Litkicks Message Board Archive

Tao Americana

Posted to Poetry and Politics

First, I think this "LitKicks Town Hall" idea is pretty good -- who knows, maybe it'll become a regular feature.

I'm gonna present my opinion in the form of two opposing opinions, because that pretty much describes my state of mind right now.

1) in contrast to what L-Rod posted, I don't see any American conspiracy here. I think conspiracy theorists do a lot more damage in this world than conspiracists ever manage to do. I love America, not only because it's my home, but because it's a government that chews up and spits out it's leaders every few years. Bush is really not that powerful. Neither is Cheney. We'll get to vote them both out of office in a year and a half (like we thought we did a couple of years ago). America is not a ruling party, not even a ruling family (even though it is true that being a politician's son doesn't hurt, as Bush and Gore both proved). It is a concept -- the concept being a lot of individual freedom, a relatively weak central government (relative to, say, Iraq's central government), and a free-wheeling capitalistic economy. I like the first two things a lot, and the third not that much. But I added things up and I don't see any conspiracy in this country to control the world. I see a scared and angry nation still reeling, yes, still after a year and a half, reeling from what happened on Sept 11. I see a desparate victim trying to regain control, reaching in vain for protection against the evil unknown.

That was one side of my opinion. Now the other side:

2) I can't stand the idea that we are bombing a city right now. This whole thing started when my city got bombed. As I've written about here, in probably more poems and stories than anybody needs to read, I saw it with my own eyes, I stared in shock at the destruction, I breathed the dust. Now, in our name, we are bombing somebody else's city. There is some guy around my age in Baghdad right now, walking around his streets staring bewildered, just as I stood bewildered two Septembers ago.

Civilian death and destruction is wrong. We didn't find the high road.

Am I for or against this action? Goddammit, I don't know. I can tell you I have been watching CNN a hell of a lot, as if an answer might finally come to me.

It hasn't gotten here yet.

And that's what I think on this Thursday town hall evening.

-- Levi