The Russia

With the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the talk of nuclear weapons in North Korea, and the ever-rising tide of populist bullshit around the world, most recently in Turkey – not to mention, of course, the actual rising tides thanks to our catastrophic abuse of the environment – these feel like dark days on my home, planet earth.

In the face of such looming shadows, I often find myself wondering, “What the hell can I do?” All I can do, I think, is share the stuff that reminds me about the better parts of humanity, the stuff which confirms my belief that there is more that unites me to the others on this planet than could ever divide us.

Below is a picture of the earth from about six billion kilometers away. Earth is that white pixel in the sunbeam on the right. If you think the earth looks little, you’re right. If you think it’s just because this picture is taken from really far away, you’re wrong – it’s taken just past Neptune, our backyard. Check out Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot.

Pale_Blue_DotI was recently given a copy of Allen Ginsberg’s monumental Howl and Other Poems. Here’s the opening to his poem America:

America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.

And then this is how he closes that poem:

America you don’t really want to go to war.
America its them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.   
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad. She wants to take our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader’s Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him make Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.   
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.   
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

Of course, today it’s not really ‘them Russians’ so much as it is ‘that Russian’ – that dickless piece of shit in Moscow who doesn’t deserve to have his name mentioned in the same breath as Carl Sagan’s nor Allen Ginsberg’s. Nor John Lennon’s.

G I V E   P E A C E   A   C H A N C E

Two, one-two-three-four!

Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Hit it
C’mon, ev’rybody’s talking about
Ministers, sinisters, banisters and canisters
Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Popeyes and bye-bye, bye-byes

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Let me tell you now
Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
Revolution, evolution, masturbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations
Meditations, United Nations, congratulations

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper
Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna, Hare, Hare Krishna

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

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