Saturday, October 27, 2007

Words Twisted Skyward

(This mornings newspaper had a story--back on page 8--headlined FEMA is sorry it staged briefings and it continues to say that the Agency's No. 2 official Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson apologized Friday for leading a staged news conference concerning the California wildfires, in which FEMA employees posed as reporters while real reporters were barred from asking questions. "We are reviewing our press procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of our communications are straightforward and transparent," he said in a four paragraph statement. "We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgement." "It was absolutely a bad decision," continued John "Pat" Philbin, FEMA'S Director of External Affairs. "Certainly...I should have stopped it."

But he didn't. And it was not simply "a bad decision," or an "error in judgement." It was a deliberate, outright LIE. This, trying to reestablish their credibility and integrity after their debacle in managing Hurricane Katrina. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino then said, "This is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House."

Yeah, right! "They should ALL be in jail," sez I. And it should have been on the front page.)

Two Gallants Waves Of Grain Lyrics

Pray betray the deceased,
such an infamous freedom, such a militant peace.
How dare they distrust, do they know who we are?
And Your progeny's brave,
their tract houses waiting, pre-plucked and pre-paved:
To the ends of the Earth, wife, kids and a car.

But oh no, no, I see them falling.
Let's all pray for rain, Let's all pray for rain.
And all your children are reared by panic and fear.
But what when all your fields are rotten,
your waves of grain, amber waves of grain?
And your word is yet done: Inbreed us 'till we're all the same.

And Your collection of tongues,
you keep framed in your parlour, with your bibles and guns,
the fetus of Christ with a fistful of scars.
And your vision is clear,
while you blind your own kind in a curtain of fear,
your words twisted skywards distracted by stars.

But oh, no, no, the sky is falling.
Let's all pray for rain, Let's all pray for rain.
And you pour out your prayers and weep 'cuase you care.
But what when all your fields are rotten,
your waves of grain, amber waves of grain?
And you hide the dead while my friends head to die in your name.

And This playground is yours
spoke God when you met, behind closed doors.
Gesture your hand and the pawns shall subside
And though you play alone,
you never get lonely, you never get bored.
Who needs a friend when God's on your side?

But oh, no, no, I see them falling.
Let's all pray for rain, Let's all pray for rain.
And even I can't pretend we're not near the end.
But what when all your fields are rotten,
your waves of grain, amber waves of grain?
When your days are done, I hope you've had fun with your game.

And you accepted as fact:
Behold a white horse, with you on it's back,
a bow in your hand, a crown through your hair.
And the oceans shall rise
and slap on the shores of mountainsides.
Great waves of progress shall wet the air.

But oh, no, no, the sky is falling.
Let's all pray for rain, Let's all pray for rain.
And you fools in the back with your heads in your hats,
What when all your fields are rotten,
your waves of grain, amber waves of grain?
And my words won't be done, they'll never be done 'till the end.



kimberley said...

This is magnificently powerful - these lines - wow:

And Your collection of tongues,
you keep framed in your parlour, with your bibles and guns,
the fetus of Christ with a fistful of scars.

Fema and all the rest of this government - sometimes its hard not to be just plain scared.

pepektheassassin said...

I am not exactly scared, I am just plain MAD!

pepektheassassin said...

They must think we are all 'fools in the back/ with our heads in our hats.'

Pris said...

Such a good post. Sometimes I don't know what to do with my anger over so many lies!

Pam said...

I, too, am angry. And insulted by what their treachery implies. Yes, jail...

The energy and power in your poem is stunning,the truth of it.

our Tammy is moving today, our dear friend is on her new .

wendy said...


Brave. Patriotic. Rockin!

wendy said...

I linked to you..I'm so PROUD of you!

Come on people...Let's start using OUR voives...

chiefbiscuit said...

Powerful stuff - middle America, silent America - speaks!!! No longer content to be silent. Yay! Well done.
(I can't believe they did this - did they ever think they could get away with it?)

pepektheassassin said...

Apparently they thought they could. And they probably will. I can't wait until every last vestige of Dubya Bush is gone. If we lived in ancient Egypt we could eradicate his name from every pillar and wall. (But then, that would be manipulating history...right?)

slickdpdx said...

FEMA didn't say WHICH lessons they learned from Katrina. Some were the wrong ones, apparently. D'oh!

k said...

My rage at all this, from the very beginning, was part silent and part spoken. Quietly. Angrily but quietly. I quickly saw I was changing nobody's mind; people often believe what they want to, and feel nothing but fury at suggesting they think it over first. So I changed tactics.

The reason FEMA et al thought they could get away with it is simply because, so many times, they have. That means their supposition was perfectly reasonable. This practice was implemented by the administration early on, and continues today in its press conferences. FEMA took their cue from dubya. Why fix it if it ain't broke?

After Hurricane Andrew - another debacle - FEMA was actually beaten and molded into a fairly well run department. When FEMA was centralized into Homeland Security governance after 9-11, its authority and its guts were ripped out; and, like all the other departments brought under the newly centralized umbrella of control, totally mismanaged.

On purpose.

This was not an accident. It never was. The goofy idiocy of dubya's appearance has always fronted for a calculating, driven, amoral, selfish, and extraordinarily greedy soul.

It's what happens when one believes Ideology is Not Only Good, it's Much Better Than Quality or Truth.

What took place is a simple matter of goal setting and achievement. The goal for us may look like freedom, safety, security, prompt response. And achievement techniques like order and planning and skilled implementation, so that little children don't drown like stray dogs swirled away in flooded streets, and old folks slowly thirst and starve on rooftops after four days, waiting for help that wasn't even on the way until last night.

However, say your goal is simply to amass more political power, and you believe the best path to the goal is not through real service, because that's potentially fallible and therefore dangerous. Say instead you believe your path to success is by seizing more power and more and more by whatever means you wish - while using great wealth and great effort to make the public believe *information* about your means is not phony spin, but facts about *real service.*

This is the result.

Government propaganda was actually made illegal a while back. Does anyone even remember that now? A couple years ago, the administration was caught in the act of propagandizing. Caught red-handed, very clearly, in a tactic far more strategised than just salting press conferences with phony reporters. They were sending out videotaped so-called *news reports* to major TV stations, but not disclosing they were actually not news at all but carefully scripted propaganda items, replacing facts with spin in the administration's favor. When caught, it was quickly and efficiently downplayed, boo-hoo'd, so-called *regretted,* and forgotten.

No investigation. No criminal charges. All three branches of government were under control by the same party, you see. So of course there was no motivation to set things right, and every motivation in the world to hush them up, quickly and efficiently.

It's perfectly capable of fast and efficient work when it wants to be.

I have watched the Bush family since 1979, together with the rise of Reagan and Saddam Hussein. The entire Bush family is as amoral as any politician ever was. They truly believe they are above and beyond the law, that the law is for the *little people,* just like those who paid Leona Helmsly's taxes for her.

I despise ineptitude, bad quality, poor workmanship, lies, sloppy planning, manipulation, mismanagement. These are characteristics dubya has in spades. Look what the idiot did in his so-called military service, or what he did to the baseball team he owned. So how in the world did he get this far anyway?

The only thing dubya ever really succeeded in on his own merits was being a cheerleader in college. He was incredibly successful running the pep squad; it became THE place to belong, among a cynical and jaded set. It's his only great natural talent. He developed and derived his political success from that.

And what do cheerleaders do?

They keep on cheering the team and hooraying that it will win, whether it's ahead, or faltering, or has obviously and irretrievably lost the game. It does so on the theory that such *support* can make the team win after all. It feels very good, and works just often enough that people embrace it.

Since my earliest memories I've despised that sort of forced unreality. It gives me the creeps and always has. I couldn't even handle Disneyland at the age of two and a half, because I'm a lover of reality and Disneyland is most certainly not.

Even loving reality, I have nothing against fantasy or daydreams. Oh, none at all! What troubles me is when fantasy is being imposed upon me from without. I can dream much better on my own, thank you very much.

The motivations of others to impose their fantasies on me, to make me believe their falsehood is real? Those motivations are invariably to THEIR benefit, not mine; and almost invariably presented as being for MY good rather than theirs. That is the essence of totalitarianism: the government knows better, and is controlling us for our own good.

Whether it's Disneyland emptying my pockets to enrich their own, or politicians stealing not just my money but the health and lives and freedom of my friends and family and perfectly fine strangers, I hate them for it. To damage us is bad enough. To pretend it's for our own good is humiliating and horrifying.

To me, it has a nightmarish quality. Every Halloween I see trick or treaters coming to my door in costumes purchased to commemorate some *branded* character. The costumes are almost never simply created by their wearers any more.

Whether it's because they've lost the ability to create them, or lost interest in doing so, the loss is a sad one. Another apparently harmless microcosm of the triumph of folks like Bush.

Thank you, miss assassin, for your poem. We are not alone in this.