Saturday, October 29, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
The Rush Limbaughs of the world are very comfortable with a narrative that has Noam Chomsky, MoveOn and Barack Obama on one side, and the Tea Party and Republican leaders on the other. The rest of the traditional media won't mind that narrative either, if it can get enough "facts" to back it up. They know how to do that story and most of our political media is based upon that Crossfire paradigm of left-vs-right commentary shows and NFL Today-style team-vs-team campaign reporting.
What nobody is comfortable with is a movement in which virtually the entire spectrum of middle class and poor Americans is on the same page, railing against incestuous political and financial corruption on Wall Street and in Washington. The reality is that Occupy Wall Street and the millions of middle Americans who make up the Tea Party are natural allies and should be on the same page about most of the key issues, and that's a story our media won't want to or know how to handle.
via Rolling Stone
Well it seems to me that if one takes the propositions of any religion seriously, there's going to be doubt in the experience, there's going to be intermittency and one is going, as D.H. Lawrence once said, "to be converted over and over." And I remember Mr. Eliot, T.S. Eliot, saying that doubt is inseparable from the experience of faith. It's something we shouldn't be ashamed of, and it's funny because, if I may digress, Eliot is also the person who said that fancy thing about how the spirit killeth but the letter giveth life. I guess he was objecting to a sort of hazy spirituality one finds sometimes with some people. But he seems there to be saying that you'd better believe every word in the creed, and he thus represents both ends of the doubt and belief pattern, he's saying wouldn't it be nice, really, to believe that whole marvelous Nicene concoction that we say in church, and at the same time he's saying that any energetic religious life involves doubt.
-wonderful interview with Richard Wilbur
-Arrested Development writer Maria Semple over at the New Yorker
Start this at 5 minutes and enjoy. Seattle music continues its amazingness.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I've been finding poems in the morning, before going to work at the pet store. The poems are unsteady on their legs, but they're trying. Was happy to have one picked up fora future issue of Quarterly West, and to hear the excellent news that I'll be one of 62-Washington artists to receive a GAP grant from Artist Trust. It's a remarkable organization that educates, supports, and connects artists in Washington state, and they're another reason I'm proud to be living here. It's stuff like this that gets me to the desk an hour earlier in the morning, before hauling kibble and cat litter from the warehouse to the shelf, to carve lines in hopes that they might resound. Another writer works at the store, and we were talking about process. I told him about the butt-in-chair rule I stole from the righteous Sandy Longhorn. I asked him what got him to the page. He looked at me and said, "Luke, if we're not writing, we're just selling dog food." Up early, tomorrow.
Socio-economic mobility has always been central to the American dream. But our civic culture is actually carefully structured to keep us segregated. The wealthy lock themselves away in luxury vehicles and gated suburbs. The impoverished remain in blighted areas, obediently out of view.
The system is self-reinforcing. As the money concentrates at the top, less is devoted to those resources that are shared by all of us – parks, schools, community centers, subway trains – the very places where people of different classes might peaceably mingle.
The wealthy hire lobbyists and tax lawyers to game the system. They remove themselves, physically and psychically, from their duties to the poor. In this way, the interests of the few crush the interests of the many.
**********The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.
Killer first line of the moment:
You found it in wet dirt: blue parchment, slice
Sherman Alexie has 3 beautiful little poems in the new issue of Narrative Magazine. And if you subscribe, you can read a wonderful poem by my Hollins-poet-brother Will Schutt. Do it.