An ode to old white liberals (OWLs)

February 25, 2017

020317

dedication:
for David Rakoff (I ask that the reader channel the gentle cadence his voice humming softly in their ear)
and Phil Ochs (for obvious reasons)
to honor the youth (that they may one day similarly smote my mole hill of praise upon the mountain of their triumph)
in memory of Toby Hemenway’s beautiful vision of direct action toward collective liberatory struggle.

Ye Olde Whyte Liberals
the literally self-appointed gatekeepers of progress
the practice of Deep Green Navel Gazing, or
the weighty philosophy of the Practicality Police
(choose either one to)
sandwich yourself between:

a Salem Sustainability Circle Jerk
(not even the courtesy of a reach-around)
i crash the celebration of mediocrity
(how’s your relationship?  sustainable? meh…
but even still, mediocrity is a better goal than what we currently have, so)
I’m glad you all agree, what do you plan to do about it, though?

while comfortable, pampered straight middle class white men
tell me what “we” can get (who is “we?”)
without any discussion of what we, the people, need
because justice for the homeless, and
clean, breathable air, and drinkable water are impractical.
Sanctuary and respect for the rights of (migrant) workers is impractical
(someone might slap our wrists).
Women who want the vote are impractical.  They got their wrists slapped.
Abolishing slavery is impractical.  Sorry, are “we” being too uppity?

Are? Were?  I fail to see the distinction between
Yesterday and today’s guardians of the status quo
self-styled “allies,” the first enemies of justice,
and the first to (pro)claim victory whenever it prevails.
In spite of, not because of their participation.
But not according to history, as they write it:
white-washed, man-washed, class-washed
clean and pure
in a rich, soapy lather of unexamined privilege.

Liberal?  conservative, with a small “c.”  But only if “we” are (were?) lucky.
Otherwise, reactionary.  Like the rest of the establishment types:

I pledge allegiance
To the Status Quo, and
the injustice for which it stands.
One Pyramid Scheme
Under Fraud
With Liberty and Justice
For OWLs
In the State of Denial.

“State of denial?”
their reproachful echo arrives on-time
almost gasping with well-practiced confusion
at the mere suggestion of imperfection
yet the condescending correction inevitably comes with dough-eyed precision:
“Dearheart…this is Oregon.”

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012216 multimediated misery

January 23, 2016

012216

we are people
trapped inside stolen hearts and minds
squabbling over stolen lands on borrowed time
occupy hallowed ground, thieves
take directly from the Source, and
She always comes back around to collect, eventually
by hook, by crook and by force

we are people
baring broken hearts and souls
like smiling rows of snarling teeth
courage didn’t abandon us to grief
we abandoned her first, following
the disintegration of solidarity
expect the worst, watch it unfold

we are people
on parade with emotional implants
borrowed thoughts, tired rants
replacing the inspired action of praxis
like a retired chant relaxes
the realm of the spiritual
material collapses, leaving us alone

we are people without home
without food, without water
without air, without space
without silence, without peace
without shelter, without place
succumbing to the seduction of
trauma-induced, technology-produced
multimediated misery

a well-engineered excess of misguided “success”
transmutes our compliant screams, it seems
while we drown violently, in effect
void of life without ever dying
we are people, anymore…
…aren’t we?

A Poem for Ammon Bundy


DiezelP: Time for us to respect women

September 9, 2009

DiezelP writes over at What’s Happening PDX:

Will Hip-Hop Ever Reach Its Full Potential?

The Worth of Women

How will hip hop ever grow to its full potential when the very gender that reproduces our future artists, activists, columnists, producers, and entrepreneurs of our urban community are belittled to almost an object for the testosterone filled modern day rappers? When did the women of our culture become only useful for physical beauty and sexual activity? Why doesn’t Rap music uplift and inspire their female listeners to reach the same level of success males have?

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