Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Recent Poems Of Mine

Wrote these over the last few days. Was meditating on hate vs. understanding and ignorance vs. hope.

The Con-Artist And The Cynic

The con-artist's trap is a noose to the cynic
who will try it on safely while he stands on two feet.
To understand his position is all he is after,
but his enemy measures the price of deceit:

"If you admit that it fits, you can have it for free,
though we'll both profit more should you choose to jump."
All he wants to know is what size will fit all,
and to do this he must find out whose neck is most plump.

The cynic defies him by heaving a sigh,
keeping hidden inside him his very last breath.
Without any air, his neck loses its size,
and he feigns a display of disgraceful death.

The con-artist watches the cynic go pale:
"How easy it is to fool those with false hope!"
But the cynic's alive and more happy than ever
since he knows he has shortened the con-artist's rope.

I Once Thought...

I once thought I swam with sharks
while I did laps in the pool.
I once thought that every teacher
lived right there at the school.

I once thought magicians were mean
when they asked "Is this your card?"
I once thought I could use The Force
if I just tried real hard.

I once thought I was a Nihilist
but I only fled remorse.
I once thought I'd ignore my conscience
but it got confused and hoarse.
I once thought that "hammiedowns"
described the clothes I wore.
I once thought that my parents
never ever swore.

I once thought that watching Barney
was the pinnacle of shame.
I once thought to tease a red-head
was only just a game.

I once thought that my pen-pal was
just one more piece of ass.
I once thought she'd wait some more
for us to meet at last.

I once thought the best sound there was
was my own dad's guffaw.
I once thought that all Republicans
loved to chew on straw.

I once thought all drug users
should be told what to do.
I once thought that cannabis
was really bad for you.

I once thought that teenagers
all lived life to the max.
I once thought The New York Times
could only print the facts.

I once thought that "lip-to-lip"
was more heartfelt than a "kiss."
Guess that proverb's mostly true in saying,
"ignorance is bliss."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Israeli Ambassador Exonerates Prime Minister Netanyahu (By Praising Him Like A Fascist)

A couple posts back I put up the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Nazi Germany's propagandist Joseph Goebbels side-by-side. In retrospect, the comparison highlighted the differences between the two countries: Nazi Germany had a very coordinated effort to purge and censor innocent Jewish artists, while Israel's program was more of a knee-jerk punishment of innocent Jewish artists. And while Netanyahu and Goebbels both complained of the boycott that ensued from their country's actions, Goebbels was the only one with the opportunity to brag about cracking down on internal boycotts, claiming internal boycotts "had been made impossible" by his party's seizure of power.

The question becomes: would Israeli censorship resemble that of Nazi Germany if they had comparable power, and how does that factor into who wins the Joseph Goebbels lookalike contest? Maybe we can use the a recent article by Michael B. Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States to settle this. Because when you can't force Israel to suddenly become Nazi Germany, the next best thing is to wait for peace talks and let the politicians brag about their power.

He cheered on Israel for its high-tech economy (yet does not credit it for the preservation of the "democratic system"), and spent some time early on contrasting the Good Guys with the Bad. "Bereaved mothers on Israeli television," he wrote, were "urging [Israeli] leaders to persist in their peace efforts" while "Palestinian mothers praised their martyred children and wished to sacrifice others for jihad." While Israel is so democratic that it allows Arabs to serve on the supreme court and in parliament, the Palestinians apparently can't even muster up enough votes to prove "enthusiasm for living side by side in peace,"  which Israelis strongly support despite the fact that if you were to imagine being an average Israeli you would have "fought in several wars, as have your parents and even your grandparents,'ve seen rockets raining down on your neighborhood and have lost close family and friends to terrorist attacks." In summary: Israelis - a hardy and noble, yet desperate bunch.

Would Netanyahu find any of these factoids disagreeable? Perhaps not. So why am I so quick to shift the label from him to Oren? It's the second-to-last paragraph of the article, wherein he heaps praise upon his leader's glorious "yearning" for "a peace that will last for generations — our generation, our children's generation and the next" which he expresses despite having to put up with "great improvements in [Israeli] society." Or as Goebbels put it, "Our children and their children will erect monuments to their fathers and mothers for the pain they suffered, for the stoic steadfastness with which they bore all, for the bravery they showed, for the heroism with which they fought, for the loyalty with which they held to their F├╝hrer and his ideals in difficult times."