by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.
~ article by Natasha Vargas-Cooper (edited)
Thanks to the exhibition-friendly canons of social media, the scions of excess are back and flaunting it, baby—and it’s an entirely underwhelming display. These aren’t the out-of-sight rich but their twenty-something children, ‘funemployed’ trust-funders flouting their parents’ wealth-whispers code of silence. With acres of unproductive time on their hands, bored rich kids are using their gold-plated i-Phones to post images of their baubles of privilege, their chemical stimulants of preference, and their outlandish bar tabs on Instagram, the photo-sharing service of the moment…
“They have more money than you do and this is what they do,” goes the tagline of Rich Kids of Instagram (#RKOI for short.)
Around about the dozenth selfie featuring a buff and/or emaciated scion nestled into a private jet with a bottle of Cristal and a $10,000 clip of cash (“Always make sure to tip your pilot and co-pilot 10k. #rulesofflyingprivate”), you can’t help but wonder, “Is that all there is ?”…
Why should we look ? The pay-offs for the non-rich civilian viewer are oddly perfunctory. After all of the social mythologies we’ve lovingly constructed to envelop the delusions of the 1 percent, this is the lurid end-of-the-rainbow pay-off they’ve decided to lord over the rest of us—a fistful of watches, car interiors, and European spa photos…
FULL ARTICLE : https://thebaffler.com/salvos/acquisitive-self-minus-self
by Margaret Atwood
Sunset, now that we’re finally in it
is not what we thought.
Did you expect this violet black
soft edge to outer space, fragile as blown ash
and shuddering like oil, or the reddish
orange that flows into
your lungs and through your fingers?
The waves smooth mouthpink light
over your eyes, fold after fold.
This is the sun you breathe in,
pale blue. Did you
expect it to be this warm?
One more goodbye,
sentimental as they all are.
The far west recedes from us
like a mauve postcard of itself
and dissolves into the sea.
Now there’s a moon,
an irony. We walk
north towards no home,
joined at the hand.
I’ll love you forever,
I can’t stop time.
This is you on my skin somewhere
in the form of sand
Photograph : Peel Castle. Isle of Man
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas ! GAS ! Quick, boys !—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
~ Wilfred Owen : ” Dulce et decorum est ”
He challenged Jewish Money Power…..
”And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” ~ Matthew 19:24
”And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers.” ~ Matthew 21:12
Says it all, really……
”You see, in this world there are two types of people, my friend – those with loaded guns, and those who dig……You dig.”
Thou wast all that to me, love,
For which my soul did pine-
A green isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
And all the flowers were mine.
Ah, dream too bright to last!
Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise
But to be overcast!
A voice from out the Future cries,
“On! on!”- but o’er the Past
(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies
Mute, motionless, aghast!
For, alas! alas! me
The light of Life is o’er!
“No more- no more- no more-”
(Such language holds the solemn sea
To the sands upon the shore)
Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree
Or the stricken eagle soar!
And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams-
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.
(Illustration by Edmund Dulac)