26 October 2006

Revisiting that Highway!

I haven’t been able to remove Modern Times, Bob Dylan’s new album, from the turntable. (I know, I know, I no longer have a turntable; I have a cd player, but I hate the sound of the statement: I haven’t been able to remove Modern Times, Bob Dylan’s new album, from the cd player. The statement lacks body, and interpersonal connection.) Modern Times is a remarkable work. I once said that I punctuated my life in Bob Dylan albums, and Modern Times is an exclamation point. It is to my mind a perceptive and personal reflection about the state of our bodies and souls in this difficult and horrible time. “Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes,” he accuses. A long time, but not a great distance from “Even the president of the United States must sometime have to stand naked.” Yet he knows he is not now, nor ever will be, above responsibility: “I am a-tryin' to love my neighbor and do good unto others/But oh, mother, things ain't going well.” I think I understand.

Have tickets with my teen-aged daughter to share some moments with the man Sunday evening at the St. Paul Xcel Center. Full circles still turning.

06 October 2006

Shame on all of us!

The lead article on page one of today’s New York Times declares, “Hastert, a Political Survivor, Vows to Overcome Scandal.” This refers, of course, to the calls for Hastert’s resignation as a consequence of his silent complicity in Mark Foley’s sexually suggestive indiscretions to the Senate’s young pages. I say, stand your ground, Dennis. Show them what the Republicans are all about. Show them all what courage you can muster in the face of oppression and difficult times.

Not found on page one of today’s New York Times is the account of the burial of the fifth victim of the massacre in the rural schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. No words from Dennis Hastert. At September’s close, six teenage girls at school were taken hostage at a school near Bailey, Colo., One of the girls was shot and killed. A principal in a small Wisconsin town was fatally shot. Not a peep from Congress regarding gun control; not a word demanding inquiry how these events could occur. No call for gun control. No call for safe schools. No wonder about the state of our culture, our society. No concern for our children. No sense of human concern and decency.

Cowards die a thousand deaths, and the stench suffocates us all.

05 October 2006

Sex or nuclear bombs?

I cannot understand the brouhaha that now bubbles viciously in the haunted halls of Congress concerning the indiscretions of Republican Mark Foley, Republican hypocrite extraordinaire. Actually, I do not intend to discuss Mr. Foley and his titillating emails to young boys, though I have not a few thoughts on this matter. His remarkable stupidity and indiscrete overtures are almost unbelievable not for what they said, in fact, but for the fact that they were said so obviously to be heard. In this regard, I am reminded of Poe’s Imp of the Perverse. Well, Mr. Foley just jumped himself right off the cliff. Down, down, down he goes. Good riddance, I say, to another Republican.

When I look at the front pages of The New York Times one would think that the government was about to crumble and that the very substance of the nation is threatened with dissolution as a result of Foley’s misplaced libidinal excesses. What with North Korea threatening to explode a nuclear weapon; what with Iraq in the midst of civil war; what with failing war on terrorism, and this is what Congress focuses obsessively on right now? This is the primary issue of national concern? Oh, please, spare me this idiocy and hypocrisy.

Methinks the people of Congress are using the Foley affair (alas, it was hardly that, much to poor Mark’s regret!) as a cover for the absolute failure of the Congress to do anything of substance during its current term. What a clever attempt to deflect the public’s attention away from their completely ineffective, craven posturings.

I wonder if anybody in Congress has lately flipped through a recent volume of say, Cosmopolitan, or Girl’s Cosmopolitan, or Girl’s Life. Now there, on every newsstand, are flagrant examples of child exploitation and abuse and pornography. Victoria’s Secret catalogs are delivered by the same United States Post Office that refused to deliver copies of The Masses.

And methinks Congress is twisting Mark Foley in the wind of their own not insignificant flatulence. I think they are all breathing a sign of relief that it was Foley’s libido that got caught and not their own.