For What It’s Worth: Change

For the Wednesday Wake Up call New World Creative Union gives us a prompt focused on current events and how we can be a force for change. I hesitated a great deal in even formulating a response to this prompt, much less posting one. I steer clear of politics on this blog whenever I can. Poetry and the creative arts are typically the domain of those from a different political spectrum than myself. I try to be rational and listen to all arguments, but to be honest and up front – my political beliefs are conservative to the point of being somewhat to the right of Sean Hannity.

So, before going forward I will offer this disclaimer: if you believe that Rush Limbaugh is the Anti-Christ and that George Bush is solely responsible for all evil and tragedy in the world, you should probably not read further.

That being said, what I have put together is part poetry, part essay, part rant and a lot longer than I intended. And I still did not cover the greatest portion of what I wanted to. Those of you that have been around my blog a while may have seen some of the poetry used here. The essay is original to today. If you dare, below is my response to the prompt, For What it’s Worth: Change.

POLITICAL POETRY AND CRAZY POLITICS

 

“Pound’s Crazy. All poets are. They have to be”

-Ernest Hemingway

“Addressing crowds through their arse-holes”

– Ezra Pound

 

Who should we arrest,

if we were still to imprison

those that spoke their mind

against Country – calling it treason?

Right wing radicals,

content with continuing Capitalism?

Left wing loonies,

sure that Socialism is the solution?

 

“I did not have sexual relations…”

Wait – wrong guy.

That was the rich white Democrat from

decadent decades past;

not the rich black Republican

with an equally faulty memory.

Will he too get a media pass?

 

Occupy schmockupy.

What are you protesting again?

Oh…No, still don’t get it;

explain it to me again.

How is your fornicating in the park

and defecating in the street

morally superior to proverbial pillaging

by ‘rich’ of both left and right?

 

Maybe bigger prisons are the answer;

politicians, lawyers, media, protestors too.

Reboot this circus-government-machine,

restore the original settings.

 

We live in an interesting time. I suppose the term ‘crossroads’ would apply, but, to me, not to any greater degree than it applied to Hitler’s invasion of Poland, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the US Civil War, French Revolution, American Revolution, the Fall of Rome, Fall of the Berlin Wall or any other great time of change in human history. It seems so important to us now because we are living it.

Change also seems to be coming at us a lot faster. Since the time of the Industrial Revolution (we need a word to replace ‘revolution’) the world has seen technological advances come about in a time frame that is unsurpassed in human history. In less than two hundred years we have gone from horses and buggies to space flight, from the pony express to countless methods of instantaneous communication to anywhere in the world. Change happens fast now, and everyone knows about it immediately.

There is also greater opportunity for the individual to make a difference than ever before. Through blogs and Twitter and FaceBook (and a LOT of others) it is now possible to create an almost instant audience for your message. This has created a rather interesting paradox in modern conflict; that of the individual versus the group. It seems that every group claims to be fighting for the right of the individual, typically at the expense of the individual rights of another group. Typically, these actions are justified by catch phrases that use righteous sounding words like “fairness” and “equality”.

I think this focus by groups on forcing individuals to act in a certain way is what concerns me most about our current state of politics and activism. There is a resurfacing attitude that the collective is better at making certain decisions and performing certain actions than the individual. The “collective” in this case is any regulatory body, government, or agency/group that speaks for its members, such as labor unions and the NAACP to name a couple. These collectives have effectively, or are working diligently to, taken over the decision-making process from the individual in such areas as income production, health care, education, transportation, self-protection and charity. Charity? Sure, lets start with that one.

Will Work For Food

I despise my

Sign

 

and all that it

means.

 

tired of gas fumes

rain,

 

cold, heat and spare

change.

 

mostly I hate

how

 

you go to great

lengths

 

to avoid my

eyes.

 

Did you feed this guy today? Give him some money for… whatever he wants money for? Offer him a job? Offer to take him to the shelter? Whether you did or didn’t is not really the point. The point is that the government has decided that they are better qualified to take action on his part than you are. They, along with a large segment of the population, now feel that taking care of the indigent, the homeless, the sick, the jobless, the unwed mother and the elderly is within their purview. Tasks that until the 1950’s were handled by family, the church and private organizations supported by private money.

Now, the ironic part about this is that more government takes on these roles the harder it is for private organizations and individuals to do so. Why? Why, money, of course. You see, in order for the government to provide these services they have to have money. The only way government can get money is to take it from individuals. The less money individuals have the less they can give to charities, or churches that help the poor, or even have to take care of family members. Now, the U.S. government has made it even more difficult by cutting in half the amount that can be deducted for charitable giving. Once again pushing those in need towards government assistance, or panhandling on the side of the road.

This is just one instance where we are steadily giving bits of our lives and freedom over to the control of others. I had planned on covering all of them, but this is getting really long already.

The one last point I will make is on the subject on the Occupy movement. I do not profess to understand exactly what it is they are protesting or why they target whom they do. The “1%” are not as big a threat as the government we seem to prefer. The 1% actually feed money into the economy instead of siphoning it off. They build companies that provide jobs, invest their money so others can profit from it. Their only crime is being successful. Unfortunately, a goal has been set of achieving equality and fairness. Sadly, the methodology chosen for achieving this is to bring down the successful instead of helping others become successful.

I believe that real power for change belongs with the individual, and we are steadily giving up that ability by turning over excessive amounts of power to the collectives. I do believe change is needed in many areas, but I do also believe we are going down a dangerous path.

Remember, primarily wealthy landowners, the 1% of their time, formed the United States when they became tired of oppressive government and excessive taxation.

Hate Speech

It has been confirmed that I am among

the most evil of creatures remaining on earth:

The white, Christian, conservative, straight male.

I alone among the tribes of the world are others

allowed to hate solely based on what I am,

while anything I express in disagreement with

another’s beliefs is considered “hate speech”.

 

I do not agree with Muslims and their oppressive,

repressive Sharia law that kills gays and abuses women;

but, I do not hate them – surely not as much as they me.

 

I do not agree with homosexuality, and saying so is

enough to have me ostracized. But I do not hate them

and have never acted or protested against them.

 

I do not agree with liberal, socialist politics and those

that promote government dependence and a policy of

lowering to the least common denominator instead of

working to raise everyone to a higher standard. But, I do

not hate them or turn to personal attacks as my argument.

 

Why is it that it has become socially and politically acceptable

to publicly, and harshly, lambast me personally for my beliefs,

but any general opinion or belief I may express is called “hate”?

 

America the Beautiful

2010

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

America the beautiful,

Absolutely!

Diverse in terrain, people and architecture,

Splendid in its allure,

Mountain, desert, forest and sea.

 

Home of the brave,

Without question!

Pay your respects to the greatest of any fighting force;

Politics be damned, staying the course,

Apparent last defender of an idealistic bastion.

 

Land of the free?

One begins to wonder….

Dependent, learning to vote for sustenance.

“Politician” uttered as profanity, a career instead of a service;

Bloated on corruption, committed to a course of plunder.

 

The American Dream,

Alive… assailed.

Success demonized by agenda driven media,

Intention the primary standard, profit a stigma,

A people bereft of the great Pursuit and all it entailed.

 

 

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16 Comments

Filed under Commentary and Ramblings, Creative writing, Poetry, Poetry - Prompts, Political, Politics

16 responses to “For What It’s Worth: Change

  1. Marie Elena

    Mark, you make so many good points throughout, in a respectful, thoughtful manner. I’ll just add my “amen.”

    • Mark: You have hit many nails bang on their heads. I can’t pretend to agree with you 100% – but you talk an awful lot of sense, Greed is still the motivating force of many politicians, not for the common good but for self-enrichment at the expense of others. And political correctness has gone beyond all commen sense.

      • Thanks Viv. I would seriously doubt ones ability to think if they agreed with me, or anyone else, 100%. And this is in no way a complete endorsement of any politician or party. As a whole I think they are a bunch of self-aggrandizing egomaniacs more concerned with keeping power and gaining personal wealth than doing the right thing.

  2. hobgoblin2011

    Mark, wow, this was an unexpected treat. I have to say I agree with virtually every point you make here, and you raised quite a few. The mixture of prose and poetry really work extremely well together, both in the form of entertainment, but also as a means to delivery, delivering the message(s) that really should be read by all. Thanks for putting so much into this piece, I for one greatly appreciate that. Thanks.

  3. I’m glad I saw this post mentioned on ViV’s blog. I would hate to have missed it. “Reboot this circus-government-machine,
    restore the original settings.” I think there was a time we might have been able to…wait, poem, poem. I very much like the mix of poetry, prose, and quotes. It works.
    I alone among the tribes of the world are others
    allowed to hate solely based on what I am,
    while anything I express in disagreement with
    another’s beliefs is considered “hate speech”.
    Okay, maybe a little opinion. This may be my greatest problem with the way the US [the world?] is going. I understand the felt need to make sure everyone gets a fair shake. But as things stand, everyone gets listened to except those who disagree in a reasoned manner. In making sure the ‘bad guys’ or the minority group, of any sort is given every fairness, the ‘good guys’ are often forgotten. I could have sworn they were provided for in the Constitution, as well.
    It’s interesting we feel similarly on this when I lean in the other direction philosophically [I’m not much for politics], but, if we are considering the individual, it makes sense.
    The part of the whole thing that continues to resonate in my mind as I write, is the ‘Will Work for Food’ part. Ouch.

    • Thanks Margo, i am glad you got to read it. It is a bit ironic how the current groups that are insisting they be heard because they are the ‘majority’ are the same ones that are always insisting on a minorities first policy.

      Yea, that poem is a little harsh. I have done a couple on the same theme.

  4. Well, Poet & Thinker…I think you have delivered a perfect response to the prompt and i commend you…actually, I bow to you! I think our differences in opinion are what make our communities so vibrant (the poetic ones) I love how you’ve presented your thoughts here, and I pride myself for a mind that is open to change. I wrote a poem called, I can change my mind because folks seem to think I’ve got to follow one religion, one political party, one system…I want to take the best from them all and live my life that way. I welcome conversation and discussion, because I want to know and learn all sides. Ultimately, I blame human greed for our present circumstances. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone other than our species…do away with money, status, and I think a whole new conversation would start and a whole new era of acceptance could evolve. If we could put our brothers and sisters before the almighty dollar the world would be a better place. Dude…you rocked this prompt straight to the high heavens! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal side of you…love you more for it, Poet! 🙂

    • Thanks Natasha, I think open civil discourse would go a long way towards solving a lot of issues. Sadly, I think we are a long way from that.
      Yes, the almighty currency and lust for it and envy of those that have it is a huge contributing factor to many problems.
      Thanks for reading and for your always gracious comments.

  5. Pingback: For What It’s Worth: Change | Pure Poetry | Scoop.it

  6. All of a sudden I don’t feel so alone, Mark. I’m also conservative and believe we are so often misrepresented in the media. I’m in love with the environment and do everything in my power to protect her. I respect diverse lifestyles, opinions, and beliefs and there are a lot of people in my life who I love and who differ from me. I believe we’ve done a huge disservice to people by enabling too many entitlements and psychologically crippling them. I definitely support care for those who are truly in need and dedicated 28 years of my life to that purpose (without pay) and now I try to give of my resources. I’m totally disenchanted with our current political environment, with government over-regulation and with bashing of people who work hard and get paid for it–and down with those whose greed give it such a bad rap. I dislike any sort of fundamentalist thinking and believe it’s crippling. And, wow. I try to avoid sharing my political views, now look what you’ve done. And thanks to NWCU for opening the doors to this and to you for your post. And to those who commented above who may have differing opinions but show us that there can be understanding. Okay…time for O’Reilly. :0)

    • Thank you Victoria. Good to have a kindred spirit around. I am glad you stopped by to read and leave some words. I also believe there is a consistent misrepresentation of those of us that call ourselves conservative.

  7. Glad to have caught this… hats off to you.

  8. . Nice presentation of your thoughts in poetry and prose. It is the ability to work together that is sadly deficient in this country..

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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