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A poem: There needs to be a time to weep

From Paradise Lost:

Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe

A Lily (Carrington)

I saw Jim Jarmush's Paterson in the later afternoont. I felt recognition, and the hero bus-driver (brings home how rare such a "level" of job is given to a hero-protagonist), never went to college, but well read in American poetry on his desk a group of beloved books, includes Emily Dickinson), he writes poetry to himself all day long. So this has given me the courage to put on this blog the one revolving in my mind today:

There needs to be a time to weep
We have not set aside a time to cry
Everyone who understands what is happening
needs to have a time to mourn.

Americans are driven -- like cattle --
to hold onto the precious job
at whatever cost, no matter how badly treated they are
however corrupted the task -- bad food being profitable

A shameful event has taken place today
It was a long time in the making
much moral stupidity
much mean conniving
went into this: gerrymandering,
voter suppression, fake news,
stations called News shows -- propaganda

for a long time at first underground hidden
emerging explicitly afer 9//11
But today a new major step
The poison made plain,
he who shall not be named
dished out the poison

Circus performers (Carrington)

They dancing to it, pompous with wealth,
smirking, smug, lying before congress
they'd nullified the majority, erased us,
Is this how & why they won't be held unaccountable?
for the destruction they are about to wreak?


Look at them, the orange-haired Godfather
fatly regal with his acolytes around him,
Ryan so gladdened hands held together
under his belt, the other devils crowding in
as the great man signs away lives,
heaps money on banks -- real estate people first ...

Barrel bombs on middle eastern people
yes that has been going on for a long time
too.  Hitting hospitals, civilians deliberately
kill the population you are set on controlling
Bu now they can fire any federal worker at will

We are having to swallow this  nightmare, these lies
hatred spread, threats against anti-police atmosphere
must be put a stop to

I just felt all day that there has not been set aside
a time to weep, to cry, to mourn for the
death of a republic, half obsolete in rules
because it allows this to happen

Shameful, shameless, hollow spectacle
Empty trains all day, empty highways
Tomorrow they will be filled to overflowing
with massive protest

We need a time to weep
We have not allowed an interval for people to cry
to mourn .... not to despair, some decent
interval to acknowledge the shame
of who is now representing us

let us not be ashamed to admit
what now happens to us individually
it is through shaming us individually
paralyzing us, that's how they silence us

The anthropological fact of fascist values
pervasive, everywhere -- a sign for
a popular movie -- Infinite Warfare ...
"Look at her! who would rape her?" -- laughter

A time to grieve for the anguish of women

Norms prevent open acknowledgement
of grief, justified fear, harassment.
you end up hounded for money.

Earlier death
people will now die earlier
I won't be here to help a beloved near me
who needs me
or breathe the sweet air myself

And who would dare go to a hospital now?
Not I.


Among the first acts of the Trump administration was to remove the right of the National Park Service to tweet. I didn't know a president could forbid a whole agency to tweet. Why? they dared to reports the numbers of the crowd at his inauguration service as under 10,000. Small. It was an act of vindictive spite. I understand his New Year's Eve tweet of 2016 was a list of his enemies.

A coming act of spite, as the budget for such people is pathetically small: they will eliminate all funding for public TV which has spread across the US since its slow inception.  I remember when the first PBS type channel, WNET in NYC opened Channel 13 with Play of the Week. I was 13 and my father said, let's watch this play tonight. Each day all week (in the manner of Million Dollar Movie on Metromedia Channel 9), I saw an astonishingly good performance of a great play. Unusual. Judith Anderson as Medea, an Ibsen play, The Flying Duck, how I bonded with that man in the attic, a bitter melancholic Twelfth Night, the first and last time i've ever seen that play done right.  By the time I was 20, when I watched TV (I had stopped watching regularly around age 13-14), PBS was the main channel I watched. Nowadays except in rare forays to HBO, it's the only channel I watch on TV. I listen to NPR music on and off during the day. They can try for some billionaire philanthropist, but it will no longer be a people's channel. It will be the billionaire's. Sesame Street was sold off last year to HBO. Second rate children (they get it for "free") watch shows a year later. Inculcuting who belongs, who excluded now. An end of an era.

These trillion dollar cuts in health care -- including medicare for the elderly, allowing them to go to hospitals without bankrupting themselves, into near homelessness, hounded and harassed for bills -- and this will go into the pockets of the corporations and millionaires about to get huge tax breaks

Five decades -- since just before Reagan with the forming of organizations like ALEC: they took hold of courts, aimed at them, got passage of Citizens United -- huge amounts of money at the heart of the take over of the states: then they added the suppression of the vote through various techniques: from gerrymandering, to laws which prevent people from voting (voter IDs, mass incarceration robs huge numbers of people of the right to vote ever after -- and it's no coincidence they are mainly black), to simply ignoring the law (Congress is not supposed to prevent the nomination of a person to the supreme court, but advise and consent). The Republicans have discovered they can even get away with nullification: in North Caroline they stripped a man elected to governor who is a democrat of most of his powers to do any good. They are no longer afraid of the "many" (militarized police, egregious injustice it the courts, horrific prison conditions - large percentages of people in solitary confinement, proven a form of torture).
So yesterday what we saw was a major step in the destruction of the republic that we had -- it had evolved into something better than its original during the later 19th century and again during the FDR years (LJB added further helps). All this is about to be cancelled; but not just back to pre-FDR, the very foundations of the republic: voting, obedience to law, observance of the original bill of rights (much of it now gutted).
And of course as education has been one source of improvement in people's understandings and therefore their lives, that is in the middle of evisceration too. Get rid of public education in the lower levels, make the universities subject to corporations in the upper. All over the US humanities departments have been cut to nothing or eliminated (in effect), also science hurt.

Danger to the whole world increased a hundred fold: military, war, the destruction of local and wide environments directly to make profit, and in the long run climate change and losses of lands, populations. What do they care?  Remember Malthus: don't try to save people starving, that just makes more of them.

Boy on Concertina (Carrington) -- the learned guarded face

Miss Drake


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2017 01:20 pm (UTC)
Jane Hirshfield
From a poem by Hirshfield sent me by a friend

Let them not say: we did not see it.
We saw.

Let them not say: we did not hear it.
We heard.

Let them not say: they did not taste it.
We ate, we trembled.

Let them not say: it was not spoken, not written.
We spoke,
we witnessed with voices and hands.

Let them not say: they did nothing.
We did not enough.

Jan. 21st, 2017 01:25 pm (UTC)
On Jarmush's Paterson
Mari Webb: This is what I wrote after seeing it:

Loved the way Jim Jarmusch's film Paterson gently dwells on how poetry happens when you overhear a conversation on a bus. Or lines come from the rhythm of the washing machine and swirling soap suds at the laundromat as you walk past and hear someone rapping. Or lines from a ten year old girl that stay with you. You write and get interrupted and it becomes a part of the ebb and flow of the poem. And most of all how the movie sits with the humour of everyday life. And shows you that maybe the real art is in not taking yourself too seriously.

Me: Yes I agree. the way it was part of his life, and that he was not building himself up because he did it. No showing off whatsoever
Jan. 22nd, 2017 12:36 pm (UTC)
I exaggerated how much public funds PBS has. Rather Trump de-funding PBS takes funding but doesn't kill. The mid-western affiliates will suffer most -- those whose populations may contain less watchers. I do have friends who live in Iowa or Ohio and other places and they say how important to them are the PBS dramas and other programming since in the mid-west most of the movies that come are just the most commercialized and they may live far from any theater.

What is to be noted is how easy it is to hurt and wreck these institutions as well as ACA -- These were and are frail reeds in a society whose anthropological reality is a pervasive fascism in the culture.


On Opera-l this posting appeared:

PBS is and has always been a private corporation, so it cannot "be
privatized." It stands for the Public Broadcasting Service, and it is
a service to its member stations. PBS does not own any broadcast
stations, though it provides some unencrypted direct-to-home satellite
programming (with relatively few viewers). PBS receives some
government funding, mostly through the private Corporation for Public
Broadcasting (CPB, see below) but also from others. The very popular
"A Capitol Fourth" program (which sometimes includes opera singers),
for example, is made possible, in part, by the National Park Service
and the Department of the Army. Besides limited government funding,
PBS receives member fees, corporate and foundation funding, and also
money from individuals.

PBS provides television programming. Besides that direct-to-home
satellite service, PBS programming is carried by TV stations at their
option. PBS can provide opera and have no stations carry it. Not all
U.S. public television stations are PBS members. A major example of a
public television station that is not a PBS member is KCET in Los
Angeles. Like PBS, local U.S. public television stations receive
funding from many sources, including CPB. Some are parts of
educational institutions or local governments. WNYE-TV, for example,
was originally part of the State University of New York, then the New
York City Board of Education, and now the New York City Department of
Information Technology and Telecommunications. Some public television
stations have commercial subsidiaries. WQED sold its Pittsburgh
Magazine, originally a program guide. The commercial classical music
superstation WFMT is owned by Chicago public television station WTTW.

NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is similar to PBS but for radio.
Its funding structure and that of its member stations and also
non-member U.S. public radio stations is similar to that of public
television. There is no financial or managerial connection between
PBS and NPR, though some public radio and TV stations in the U.S. are

CPB is a private corporation that was created by the U.S. Congress in
the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 (RCA, similarly, started as a
private corporation created by the U.S.). CPB funnels government
funding for public broadcasting to stations and programming. They are
required by law to submit to Congress their funding plans five years
in advance. Around budget time each year, regardless of party in
control, stories appear about a reduction or end to CPB funding, but
it endures. For 2016, CPB received an appropriation of $445 million
from the U.S. government, the same amount they requested.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is, in fact, an independent
federal agency and could conceivably be shut down or privatized. Its
entire funding appropriation in 2016, however, was less than $150
million, or, to put it in opera terms, less than half of the Met annual budget. Its role in public broadcasting funding, therefore,
has been less financial than as an imprimatur: with a few thousand
dollars from NEA, a program producer might better be able to get
corporate and foundation funding.

NEA and CPB funding, combined, came to less than $600 million in
fiscal 2016. Many NEA grants had nothing to do with broadcasting. A
loss of all U.S. government funding to the arts would be painful, but,
given many other funding sources, by no means lethal.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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