The Superbowl is, as if I have to say it, a preparation for a war. Jordan says poetry, like sports analysis, can fit into the superfluous intellectual activity container. But there’s a reason it doesn’t prepare the country for a war that is obviously against the interests of its population. Poetry and music always have a bandwidth of info about life which downloads even beyond the intentions and formulations of its creators (something Gary has been writing about) the collective psychology of sports seemingly subtracts this information stream, as a lot of TV does- or it just overloads (denial of service attack?) with info about what millionaires want. The streaming poetry info comes not just from individual lives, since all poems are collaborations with all the other work one has come into contact with - from all the people who made it, all one’s contemporaries, all the masses of pages one runs one's eyes and ears over in a lifetime, all the reactivations and understandings and constructive misunderstands transmitted across time and death, and even the bailing on or transforming of things one decides are baggage- these are collaborations, whether one likes it or not.
Even the lame poets that Laura Bush invites over for her tea party are ready to kick her husband’s ass! Poetry doesn’t seem turn off our brains to very common sense perceptions: such as- that there is not a threat to the US from Iraq (Iraq mostly does itself- and in very nasty ways), that there is no connection to Osama Bin Ladin (Hussein and OBL are bitter rivals), that there is no threat to Israel (who have hundreds of nuclear weapons), that an unprovoked invasion (which could very well take place in violation of international law) is presently the only imaginable thing that might cause the use of WMD by Iraq. That control of Opec and the region are the main goals, that the war will result in much more terrorism in and outside the US, that this terrorism with further empower the current administration to further remove the bill of rights and to oppose international human rights, that the numbing informationless media landscape in the US controlled apparently by the state department with no effort distracts the population from the open class warfare occurring in domestic policy. I was wondering out loud on the sublist why moderates and conservative and libertarians weren’t coming out against the war - low and behold Pat Buchanian does just this on PBS tonight.
Jordan’s point that there is no consciousness of class conflict is key to why Americans are outwardly 54% or whatever okay with this very bad idea (WITH UN approval that is). If you looked at what was really happening you’d have to admit you were getting robbed and your kids were going to get killed and mass murder was going down on your watch all to make a few oil billionaires a little bit richer and to win a Yale kid another shot of doing the same for the next election cycle. For some reason the American brain can’t admit this - though if you listen to the tone of people’s voice when say they’re behind the war it never sounds quite right. Our internalization of the class war denial script prevents us from being able to understand our own foreign policy. To understand it would be to admit our powerlessness at the hands of an exploiting elite.
Of the many, many ways poetry can activate itself in the political layers of life, one I like seeing these days is the literal spreading info (sublist is mostly politics of one kind or another) – and esp. now, getting people’s asses to the protest (GO KRISTEN PREVALLET!)
Can we imagine what might stop this thing from happening? Withdrawal of support by European powers? Massive protest in the US and abroad? Apparently the protests in the US during the Nixon administration had a large impact - possible preventing them from dropping nukes on Viet Nam. Could we get the protester count to a certain number where it would do something? Could protest always be tied to organized targeting of the media? Should we also focus on simple goals — I quote Mark Wallace here — and vote these guys out of office!?