August 17, 2006

I can't sing it strong enough


Kenneth Patchen

* the rude pundit. excerpt:

"Then the President, who has gone unchallenged by everything except reality, in his radio address this weekend actually said, 'Unfortunately, some have suggested recently that the terrorist threat is being used for partisan political advantage. We can have legitimate disagreements about the best way to fight the terrorists, yet there should be no disagreement about the dangers we face.'

"One could argue this or that, things like, 'Umm, when RNC chair Ken 'Elastic Cheeks' Mehlman said on Sunday that 'the focus now is going to be who’s on the ballot? What are the choices? And I don’t believe Americans, in the middle of a tough war, as they see these plots, want to weaken the tools and surrender the tools that are critical to keeping Americans safe. I don’t think they want to weaken how we interrogate potential terrorists. I don’t think they want to weaken the surveillance. I don’t think they want to kill the Patriot Act, and I certainly don’t want to think that they give the enemy the kind of victory that the 9/11 Commission had said they would have if we cut and run from Iraq,' had he gotten the memo not to use the threat for political advantage?'

"But that's useless. When the goddamn President can say, as he did on Saturday, 'On September the 11th, 2001, they used box cutters to hijack airplanes and kill thousands of innocent people,' well, what's supposed to be our reaction? Motherfucker's right. They did. Thanks for the fuckin' reminder. We could throw all kinds of crap at his bullshit statement that 'Because of the measures we've taken to protect the American people, our Nation is safer than it was prior to September the 11th.' We could ask about the attempt to cut money from explosive detection technology. We could ask about how the White House pressured the British to make the arrests early, so it could conveniently come right after primary day.

"It's useless because Bush ain't talkin' to us anymore. He's only talking to those who could get into his public appearances, an increasingly small number. You wanna talk about the 'polarization' of the nation? There's your bifurcation: those who can see their President speak in person and those who can not. Sure, sure, we can all watch him on the TV, but not when there's all those episodes of Laguna Beach on the Tivo.

"The White House knows this - it's Karl Rove's modus operandi: fuck those who disagree. And it's what they want. By so diminishing the value of the public roles of the President and Vice President, they can go about their business in deeper secrecy. Nothing to see here. And we're just gonna keep sayin' the same bullshit, over and over, because you don't matter."

* JFK at the groundbreaking of a library in honor of Robert Rrost in Amherst, Massachusetts, on October 26, 1963:

"Robert Frost...saw poetry as the means of saving power from itself. When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area's of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment."

* A short story by a.m. homes.

* "I think of poets as outlaw visionaries in a way." -- Jim Jarmusch

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