Back around 1934 or 1935, when this ancient veteran was in his early teens, my perennial friend and I would saunter the streets of our neighborhood, chanting the latest in ‘smart-aleck’ sayings: “I’m a peaceful guy and I’ll kill the first person who doesn’t believe me!”
As a rising tide of irritation roiled what should have been an energetic second-wind, for gaining new fruit to enrich the electoral edge that OBamians have been thirsting for, this aging veteran was stunned to hear but a single voice raised to protest the temerity of military mischief-in-the-making… and that voice of a Republican rebel, at that. To this ‘pro forma’ civil libertarian, we seem to be on the razor’s edge of a power move, by certain commanders of our various armed forces, toward an American ‘military monopoly.’
This Commentator had decided to devote his essay for today to the two documents which have hung above the desk in his work space, since they were awarded to him, by then Governor Mario M. Cuomo, for his participation and help in achieving major ethics legislation in New York State, on August 7th, 1987. He was going to note how time and trials had wrought changes, which made these documents less important mementos of prior, experience and would then, perhaps, look forward to another time, for yet another, more important change. This might even surpass what was then achieved, to legislate even more important advances in governmental ethics. Alas, it now appears that this will not occur.
When Scottish physicist James Clark Maxwell made the invention of the telephone possible, by unlocking the secret of electro-magnetic waves, in 1878, he playfully wrote of its humble appearance--- “Any disappointment was partially relieved, on finding it was really able to talk.”
When the conservative-driven hierarchy of the U.S. Supreme Court dared to re-design the framework of corporate essence into a temporal twin of individual human qualities and characteristics, it did so without a schematic of definitive qualifications. As a result, the outcome was essentially left “up-for-grabs.” In American political parlance, that translates into the singular forensic phrase: “To the highest bidder.”
April is National Poetry Month. In this edition of A Bard's Eye View, WAMC's resident poet, Paul Elisha, sits down for a conversation with Djelloul Marbrook. They discuss Djelloul's work, Brushstrokes and glances.
Djelloul Marbrook's book of poems, Far from Algiers, won the 2007 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and the 2010 International Book Award in poetry. He worked for many years as a reporter and editor for newspapers including the Providence Journal, Elmira Star-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, Winston-Salem Journal, Washington Star, and others. He lives in New York s mid-Hudson Valley with his wife Marilyn.
One of the great unsolvable human mysteries, for this commentator, continues to be how, during the final days of one of the Judeo/Christian community’s most holy observances, leaders and followers of the most diverse political opinions and policies can put them casually aside, for the duration of their respective religious participations. Then, ignore the hallowed words and meanings they’ve mouthed, as they blithely return to the most miserably consequential and unsavory shenanigans, in their games of political one-upmanship.
As the various disparate observances approach, which, by some series of absurdities has become a misnomer, now known as Judeo-Christian kinship, this commentator’s memory harks back to his childhood and the question he yearned to ask his biblically astute Grandfather but never dared: “Why is it that at the end of the Passover Seder, at the final ‘Amen,’ does everyone fervently respond: “Next year in Jerusalem!”?