Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Polling the One-Legged Proles

Back in early 2003, a majority of Americans thought it just wonderful that we should kick the living shit out of Iraq, simply because we wanted to at the time and thought we could. Four years later, a majority of Americans now don't think this shit-kicking stuff has worked out so well since it turned out we only had one leg to stand on and kick the Iraqi people at the same time. Still, though, another majority of Americans still can't decide whether or not continuing to "win" this one-legged ass-kicking contest makes less sense than "losing" it as quickly as humanly possible. Hence:

"Polling the One-Legged Proles"

You ask them if they like 'good' and they tell you that they do;
You say: "You hate 'bad,' don't you?" and they answer: "That is true;"
From all of which we gather what? That one plus one is two?

Majorities, we learn, like wars that sound like lots of fun,
And more than half will always say we shouldn't "cut and run"
No matter if we die while shouting: "We are number one!"

The old vox populi gives voice to popular content
With knowing not the names of thieves or where the money went;
Nor even why we haven't hanged the "leaders" we resent.

They lie and steal with such panache that words cannot but fail
To conjur up the essence of their victims' plaintive wail,
And yet they walk free on the earth when they should rot in jail.

Our Romanovs and their Rasputins say we need a "czar"
Because we cannot rule ourselves and don't know who we are.
Our rulers scoff at serfs like us whom they find too bizarre.

So ask us if we like our lot, and we will say: "And how!"
We wouldn't want to disagree with "liking," would we now?
So just imply a "positive" and we'll take up the plow.

Our "goodness" we assume as fact implicit in the word
As if agreeing with ourselves - the bovine, driven herd -
Somehow makes our conformity the least bit less absurd

And so if we should take a poll, we'll find a total lack
Of any evidence that we are other than a pack
Who answer "yes" or "no" on cue, and yet who don't know Jack.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2007


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