Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On Fri, May 23, 2008 at 9:03 AM, in response to a query for a post Alan Casline wrote:

I took out a Chinese Anthology but find the writers already in retreat from youthful folly and corrupt world. I did write a hexagram poem for Retreat.
If anyone wants a copy just ask me for it.

When you point a gun at someone
you are also pointing it at yourself.

When you point a finger at someone
there are three fingers in your hand
pointed back at you.

(proverb from my Dad, Louis Casline)

If your blog is about dealing with anger, as in by venting, letting off steam being a positive then I guess it is helpful. I don't have anger build up like that.

I dissipate my anger most times. I'm a big environmentalist - that doesn't mean much... I've planted thousands of trees - that does.

Politics are corrupt.

When I vote I always take some races and do not vote for anyone. You don't have to vote in every contest. This assures the numbers never add up.

not-running-for-or-from anything Bird

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Found It!

...I don't know what exactly happened with Tim's submission, or how it ended up in my SPAM folder but here is the Post entitled "War." as he sent it to me and as I promised.

I am a little behind on things at home so the next post will be from Alan Casline but it won't post for a day or two.


( P.S.: ...I call the artwork for this post "Mr. Greenspam"... obviously a friend of, but totally not related to "Mr. Green Jeans" )


There’s always been war, war isn’t new

Britain invaded France, France invaded Britain

Ten miles of land taken away, ten miles taken back

The Catholics against the protestants

The Christians against the Muslims

Everybody against the Jews

They avenge the killing of their fathers and uncles

Their sons avenge the killing of their fathers and uncles

Napolean, Ivan the Terrible, Alexander the Great

The Hitlers, the Mussolini’s

The Blairs, the Bushes, the Cheneys

Marines march in lockstep at the US Open

Fighter jets fly above, thousands stand attention

The Army marches at Nascar

Military music blares at football games

Boys are clobbered, we applaud, we cheer

when they’re carried off the field

Their fathers call them heroes, we pay them millions

Hockey players legally assault one another

Men yell kill him kill him, they call that competition

Its war, its indoctrination, its glorification, its normalization of war

War against terrorism War against drugs War against Crime

Family Feuds are family wars, its war its still war

Star Wars, even Lord of the Rings is about war

The Civil War is on public TV

The Japanese War is on History

We say we hate war, we love war, we need it really

its everywhere I look, everywhere I see

You say I’m pro-war because I say they’ll always be war

I’m resigned to war, you say I’m wrong, we should have peace

I say read your history, you can’t rewrite a thousand years, a thousand wars

Talking about war makes us blind, makes us deaf

We close our eyes, close our ears

Only thinking of what to say next

They’ll always be war, we can’t help it

Just like the birds, the mammals

the fish, ants, the bees

We are mammals, we are animals

Like all living things

Fighting for supremacy, fighting over territory

Tim Verhaegen

Thu, May 15, 2008 at 9:20 PM

Sunday, May 25, 2008

"The Survey Says:"

A week ago I posed this question in the form of a survey:

Is it naive to believe that poetry can be a social conscience and a force for change?

A lack of response prompted me to send out this E-mail:


I posted a new survey on the new blog a couple of days ago:

Is it naive to believe that poetry can be a social conscience and a force for change?

Votes so far: 0
Days left to vote: 4

So far Apathy Wins!


Barb Vink responded:

"Not apathy. No time, no time, no time. I have not even prepared for my Sunday guest shot yet. But I will answer this one. Succinctly."

Larry Rapant responded:

"Some questions, if not most, just can't be answered yes or no, and that question is definitely one of them. I'm glad Walt Whitman wrote his Song of Myself, or else I would have been hopelessly lonely and desperate as a teen.

So my life has been positively affected by a poet. As far as the social change is concerned, that is a much bigger issue that depends entirely on the degree to which one thinks that an individual's life actually affects the world at large. That's a much more dubious question, especially when one reflects on how little people like Jesus, Gandhi, etc. have managed to change basic human nature, i.e., how little we have changed as a species over the generations."

Cathy Anderson responded to the E-mail this way:

" I think apathy won a long time ago when all the evils in the world were blamed on homosexuals and abortion-rights groups. The religious fundamentalists were pleased as punch to point fingers and the sheep all went along in the name of God. Can poetry have an influence for good to flourish? I don't think so because too few people read poetry. So I vote "no.""

Cathy Anderson Also said:

I do think it is naive to think poetry can bring about social change. In a few instances, kids lucky enough to have a great teacher will benefit but I don't think poetry reaches the kinds of people who need it.


O.K., so I admit (and I said so to Alan today at Smitties) It was a "Trick question." meant to see if everyone was actually reading what I was saying. To vote in favor you had to vote "No." to vote against you had to vote "Yes."

I suppose you could say this negates the survey and its results. However, if you will notice the survey closed in a tie. The E-mails don't add up to the results, the debate continues, the question unanswered.

I learned something.


Saturday, May 24, 2008


“We’re cruising at 40,000!” the captain said.

I’m contemplating the question of whether life has meaning, gazing absent-mindedly down on the floor tiles, when suddenly I realize that the plastic is coming alive with thousands of dot-size ants that have made their home somewhere below this toilet seat.

Believe it or not, I think I know exactly how they feel. They have opted for the collectivist perspective, which is to say that, for them, the meaning of life streams forth from the holey center of a great sand hill and is both universal and absolute. There is not one smelly skeptical relativist to be found among this lot, and, although their conversations may be somewhat lacking in originality and verve, the aerial view that I have of their scurrying culture does remind me of a rush hour cityscape as observed from a topped out jet.

So, I piss and shit and flush, harboring a nasty, self-centered wish for my waste products to inundate that awful queendom under me just like a tsunami.

Larry Rapant

Thu, May 22, 2008 at 3:29 PM

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It baffles me

All right, I got worked up about Hillary (again) when I read that The Huffington Post is running a shocker of a piece claiming that Clinton donor and entertainment magnate Haim Saban offered the Young Democrats of America access to $1 million in funds if their two remaining superdelegates - David Hardt and Crystal Strait - endorsed Sen. Clinton. It was substantiated by four independent sources.

Why can't so many people see through this woman's housewifely facade to the snake oil salewoman behind it. She has played one dirty card after another in this campaign and now continues to divide the party with her personal ambitions in the face of defeat. I do not find this admirable, but entirely self serving.

Before the campaign the woman rode Bill's flapping coattails to a position of name-recognition, albeit for rather dubious reasons - cuckolded wife, mediocre lawyer, the Whitewater scandal with the suspicious death of her associate Vince Foster, her first failure to organize a national health care system - how many chances are we going to give her?

What is it about this woman than is accomplished or admirable? She has a long record of failures, personal and professional and no experience in government or foreign affairs, other than what was injected by her husband (if he ever slept with her).

I can't stand it.