February 5th is New York Primary Day and interestingly enough, also Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras marks the end of carnival, which is basically a prolonged public masquerade in a circus-like setting. It’s a chance to act-up before the seriousness of Lent. Girls go wild. Guys tape them.
All this flashing and filming is in accordance with the reversal phenomenon. According to Wikepedia, the reversal phenomenon occurs when “regular behavior is reversed, and people choose to do the very opposite of normal behavior.” Which is a rather fitting way to describe the Bush administration, no?
(Our President, trying to catch beads.)
I’m not implying the past seven years have been a party; I’m just saying we have some serious spiritual penance ahead of us as a country, that the days of satin and sequins, of uni-lateral coin-getting, are over.
In the poetry world, you inevitably come to ask yourself the question: Am I a political poet? I figured out fairly quickly that I wasn’t an Adrienne Rich or a Nazim Hikmet. Mine is not the poetry of ill-lit prison walls. But while I highly doubt I’ll ever circulate a leaflet, I do know there is no such thing as having no political opinion. Disinterest is a political posture. Apathy is a stance. While I might never write this poem, my work has inherent partisan subtexts. Like everyone, I hold beliefs about health care, immigration, and Bravo television. Choosing not to write about my country is writing about my country by omission.
I’ve taken a huge interest in the primaries and yet I haven’t blogged about them. After my Junior year of high school, when I produced an error-riddled report on carpetbaggers and the Civil War — “Reconstruction: They Had It In The Bag”– I’ve kept US Government at a comfortable and factually correct distance. I’m aware that many political authors are less pundit and more provocation (Ann Coulter) but I just prefer to operate in an arena of expertise. I have seen every known episode of “Top Chef.” I only figured out last week what GOP stands for. You get my point. It makes me nervous.
And yet I’m brimming with political thought. For example:
-We simply can not have a President who plays a DA on Law and Order. This is confusing to the American People. If we do have to vote for another actor, it needs to be Martin Sheen.
-Is no one concerned that the current leader for the Republican Nomination, John McCain, was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam for over five years, two of which were solitary confinement? Go ahead, spend a Saturday inside your apartment: don’t run to the corner deli for a cup of coffee, don’t check your email, don’t answer the phone. Don’t even read a book. Then, after ten hours of finding faces in the watermarks on your ceiling, attend a birthday party at a very sensory overwhelming Chuck E Cheese where you are immediately handed a skee-ball. Now tell me you wouldn’t go a little crazy. That’s sort of what McCain running for President is like for me. Some say service, I say baggage. I admire him, but come on, we’ve all seen Apocalypse Now.
While I am currently supporting Obama, I want to encourage all of my readers to cultivate an active interest in this upcoming election and vote for whichever candidate speaks to you. I’m making my own effort to devote a little time each day to learning more about the issues. If you have a question you’d like me to address, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org