Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Saturday, June 04, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
About 1998-2000, I webbed pages with Myself.
They float out there still. Dormant.
Thickly crusted. Embarrassing only insofar as:
Who the hell cares? And: I’ve moved on.
But… I let them persist.
In plain language, my job: manage communications.
Encompass web. Once, one could proceed in anonymous glory.
Now? Add social media. Next: engage. As yourself.
Am so doing. Might start to convince
my Friends and associates they made the wrong choice.
Hold on tight.
Permit that I propel ponderous musings
on the significance of the medium.
Does anyone keep journals any more?
Write longhand? You there – got any attention span left?
Is it pompous I should persist in this way?
I shan’t apologize.
The actual is in the playground, on recess.
Reluctant, but now pliant
for my station – profession-alley – so demands:
that I turn my Face to the Book.
One cannot do one’s job without it.
Yet I have spent enough day in my Face,
would rather turn my Profile to Home,
soft sofas, familiars,
distant sound of water pouring over rocks.
And who has much to say?
Oh, my Friends. Our sharings, our likes are a bit mundane.
Piqued by snark and spunk.
Carried by the frisson of memes.
Not bad… not Michelangelo either.
Why should I worry? It’s just…
Once, the days peeled away without threatening to persist.
My parents’ generation had no need for this Book.
Nor did they have to Face it.
But transplant them to another era, they would be different people.
Which would have more merit or valor?
The times now tell us the Book is essential.
if we consent to be all Face.
To say I’m ambivalent here.
I’m like the Grand Canyon.
I don’t want to be here at all.
I only want to be here if I succeed extravagantly.
I don’t want to just be myself.
I don’t exactly want to disappear.
I want to annoy you so much you come to need it.
I don’t want to change, not on these terms.
I want to change you.
Everybody is so absorbed.
I’m completely uninterested.
Not in you.
Just in you here, in the Book.
I’m not striking a pose.
It’s totally visceral.
This isn’t where I want to be.
Just call me: just call me.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
What are the values that matter?
What are the values that matter these days, that you can stake your politics on? Any answer quickly runs up against the terrible slipperiness of our favorite big-idea words – freedom, peace, truth and the like. Everybody defines them as they like. The question is, which bundle of definitions is claiming the most adherents? So as I offer my list, I too am working to claim these grand-narrative terms:
Freedom: democratic values and open possibilities
Peace: nonaggression despite risks
Compassion: active care for those less well-off than you
Innovation and tradition: the evolution of new things, married to the continuing influence of collected wisdom
Common truth: current science, and collected peaceful wisdom, combined as the best guide to reality as we know it
Equality: our rights equal, and our different stations in life earned by merit
Renewability: earth’s dynamic and living systems allowed to sustain us without their permanent degradation
Justice: applying collected wisdom compassionately to guide matters responsibly
If we want to end by dipping our toe in the waters that, all things considered, I see as in the realm of spiritual belief, we could sum it up with:
Love: care for all.
Relative to the Arab freedom movement of 2012 – the Arab 1776:
I’m not sure what the current thinking is in Tel Aviv and Washington, but it occurs to me that if Israel’s foreign policy senses the strangely emerging freedom of Arab peoples primarily as a threat, it’s time for Israel to get a new foreign policy. If Washington is inclined to share that view when thinking on Israel’s behalf, it’s time for Washington to get a new foreign policy. After all, nothing matters more than democratic values. Right?