NOTES from the UNDERGROUND No. 152 | September 23, 2008
THE POLITICS OF LITERATURE
CENTRAL BANKERS SAVE BIG GAMBLER BUDDIES!
by Eric Chaet
Central bankers intervene to protect big gamblers
take money from everyone else
to keep their friends from suffering the consequences of bad bets
they’ve been misallocating money all your life
more for them, less for wiser investments
text books that tell the truth, hospitals, libraries
clean water & air, food for the hungry, medicine for the ill
bridges that lead from here to somewhere we’d rather be
prose, poetry, speeches, budgets, & laws that don’t just sound cool
but mean something you can build something good on
not just more of the same struggle
in hopes of getting back to a slightly less desperate struggle.
The central bankers say it’s for everyone’s good
maybe everyone they know
representatives of government don’t understand
any more than reporters understand
they mumble what the central bankers said to them
to the TV cameras & microphones
people everywhere are confused
can it possibly be a racket that makes Mafia operations look puny?
it’s all as legal as police, judges, & prisons.
The capitalists have overthrown feudalism & clericalism
that’s progress, I mean it, hooray for the Capitalist Revolution!
the capitalists have also suppressed everyone with only their labor to sell
as tho it’s shameful at least, maybe a crime to be born without assets
or to suffer reverses because you didn’t understand everything
or because a tornado or disease is bigger than a human being
or because you’ve cast your lot with human well-being & the future
not immediate jackpots, lots of toys, the admiration of the deluded.
Yes, tyrants have used the indignation & rage of the poor
Stalin, Hitler, Mao, the whole revolting list
but the capitalists also suppress
the indignant, angry, or resigned & wasting-away poor
& discredit anyone who even suggests
that what they’re doing is tyranny, too
tyranny with a great cover story about liberty & justice for all
& free enterprise
how all your problems are caused by foreigners & trouble-makers
& those they have suppressed mumble
what the capitalists’ talking heads tell them year after year.
How do you qualify to be a capitalists’ talking head, general, or admiral?
you must show some ability
it helps to be good-looking per the fashion of the time
with a brief last name that sounds normal to a Norman
after a little conquest & a nice meal
but rule number one: you mustn’t be questioning
the doings & rationale of those making the unwise allocations
profitable for themselves on a scale beyond the ability of most to imagine
while everyone else is a hurricane- or cannon-fodder tax-payer
get a job, buy gasoline, heat your quarters, serve.
It makes you dangerously cynical against serving anyone at all
easy prey to diseases that overwhelm you when your spirit is low
no wonder people turn to crime, legal or illegal
no wonder the best youths rarely achieve what they hope to achieve
give up & die, or become middle managers for their oppressors
while many among the dullest are celebrated
for scoring touchdowns, singing love-sick ballads with corny accents
everyone pretends rural & small town waitresses & mechanics use to court
or making fortunes marketing sugar-laced canned goods that cause diabetes
or gadgets or fashionable trinkets whose production requires
the poisoning of rivers, aquifers, forests, babies, & elders.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than feudalism & clericalism
you have a better chance to be one of the winners
it helps if you’re willing to care nothing about the losers
in fact, that’s a requirement, for most promotions.
The financiers who have profited the most
from taking the biggest risks with others’ money
bailed out yet again with money you must pay or go to jail
even if you never bought into their confidence games
when those games would otherwise collapse.
The central banks & those who claim to represent you
who delegate the authority to them
continue their revolution against being ruled by solidarity with you
their feudal & clerical enemies long ago defeated.
Yes, I’m aware most poems aren’t like this one.
That’s not my concern—I only hope it does some good.
Who pays the talking heads, generals, admirals, congressmen, presidents
famous authors, experts interviewed every day on supposedly public radio?
Where does the money come from?
I’m not talking about killing anybody
I’m talking to you
I’m not just performing word-tricks hoping for praise
let’s do something else
let’s put ourselves to work doing something else
each of us & together, too
can you imagine?
individual freedom, justice for each individual
not this bunch of rich gamblers too big to fail, everyone else expendable
it’s hard even to imagine doing something else
when they’re doing what they’re doing on such a scale
right out in front of everybody, maybe secretly, too?
once again expediency & injustice seem to prevail
it’s the oldest, most discouraging story
& anyone who makes a peep about it being unfair & intolerable
seems crazy misinformed probably a crank idealist unrealistic
if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?
count me among the crazy.