Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sonnet: Gym Talk; More on Iraq

Gym Talk

I exercised today. I walked two miles
Uphill in forty minutes, then I swam
1000 yards, staring at blue tiles
In crosses underwater. No cardiogram
Was needed, since my pulse behaved itself.
True, my back ached while swimming and walking
But pain is no good measurement of health.
I slipped into the Jacuzzi. A man was talking
About impeaching Bush, as many do.
“Clinton’s little lies harmed none,” he said,
“While Bush, that preening Christian cockatoo
“Believes more sacrifice honors the dead.”
Honor the living, I say, pull up the tents!
We’ve done no good; look at the evidence.

Today’s sonnet reflects my experience at the gym yesterday, though the events and subsequent conversation have, of course, been manipulated for the sake of brevity. But the passion of men my age in the locker room discussion of the present administration was amazing. I haven’t seen citizens exercised like this in a long time.

On the other hand, where are the protests? Where is the million man march against the war? Why are there no great demonstrations? Is it simply a matter of scale, that we’ve only lost 3000? Or is it because the economy is good, despite the drain Iraq puts on the treasury? Or has apathy reached new levels in our society?

Do we think, “That’s just Washington as usual and there’s nothing we can do about it?” Cindy Sheehan may be a flake, but she had the right idea. But the point is not to throw one dead son in Bush’s face, rather to throw the whole debacle in his face, preferably with a huge demonstration or a national demonstration coordinated locally, with protests from LA to NY. But where are the organizers? If people behaved fifty years ago as they do today, segregation might still exist.

If anyone knows of any effective movements opposing the war that I might join, please write me. I am constantly amazed at the lack of protest over our current fatal misdirection. What, we blew up the Mideast so we have to stay there and try to put the pieces of the balloon back together? Get a life, America.



  1. Re-instituting the draft will end this war almost immediately. More upper middle-class class kids in danger would bring those without a stake in this misadventure to their senses.

    More disturbing than this Iraqi war is the Patriot Act's attack on our freedoms. What to do to bring more Americans out to test its constitutionality is the bigger mystery.

    A hundred years from now Iraq will be seen as the alter on which American freedoms were sacrificed. Mencken turned out to be right you know.


    "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and
    glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

    --H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

  2. Great quote by Mencken, but I do not think a draft would help anything but as you say, more middle class involvement. We cannot win a war against 30 million people 4000 miles away with even 300,000 troops. Since nearly every Iraqi household has a gun, this would be further insanity. I agree that the abridgement of our rights is perhaps the greater issue. Moron indeed.

  3. If we redeploy our troops from Iraq, institute a draft to get middle America involved (and reinvigorate the military at the same time), and then call for a real middle east summit things will change for the better. Too much to ask?

    Brazil went energy independent in 5 years. But they're smarter than Americans, right? Energy independence means those guys in the Middle-East can go back to selling us rugs and spices and their oil can last forever after there in the ground.That's the focus Americans need for their next election, if we can get to the moon with a leader calling for it to happen and industry bent to that purpose, so can we get to where Brazil got to. BRAZIL, for god's sake, this can't be too tough for Americans to get accomplished, can it?

    Flex fuel cars. Kane and Korn fuel stations all over America. A new American Dream?


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