Caitlin Johnstone – “Manufacturing Culture” (2021)

October 2, 2021 at 8:03 pm (Caitlin Johnstone, Life & Politics, Poetry & Literature)

In Hollywood the Pentagon rewrites scripts about the military
to manufacture consent for a globe-spanning empire
to make US soldiers look like good guys
to make US wars look like good wars
to ensure continued recruitments
to ensure a steady supply of young bodies
to feed into the engine of a giant mechanical dragon
that is fueled by human blood.

They pipe our heads full of John Bolton brainworms
and Lockheed Martin dreams.
Our minds are colonized by shock and awe invasions
through a neighborhood in Los Angeles with no soul,
no art, no heart, no life, no love,
just cackling plastic smiles overmasking bestial snarls
and screenwriters with cocaine habits and nothing to say.
An invasive culture that is devoid of culture spreads across the globe
like the metastatic tendrils of a malignant tumor
saying “Isn’t global capitalism working out great?”
and “This is all perfectly normal and sane actually!”
and “Hey maybe billionaires are crimefighting superheroes?”
and “This is definitely the nation that should be leading the world!”
Depicting an America with no homelessness or obesity,
whose streets are clean and whose people are not hanging on
by the skin of their teeth in squalor, poverty and dilapidation.

“Politics is downstream from culture” they say
as they manufacture culture in Hollywood, Arlington and Langley.
Conveyor belt culture.
Plastic culture.
Franchise culture.
Vulture culture.
They funnel death into our minds
so on election day we will vote for death
and we will buy death from our stores
and pump death into our atmosphere
from fuel pumps made possible by orgies of death in the Middle East.

The news man teaches us how to think and Hollywood teaches us how to feel.
They pour death and plastic over our hearts like concrete
to make us more like them,
to make us dim and unimaginitive,
to make us sharp-toothed and stitch-eyed,
to drown out the song of our planet,
the song which grows the trees,
the song which replicates the cells,
the song which swims the fish,
the song which chirps the sparrows,
the song which stirs the fetus in the womb,
the song which moves the energy up the spine,
the song which opens up the eyes.

They pour death and plastic over our hearts like concrete
to sedate our terrestrial intuition,
to silence our song,
to divert our sacred sexuality,
to stifle the thunderclap aliveness of our being,
to keep the holy hominid from opening its eyes,
eyes which do not recognize the authority of the mind mages,
eyes which do not recognize the validity of mind cages.

They pour death and plastic over our hearts like concrete.
But the movement of tree roots can make cracks appear,
and from within those cracks
sprouts emerge.

Caitlin Johnstone

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“USA: Poetry” (1965)

February 23, 2021 at 7:18 pm (Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021)

February 23, 2021 at 4:55 pm (Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Life & Politics, Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

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Diane di Prima (1934-2020)

October 28, 2020 at 6:46 am (Life & Politics, Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

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Michael McClure (1932-2020)

May 6, 2020 at 3:02 pm (Life & Politics, Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

POSTPONED: Michael McClure and Juvenal Acosta | Monday, Jun 17 ...

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Samuel Andreyev – “A Discussion with Van Dyke Parks: The Vernacular and Beyond” (2018)

June 17, 2019 at 1:20 pm (Music, Van Dyke Parks)

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Lawrence Ferlinghetti – “Pity the Nation” (2007)

December 13, 2018 at 6:56 am (Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Life & Politics, Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

(After Khalil Gibran)

Pity the nation whose people are sheep

And whose shepherds mislead them

Pity the nation whose leaders are liars

Whose sages are silenced

And whose bigots haunt the airwaves

Pity the nation that raises not its voice

Except to praise conquerors

And acclaim the bully as hero

And aims to rule the world

By force and by torture

Pity the nation that knows

No other language but its own

And no other culture but its own

Pity the nation whose breath is money

And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed

Pity the nation oh pity the people

who allow their rights to erode

and their freedoms to be washed away

                       My country, tears of thee

                            Sweet land of liberty!

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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“Flash Harry”

November 25, 2018 at 8:56 am (Harry Nilsson, Music, Poetry & Literature)

Written Nov. 24, 2018…

The laughter and the craziness
go hand in hand
drunken revelry on demand
that was the man they called Flash Harry
songs for the kiddies and a few for the walking dead
the nighttime calls that inspire mortal dread
3-day benders with the wife screaming,
“when ya comin’ home?”
never knowing if you’ll wind up in the gutter or a hotel in Rome

A voice that can reduce grown men to tears
delivers the knockout blow
Saturday night’s high brings another Sunday low
the vampires of Hollywood,
madmen in tandem
a runaway train running off the rails
there’s always another good time just around the bend
though nobody knows when the delirium will end

He put the lime in the coconut
and sweetness in the sour
getting from the hangover to another happy hour
everybody’s talkin’ ’bout Flash Harry
millions know the words
but not many know the name
singing like an acrobat on a trapeze wire
from the proverbial frying pan he jumped into the fire

Blood on the microphone
demons in the closet
a gram or three before the wedding
just to steady the nerves
a love for Una that would last for all time
he could be your closest friend,
then turn straight on a dime
the boy from Bushwick causing havoc,
but allowing others to take the blame
that was the man with the unprintable name

A lovable teddy bear with protracted claws
the night owl breaking all the laws
a bottle of cognac in one hand and a grenade in the other
he was everybody’s favorite big brother
though now he’s sadly gone,
a man cut down in the prime of his years
friends recalling his majesty
through laughter and through tears
but his voice will sing throughout the ages
and this was the man they called Flash Harry.

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Jack Kerouac – Excerpt from “On the Road” (TV – 1959)

July 17, 2018 at 6:10 pm (Jack Kerouac, Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

Jack Kerouac reads from On the Road on The Steve Allen Show from Nov. 16, 1959…

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Caitlin Johnstone – “Paradise” (2018)

May 26, 2018 at 5:10 pm (Caitlin Johnstone, Poetry & Literature)

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