Tag Archives: opinion

The Wider, More Ignorant World

Your words can live forever
cast out in the virtual plane.
They truly are immortal now,
and the internet’s to blame.

No matter your intentions
or the crowd you thought to reach,
your thoughts will be interpreted
and stretched until they reach

the few who you expected,
several more who understand,
a couple dozen converts,
maybe some who’ll take a stand,

and thousands, who although confused
by how you use your terms
will swear your wisdom isn’t fit
for thinking men, but worms.

But that is not the full extent
to which your text will go.
In violent, fiery rhetoric,
some radicals will show

that you are either full of light,
or bullshit, and your words
will serve to fuel the fires of hate,
no matter how absurd.

And nothing you can do or say
will make that flag unfurl,
once you decide to publish for
the wider, more ignorant world.

23 AUG 2017

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The Same Street: rispetto

The difference is, he starts to say,
between our diametric views,
is in defining work and play:
that one is waste, and one is use.

That sets the tone for what must be,
more than different reality,
two separate worlds that do not meet,
though side by side on the same street.

03 MAY 2017

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The Heart of Beauty

When Beauty stands alone at last
upon the wretched reefs of time
and watches as her suitors sink
beyond the pale horizon line
where tied to masts of providence
they’ve closed their senses to her charms
and set their sextants to new courses
far from her beseeching arms,

no matter then how sweet her song,
when each note, lost to swells of surf,
is but a whisper on the wind,
a worthless seed in barren earth,
and even in her own soft ears
will sound like scratches on the rocks,
a cackle from a passing gull
who sees in this no paradox.

Then bitter, she will turn her head
and swim back slowly to the shore,
her salt tears mixed with brine and sand,
and come down to the beach no more.
For Beauty needs an audience,
despite her bold and showy ways;
even the proudest actor fails
in time, without applause or praise.

And Beauty, how we keep apart,
in careful boxes locked and sealed,
her essence from her mind, and heart,
and with that care, is hate revealed.
For we would have her, just for that
which titillates us and our lust
and not be bothered with her soul,
though have a soul, she does, and must.

We drive her off to lonely shores
or high in towers, where she pines
to share a dark and loveless cell
among the dead, like Prosperpine.
For ’tis the trophy we would claim,
the right to Beauty for our sake;
and care not if the heart we cage,
without our love, can only break.

06 FEB 2005

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De Toqueville Rides Again

In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions themselves. Everybody there adopts great numbers of theories, on philosophy, morals, and politics, without inquiry, upon public trust; and if we look to it very narrowly, it will be perceived that religion herself holds sway there much less as a doctrine of revelation than as a commonly received opinion.

— Alexis de Toqueville, 1805-1859, Democracy in America

In other words, equality does not equal independence, and liberty does not equate to freedom, particularly of thought.

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