Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Required Reading (definitely though with love)

This Independence Day it's important for us Americans to finally get it through our thick heads that there is a fundamental, essential difference between nationalism and patriotism. And that neither of those has anything to do with hegemonic warmongering. Just to keep us straight on those points, here is one of my favorite poems from patriot Nikki Giovanni:

I Laughed When I Wrote It
(Don’t You Think It’s Funny?)

the f.b.i came by my house three weeks ago
one white agent one black (or i guess negro would be
more appropriate) with two three-button suits on (one to
a man)
thin ties—cuffs in the bottoms—belts at their waists
they said in unison:
ms. giovanni you are getting to be quite important
people listen to what you have to say
i said nothing
we would like to have to give a different message
i said: gee are all you guys really shorter than hoover
they said:
it would be a patriotic gesture if you’d quit saying
you love rap brown and if you’d maybe give us some
leads
on what some of your friends are doing
i said: fuck you
a week later the c.i.a came by two unisexes one blond afro
one darker one three bulges on each showing lovely bell-
bottoms and boots
they said in rounds:
sister why not loosen up and turn on
fuck the system up from the inside
we can turn you on to some groovy
trips and you don’t have to worry
about money or nothing take the commune
way and a few drugs it’ll be good for you
and the little one
after i finished a long loud stinky fart i said serenely
definitely though with love
fuck you
yesturday a representative from interpol stopped me in the
park
tall, neat afro, striped hip huggers bulging only in the right
place
i really dig you, he said, i want to do something for you
and you alone
i asked what he would like to do for me
need a trip around the world a car bigger apartment
are you lonely i mean we need to get you comfortable
cause a lot of people listen to you and you
need to be comfortable to put forth a positive image
and digging the scene i said listen i would sell
out but i need to make it worth my while you understand
you just name it and i’ll give it to you, he assured me
well, i pondered, i want aretha franklin and her piano
reduced to fit next to my electric
typewriter on my desk and i’ll do anything you want
he lowered his long black eyelashes and smiled a whimsical
smile
fuck you, nikki, he said

And below some more worthwhile reading this holiday: first, an op-ed about immigration hysteria, and secondly, an interview with probably the most intelligent conservative thinker I've ever heard on what's wrong with the current administration.

  • The Founding Immigrants
    By Kenneth C. Davis
    Published: July 3, 2007
    Disdain for what is foreign is, sad to say, as American as apple pie, slavery and lynching.

  • Interview with Victor Gold
    By Bill Moyers
    Aired: June 29, 2007
    The impact of the sound bite mentality which you find in both parties...is there's been a debasing of the system. Because if you listen to these — I call them the Stepford candidates — on both sides in these debates the only two candidates that speak clearly are the ones they call the kooks.

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