Posts Tagged America

Willow Tree

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(I’m lucky to know a young man by the name of Aidan O’Reilly.  He’s an incredibly talented spoken word artist.  This is his work)

I’m calmly sitting on this willow tree where i can see things clearly
Angry
But I’ll be banging my head against walls till somebody hears me
Up above the clouds
Looking down at the crowds that surround you
I’d pray this message got through but i never got to learn how to
So let’s all pray for change just to see our own reflections
Admire your looks in blood stained mirrors
Then look around at this ghost town that has drowned you
Run from the sound of the bodies hitting the ground
And wonder why they all fell through
Ignore the cracks and
Drive over broken backs of dead bodies to get to your America
They built the streets that they bleed in
It matches the seats in your cars
It matches the ink on your receipts
Their souls are lost in the stars
Watching
While you proudly give your cash
To corrupt corporations that run this nation
And hire children overseas but to hell with immigration
And i don’t know what you were expecting
But the devil is a white man in a business suit
Collecting

Can you see us?
The kids above the clouds looking down
Disappointed
Dying for your dinner
Questioning who the hell was appointed
Capitalist
Why are we okay with this?
We feed a machine that eats us daily
Speaking in dollars signs
Translated by consumption
Pumping in prescriptions to their children
Robbing them of their chemistry
Silencing their destiny
Forcing young minds to make televisions sets
You’ll find them entangled in suicide nets
Forgetting that they’re living behind Star-spangled bars
But we’ll just keep watching
Up here in the stars

So we just look down from our willow tree
Sadly
Wondering why we’re killing each other
Over land and people created equally
And our tears rain down
To water your plants
While you fill our lungs with smoke from your plants
Sending sin to the wise
Setting fire to willow oak skies
You are damning your deities
Sacrificing your sun
For oil driven dreams
But please…

Can you see us
Up above the clouds
Sitting calmly on our willow tree
Peacefully
Wishing you could see that our leaves are leaving me
Unwillingly
But let’s just sit down
And wait for around
To celebrate our American apocalypse
Ignoring the facts
While embracing our grave
So let’s just relax
And shout into the unremitting darkness
Home of the Brave!

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Watching The Defective

The following conversation took place recently in a mental hospital on the planet Klorg located in the Rumach Galaxy 20,000,000 west of Arcturus.  The patient, Wsghk Z Weryhi, was locked in a padded cell and sedated for his own safety approximately one week ago.  His family brought him in claiming that he disappeared for a day and reemerged exhibiting signs of severe dementia.  We now join an interview between himself and the esteemed Doctor zZefgh W KorgabS already in progress.

(Editors note:  The conversation was conducted in KlorgeanRW, a dialect common in the Southern Provinces of Klorg.  The language and concepts have been adapted so that it can be understood by the primarily English speaking audience of The Tyranny of Tradition)

Dr. KorgabS:  So, I want to go back to what you were saying earlier, about this America you claimed to have visited…

Weryhi:  Doctor, I am sure that I was there.  I snuck into the interstellar dock at the community center and set it for random coordinates.  It took me to America.

Dr. KorgabS:  Okay, so, let’s talk about this America.  I want to make sure I understand what you are telling me.  Please describe this whole, what did they call it, (consulting his notes)…ah yes, this “free market” idea that many of these Americans believe.

Weryhi:  Sure….some of them believe that this system of economics that they have, they call it capitalism, is essentially perfect.  They think that if they all do as they wish and accumulate as many resources as they can, everything will work out for the best for those that make what they like to call “good decisions”.  Basically, some of them actually believe that selfishness is a good quality that is the best thing for the community.

Dr. KorgabS:  (with a perplexed look on his face)  Okay….now Wsghk, you can understand why I’d think this sounds a bit odd, right?

Weryhi:  Believe me, I had the same response.  One of them told me about this fellow named Adam Smith who said an “invisible hand” runs things and allows people acting only in their best interest to be protected.  The invisible hand makes everything work out.  Or, that’s what the fellow in the bowtie told me.

Dr. KorgabS:  An…invisible hand???

Weryhi:  Yes.

Dr. KorgabS looks down at his information tablets trying not to look concerned and moves on to the next subject

Dr. KorgabS:  And….this democracy idea that most of them talk about.

Weryhi:  Yes!  It was a fascinating thing.  From time to time they actually pick the people who make the most important decisions.  It sounds like a great idea, but what they do with it is bizarre.  Once they’ve picked these “politicians”, many of these people turn around and blame them for everything that goes wrong in their lives.  Even though they were the ones who picked them in the first place!  Then, if the politicians do what they want them to, they pick them again and start blaming them the minute these folks are elected.  It’s amazing!  They seem to take no responsibility for the choices they make!

Dr. KorgabS:  Yes, you seem to talk a lot about how they blame each other.

Weryhi:  One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.  One very small section of the population controls most of the resources.  Most of them struggle while a few of them have more than they need.  Yet, many of the Americans blame those who have very little of the resources for making “bad decisions” and ruining things for the group.  Every once in a while, a few of the people with a lot of resources blame other people with a lot of resources, but they don’t really try to change anything.

Dr.  KorgabS:  Do these Americans blame any one else?

Weryhi:  They blame EVERYONE!  That’s all they do.  They blame people who don’t live in America.  They blame people who come to America.  They blame people who have new ideas.  They blame people who don’t do what they want them to.  They have entire television channels dedicated to blame.

Dr. KorgabS:  Fascinating.  Is anyone ever above blame?

Weryhi:  Well, they like to make up stories about these people they call The Founding Fathers.  Apparently, they understood everything and rarely had bad ideas.  The funny part is they use these made up stories to justify all sorts of bizarre actions.  These people seem to have almost limitless imaginations!

Dr. KorgabS:  This is truly amazing.

Weryhi:  Isn’t it.  Some of them believe that this invisible all powerful being, that they have a bunch of different names for, controls everything and tells them what to do.

Dr. KorgabS:  (incredulous) An invisible, all-powerful being that…tells them what to do?  Sounds like that invisible hand thing.

Weryhi:  Yes!!!!  This invisible being idea is so strange.  If things go well for them, they say he did it.  When things are going badly, many of them don’t change anything about their lives, they just close their eyes and pretend to talk to this being.  Apparently, they think this invisible being has some great plan that they are all a part of.  If they disobey the voice in their head, they fear that after they die they will be set on fire for the rest of time.

Dr. KorgabS:  Simply amazing.  And many of them believe all of this?

Weryhi:  Here’s the weirdest part….not only do they believe it, they are proud of it.  Incredibly proud of all of these strange ideas.  They wave flags and have parades to celebrate them.  Without a trace of irony, these people act as if they have found the greatest set of ideas ever created.  They are so impressed with these ideas they are willing to go to war and commit querby so that people will act more like them.  (editors note:  there is no English equivalent to the word querby.  It means something like killing or harming based entirely on a delusion.  It is the worst possible act in Klorgian society.  No one there has committed querby in the past 20 years)

Dr. KorgabS:  They commit QUERBY and are proud of it!!!!  I simply cannot believe that.

Weryhi:  If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t either.

Dr. KorgabS:  (standing up and leaving the room) You understand that this sounds pretty far fetched?

Weryhi:  I know, I know.  But I saw it with my own three eyes.

Dr. KorgabS: We will be in to check on you and talk more later.  Until then, try not to think about that place.

Weryhi:  I’ll try, Doctor.  Thanks for listening.

20 minutes later in Doctor KorgabS office.  KorgabS sits at a desk discussing the interview with his colleague and friend Doctor QwB

Dr. KorgabS:  He seemed so convinced.  The details are incredible.  I have never worked with a patient with such detailed delusions.

Dr. QwB:  It all sounds so crazy.  I mean, the part about the interstellar space travel is quite possible, but this America he described sounds ridiculous.  Does he know it can’t possibly be real?

Dr. KorgabS:  No, I don’t think he does.  It’s so sad.  I’ve never met a sicker being in my entire life.

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The Price of Freedom Is 4 Dollars

“as freedom is a breakfastfood” –ee cummings

The smell of freedom.  I hadn’t thought much about this idea until a few hours ago.  What, in fact, does freedom smell like?  While wandering aimlessly through CVS this morning I happened upon a new Old Spice product referred to as “Fiji”.  It is a combination of unpronounceable chemicals that are supposed to save me from hours of social humiliation if I simply roll it onto my armpits.  A sticker on the front announced to me and anyone else who passed through aisle 9 that it “smells like Palm Trees, Sunshine and Freedom”.  Fantastic!  I threw it in my shopping cart immediately.   Four bucks for the scent of freedom?!?!?  A bargain if you ask me.

This could be the beginning to one of those columns where the writer quotes George Orwell a lot and rails on and on about the dire effects of the degradation of language.  I promise you, it isn’t.  If you haven’t figured out that language has been cheapened I recommend that you get back in your spaceship and go home immediately.  Instead, I’d like to take a few moments to genuinely appreciate how the word “freedom” has become a complete free-for-all of a word that may not mean anything but does so in the most convincing of ways.

The Old Spice deodorant claim is a beautiful example of it.  You can stick the word freedom on the end of anything and it sounds like a halfway convincing argument.  Old Spice even manages to have the added dimension of irony attached to it.  If you are a complete rube and you think that buying a specific brand of fumigant will make you more free, go ahead and buy the product.  If you are one of those self-aware ironic types who looks down on those moronic enough to be influenced by this claim, go ahead and buy the product and laugh at those other idiots who bought the product.  Freedom for everyone!!!

I must tell you that I happen to be an expert on the subject of freedom.  I am an American.  Many of my politicians have taken great pains to remind me that Americans are the freest people on earth.  We are so free that former President and freedom lover George W Bush announced to the world that the reason 9/11 took place is that “they hate us for our freedom”.  You have to be pretty darned free to be hated for your freedom.

Just in case those credentials don’t impress you enough I should tell you that if we could afford to own a house my family and I would most certainly get our loan from American Freedom Mortgage or American Freedom Lending and we would get our homeowners insurance through American Freedom Insurance.

I am so free that I basically sweat freedom out of my pores.  If an unfree person happened to get my sweat on them, they would immediately become free.  Sweating is kind of a problem for me, which is why we will hire American Freedom Heating and Air to cool off the house that we will be able to afford at some point in the next 50 years.

How will we get our furniture to the new house you ask?  By putting it in a 2009 Pace American Freedom Cargo Hauler which we will fill with gasoline at American Freedom Fuel and Package Store.  On our journey to our new home (located in Freedom, Wisconsin) we plan on letting freedom ring by visiting the American Freedom Bell in Charlotte, North Carolina.

We are certainly not living the American Dream if we don’t have a dog in our new home, so we plan to purchase a cute little pit-bull over at American Freedom Kennels.  Pit-bulls are expensive dogs, but after all, freedom isn’t free.

One of the great things about being an American is that I can freely use the word freedom anytime I want.  “Freedom!”  Want to see it again?  “Freedom!!!!”  Not convinced?  “Freedom!!!”  “Freedom!!!!!!!”  “Freedom!!!!!!!!!!”  See!  Some places don’t let you do that.  It is really important that you get to do that, because if you can’t, you are NOT free.  That would be bad.

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