Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Four Years In

Vanderleun has written a crushing essay, that, judging by the comments received, really hit a nerve among those who still refuse to see the big picture and focus on distracting minutiae.

Four Years In
Four years in. An inch of time. Four years in and the foolish and credulous among us yearn to get out. Their feelings require it. The power of their Holy Gospel of "Imagine" compels them. Their overflowing pools of compassion for the enslavers of women, the killers of homosexuals, the beheaders of reporters, and the incinerators of men and women working quietly at their desks, rise and flood their minds until their eyes flow with crocodile tears while their mouths emit slogans made of cardboard. They believe the world is run on wishes and that they will always have three more.

Like savages shambling about some campfire where all there is to eat are a few singed tubers, they paint their faces with the tatterdemalion symbols of a summer long sent down to riot with the worms. They clasp hands and sing songs whose lyrics are ash. "We shall... over... come." Overcome what, overcome who? Overcome their nation? Is that their dream? It is the lifelong dream of those that lead them that much is certain.

Four years in and we see these old rotting rituals trotted out in the streets like some pagan procession of idols and shibboleths, like some furred and feathered fetish shaken against the sky by hunkering witch-doctors, to hold back the dark, to frighten off the evil spirits and graven images that trouble the sleep of the dreamers.
And it just gets better from there.

Speaking of rotting rituals trotted out in the streets like some pagan procession of idols and shibboleths, don't miss the zombietime photoessay of recent demonstrations in San Francisco.

3 Comments:

Blogger The_Bad said...

War protests are great activities for those without work. Also a decent place to meet chicks (if you like hairy armpits).

3:09 PM, March 22, 2007  
Blogger Kilgore said...

First impression of “Four Years In”: ‘What a pompous and preposterously worded essay!’. Mr. Van der Leun’s prose is so overwrought that it borders on self-parody. A long string of hypberbolic, absurd, and downright goofy similes and metaphors is no substitute for political commentary (“…like some furred and feathered fetish shaken against the sky by hunkering witch-doctors, to hold back the dark, to frighten off the evil spirits and graven images that trouble the sleep of the dreamers…”; “…they paint their faces with the tatterdemalion [!] symbols of a summer long sent down to riot with the worms.”; “…until their eyes flow with crocodile tears while their mouths emit slogans made of cardboard.”). SECOND impression: ‘Wait - where have I heard this before?’ And then it hit me, like "angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz, who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,..." (etc.) Sound familiar? Granted, Mr. Van der Leun made some reasonable and compelling points in the final third of the essay, but he may not have intended to channel Allen Ginsburg’s “Howl”. It is not the most credible style basis for a pro-war essay. Then again, it sounds as though Mr. Van der Leun has been “listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox”, so perhaps the tribute is intentional.
- Kilgore

3:21 PM, March 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Perhaps! What's it to YOU Kilgore? :)
-- Goldenbough

12:54 AM, March 24, 2007  

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