In our national history that was brought in by Reagan. His election meant the end of activist government on behalf of the people that reached back to FDR. His inaugural address announced that goverment was not the answer to anything, but that private, corporate initiative was the answer to everything.
It took 30 years, but with the CriminalGangOfCronies galloping to the Apocalypse as fast as they could pillage, loot and destroy, this regressive, elitist perspective has bankrupted any semblence of the integrity of that belief. That political ideology never had any integrity for anyone who paid the least bit of attention to what they did, even more than what they said. The ideological rhetoric was always a smoke and mirrors distraction to distract from the looting, pillaging, corruption and cronyism, the establishment of an inpenatrable elite that live from the exploitation of everyone else and the earth we all share.
There's been a lot of negative commentary about Elizabeth Alexender as poet and for the poem she read yesterday. First, it's maybe an impossible assignment, a poem for the inauguration of new POTUS, particularly when you are following a speechmaker of such oratorical power as Obama. However, maybe there was something in that poem that the critics are still not able to hear, still mired in the world view of the bankrupt neoCONS, whether the critics realize it or not. Look at the poet's choice of words to include her poem for such an historical occasion:
[ ".... Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."
We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road . . . ." ]
There are the words, 'darning,' 'repair,' 'dirt,' 'bus.' "Someone is trying to make music somewhere with ...." and she lists actual musical instruments, not a digital simulation of what music used to be.
We have at least three generations now who have grown up in an entirely disposable culture. What do we know of sewing on buttons, sewing a hem, darning a sock? We know nothing of taking a bus, much less of walking to get somewhere we want to be -- we have always been driven. *
It is time we learned to repair again, not throw away. There is nowhere left to dispose of our disposables. It is time to repair, refurbish, make do, renew, to make things that are useful, functional and of lasting value. It is time to stop calling people who actually produce things, make things work, make an economy grow and move, "Suckers," while we believe that we are exceptions to their lives because we are going to become billionaires by the time we're 30 by extracting the meat from the economy by playing with zeros and ones in our sweet corner office.
Or, as you might hear in New Orleans:
"Rebirth! REBIRTH! REEEEEEEEBIRTH!"
* My background and training was an exception to this, which is maybe why I applaud the plain song of the poem was saying, while the critics did not. I still sew on buttons and darn my beloved winter wool knee sox. Living n NYC, a premiere walking city, I walk in the way I walked and rode my bicycle while growing up in the country.