THE CULT OF PLEASANTRIES
January 23, 2013
Inaugural Blowback Response
Francis Donald Grabau
"Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World"
Percy Bysshe Shelley; A Defence Of Poetry 1821
The United States of America is a fully armed Corporate Police State oppressing its own People and doing its best to pollute the World and kill every living person who objects to its thoroughly Corporate Business agenda full of Death. If left unopposed it will, with the more than willing cooperation of Western European and Canadian governments and their citizens, return us all to a bizarrely new kind of "Dark Age". A Technocratic Dark Age wherein nuclear radiation contaminates every living person, animal, plant and even basic amoeba while the oceans, rivers, air and food are additionally poisoned with petro-chemicals spewing from factories, plants, broken pipelines and sinking ships. I mean, what part of this picture don't we get? Fukushima, anyone?
There's nothing controversial or new about any of it but it just keeps on keeping on unopposed by the common people too busy frantically trying to hold their lives together by working night and day to pay the bills. I suppose that's why, though most people are thoroughly tired out and depressed, we are being offered and greedily swallowing something like a "happy cult of pleasantries". It's a cult based upon what we've been fed as "Art", stuff like movies, tv shows, music -you know, "Entertainment".
In the US this year, at the ceremonial "Inauguration" of the certified War Criminal Barack Obama, Americans were offered the pleasant entertainment of a kiss-ass, brain dead, soulless automaton of a so-called "Poet" -one Richard Blanco- spewing forth a fog of language guaranteed to put us all to sleep but ludicrously passed off as "Poetry". Relatively trivial as the occasion admittedly is, it cannot be allowed to pass by without some serious blowback of a response. When do we begin to hold these "artists" responsible for their support of war criminals if not now? (Think of recent Presidential Medal Of Freedom recipients like: Bob Dylan, Tony Morrison, Maya Angelou, Yo-Yo Ma ...and puke.)
Okay, so who the hell is Richard Blanco and what sort of "poetry" does he indulge in? Well, go here if you want to read the text or watch him performing this jingoistic nonsense. No, wait a minute, the goddam stuff is so irritating I'll embed the whole mess right here right now:
Just listen to the solemn, dull, pontificating tone of this guy's voice. Look at that stupid tie gagging his throat like some leftover noose from the Twentieth Century. Here you have the very picture of the University Poet, the sad money grubber using language to invoke distracting pleasantries and avoid anything at all that smacks of truth, vision, joy, anger or passion. We call this sort of banter "politically correct" versification and observe that its intent is to induce in the hearer a trance-like state of mind filled to the brim with calm resignation. These are trite "eternal truths" this man is invoking, vacuous generalizations intended to substitute the craft of language for the substance of any rigorous thought whatsoever ...not to mention anything like real human feeling or passion. And this guy is supposed to be "Gay", Spanish and Hispanic. Fuck, he's lucky the corpse of Garcia Lorca didn't rise up out of its grave and shatter his face with a bolt of Duende!
But Mister Blanco wears his suit and noose to fend off such untoward events. Mister Blanco is a bureaucratic teacher intent on dumbing-down his listeners, lulling them into a state of passive acceptance, putting them to sleep. Hey, there's good money to be made in that kind of service to the almighty State. That would be the same State that executed Lorca and shits its pants at the very mention of Duende. Mister Blanco has demonstrated himself to be a shill for that State and its fascist powers.
Even a cursory glance at the opening lines of Blanco's "poem" -"One sun rose on US today..." is enough to make clear to the reader that his vision of "One Today" limits itself exclusively to America as if the Sun did not rise on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia or any other of the many Nations the USA terrorizes on a daily basis with Predator Drones. And I confess I'd never have seen nor listened to this doggerel had two friends not sent me email links to Mister Blanco's performance/text asking what I thought of it, claiming it was "interesting". Yes, that notorious word, "interesting" which is as blank as Blanco himself, which is a "teaser" of the totally neutral kind behind which we hide when we want to say something without saying anything.
But the two emails were enough to prompt me to click on the link and find myself plunged into the thoroughly disgusting shenanigans called the "Presidential Inauguration" for 2013 which I had, till then, carefully avoided. I'm not one to step in horse shit unless I'm planting a field of corn or otherwise in a playful mood and American politics do not strike me as playful but as seriously threatening. Nevertheless, the moment I began to read the text of Mister Blanco's "poem" I found myself up to my neck in horseshit of the worst kind, a weird kind of horseshit that no self-respecting horse would ever shit. Totally inorganic horseshit dropped my way by a clever cyber horse, a sort of cyber-nano-horseshit thoroughly and scientifically deodorized. Sterile horseshit loaded onto "pencil-yellow school buses". Here's my response to such pseudo-pedagogical crap and to the "President" who provided it with a national media platform:
pencil-yellow school buses
full of fresh faced
mothers watch children
slide into day
one more report
for the boss
your very own
i hear you
for the love that loves
always get back
what you give
with banker's interest
best not bite
the hand that feeds
watch out for
hotel two six this is crazy horse one eight
look at all those dead bastards
dam if they don't have
the wrong disposition
well it's their fault
bringing their kids
One ground Our
making US special
on the last floor of the
I've got two words for you
two porno pigs
shooting off their
pretty verbal rounds
under each and every word a lie
told by their silent gestures
moving behind windows
candy colored cluster bombs
it's raining blowback
All of us as vital
as the one
we move through
light 'em all up
look at all those dead
facing the stars
-a new constellation-
waits for us
to map it
waits for us to name it
it's their fault
bringing their kids into
blown into death
in the face of
you have no dream
you have no hope
your long overdue bills
the land you steal
your bloody lies
and of course your many cheap
hot-tongued and poppy-red
the world's worst
suicidal nest of
A Crime against All Life
you'll never see no
light 'em all up
The Monster Mash
(wherein Boris Karloff sings America's National Anthem)
Three Email Responses to this article. Personal last names (except mine) have been removed to protect the innocent.
Have you read this article by Richard Blanco on Huffington Post?
When I first read your article, I felt you went over-board with the criticism. You have a right to your opinion, but you don't need to be so nasty about it. Then I read this on Huffington this morning. If I were you, Donaldo, I would seriously consider removing the article you posted to your website. This man has suffered enough criticism and abuse. He needs kindness and compassion at this point!
Did you read this? It's a link in my article on the Inaugural Fiasco.
Richard Blanco was NOT reading a private, personal poem on the occasion; he was participating in a Public National Event.
Big difference. I hold him accountable for sullying the spirit of poetry in public in blind support of War Criminal Obama
and by mouthing the same kind of soulless and hypocritical speech Obama himself employs.
If you want to feel sympathy for poor, abused folks think about the children and families who are being abused daily in Afghanistan, Iraq etc. by us, the people of the West torturing, bombing, abusing and killing them DAILY for over 10 years now!!! Really, Judy, Blanco is, in my opinion, despicable for what he's done. Making "poems" out of one's daily sellf-involved "therapy" with no regard at all for the world outside one's self is a "workshop" specialist's bread and butter and they spread around this kind of socially unconscious personal narcissism to their "students". This stuff is okay as personal therapy but lethal to public consciousness because it is so personally self-centered and cruelly numb to the sufferings of others or any sense at all of moral responsibility for the crimes committed in one's own name.
But Blanco would never notice that so engulfed is he in making a living off his self-pity.
Obama plays this gay card every chance he gets to distract the whole Nation away from his ugly lack of soul and his criminal murderous actions and I can tell from your email that you have NOT followed the links embedded in my brief article which would make all that more than clear ...this Blanco guy lives on easy street by milking pity for his "gay" life. Really, yuck. He makes me sick. I will cut him no slack at all...he has the money to pay for that kinda crap from his therapists! I think you would really benefit from reading another gay male writer, Arthur Silber....links to him in my article on Blanco.
Hugs back atcha,
Yep, I'm with you, brother! As i was listening, excuse me, being battered by a limp, dirty dish rag,
no a limp, sterilized gamma ray-dangerous dribble, i was thinking, wishing for Robert Frost
to forget his inuagural poem and adlib in elequant form.(and he ain't no Lorca!!)Thank you! I was literally shocked by the mediocrity!But, then again, I saw a bumbersticker today saying,
" be concerned only for your own family" FUCK, Donald....and HELP!love,S.
Your reference/quote of the bumper sticker: "be concerned only for your own family"
says it all!!!
Thanks, and Hugs,
I'm a little concerned about you being so angry all the time. How's your liver?hugscb
Very funny. My liver seems ok, I take milk thistle several times a week.
I'm not personally angry, don't walk around seething with rage.
Anger is good stuff, you know....like love, get's the juices going
or keeps them flowing. As with the liver, anger (when verbally
and physically expressed) removes toxins from the body-psyche implex.
I'm more worried about the neutral zombie like "equanimity" members of the "new age" movement pickle themselves in. Stasis. Not good
for the bile. How be you? Smile. It's an
"“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so,
because it serenely disdains to destroy us."
Rainer Maria Rilke
a real poet
"Beauty will be compulsive
or it will not be at all."
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