time -
I am not going to advocate swift corporal retribution
or suggest we round up multi-millionaires, politicians,
media moguls, and execute them next Tuesday,
for example -

But I keep thinking about the guillotine
as a meataphor -

How it cut through the neckbone of corruption
and changed the course of history.


©Susan Bright, 9/6/05

23. Words

Nature says only a few words:
High wind does not last long,
Nor does heavy rain.
If nature's words do not last
Why should those of man?

Who accepts harmony, becomes harmonious.
Who accepts loss, becomes lost.
For who accepts harmony, the Way harmonizes with him,
And who accepts loss, the Way cannot find.

Lao Tze

Since most of us are unconsciously seeking a shelter,
a place of safety in which we shall not be hurt,
since most of us are seeking in false values
an escape from continual conflict,

therefore I say,
become conscious that the whole process of thought,
at the present time, is a continual search for shelter,
for authority,
for patterns to conform to,
for systems to follow,
for methods to imitate.

Religion, politics, society are exploiting you,
and you are being conditioned by them;
you are being forced in a particular direction.

You are not human beings;
you are mere cogs in a machine.
You suffer patiently,
submitting to the cruelties of environment,
when you, individually,

have the possibilities

of changing them.

J krishnamurti


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15 Comments:

Blogger hopstarr said...

ran across this article....

http://tiadaily.com/php-bin/news/showArticle.php?id=1026

3:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once thought to illustrate Milton when I was in high school. I drew a couple of angels in full battle dress and the Devil and then God. It was way too daunting to finsh. My English teacher looked at the drawings and was pleased. The Devil looked a lot like a schmoo.

We have wrought what we have done. New Orleans land of dreams was not so dreamy as we thought.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

"WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US"

From the foreword to The Pogo Papers, Copyright 1952-53

"The publishers of this book, phrenologists of note, have laid hands upon the author’s head and report the following vibrations:

Herein can be found that rare native tree, the Presidential Timber, struck down in mid-sprout by the jawbone of a politician. Pogo returns to the swamp from a couple of political conventions to find his unfinished business being rapidly finished, once and for all, by rough and ready hands.

With that much information you are about as well equipped as anybody to plunge into the still waters of the Okefenokee Swamp, home of the Pogo people. The activities in this present book were spread shamelessly over the past drought-ridden year. Looking back across the fertilizer, small shafts of green can be seen here and there, while off in the distance wisps of smoke denote the harvesters at work.

Some nature lovers may inquire as to the identity of a few creatures here portrayed. On this point field workers are in some dispute.

Specializations and markings of individuals everywhere abound in such profusion that major idiosyncracies can be properly ascribed to the mass*. Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle.

There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.

Forward!

*Quimby’s Law. (Passed by the Town of Quimby after the Trouble with Harold Porch in 1897)"

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks bringing together all the outrageous elements of this disaster - all the incompetence and disregard for human life. The big picture is ugly.

The little shrub doesn't fall far from the Bush -Barbara's that is. As Bill Maher said, "At least they had cake".

It is all such an unspeakable outrage.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to ship supplies to them immediately. Today they need the following:

Paper plates, paper towels, toilet paper, baby diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, Pedialyte, baby items in general, powder, lotion, handy wipes, sterile gloves, electrolytes, LARGE cans of veggies, school supplies, and anything else to lift people's spirits.

You can ship these items by following the instructions on VFPRoadTrips.org. Or you can deliver them there in person. The roads to Covington are open. Here's how to get there. You can drop them off or you can stay and participate (if you stay, you'll be camping so bring your own tent and gear and mosquito spray)."

It is so bloody depressing.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the above comment:

"Cindy Sheehan, the brave woman who dared to challenge Mr. Bush at his summer home, has now sent her Camp Casey from in front of Bush's ranch to the outskirts of New Orleans.

The Veterans for Peace have taken all the equipment and staff of volunteers and set up camp in Covington, Louisiana, on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. They are accepting materials and personally distributing them to those in need.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this post whip sawed me like a small sapling in a dust devil.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just the beginning. There will be so much hardship ahead. Talking with (furious) Judith, artist friend here that grew up in N.O. and trying to figure out how to survive the upcoming recession (when there will be no money for art).

I suggested we start a combi service like they have in Mexico... paint the stops on the windshield, buy a cheap mini-van and start driving the more rural routes that the public buses don't circulate...

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always been skeptical of "nationspeak" drivel pouring out of anchorman's mouths from the evening news spout. Susan's musings question the stereotypical blather of disaster commentary with an eyeopening counterpoint.
Thank you so much,
FM

9:42 AM  
Blogger OZ said...

I reread Susan's piece over and over and over. Thanks SB. And thank you all for your comments and genuine concerns for our fellow crewmembers on this starship called earth..

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MoveOn Petition: Tell President Bush to Stop Blaming the Victims!

The President and his administration failed at their most important job: keeping America safe. The federal effort was too little, too late and the cost of their delay will be paid for in human lives. Now, they are seeking political cover by blaming state and local officials, despite the fact that they had begged the administration for help early on. Its really outrageous that the President would blame the victims at a time like this. Will you help me tell him he needs to stop blaming the victims and get to work helping them?

http://political.moveon.org/helpvictims

4:30 PM  
Blogger SB said...

Moveon Petition: Tell President Bush to Stop Blaming the Victims!

The President and his administration failed at their most important job: keeping America safe. The federal effort was too little, too late and the cost of their delay will be paid for in human lives. Now, they are seeking political cover by blaming state and local officials, despite the fact that they had begged the administration for help early on. Its really outrageous that the President would blame the victims at a time like this. Will you help me tell him he needs to stop blaming the victims and get to work helping them?

http://political.moveon.org/helpvictims
Subject: Tell President Bush to Stop Blaming the Victims!
The President and his administration failed at their most important job: keeping America safe. The federal effort was too little, too late and the cost of their delay will be paid for in human lives. Now, they are seeking political cover by blaming state and local officials, despite the fact that they had begged the administration for help early on. Its really outrageous that the President would blame the victims at a time like this. Will you help me tell him he needs to stop blaming the victims and get to work helping them?

http://political.moveon.org/helpvictims

4:31 PM  
Blogger Huitzil said...

Sadly, telling Bush to stop blaming the victims is like telling Karl Rove to develop a little compassion. Blaming his victims is one of Bush's instincts. It is not just by accident that the air is thick with Administration lies right now--lies are what they do, and the only thing they do well.
And Bush is in trouble on account of this catastrophe, and I would expect him to redouble his blaming of everyone but himself and his hirelings. Several of his hired help have blamed imaginary headlines supposedly in newspapers Tuesday a week ago saying New Orleans had dodged the bullet.
They blame the governor, they blame the mayor, they blame people playing the "blame game", i.e., everybody who demands accountability; they blame headlines that never existed, and I am sure they will soon blame Bill Clinton. I think we have to expect this, and respond by continuing to point out their failures--and as the death toll rises it will be clear enough that demanding accountability is not a game.

5:48 PM  
Blogger head lem said...

Well, there you go again; absorbing the babble of the bureaucratic broadcasters and becoming programmed by their programming content.

Ask yourself: Who owns the media (MSM) and why do they keep repeating those mindless memes?

We who are not of the MSiM-family (Most Sycophantic Imbeciles in Media) need to develop our own, Reprogramming Repetoire.

Here is a simple simon set of ABC's:

(CC) Cajun Compassion: How the Neo-Orlean Haves treat the Neo-Orphanned Have Nots.

(BB) Babbling Barbara Bushisms: Just say no, you're doing very well for your lowly station in the universe

(AA) Apocalypse Afterthoughts: I love the smell of rotting floaters on a New Orleans morning.

See how big-easy it is to wash those MSM memes right out of your mind? Keep repeating your own AA's, BB's, CC's.

8:19 PM  
Blogger SA said...

Why was the disaster relief so slow in responding.
Fact: LA Gov officially requested federal assistance on Aug 27th - Bush countered demanding that state national guard be federalized,(unprecendented)- this request was refused - so Bush retaliated.

All Ham radio operators were told by the ARRL to stand down.

FEMA disconnected all communications with first responders.

It's not that we are not prepared, it is that the Bush regime purposely manipulated resources to serve his own means, the exact same pattern in Iraq.

Posted by: Rich Kambak | Sep 8, 2005 11:35:37 AM

http://ifcblog.ifctv.com/evan/2005/09/trust_no_one.html

--And in Minneapolis, Green Party City Council candidate Dean Zimmerman has had his home/campaign headquarters raided by the FBI! Just before the primary. He's green, he champions low-income people, he is a person of peace, and smarter than your average city council member. These trumped up charges against Dean and attack on the peace and justice community in the Twin Cities makes me worry about all that money that's coming in from other countries. Where is it really going? To New Orleans? More Haliburton, I hear on the web--Haliburton visited with Chaney to make deals. Where is the real corruption? --SA Minneapolis

8:26 AM  

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