Putting a coat of varnish on an old beat-up piece is one way of making it look shinier and maybe younger than its years and wear. Like “fake news,” the ever-so-popular-with-the-conservative-base meme, varnish gives an illusion of things being other than they are. Let me explain what I mean about “fake news”– for the most part this is a term used to denigrate the factual. Varnish, in its way, denigrates a reality as well; it alters –or attempts to alter–the age and condition of the furniture to which it is applied. In this way, varnish is truly a fakery, while “fake news” is a slur against truth.
Steve Bannon left the White House and his official role in the administration to become an off-campus Field Marshall. He baits the bear, goading a man who needs no invitation to act the fool and to violate the Constitution he swore to uphold into ever more outrageous claims of tyranny. Bannon, like many other advisors in this administration, encourages the illegal and the heinous.
John Kelly, for instance, has redefined “patriotism” to mean “treason for a cause you believe.” He defends Robert E. Lee in these terms and calls the Civil War, in effect, a misunderstanding.
As for Bannon– to all my friends who saw his departure from inside the WH as diminishing his influence– I wish it were so.
The tom-foolery Bannon espouses is dangerous. It flaunts the values the Founding Fathers of the United States enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Unlike Jefferson, Hamilton, Eisenhower, the Roosevelts, John McCain, and Obama (to name a few patriots in our history), he is an unprincipled man. He loves disruption. Like the devil, he looks to sow trouble and division. Like his former boss, he spreads harmful fictions and calls the truth false.
November 15th addendum, out of the blue, or perhaps it’s the red, I should be saying.
Tax cuts, Spkr McCarthy of the House, was saying are about creating jobs and “making America competitive again.” What a cute rephrasing of the MAGA motto! The idea that giving tax cuts to the rich will somehow help the poor is an alt-reality view of the GOP.
Money in the pockets of the well-heeled has never trickled down to the worker. Once it’s theirs, they tend to keep hold of it.
Are tax havens, like Delaware or Singapore, benefitted by the policies that allow corporations to park their businesses without having to fork over revenue to the state? They do so by imposing registration fees in their districts, for example. They do impose unfairly on other countries which would benefit from levying taxes on the corporate entity.
Turning the USA into one big tax break for American corporations and businessmen exposes us to so many other financial problems. Who pays to maintain the infrastructure? How do we keep a police force or a national guard if money is not coming in to the treasury?
There is a sense of the dire which envelops many liberals these days. I am grateful to the New Yorker for its quotes on democracy. Archibald Macleish’s perspective as quoted in the June 5-12 issue by Jill Lepore brightened my day: “Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing.”
As the weather turns from sultry to sublime,/
The leaves blush with the pleasure of the/
new season and in anticipation of a/
frosty sleep to come. In the Fall,/
time is their friend and ours.
The waters ripple in the evening
Tide, the moon, their soul mate,
Hidden in a darkened sky is not
Playful, even as the river scampers
Across from shore to shore, released
From its daytime duties, away from
The sun, cloaked in darkness
Does it search for the moon’s light?
Or, is it content, running rapidly
On its own, hosting brightly-lit
Boats that appear like beacons
From time to time, lighting up
The dark riverscape, even if the
Moon will not peek out to help
Clarify and inform the water’s path
Lying low, so close overhead
It feels–or maybe only you do–
Like you can touch the sky
Billowy, little cotton pillows in
White/grey/gray-blue/ with touches
Of black or brighter, cleaner, more
Clorox and transparent white,
Pillowing above the treelines,
Over the buildings, so close
You can touch the sky
This would be my establishing shot
The one that sets the place and the
Character, facing Roosevelt Island,
Connecting to Queens, the lights on
The bridge twinkling in twilight,
Shadows, the river deep, dark and
Mysterious, waters moving slowly
With undercurrents, the river establishes
Without irony, without self-parody, as
Serious as the approaching night, shadows,
Not hiding, but revealing who we are, who
I am, my establishing shot
Which of these rhymes is more elegant? (Caveat to readers, this may be a trick question.)
“No swingin’, no jerkin’
Let your muscles do the werkin'”
or, the more grammatically correct
Don’t swing, don’t jerk
Let your muscles do the work
Sometimes poetry is in the flow of the words and not just in their punctiliousness.
(Thank you, Troy for the lesson.)