Postmodern Collage Poetry

A blog about writing collage poetry, post modern poetry, multi lingual poetry

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Terrorism and Seriousness

This week it was announced that we can't take water bottles on Flights.

The issues of terrorism are serious ones and more often than not poets tend to either view these issues through either an conspiratorial or an ironic sense and I think that the reason we have terrorism can be brought back to this mentality. Many poets are terminally hip and they are also cynical they believe in small things and the world of a terrorist who believes in transcendent things is so alien to them that it is like trying to understand Chinese with a Spanish dictionary.

I find allot of what poets write to be terminally dull and unwilling to address the real issues. Peace is not the issue, Freedom is not the issue but justice is the issue.

The problem of terrorism is that there are two or three groups of people with legitimate problems whose rights are valid and the peace at any price mentality will not solve the problems.

There are no simple answers.

One thing that I know for sure is that any Fundamentalist Islamic group would have no compunction about cutting off Charles Bernstein's head. I think that the creative community ought to be serious and say that 9/11 and the recent Airplane terrorism plot was perpetrated by people whose agenda is evil the way Hitler and Stalin were evil. It is not in my mind too over the top to call these folks evil.

I think we are at a key time. In fact I believe that we are at a time analogous to the year 635 AD. In 635 AD after 200 years of war the Roman/Byzantine Empire defeated the Persian Sassanian Empire. The result was 10 years of peace. Both Empires were exhausted and a third empire the Arabs destroyed Persia and Conquered 1/2 of Byzantium including Syria, Palestine and Egypt.

I think that we are at this moment in our history. For 60 years the Americans and Russians fought in 1990 the Russians collapsed. America thought that it had won and we became fat lazy and happy. Terrorism developed we ignored it but more importantly a new empire, China has arisen. History will record that the War on Terror and the current situation was the beginning of the decline of an exhausted region and the winner of the war of terror will be China as they walk over America unless we get serious and remember what truly matters.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Uniqueness of Place against Global Capitalism

I chose the Marshall Field Clock on State Street here in Chicago to illustrate Sameness and Global Capitalism. On September 6th Marshall Fields will be no more and Macy's of New York will do only what RH Macy dreamed of doing his name will sit upon Marshall Field's grand store.

This story of the end of a great Department Store may seem silly to illustrate what is happening around the world but I think that it is the best example of the virus of sameness and homogeneity that is making the world less interesting and more oppressive.

What makes living worthwhile is not easy money or free trade or free sex what makes life worth-while is difference. As this virus of sameness seeps across our world differences become less pronounced and it is this smoothing that threatens what makes us human. We are not all the same. Anyone who argues this is a fool. People love their differences.

What could be better than going to a place say Italy and eating local food, made in a local way by local hands?

The simple pleasure of difference is being destroyed. I don't want my Chicago accent to be the same as a New Yorker's accent. I don't want China to feel like Dallas, Texas and I don't want the drive thru to be the coin of the realm.

Difference is what makes life worthwhile. I like to be in places where I know where I am. I can feel that I am not somewhere else. Places have smells and tastes and feelings and when things are homogeneous people's souls are removed. So the fact that a store founded by a man, Marshall Field, who regularly threw out my ancestors from their stores because they were inferior - is another blow for sameness and the praise of the ordinary. You should not be able to get Chicago Pizza in New York or New York Bagels in Chicago or Texas Barbeque in Maine!

Chicago is the last of the great American cities because of the love of honest plunder-
Norman Mailer said this. But I see so many of Chicago's unique faces being boiled away like the fat from a hogs skin. Everytime I see a local tradition or way of life in another part of the world give way to a homogeneous world I see a small death.

So as I go out today into the world I will consciously look for the unique and will reject the mass the ordinary the standardized and revel in what makes places unique and I will vomit the homogeneous out of my mouth.