Polly’s Cadence (In Dada Flat)

'Parrot Dada' by Jay SchwartzPolly’s Cadence (In Dada Flat)

“Polly wants a cracker!”

A call is made.

You wait for a response.

I comply in earnest.

Behind the wool, you gloat blindly. 

Knowing enough words to nod along, I do so … knowingly knowing I know nothing. 

Point Counterpoint. A methodological approach to string theory resolves to the root of us all. Klimakatastrophe … deservingly so

You want dogma, a rationale of semiotic obedience.

A feathered response is in order:

There are no more prayers, only the chanting of reverberating sounds in the wild; the vibrations that ricochet off your sensitivities … forcing you to move.

You want belief, perhaps in distended words unspoken.

Yet, I have only the faith of habit found in sustained accidentals and enharmonic phonemes … and wings to sing of.

And oh how I’ll sing one day, despite your efforts to make me talk.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Power Games: Dancing With The Ringmasters

Young_man_with_the_whip“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

– Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

 

Such is life, often compared to a circus. Hoops to jump through are ever present while the snap and crack of a ringmaster’s whip are always an arm’s breadth away. And, like an abused Russian dancing bear, we submit to being shackled, tormented and humiliated … and all perhaps for the ‘entertainment purposes’ of some. In the circus tent of life, the power games have already taken center ring.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Welcome to the greatest ‘sideshow’ on earth! Come one, come all! Come all ye faithful and join the procession of the people for the people … who are power-crazy. Two-step your mortality away and shuffle towards your salvation: a cold grave. ‘Til death do you part, dissatisfaction guaranteed!”

Continue reading

Walking On Eggshells, Sticks And Stones

Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.
– George Bernard Shaw
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
– George Orwell

Let’s pretend it’s kindergarten again and time for ‘show and tell’. Today, I’ve brought ‘my opinion’ to share.

Now, if that makes you nervous, so be it. However, know that I say that because only you can decide for yourself what offends you or incites you to violence. Hopefully, this post will do neither, but obviously it’s really up to you. Trust me, I understand.

These days, there is a rash of global protests, some violent, over a pretty lame anti-Islam film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims‘ produced in the United States. The zealous condemnation of the film by Muslims have triggered a rioting frenzy, including attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions and consulates, and resulting in at least 14 deaths and the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya. This morning I awoke to a steady stream of ‘Twitter tweets’ suggesting that the protests were spreading like wildfire … and so was discussion of another form of righteous indignation: censorship.

Oh, how some have forgotten their kindergarten lessons: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Continue reading

The High Art And Crime Of Limb Jerking: Free Pussy Riot

“Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.”
– Albert Camus
“I thought the church loved its children … It turns out the church only loves those children who believe in Putin.”
– Maria Alekhina

 

Running within my veins is an international blend of blood cells owing their existence to a somewhat mixed and muddied heritage that is one part American, one part European and one part Russian. These days, my blood – and not just the Russian part –  is boiling, especially after witnessing the conviction of 3 young women, members of ‘Pussy Riot’, an anonymous Russian feminist performance art group/punk rock band.

A few days ago, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, both young mothers, as well as Ekaterina Samucevich, were sentenced by a Russian court to two years each after being found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”.

If you haven’t heard the story, here are the basics: In February of this year, the artists performed a ‘flash performance’ of their song titled, ‘Punk-Prayer: Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away’, at the altar of Moscow’s main cathedral. The stunt lasted approximately 30 seconds or so before the group were forced from the church.

Yes, the impromptu politically charged exhibition obviously rubbed many folks the wrong way – especially those it was aimed at, namely Russian President Vladimir Putin and church leader Patriarch Kirill, a staunch supporter of Putin’s re-election campaign; strange bedfellows given the supposedly formal separation of church and state.

Incredibly, the Russian court chose to dismiss the obvious political and personal aim of the song, as well as the artists’ actual testimony, and instead categorized their actions as essentially a ‘religious hate crime’ and act of ‘social disorder’. In this last categorization, the court referred to “devilish dances” and ‘limb jerking” (insert long pregnant pause here to collect your dropped jaws).

Continue reading

Standing Up To Shutting Down

“I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”
– Isaac Newton

You know what I hate? Going to the beach on a hot day and baking in the sun. You see the Sun has a funny way of defying every maneuver I make with my flimsy umbrella to shield myself from its searing heat that creeps ever closer towards me. As sweat pours through my blistered pores, each and every solar radiated fibre in my body screams ‘Help! I’m burning up!’ The grievous cacophony of cellular shrieking overwhelms me so … that I just lay there and allow sunstroke to set in.

So that’s what I hate. Unfortunately, it’s only a metaphor for what really has been bothering me lately: life overload. And trust me, I’m completely and utterly fried!

Continue reading

Not Born On The Fourth Of July

What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
– Francis Scott Key, The Star Spangled Spammer
Today is Independence Day for the United States of America. It’s also two days before my birthday. I thought I’d just mention that. Yes, I could have been a Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the 4th of July. My mom had gone into the hospital on the day with contractions. I once asked her about being in labor on the holiday, but she just claims she remember being sick with nausea, and throwing up while a trailer for the film, ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’, was being shown on TV.
Meanwhile, a little rambunctious bouncing baby boy, yet to be born, bided his time and stayed put, opting to be fashionably late. Mutiny on Bounty, indeed! Actually, this wasn’t my mom’s first brush with near-holiday births; years before, my sister was born on December 30th, just missing out on a New Years birth by oh so little. So near misses was pretty much par for the course for our mother, as was our penchant to screw with her timing.

Profundity In 50 Words Or Less

I was told the other day that although I am a “good” writer, my posts are wearisomely verbose. It was suggested that my long winded rambling ruminations required compression, lest I risk losing my audience.

I was therfore advised to tame my wild thought processes and repress that which comes naturally to me. I believe other words included in the conversation were: sanitize, censor, abbreviate, emasculate and whittle.

In compliance, and as such, I will endeavor in earnest to wrangle my stream of consciousness in order to attain literary profundity in 50 words or less. [Enter pregnant pause here] CRAP! I’ve already written double that! Well heck, at least I gave it a shot. Ramble on …

————————————————-

PS. Thanks for reading. Do you write what you think, or do you just think too much? Does having a brevity of words suggest self censorship? Let me know.

Suggested Reading:

Henry Miller on Writing (New Directions Paperbook)  Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words  The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself  How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling
Dada and Surrealism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)  The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well  Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process  Living the Writer's Life: A Complete Self-Help Guide
Suggested Listening:
Subterranean Homesick Blues  I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself  Ramble On