This is the war… © by firstname.lastname@example.org 02/10
This is the War for the minds of Americans:
the war between style and substance,
the war between entertainment and ideas,
This is the war between vapid and meaningful,
between shallow and deep,
between sensation and sense,
This is the war by frivolity and its offspring, depravation, against the future.
How do we elevate the conversation? From Keisha to Keynes. From A-Rod to Atomic Energy. From Con-yeah the Wicked Witch of the West and Beyond-say-ing to marley and dylan and woody and eve ensler and vagina freedoms that liberate grrrls from oppression and all of us from all of them, the Other, and our own self-imposed limitations and fears….
We elevate by our emphasis on the message and not the messenger; not so much the modus operan-dumb, but the meaning behind it.
Can a stripper make a social comment, through her art, on the oppression of women and grrrls? Sure.
Can a rich man’s scion, or a trust-fund baby, bear witness to the perils of the homeless?
Sorry, Bill, you cannot feel their pain. You can only use it…to their advantage, or to yours.
More women die in childbirth in Afghanistan than in any other nation. Is that why we’re there?
It’s the worst place to be born in the whole world, according to WHO. Is that why we’re there?
Can we impose democracy and women’s rights at the point of a gun? Malalai Joya says not.
[She says a people have to earn their own freedom. Is this now the time for us?]
Or is it possible we misuse the arts to assuage–and to numb even more–the dull consciousness of the myriad and passive de facto supporters of brain-deafening fascism, who breed the forms of ennui and irresolution within the minds of the people, even in this educated culture in which we live? Oh Yes it is!
We can. We do.
Can we, in other words, sing and dance for the Passive Nazis? Yes we do. And we can help them sell anything! Any crappy product can employ a Beatles’ song now (“Revolution” goes to Nike, the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” goes to Nissan Maxima. “Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.” Huh.
Gil Scott-Heron’s “revolution” was televised as musical trivia for Great America’s ad campaign.
And Human THOUGHT gradually loses market share and is soon to be dis-continued so everyone could go into cocoons of sex and drinking–like the drunken frat rat in the taxi, who drunkenly slurring his words, tells me he “doesn’t do drugs.”
Could artists become part and partial of the Great Opiate of the Masses? Oh Yeah, if only we can get ourselves on TV… and to our place at the table of the splendid redone of the undone and the done did we done, but don’t know any more how to do.
Where is the heart (empathy), the truth (soul), and ultimately the brain (consciousness) we were born with? We entertain Dorothy’s friends, so as to keep them continuously defective: cowardly like the Lion, naively vague like the Scarecrow, and dehumanized and hopelessly without heart like the Tiger Woodsman.
We can see this emptiness pervading our culture in the fumes that we breathe and the freaky ways that we dance. So why would a poet/artist try to compete with the media (TV) to propagate (or propagandize) more of the banal? And without the gloss of hi-tech professionalism to boot?
From humble sources come eternal verities: and thus courage, brain, spirit.
Not vapidity and titillation.
So poetry–the voice of the new born–is necessarily truth and must be truth.
Remember what the young woman artist said, her foot out the door, “Being an artist means NEVER giving them what they want.”
Music is beautiful. I love rock and roll, the Blues, jazz, Americana. But when music buries the words that carry ideas, it replaces message with massage, and it spawns the pointlessness of a destructive and mind-numbing entertainment. We can rock numbly in our tepid pools of entitlement, self-absorbed clear to the end.
[Blues men repeat their phrases. As Muddy said, “Because we want them to hear the words.”]
Music is a kind of Art and message. Art is not the messenger. Art is itself. Art weighs in from its Source in the Cosmos of our minds…carried in on the wings of the Muse. Poets conduct art like a wire brings light–we aren’t Art. We are Artists. We work the souls youcan find when you are laughing and crying at the same time or when you love or when you hold the future in your arms and it smiles total trust in your dissembling face.]
I don’t suppose I have to reiterate the generic fears of our Time: the wars raging on women, 40% of the human race in a poverty so hungry and so abject they have yet to make a phone call, the coming of deathly climate change, species die-off, financial chicanery (the legalization of theft), the failure of the current Economic Mythology in the face of looming Evolutionary Changes…and much more as evidenced by record rates of youthful suicides and mass murder (genocidal rape as a tool of war! You CANNOT rpe our Mama! For your gold and diamonds and cadmium and chrome!) The ollution of the planet’s riparian systems (including trees, prairies, soils), and the Oceans…air and water and soil is all we really got to ruin to complete our demise.
We either decide to work with and within the brilliant parameters laid down by Nature for millions of years for our happiness…she did it…is that not enough? Or we die off a squabbling self-hating rabble of uselessness and go to our own most imagined Hell on Earth.
Or we could bring our better myth, Heaven, on down here where we could use it.
Heck yes! A child could lead us! But not the capitalists With their Dead Zone Glory Holes for the Emperors of Squalor to stick it in.
[That’s why they kill the mess-end-ers. We care too much.]
They claim logic but use a myopic selfishness–a nasty brand of self-righteous narcissism to acquire the loot they feed on. And if it tastes like blood all the better: their world-view is writ in blood and war.
But with a poet’s claim to Logic and Accountability: I leave you with two salient points.
#1. We know it won’t go away by itself. Those who profit from this plateau of human existence will tend to want to extend its glitzy, banal style, its malevolent accretion. We see that. We see America as an evil imposition, a juggernaut rising from its own poisoned wells covered with screaming fleas.
Those who simply intend to exist here, as if placed by a cruel invisible hand, will continue to die meek and sordid deaths. Piled in heaps in ditches at the side of our juggernaut’s flaming road. But those who have eyes to see and ears open to truth shall effect change for we are the stewards of this great gift we live on and in. Mother Earth is Gaia’s Mother and Gaia is ours.
We can see the daily degradations of her bounty. We are the witnesses to the gradual destruction. We know.
Our message is not a massage.
#2. No one leaves here alive. We might as well wake up to that fact now; and act for our children and their children and their children’s children, for, one way or another, we shall all be brain dead soon enough. That knowledge–called consciousness, that our birth is a death sentence. That we cannot keep on keeping on, no matter how hard we cling, should free us to step up, step outside our timid selves, to speak truth honestly and without any fear or devious selfish intent…and at all costs MAKE OURSELVES HEARD!
Peace, love, power to the people.