Song for (Bovine) America
You need a commander like a hole in the head,
Some faith-based promises and a righteous stead,
A foreign policy of doctrin’d hate
Smearing the line of church and state.
Swagger guff and arrogant pomp,
NeoCon crony and oilmoney pump
Enemy myth and exaggeration
Keep the cows scared, scare the whole nation.
Just killing in the name of God;
And cows need their cowboy.
Bovine, bovine America,
Your burgers will save you
Like tax benefits screwing the nation
And blowing the rich.
What ruminant votes for a baboon
Because he cheerleads in prayer?
You truly believe hypocrisy,
You buy into spin-propaganda?
Is there a need for hubris and lies?
Make you feel better about country and self?
Your country craves reform but up until then
You got the government you deserve.
[Yes, I was getting into the rhyme for a bit there]
On another note, I’ve started noticing a disturbing tendency and tactic in a lot of my readings and observations of late, from Fisk’s Beirut coverage to Blair and Bush and the spin on Al-Qaeda and the dirty bomb campaign, and even Nixon baiting and fishing for Reds in the 50s — a tendency to grossly exaggerate the organisation and capability of an enemy
, an enemy all too often imagined/projected on the basis of a worse-case scenario, and which ultimately (despite bending the truth) serves a purely political purpose… And that for this day of dirty politics and ideological gap/voter apathy and the need to be lead like some über-managers of a nation’s fears and nightmares, and be protected from the whole negative picture they build, this serves as the basis or co-conceptual arm for what’s being called the paradigm of pre-emption. Overstate the potential threat and the threat will become real and prevalent enough; keep the threat current through your speeches and media appearances and a cowed populace and supportive industry will inversely maintain your power. Then act on the threat unilaterally wherever you believe the problem resides, whichever enemy state suits the bill. Create the fear and then ride the wave of your own protective powers — and above all, believe it to the hilt yourself. Now, how close is this to the coercion of fascist states, except without the militias and killings and disappearings?
piece on PopMatters
"World" is a musical categorisation that often radically generalises the particularities of the thousand folk cultures existent today, and hence should be avoided at all cost if it didn't typify so well the myriad types of environmentalists, dreadlocked backpackers, and middle-ages New Age seekers (thrice divorced but still seeking salvation) who constitute the mass of world-culture fandom and the audience that night. They had me worried a little, these lumpen allsorts.
Again, I’m not sure if I still believe everything I wrote, in fact I’m not even sure it was me who really wrote it. That whole safe interpretative tone isn’t really me. And there’s a few dud phrases in there. But I guess it’s a good discipline to have to go through, and maybe one day I can talk about syndication YEAH RIGHT.