“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” –Henry David Thoreau
Greeting Bush in Baghdad by David Krieger
“This is a farewell kiss, you dog.”
— Muntader al-Zaidi
You are a guest in my country, unwanted
surely, but still a guest.
You stand before us waiting for praise,
but how can we praise you?
You come after your planes have rained
death on our cities.
Your soldiers broke down our doors,
humiliated our men, disgraced our women.
We are not a frontier town and you are not
You are a torturer. We know you force water
down the throats of our prisoners.
We have seen the pictures of our naked prisoners
threatened by your snarling dogs.
You are a maker of widows and orphans,
a most unwelcome guest.
I have only this for you, my left shoe that I hurl
at your lost and smirking face,
and my right shoe that I throw at your face
of no remorse.
Why a “War Poem?” It’s a long month–this is just the first ‘theme’ in celebration of National Poetry Month, but here’s the explanation:
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. –Henry David Thoreau
Art, in its multitudinous forms, rewards our attention every once in a while, and all too rarely, with small beautiful moments where thrill meets surprise–I find them most regularly in poems, but also in poems, paintings, and even in pop songs and punk rock. Such was the case with the little Texas band Girl In A Coma, who I discovered looking for a particular old David Bowie song. Watching–listening to–their cover of “As The World Falls Down,” my immediate thought was “these kids get it,” which is something, since most of them don’t. Of note is the look of joy/bliss on the badass drummer–she doesn’t just get it, she feels it. Nice. In a just world, Phanie, Nina, and Jenn would be household names and none of us would have ever heard of all the insipid, generic auto-tune wonders out there.
Has everyone seen the new-ish Filet O’Fish Commercial that rips off one of my all-time favorite movies, Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou? Bad enough that this wonderfully quirky, subtle piece of off-beat cinematic brilliance is being draped in ugly commercialism, the Golden Arch-Villains employ a snotty, superior, hipsterish ironic tone to the commercial–this is a mockery, not a tribute, and clearly they’re expecting their audience to laugh at it, not with it. Who would have thought a big, hungry corporation (bigger and hungrier than a Leopard Shark!) wouldn’t get the joke.
I include a link to the commercial with one important caveat: YOU MUST NOT ALLOW IT TO SEDUCE YOU INTO BUYING ONE OF THESE (allegedly) SEA-BORN GREASE PATTIES.
Of course, there’s a certain degree of humor to be had from the idea the hipster sensibilities–that whole “look for something unique in order to bathe myself in that uniqueness just long enough that I can abandon it and say, well, I remember when that was authentic, long before they sold out”–being co-opted (not co-op, Pointdexter) to market these deep fried atrocities. There ain’t nothing authentic about Filet O’Fish, which is pretty much catfood on a mushy bun.
If you haven’t seen this great film, rent it yesterday–the soundtrack of David Bowie songs is worth the rental price alone, but the real treat is the fantastic cast, including Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Kate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum.