Friday, August 08, 2003


Raven is not having the easiest time being a bird out of his normal air currents, and going from bumming on the beach in Puerto Angel to circling the shopping malls in Guayaquil is making him feel like a buzzard. Our favourite ave is down in the beak. But he was loaded for bear when he started reading Al Gore’s speech in NYC to

“He’s calling his speech 'The President's Ideologically Narrow Agenda Has Seriously Divided America...' I guess you can divide something into a tiny part and a big part—the tiny part having the money and the power and the gall to wave the emblems of same in people’s faces all the time. But the word divide someone implies a more equal distribution of mass.”

Okay, Rave. I hear what you’re saying. I also think you’re being picky. What was the real point—or the real points—of Gore’s speech?

“He mentions two main problems: ‘First, powerful and wealthy groups and individuals who work their way into the inner circle -- with political support or large campaign contributions -- are able to add their own narrow special interests to the list of favored goals without having them weighed against the public interest or subjected to the rule of reason. And the greater the conflict between what they want and what's good for the rest of us, the greater incentive they have to bypass the normal procedures and keep it secret.’”

I suppose we are talking Halliburton and other petrocriminal operations?

“Well, they scrapped the Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming. Gore continues, saying ‘Secondly, when leaders make up their minds on a policy without ever having to answer hard questions about whether or not it's good or bad for the American people as a whole, they can pretty quickly get into situations where it's really uncomfortable for them to defend what they've done with simple and truthful explanations. That's when they're tempted to fuzz up the facts and create false impressions. And when other facts start to come out that undermine the impression they're trying to maintain, they have a big incentive to try to keep the truth bottled up if -- they can -- or distort it.’”

So, first comes secrecy, and then come the lies to maintain it. Special interest groups gobble up the pie, and the rest of the people fight over the crumbs?

“Well, Gore did mention that he was the first person laid off in the Bush economy that has seen millions of jobs lost.”

Is he expecting folks to identify with him, or what?

“He starts out his speech using pretty folksy language—so maybe he wants to grab the ear of the folks who actually have listen to the Bush malapropisms. But seriously, he continues by saying ‘Perhaps the biggest false impression of all lies in the hidden social objectives of this Administration that are advertised with the phrase "compassionate conservatism" -- which they claim is a new departure with substantive meaning. But in reality, to be compassionate is meaningless, if compassion is limited to the mere awareness of the suffering of others. The test of compassion is action.’”

And healing the wrongs—not adding to them.

“That’s you talking from your Chiron line—but maybe that’s the new wave, as Gore talks about it, too. He says ’If the 21st century is to be well started, we need a national agenda that is worked out in concert with the people, a healing agenda that is built on a true national consensus. Millions of Americans got the impression that George W. Bush wanted to be a "healer, not a divider", a president devoted first and foremost to "honor and integrity." Yet far from uniting the people, the president's ideologically narrow agenda has seriously divided America. His most partisan supporters have launched a kind of 'civil cold war' against those with whom they disagree.’”

Oh oh. Rave, if you remember—the last civil war was won by the industrialized north—big business, as it were, of the mid-nineteenth century.

“Are you saying that maybe this civil cold war is the revenge of the south? Cotton then, and now oil?”

I have no idea. I am not sure I even want to go there. All I know is that something is bitterly wrong with actions, and with the ideological posture of the US government.

“Not feeling very funny today, are we?”

You’re not the only buzzard on the block, buddy. Let’s pray for our incredible lightness of being to return….

Monday, August 04, 2003


Raven is licking
his wounds next to the river—
invisible wounds
(invisible as his tongue)—
but he knows that they are there:

living in this time
is like sailing down a vein
away from the heart,
bound for the extremities
(marginality in love,

stupidity in
the place of awareness,
trenchant cowardice
that can’t tell a white flag from
a black feather at midnight.)

The bird feels lonely
swimming against the current.
The sluggish river
groans its way to the ocean
as Raven aims oxygen

like an arrow at
our collective unconscious—
holding his breath for
apocalyptic vision
to explode, and set him free.