11/29/20: The Plot Against America — Novel, TV Show, In the Nation, In Ordinary Life #poetry #essay

11/29/20: The Plot Against America — Novel, TV Show, In the Nation, In Ordinary Life #poetry #essay

I had to go to the bank in Wheaton, Illinois last Saturday

I sat waiting for the banker

across from his vacant desk

idly staring out the window

A large American flag

and a large blue flag, with the word

TRUMP

in large white letters

yelled across the street at me

I was surprised that the sight didn’t upset me

It was ominous enough

but I am finally accustomed to the ominous …

An influential book written years ago was titled

“The Paranoid Style in American Politics”

The book was partly a reaction to political figures like Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy

The paranoia has metastasized

into something much more sophisticated …

disseminated by masters of dark arts of data mining and manipulative messaging …

warlock-like masterminds penetrate into the darkness in American mass psychology …

and massage hate to their own ends

for their own money and power …

creating armies of millions of sucker foot soldiers

attacking all that is best in us …

Each thread of ignorance and insecurity and envy

in every ordinary little man and woman

is weaponized

into bloodthirsty hate …

The worst in the worst of us

is empowered.

Yes, there have been many technical advances

in the promulgation of the fascism that is and was always in the American heart …

Fascism ever more powerful

like a virus

mutating to ever more virulent iterations …

A little history viewed from the outer reaches of space:

There were many Americans

particularly in the Midwest

but elsewhere too

who admired Hitler before World War II

and a significant number of them continued their admiration

after Hitler declared war on our country;

The Culture of the American South

and by extension slavery

and the armed insurrection of the Confederacy

was romanticized by many Americans

in the North and South

long after the Civil War

and continues to this day …

The fear of losing our democracy is an emotion born of sentimentality

There is a democratic aspect to our nation to be sure

Of course!

So many

even a majority

believe in democracy and practice it …

They think:

All men and women are created equal

Other people should be treated with respect, kindness and decency

The truth matters

Facts matter

Human life matters

All individuals have a right to flourish

All citizens owe allegiance to and serve the community.

Yes, many people want to be fair and good and right and smart and loving and happy and caring …

But there is also that racist, sexist and fascist strain

that possesses some Americans completely

and lurks in the the shadows of even the best of us

Any idealized view of our past is a myth

American was a fallen place when the first European set foot on the North American continent

Fascism has been here from the moment the white man arrived,

and like everything else

this cocktail of fear, violence, bullying and greed

inescapably

permeates every aspect of our lives

our government

our economy

our families and our personal relationships …

The tools of the Fascist Style in American Life

are:

condescension

badgering

lying

insults and disrespect

cheating

stealing

ruining careers and reputations

gossip

cliques and clannishness

elevation of insignias of power

like titles, awards and money

to the exclusion of actual competence and achievement

scapegoating

persecuting and “other”

Demonization of those who disagree

Conformity.

In the nation, the economy, and in our families and our personal relationships, we inevitably find:

Brownshirts in the halls of power

Brownshirts in the workplace

Brownshirts in social groupings comprised of what are ostensibly called “friends”

Brownshirts in some unfortunate families — smothering mothers and dictatorial fathers, bullying siblings and lascivious uncles and aunts — fascism starts early, myriad unreported cases of child abuse more effective than any indoctrination of the Hitler Youth

Brownshirts in film, TV and other media, social and otherwise

the repetitive drum beat of advertising, propaganda and entertainment

dissociating mind after mind from outer reality and one’s own natural human feeling

Creating legions of ignorant, insensitive dullards

Idiots addicted to excitement and sensation

and deluded by a sense of power

when they are actually pawns

willingly surrendered by the more cunning kings and queens who hold them in contempt,

if a member of the legion of fools

metaphoric or literal cannon fodder

ever becomes aware of the manner of his or her exploitation

it is always too late.

“The Plot Against America”

is a novel by Philip Roth

that was published in 2004

and was adapted for television by David Simon and Ed Burns

and originally aired on HBO in March 2020.

Simon and Burns changed the story from the one presented in the novel in some significant ways

with Philip Roth’s blessing.

The novel sees fascism’s defeat of democracy in America to be a temporary phenomena

an aberration

and by book’s end America returns to more closely following its noble ideals

and fascism goes back underground

Furtively waiting for its next opportunity?

Hope and shame return to America in Roth’s 16 year old vision.

The TV show ends with open question

Character is destiny

What will America’s character be?

An election may or may not save America —

but the Rick Blog thinks that an election is just a moment …

The Rick Blog holds both the book and the TV versions of “The Plot Against America” in the highest of its estimations

Beautifully conceived and executed and so alive

Created with such honesty and humility

examples of excellence in art and humanity

So important

and yet

I add my own point of view about the American character

This struggle between fascism and democracy in America will never be resolved

This contest is America

a battle waged in

our government

our economy

our families and our personal relationships …

and our consciences

in our souls …

We do not have new challenges before us …

we avoided our toughest choices in the past

because of our young innocence …

America isn’t young anymore

we know reality more now

and our responsibility is greater.

We are required to act with moral courage now …

Constantly …

in thought, word and deed

in:

our government

our economy

our families and our personal relationships …

Goodness is not the absence of evil …

It’s the decision not to give in to evil …

Whether evil is externally more or less powerful in a particular moment doesn’t matter …

essentially …

It seems easier when evil is in apparent remission

when democracy is center stage and fascism isn’t let in the building

but tyranny is still in the alley, plotting its next move

The victory of democracy is always an illusion

Fascism is always there

even on Christmas morning …

We are born knowing what

and what not to do …

The American character is really the

characters

of 330 billion, and counting, American individuals

and that is why art is so inportant.

The maker and the viewer of art

create a very specific morality

that matches those unique persons’ circumstances

beyond the generality of morality, ethics and religion

We create a democracy

or a state of fascism

everyday

simply by saying

yes

and

no.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

11/28/20: The Power of Self-Indulgent Writing and Talking #poetry #writing #talking

11/28/20: The Power of Self-Indulgent Writing and Talking #poetry #writing #talking

SHUT UP!

FUCK YOU!

and scene!

Improvisation helped me develop my natural and uncensored creativity.

The Law helped me develop my natural and rational critical mind and analytical ability.

Writing this blog helped me synthesize these two qualities into one thing.

I have a process. I have a way of writing.

I enjoy the hell out of it — when I get to the point of writing it down.

The hard work is the struggle, the frustration and the uncertainty of the hours or days before and after each moment of release …

A secondary part of my process is releasing my words before an audience online. I indulge myself with good listeners.

I never wanted much — I just wanted to be heard.

I don’t write to entertain or educate or inform people.

I write to be heard.

Isn’t that self-indulgent?

Yes.

Who cares?

What do we have to offer to each other besides ourselves?

I think children should be spoiled.

Farting doesn’t bother me — within very liberal limits.

I like ornate Catholic cathedrals and dislike austere Protestant chapels.

I am an entitled writer. I spent years making sketches that “work” for comedy audiences, and arguing cases within the rigid strictures of procedure and evidence and trial practice.

I’ve earned the right to experiment and to do it my way.

Goddammit I’ve earned the right …

I had the right from the beginning …

what I earned …

is from what I learned …

I learned how to do it …

and no one can teach you how to do it.

All of my readers aren’t wonderful …

some are harsh and insulting …

because I am a big sparrow just chirping my song …

and it threatens their world …

my joy is their revolution …

and they don’t want a revolution …

they want their puny little prison cell worlds …

and I am a spiritual shark …

always wanting change …

turning watching TV during a pandemic into an opera …

heart and mind on fire …

unapologetic …

Some readers are envious and competitive …

I’m boring so they say …

Envy is the heart of fascist populism …

people who feel inferior need membership in master races …

Some like the work but get disrespectful …

and the writer has to maintain his dignity …

Most readers are nice

and they get something out of my indulgence

they express their appreciation …

Some come and go as they need …

free souls …

some are ridiculous …

and I cheerfully retreat …

and some think they are in charge in some way …

and can indict me for self-indulgence …

THE SEVEN SIGNS OF SELF-INDULGENT WRITING

  1. IT’S TOO LONG … I paint with words and my metier is determined by the times … these are the times of the tweet, the sound bite … all this concern about economy and efficiency and attention spans and time … but sometimes complex essays, poems and stories need a lot of words, and sometimes words — like in the instance of this present piece exist just for soulful expression … expression of the soul … as an act of comic defiance against the authority expressed by a person who has no authority over me, a foolish person who thinks they can stop me from being me, either to destroy me because she perceives me as a threat to something she thinks I threaten, or in an attempt to help me and teach me something by giving me discipline … YOU WANT TO HELP THE WORLD, PURSUE YOUR HIGHEST ENTHUSIASM AND DON’T LISTEN TO OTHER PEOPLE …
  2. (RELATED TO NUMBER ONE) NEED OF A THOROUGH EDIT … How can you edit until you let it out? As the poet says, the road to wisdom is paved with excess … I publish almost all of my drafts and then return to edit as necessary, and in many cases I edit and brainstorm in the same motion — the lawyer and the improviser united as one … this piece is purposely a shaggy dog … it isn’t about self-indulgence, it IS self-indulgence, you dig, a fat assed long haired pandemic crazed 65 year old man feeling good about himself … in love with the sound of his own voice … because that is what writers are … IN LOVE WITH THEIR OWN FUCKING VOICES … WHY DOES AYONE SING OR DANCE … creation does not belong to the tight assed …
  3. THE TONE GETS TOO PHILOSOPHICAL … Everybody has a philosophy whether they know it or not … we get the life that we think about … I write to find out what I think and change what I think if it doesn’t conform to what my heart and soul are telling me … all of these criticisms are so subjective … I started writing this thing to figure out what “self-indulgence” was — I mean, I know the dictionary definition … you wonder, you figure it out …
  4. IT’S TOO EXPERIMENTAL … This is a way of saying — who do you think you are — a genius? Know your place. Every true artist is self-indulgent and every true artist is a genius … and genius is simply accepting who you actually are and not thinking you are what other people tell you to do …

You can’t go for it if you are not self-indulgent. You can’t write well for anybody else if you don’t write for yourself.

Readers who read me regularly are my friends. They listen to me and I listen to them listen to me.

This piece might be re-written at some point …

or it might be a piece that will contribute to the development of a more accomplished piece …

but I also like it just as it is …

I wanted to talk about self-indulgence tonight and I did so …

This is a good Thanksgiving poem …

It’s about abundance …

The world is a vast. diverse abundant place

The sun, the wind and rushing water changes it every day

The world with its crazy and almost repetitive rock formations …

cities rising from deserts …

unapologetic about high its mountains are …

how densely populated its cities …

its snarling traffic …

and sudden explosions …

teeming with undiscovered species …

all of the world’s dreams and conflicts and innovations …

everything and person and place reaching to something …

different and more …

unselfconscious …

asserting its infinite essence no matter what anyone thinks of it …

so pleased with itself …

and me and you kid

are every bit the world’s equal …

I don’t beg your indulgence …

I indulge myself …

and welcome you if you want to come along …

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

11/27/20: Fascism, a Viewer’s Guide #poetry

11/27/20: Fascism, a Viewer’s Guide #poetry

Look at President Obama’s face — he’s worried

See business people say softly “He’s not a racist”

Listen to intelligent people tell you about a lawyer from Georgia who has “proof” that the election was stolen

Watch millions get on planes for a holiday…

Notice that thousands dying are ignored

47% voted for what?

The Republicans do well in House and Senate races?

Bullies are empowered

Get a load of the idiot savants, imbecilic about everything but amassing power

Feel afraid more

of the virus

of the people in the street

will they be mean

rude

dumb

desperate?

Smell the betrayal

the turning of people you thought you knew

who see opportunity

in denying that they know you

or that their people suffer

See a sliver of a per cent of black and brown people

in MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN hats

Capos

As businessmen nod and say softly “He’s not a racist”

Sense that the sky is changing

turn your face to the gathering storm

Wake up to the fact that many people

think that

you

your vote

your voice

your interests

your life

are

illegitimate

and unimportant

Learn history

Take video tours of the fascist architecture and pseudo-art of Europe in the 1930’s

Be agitated by the crude repetition of ignorant words

Be incensed by simple answers for complex problems

Resist lazy retreat into your escapist and selfish preoccupations

Understand that you are being manipulated

we all are

Trust that sense in your gut that something is wrong

Perceive that something dark is trying to be born

Believe that evil exists

Cultivate the innocence in your own heart

And discern what is right and wrong around you

Reflect on how to answer what is happening around us

Pledge allegiance to the laws and values of your American nation

Hope for the best,

expect the worst

Know that fascism is as much part of the American character as democracy

and that fascism only asserts itself when it is cunningly empowered

Cry for the deaths of the most vulnerable in the herd without immunity

Rage at the injustices suffered by others

Remind yourself of parables of canaries in coal mines

The dying will be you

The unemployed will be you

The incarcerated will be you

Your babies will be stolen from your arms

Hurricanes and floods will destroy your homes and no one will give you help or comfort

The money you make will be taken from you

You’ll be afraid to mention your nationality

You will be a fugitive in your own land

Your life will be one of regret

because you didn’t see …

Or ….

what?

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

11/25/20: Hillbilly Elegy/Likes and Dislikes #poetry #movies #life

11/25/20: Hillbilly Elegy/Likes and Dislikes #poetry #movies #life

The book was written by a lawyer

The connection between law and writing

That interests me

The movie was directed by Ron Howard

I’m not a fan of Ron Howard

Don’t take umbrage if you like him or his work

It’s just what I like

or more precisely don’t like

“A Beautiful Mind” sentimentalizes mental illness and genius

“Cocoon” sentimentalizes aging and dying

Sentimentality is cruel

Sentimentality asks nothing of an audience

It offers human sacrifices on the altar of the viewers’ egos

Nothing is asked of the sentimental

(it bears repeating)

The pain of others is objectified in sentimentality

as an objet d’art to be enjoyed

Awwww …

I like dogs

but I know the warm feeling that I have for a cute dog

is not love …

a baby engenders a more complex response …

Ron Howard films maternity wards

as if they were puppy mills ….

“Frost/Nixon” was alright, but I give the credit to Peter Morgan, a writer that I like

“The Crown” by Peter Morgan is terrific —- the takeaway —- no matter how hard you try, you can’t make another person be anything other than what they are …

You can’t make them like what they don’t like

You can’t make them love what they don’t love

You can’t change their essential strengths and weaknesses

You can seduce them or force them to betray their nature

but then it will just come out in perverse, negative and distorted ways

Parents can’t change people

Bosses can’t change people

Peer groups can’t change people

Societies can’t change people …

Amy Adams is one of my favorite actors …

I like what I like …

Hillbilly Elegy takes place in Mayberry after Reagan and Thatcher came to town

I am prejudiced against white trash

I’m writing as I look up at the movie on Netflix from time to time

The picture is very easy to follow

It’s a Ron Howard movie

how hard could it be?

A guy leaves a white trash family from Kentucky (and then Ohio)

a family that he loves

and goes to Yale or Harvard

what difference does it make?

His mother is a drug addict

opiods?

Probably.

Glenn Close is in it

the grandmother

hold the family together most likely …

I never liked Glenn Close

She turned me off in “The Natural”

She was so other-worldy

She made me a little sick to my stomach in “Fatal Attraction”

She was so evil

That recent one — I can’t think of the title

where she is married to the guy who wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

when it was she who wrote all the books

“The Wife”

that’s it

“The Wife”

Boy did that suck

I like watching movies that I don’t like

They teach me a lot

Glenn Close movies teach me how much I dislike the vanity and selfishness of always trying to make yourself look good

It seems to me a great actor would look for flawed characters

as a way to explore her own humanity

and share something with the audience

Not all of this ethereal posing

Close looks like shit in “Hillbilly Elegy”

She looks like white trash

and old bag in a ragged sweatshirt

Bt that doesn’t count

She is obviously a character

She condescends to the character

and condescends to the white trash

Which is worse than what I do

The white trash makes me mad

or at least

they used to …

I’m free of them now

They used to bother me

I was trying to make them something other than what they are

Everyone can’t be smart

and everyone can’t be good

Even the ignorant and evil suffer

And I can feel for them now

that I don’t have to have anything to do with them

That was my mistake

I thought that I had to live with white trash

and I didn’t

I don’t like white trash

I don’t like they way they talk or act

and I don’t have spend time around them

Now I can love them

in a detached way

We all have friends

and partners

and mates

and families

and passions

but they aren’t always the ones assigned to us

They are not always the ones that we happen upon

They aren’t always who and what is nearby

or just handed to us

They aren’t aways what is easy or safe

When it gets really bad you can end up hating what is easy or safe

or nearby

Our loves and likes and hopes and desires

are what we are

and determine who and what are meant for us

Oh God — I don’t want to watch this movie

One of my favorite actors, Amy Adams

as you know

I mentioned that earlier

is giving a lousy performance

It’s not her fault — because I like her …

Melodramatic script

typical Ron Howard no insight direction

I don’t like how he moves his cameras

or his actors

I don’t have to watch this …

I don’t like it …

I wish all involved well.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

11/14/20: Un-professional #poetry

Modern Times (1936) Directed by Charles Chaplin Shown: Charles Chaplin (as A factory worker)

11/14/20: Un-professional #poetry

Someone else’s

required to listen to

work video

escapes over the partition in the loft

droning on and on

on an endless loop

or so it seems

a woman’s voice

mid-thirties

mid-career

career ascendant

an “expert” in organization and leadership

I chuckle occasionally

in the gaps between my whimpering

Her authoritative voice

Her authoritative sedative voice

Big Nurse passing out the meds

“We can learn much about an organization’s culture by observing how the people dress

If the people dress casually and wear bright colors it is a more liberal culture

If the people dress formally and wear dark colors, the place is more traditional and conservative”

That’s it

I’m out

No more

CAN YOU LOWER THAT SHIT DOWN PLEASE?

DEAR GOD

then my muttering

softly

but out loud

talking to myself

the woman on the video is driving me crazy

Insanity is the only sane response

Her voice is a sci-fi movie worm

that is entering my ear

with the intention to eat my brain

Is anyone behind all of this?

Is there a nefarious mastermind?

Or is this just a cancer that has grown on the Human Soul

Does it come from exposure to power lines?

that inane, stupid bullshit —- how insulting — they waste your time with this stupid shit, they perform a subtle control upon you — the subliminal message is that you must conform — whole lives stolen — or wasted — standing in an eternal elevator listening to Mantovani —- (look it up young people — allow a little strangeness in your life) … the waiting around, the hushed tones, the expected behaviors, the ‘team playing’ subordination to a tyranny enveloped in a lie about cooperation, but worst of all …

the usurpation of the role of art, the explanation for everything …

a world defined by fear …

you aren’t allowed to go into the various cultures and decide for yourself is going on

who and what is liberal

who and what is conservative and traditional

oh no

You are told what you are to pretend to think and feel

You have to become an idiot in order to survive

The world simplified

you simplified

facets and complexity obliterated

the workers may or may not control the means of production

It is the process that is taken away from them

The heart and mind tranquilized

Docile human mules with blinders on

The pandemic was sweet relief

It got me away from these bastard clone army

marching in lock step in gray

gray suits

gray eyes

gray faces

everyone old before their time

a whole race in assisted living

being told what to eat and when

with a whole lot of sitting around

punctuated by making useless, artless trinkets in the craft shop

Being kept busy

making shit

and eating the shit that other people made

A scheme for survival without risk or reward

Everyone busy doing nothing

Phony achievements

a blue ribbon ant farm

Enough!

I’ve been away so long, I greet 1984 with a gag reflex

Beyond rebellion

SANCTUARY SANCTUARY

I am a refugee from Notre Dame

I matriculated to be a manager at the oatmeal factory

but ran off and joined the circus instead

I shot the albatross

and that has made all the difference

No more charades

Walking around like all the others

Holding the sedatives on the roof of my mouth

and disposing of them when I was alone

Cribbing notes in my mind

and writing them down

when I got away

seated on a toilet

or in a subway car

They give you time for some air

usually in cramped and fetid little spaces

occasionally under big high skies (these moments are called vacations)

The professionals say that they want the human

they use words like “creative” and “art” all the time

But humanity scares the shit out of them

I know

I brought them a big bowlful and they didn’t know what to do with it

It’s too unpredictable

It asks too many questions

It has a mind of its own

They didn’t have the time

Necessity became their luxury

and luxury became their necessity

Humanity is not committed to profit

Boredom and conformity are committed to profit

The true believers in the required for work video

rise to the higher strata on the organizational flow chart

and stupidly believe that they know something

they strut with an absurd and undeserved haughtiness

awarding and punishing

Employees of the month

and

Administrative leaves

Policing the controlled environments

The morgues

5 – Day of the Living Dead (2 days off for good behavior)

Shaming those who walk away

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was sold primarily to sailors who mistook it for a collection of sea shanties. The publisher made sure the poet knew that …

What really counts

counts for nothing

Traffic in a congested metropolis

Millions of vectors of purposeful motion

on meaningless trips

to unexpected endings

memorialized with black and white obituaries

with creases of red color bleeding through

blessed weeds of blood

Whole lives almost entirely wasted

just a moment or two of actual existence in eighty years

Rosebud

Thank God that’s over …

But …

Just a step to the left

a thousand wild flowers bloom

slandered as chaos

as they reach out to each other

in natural harmony

splendid in each individual blossom

glorious in their unity

together

an organism of many organisms

with nary an organizer

or organization

in sight.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

11/13/20: Mannered #poetry

11/13/20: Mannered #poetry

The Netflix subscription began like contraband

Released from cable election coverage

Armageddon will take a little longer to arrive

Ambition takes up residence in my heart again

The blog seems too small

what a dangerous thought

yes, art for art’s sake and all that

but …

I imagine this blog is a sketch book

a portfolio to present

where exactly?

The writer is someone who lives inside of me

I’m not him

I’m ordinary

but the writer seems to get smarter and smarter

and more and more confident

more challenging

a runner who laps the field several times

a young prodigy

in the body of a sixty-five year old man

The world is words

The world is a book

letters attached mobiles dance around me …

Everything teaches me how to write

in my own peculiar way

A writer is a novice to himself

always a novice

the subtle churn of transformation occurs daily

not really imperceptibly

the mirror never presents the same image twice

nor does the sky …

“The Queen’s Gambit” is good

a made for TV novel

I can only relate to it as to how it can inform my writing

Just as I relate to everything else

I have no objectivity

The writer demands everything

The writer needs a constant supply of metals

for an alchemy of expressed personal meaning …

I am never an audience

always an artist

never a listener

always a speaker

My internal monologue is transcribed

on an infinite roll of paper

My moments of peace

and silence

are parades of words

explosions of words

songs with dense lyrics

I tell my story and make it happen

The seat of the universe rests in my words

not in the constant action of the pedestrian world that surrounds us all

I am brilliant and sure when I write

and it isn’t a Walter Mitty fantasy

It’s true

All that the world obstructed me from sharing

now freed

in my words …

The teleplay sings …

“a genius player” ….

Why is a story of a genius so popular?

Could it be that everyone has a genius who lives within …

why do I identify with this young girl

at more or less the same time as so many others?

The show itself is …

Mannered …

that’s not a criticism …

the show is …

Excellent in some general way I guess

but this isn’t a review

Consume what you wish

I steer you to me

not The Queen’s Gambit …

I don’t need the music that perfectly matches the mood

I just need the characters

and the story

I don’t need the meticulously chosen technically adroit positioning and movement of the camera

I just need the characters

and the story

I don’t need the artful composition of people and objects in every frame

I just need the characters and the story

I don’t need the finally honed performamces

I don’t need the acting

I just need the characters and the story

All the extraordinary craft

seems like dressing up perfectly for a job interview

or a big date

who needs either?

I just need the characters and the story

I just need that ephemeral intangible but quite real thing

who we are

and those ordinary backdrops

the world and the events of our lives

where our ephemeral intangible who we are

the real us

peeks out

darts before our eyes

and disappears

I used to see the real me in my envy

and now I see him on this page

and in my longing

I am in revolt against everything

except the human

I don’t need all of this show’s mannerisms

but I endure them for its story

I used to sit rapt and watch

and absorb all that I could of characters and a story that I found worthy

Now I sit and write as I watch

(I don’t need to concentrate as much anymore — I know what they are doing … how many hours have I spent watching film and TV, good and bad, allowing my mind to create my life, processing and discovering ….)

If I didn’t write as I watch

I’d jump out of my skin

I have an fountain

a seemingly inexhaustible source inside of me

I used to talk too much

or so I was told

I was just writing

in disappearing ink

The Queen’s Gambit takes me to a place where being human is the only important thing

Nothing else matters

TV and the movies

and the news sometimes

is my church

I turn on the TV to see God

I feel as old as time

and as young as this moment

I have ceased only reflecting

and begun dreaming again

Oh the places we’ll go ….

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

11/13/20: An Anti-democratic Enemy that Must be Defeated #poetry #RepublicanParty

11/13/20: An Anti-democratic Enemy that Must be Defeated #poetry #RepublicanParty

I take no pleasure in writing this

The Republican Party is an anti-democratic enemy that must be defeated

Like the Confederacy

and the Nazis

and the Soviet Empire

who came before them

The Republican Party is a threat to our way of life

They want to dominate us

and subjugate us

The Republican Party is evil

Their pandemic response is a moral equivalent to the Holocaust

Their economic policies are tantamount to slavery

Their attitudes towards race and immigrants

are on par with South African apartheid

They are against voting, science, reason and the truth

Their only aim is raw power

You can’t compromise with them

You can’t debate them

You can’t negotiate with them

They are committed to our total capitulation and destruction

Will we have to defeat them in a hot war?

Civl War II?

I don’t know

Will we have to fight a cold war?

No direct conflict, surrogates and proxies?

I don’t know

Will they dissipate and fade?

Will their masterful manipulation of the dark hearts of ignorant people

shrink in influence until it dies of old age and natural causes?

I don’t know.

I do know that they started it

We did not make them the enemy

They have hated us from afar for a long time

They have plotted this forever.

It wasn’t always this way

But this is not the Republican Party of an increasingly distant past

A few fanatics festered in the Republican Party

and stealthily took it over

Cynical careerists went along with the coup

They saw it as a path to power

The Patriots were left in the cold …

The 2020 election of Joe Biden

was a only a victory in a battle

We did not win the war

The New Republicans are shameless and relentless

They persevere

and they never fail at turning every twist and turn of the story to their strategic advantage

I don’t precisely know how to fight them

The start is to recognize what they are

President Obama wonders in his new memoir

if he was wise to think that he could deal with the Republicans as opponents with whom we share a democracy

He wasn’t wise in that regard

The Rick Blog said then that the Republicans had to be defeated

The Republicans are not opponents with whom we share a democracy

The Republicans are a threat to our democracy

The Republicans are not American at all

We do not share values with the Republicans

We don’t have to heal ourselves now

We have to defend ourselves.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

11/12/20: American Killing Fields Through the Lens of Notre Dame Complicity #pandemic #NotreDame #FatherJenkins #poetry

11/12/20: American Killing Fields Through the Lens of Notre Dame Complicity #pandemic #NotreDame #FatherJenkins #poetry

My alma mater Notre Dame was a leader in the march towards the American Holocaust — no hyperbole — that we are suffering now. Colleges and businesses should have never reopened. A total lockdown and total relief is necessary. People are more important than money. Support of an immoral fascist US administration has led to mass tragedy. I said this months ago.

https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/10/04/8-12-20-dissent-re-my-alma-mater-notre-dames-re-opening-collection-poetry-essay-poeticessay-2/

11/4/20: It’s not … #poetry #election

We need a total lockdown and a comprehensive relief package. 47% of America was happy with Nazis and now we have a Holocaust. Hundreds of thousands slaughtered. Infected health care workers forced to keep working. Democracy obstructed. American tragedy.

The Rick Blog

11/4/20: It’s not … #poetry #election

Win lose or draw …

It’s not Fox News

It’s the people …

They like to watch that shit …

It’s not the Russians …

It’s the people …

they don’t give a shit about America or values …

They care about petty power …

They’d march with Hitler if they thought they would win …

It’s not fears about “socialism”

It’s the people …

It’s their willful ignorance to justify doing anything and everything to steal their money …

It’s not Trump …

It’s the people …

they are Trump

Crude, ignorant, mean, egomaniacal, racist, murderous …

un-empathetic

they commit mass murder

so they can open their shitty little businesses and watch their football games …

They are unmoved by the death and suffering of hundreds of thousands

Unmoved by starving children

Unmoved by atrocity after atrocity and abuse

It’s not the Republicans

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