Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Thu

09

Oct

2008

The Dog Days of September
Thursday, 09 October 2008 03:32
by Gary Corseri

“Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth.
The unmentionalble odour of death
Offends the September night.”
- W.H. Auden, “September, 1939”
Historians may look back on September, 2008 as America’s economic 9/11.  Major financial institutions are collapsing—to use a bitter analogy--like the twin towers: first, Bear Stearns (already 6 months ago!); and now, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and the insurance giant A.I.G.  Just as 7 years ago, we cry out, What hit us?  Who did this?  Why? Merrill Lynch helped finance the cotton trade before the Civil War!  Say it was an essential “linch-pin” in the rise of the South on the backs of black slaves.  Say that “free-market,” deregulated capitalism is now getting its due; if I am in steerage on the Titanic and I hear that the swells who have been dancing above our heads are about to take a dip in the sea, Schadenfreude doesn’t calm my queasy stomach.

NBC begins its broadcast with the news that I am now the proud owner of the world’s largest insurance company.  Bull!.  If I own something I can determine how to dispense with it; I can decide who will oversee my assets.  Obviously, I and millions of other American taxpayers do not own a particle of A.I.G.; we’re just bailing it out.  A.I.G. will be owned by America, Inc. and managed by people very similar to its former managers.  The question is, Who owns America, Inc.?

It has become clear by September, 2008 that Americans own less and less.  In the past year, hundreds of thousands have lost their homes.  Millions no longer own their jobs.  Jobs have been shipped overseas by the real owners of America, Inc.—our corporate bosses and their political shills.  With our jobs went our job-related health care.  We do not own our own health in W’s “ownership” society.

As I write this, some 3 million Americans are without power in Houston/Galveston and along the Gulf Coast.  At least 50 Americans died as a result of Hurricane Ike.  Cuba, far poorer than Texas, was hit much harder--and they lost 4 people.  Cuba managed to safely evacuate 1 million people from its coasts.  A couple of years ago, Texas tried to evacuate people before Hurricane Rita and more than 100 died along the roads—there wasn’t enough gas to supply the evacuees’ cars, and ambulances, etc., couldn’t get through the traffic.  Do Americans collectively own their roads, their ambulances, FEMA, gas stations, oil refineries?  What do we own except a ton of personal and national debt?  “Americans” are trillions of dollars in debt to Japan, China, Western Europe, Russia and Middle East sheikdoms.  Hail the New World Order!

I put “Americans” in quotes because we are no longer who we were.  We can no longer claim to live in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”  There is nothing free here except the “free-market” our corporate bosses have foisteed on us and the rest of the world to open up foreign markets to our brand-name companies so that foreign workers can make products that “Americans” will buy at exorbitant prices.  How did that happen?  Hypnosis through the mass media that “Americans” were supposed to own—hypnosis through repetition, spectacle, diversion.

This September I am supposed to believe Press Secretary Dana Perino:  “The president’s economic advisors had determined that some of these companies were so big—that to allow them to fail would have caused even greater harm … .”  Unstated: apparently the president does not believe that the 50 million Americans without healthcare are “so big” that allowing them to fail would cause greater harm.

I am supposed to believe that John McCain is a “war-hero.”  On the campaign trail, this decrepit muppet cannot get through his set speech without looking at his notes, but he repeats the mantra tirelessly.  Frankly, I see nothing “heroic” in dropping bombs on civilians thousands of feet below.  The true heroes of the Vietnam War died at Kent State, trying to stop that illegal, imperialist war.  Say their names with reverence: Jeffrey, Allison, William, Sandra.

This September I am sick of the Reagan Revolution that comandeered our economy and our good sense over two decades ago.  We’ve had Reagan’s orgy of deregulation, Bush Sr.’s “Gulf War,” Clinton’s backtracking on NAFTA and bombing of Serbia, and we have had more than enough of the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption.  And what have we reaped?  What Chalmers Johnson calls the “blowback” of 9/11; and, dereliction of duty by elected officials; the abrogation of constitutional protections against government abuse and police powers; public media used as  weapons of mass deception.

Isn’t it time to think in terms of a new revolution?  What about a new constitution?  Can’t we eliminate this ponderous, ludicrous electoral college?  Must we have Palin-like surprises at the end of an 18-month process?  Perhaps a parliamentary system in which we have a government-in-waiting, constantly vetted, makes better sense?  Can we not institute referenda, as in Venezuela, so that scofflaws like Bush and Cheney do not run riot for four years (after stealing one, probably two, elections)?  Must we have life-time appointments for Supreme Court “justices”?  Can we not have a Bill of Economic Rights?

On the day Hitler invaded Poland Auden wrote that he was “Uncertain and afraid / As the clever hopes expire / Of a low dishonest decade.”  And that:  “I and the public know/ What all schoolchildren learn: / Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return.”

Is it not past time to take back America?  Or is Auden right: “The habit-forming pain, / Mismanagement and grief: / We must suffer them all again.”

I want to believe he is most right here: “All I have is a voice / To undo the folded lie … / … the lie of Authority. ...”  And here: “ … no one exists alone. … / We must love one another or die.”       

 


(Gary Corseri has posted/published his work at Atlantic Free Press, ConterPunch, Information Clearing House, CommonDreams, The New York Times, Village Voice, and hundreds of other venues.  He has taught in universities and prisons, published novels and poetry books, performed at the Carter Presidential Library, had his dramas presented on Atlanta-PBS, etc.  He can be contacted at Gary_Corseri@comcast.net.)

 
More from this author:
A Dream Deferred: Activism And The Arts (3828 Hits)
by Gary Corseri What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore And then run? ...
Taking Back The (Local) Media: The Carbuncles Under Our Noses (3452 Hits)
by Gary Corseri Between May 22 and May 25 of 2008, some two hundred fifty citizens from all parts of the U.S., joined by many from other...
GEORGE CARLIN, RIP (3226 Hits)
by Gary Corseri "Tell all the truth, But tell it slant." - Emily Dickinson George Carlin's dead! He was a funny guy....
The Future That Never Comes; The Past That Never Was; The Present Inscrutable (5231 Hits)
by Gary Corseri Why am I not surprised by Obama’s choice of Joe Biden as his running mate? Because I learned as a child: in...
10 Reasons Why We Need a New (Cold?) War (3304 Hits)
by Gary Corseri 1. Russia is too damned uppity. After Georgian “peacekeepers” turned their guns on genuine Russian...
Related Articles:
Hugo Chavez Holds Commanding Lead Eight Days Before Election (6885 Hits)
by Stephen Lendman Hugo Chavez holds an insurmountable lead in two late November polls - one by Ipsos Venezuela/the AP-Ipsos Poll and the...
Class War Weapon of Choice – For the Holidays and All Days (6003 Hits)
by Joel S. Hirschhorn The motto of the United States of Consumption is “In More We Trust.” The contribution of American culture to...
Wringing the Neck of the Holy Days (5576 Hits)
by Chris Cook Thank God the holy days are almost over! Not since America'sChristmas bombings of Cambodia has the festive season been...
Rocky Days in L.A. (3920 Hits)
by Jayne Lyn Stahl It's virtually impossible to read The Los Angeles Times these days without seeing marathon coverage of alleged...
Defend Freedom on September 11 (3956 Hits)
by Peter Chamberlin The insanity of the New World Order is indoctrinated into the American “sheeple” by more means than just through...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top