Saturday, September 29, 2007

Days Without End

Often it seems as if Bush and his never ending presidency have impinged itself on us since the moment of creation the so-called Big Bang when time itself began. This bloody war against something no one seems quite sure of seems akin to the Steady State theory of the universe which claims the universe has always existed and always shall.

We are deluged with terms that seem to have no meaning like insurgents, terrorists and other such indefinable words. The news media throws these terms around like a hash slinger in some backwater dive. The wise ones utter them endlessly sagely nodding their heads as if they are bestowing some ancient wisdom dredged up from some half remembered and fantastic past. But the events of these endless years of blood and sand are real. The people whose lives we have forever changed or ended are real. Yet many Americans go about their business as if nothing is new, nothing is out of the ordinary. Their usual pattern of existence plows through a sea of sameness going to work, eating, sleeping thinking about nothing further than the nose on their face. Throughout the land that we inhabit small towns dot the landscape and as every holiday comes the flags are unfurled and the patriotic beer bellied minions of a country that has thrown every moral and sense of decency to the four winds swill their ape brains into oblivion. No thought is given as to why we burnish old glory. No thought is given to what it has come to represent in a world poised on the brink of violent destruction. Burp, belch, wake up with a hangover and back to work.

Returning from work as evening casts its deepening shades over the quiet suburbs we might wonder what is on television tonight. Perhaps another documentary on the cosmos, another dumbed down version of astronomy replete with state of the art representations of stars and planets all done in pretty colors for simple minds as a narrator occasionally interrupts the panoramic views with the same stale and endlessly repeated mantras of accepted facts-- red shift, black holes, gravity, star formation and the like, ho-hum another day. This is how we spin our world by endlessly repeating the same meaningless phrases over and over until we have created a false and comfortable reality that fills our days and nights. On the flaccid news we hear “American forces have killed fifteen insurgents” or “Hillary Clinton is now ahead” in her reckless race for the presidency yet little thought is given as to what this might mean. “Insurgents”, what an antiseptic word that clinically removes the gruesome and grizzly reality of the ruptured bodies of small children, men and women -- people we never knew yet people all the same.

We have become a nation of blathering nincompoops clamoring for the next wiz-bang gadget of questionable value. We hear of the next gadget already in the works and after becoming bored with the present gadget we wait in anticipation of the next with its false promise of endowing our useless lives with some kind of meaning. People are born, live out their lives, then die their souls sent screaming off into the eternal night of no return.

Americans long to be loved, revered for their pioneer spirit, their mechanical know-how, a land of John Waynes endowed with a native practicality that we imagine to be the envy of the world. How many times have we seen a Hollywood movie that if it contains at least one European at some point in the movie we hear the obligatory “Ah, you clever Americans.” Even as I write this I make myself sick as I realize that when it comes to the immense suffering we have inflicted on other peoples I have nothing to complain about, not really. I have food to eat, electricity, a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in while half a world away people are doing without these basics, dying, fleeing, and suffering in unimaginable ways yet how I long for something better, to be free of these raving and slavering lunatics that populate my little world in the bosom of America. I can see their gargoyle faces now -- red with hate, mouths twisted in anger, eyes sprouting from their faces shot with blood and violence -- God, what a world.

A poem by Juan Ramon Jimenez.

Hora Inmensa
Only a bell and a bird break the stillness…

It seems that the two talk with the setting sun.

Golden colored silence, the afternoon is made of


A roving purity sways the cool trees,

and beyond all that,

a transparent river dreams that trampling over


it breaks loose

and flows into infinity.