Thursday, November 18, 2004

this morning I asked coworker who is a naturalized citizen but a British native what people eat in the UK for Thanksgiving.

--silly, she said, people in the UK don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

--oh, I said. I thought inside the heart of each citizen of the world is an american trying to get out. and this administration is hellbent on doing just that either by force or cajolery.

naw, strike that. just force.

* * *

British poet Tim Allen editor of Terrible Work recently posted this on the British and Irish Poets listserv and I've been trying to think of how to respond to it. america is the last superpower on earth and it ain't afraid to flex its muscles and force itself on the rest of the world. but certainly, the problems with america are not exclusive to these states re: greed, sexism, classicism, power-mad etc. etc. it is the biggest fucking kid on the block, so to speak and the biggest bully tends to be crazy for power and do brutal things.

these states hiccup and it shakes the world. writers definitely have a responsibility to use language as accurately as it can be used. if language can be used at all, I mean. are poets the legislatures of the world? not at all, but poets are deeply concerned with language, truth, justice and beauty, however each writer defines these broad terms. I am not anti-american as it is defined by Allen, but I am frightened on recent turn of events, and how many persons really don't worry over much about politics and policy. or how language has been distorted by lies and double-speak. I do think writers have responsibilities to language, and therefore to every person who uses language, to make sure language does not get usurped and twisted by power-hungry politicos.

again, I don't mean to suggest ludic writing must be shunted for sober truth-telling, cuz I do think one is most him/herself in play, but writers need not sit idly by when politicians so baldly manipulate language for evil. there are responsibilities because we exist in words. the human being is defined by language, it is what creates us as much as we create it. each act of writing is by default a political act whether that writing be a love song or political speech.

too much soapbox. but Allen's remarks struck a chord. my response is solely off-the-cuff and not edited. I need to think more about it. but I do think america may be in a psychotic state. not many american its seems gives a shit that we torture, kill and spread our brand of americanism across the world. it disturbs me to no end. and end of sermon.


Post a Comment

<< Home