When it comes to discourse, short is sweet, easy does it, and some logic goes a long way; however, sometimes a bit of finesse renders a statement beautiful. When asked by Ed Schultz on MSNBC should the democrats embrace the Occupy Wall Street crowd, our Joan Walsh—whose demeanor on the show I can only describe as elegant—said, "Yeah, I would like to see more democrats approaching, and they have to approach in a spirit of humility, really…" Then she explained, "There are a lot of people down there who feel burned. A lot of young people came out and voted for change in 2008. They didn't see change; instead, they got unbelievable debt." If Ed asked me the same question, he would have had to bleep every other word I said. Yet, the phrase, "in the spirit of humility," was calming, admirably tactful, extremely polite, and most of all, made me think.
Imagine you cross unto a parallel universe. You are standing on the sidewalk of a big city street. It looks different, but you know it is the other United States. The sky is blue, the air is clean and there is something pleasant about the people walking down the street. Some women are dressed conservatively, but most women, especially the younger ones, are showing too much skin. Strangely, the men are not ogling and there are no obscene gestures or whistles judging and annoying these exceptionally confident dames and damsels. Then, you realize that you are looking too hard and missing the obvious, may be because you are seeing it for the first time. Most of these women are smiling—not that fake ugly wide expression showing super-white teeth under glassy empty eyes. Instead, you see genuine, full facial smiles; and the then you turn philosopher: "Damn! When they smile from the heart, all women are beautiful."
You go to a library and start reading newspapers. You learn that in this United States all citizens, rich and poor, are truly equal under the law. Legal cost for both sides in any civil suit must equal. That is, a rich citizen will provide a defense of equal value for his poor opponent. Social programs such as social security and free healthcare are there only for those who otherwise cannot afford what these programs offer; those who can are financially responsible for their children and their parents. Illicit drugs and prostitution are regulated but legal. Both car and health insurance are not mandatory. Higher education is also free, although private universities still exist. In fact, the biggest in the country is the (free) American University with huge campuses in all fifty states, and the government finds jobs for all its graduates.
Then you figure it out, the key is free press—subsidized by the government in some cases to enforce the First Amendment—working for the people with militant emphasis on the betterment of social programs, education, employment and exposure of corruption everywhere. Free press, providing relevant information rather than disinformation, prevents people from voting against their interest. It also plays an essential part in shaping a tolerant culture with a proper order of priorities. The media's daily campaign against violence, mentioning every incident of rape or murder, rather than weeks at a time of airtime allocated to girl on a Spring Break lost in Aruba, resulted in the near eradication of gangs, let alone violent crime. Finally, this United States maintains her status as a sovereign country, enforces immigration laws, and defines immigration to include all nationalities, not just Mexican.
Meanwhile, you find out who killed Kennedy. You learn that Mitt Romney is acting in B-movies. Rush Limbaugh is doing time for ticket fraud. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are both in an insane asylum for cruelty against animals. Rick Perry uses his bowlegs as a cautionary tale in beef and vitamin D commercials. Michele Bachmann finally found her calling and works as a madam in her husband's first brothel for gays and lesbians in the Great State of Minnesota. Ann Coulter did one year in prison in the 80s for her involvement in an illegal donkey show on the outskirts of New Canaan, Connecticut. Now, she is the most famous and highest paid dominatrix in America, working out of Greenwich, Connecticut.
Then you cross back to our universe only to realize a vivid picture of the status quo. The big money is still enjoying the policy of eating the cake and having it too, otherwise known as "Let them bark." Every two years or so the political parties stage a fight, then compromise, and the Middle Class and Lower Class lose. Since Reagan took office, they lowered the taxes on the rich, raised the price of oil, and cut social programs. This recent show between the parties is about cutting social security and Medicare. The congress already cut some and will cut more. Only in a nation with corrupt media, can the Supreme Court rule that money equals free speech and the Congress's philosophy stoops to "fuck the poor" domestically and "fuck the Arabs" internationally. We need free press for a better common culture.
Now, for poetry lovers, and for those who take money seriously, here is a magnificent satire from a master of tetrameter couplets (although, here, he added a couple of triplets for emphasis), Hilaire Belloc.
Lord Lucky, by a curious fluke,
Became a most important duke.
From living in a vile Hotel
A long way east of Camberwell
He rose, in less than half an hour,
To riches, dignity and power.
It happened in the following way:—
The Real Duke went out one day
To shoot with several people, one
Of whom had never used a gun.
This gentleman (a Mr. Meyer
Of Rabley Abbey, Rutlandshire),
As he was scrambling through the brake,
Discharged his weapon by mistake,
And plugged about an ounce of lead
Piff-bang into his Grace's Head—
Who naturally fell down dead.
His heir, Lord Ugly, roared, "You Brute!
Take that to teach you how to shoot!"
Whereat he volleyed, left and right;
But being somewhat short of sight,
His right-hand Barrel only got
The second heir, Lord Poddleplot;
The while the left-hand charge (or choke)
Accounted for another bloke,
Who stood with an astounded air
Bewildered by the whole affair
—And was the third remaining heir.
After the Execution (which
Is something rare among the Rich)
Lord Lucky, while of course he needed
Some help to prove their claim, succeeded.
Thoth © 2011