Thursday, May 15, 2008

FWG: Selling Low

I have never seen a country;
Never felt one under my feet
Or at my fingertips.

I have never sampled scent nor flavor of a nation;
Never heard its utterance.

I have seen the globe in the classroom,
Pimped in ragged geometry.
Here a yellow China, here an orange Boot.

I have seen the globe on TV, on the Space Channel,
Looking not a bit like earth;
Furred in greens and bathed in blues
And wispy, gossamer, angel-wing whites.

Where have all the flat primary colors gone?
But here they are, on the News Channel
On a great banner unfurled behind a podium.

Between the two the TV Man stands in his suit.
I have never met the TV Man and likely never will,
But we know that he is real
Because he’s on TV.

He smiles and gesticulates like Bob Barker or a televangelist.
He knows what he is talking about,
Because everyone is listening.

He says that we have those to fear
And so we know to be afraid.
He says that they have weapons of destruction,
So we know that they have weapons of destruction.
He says that we have freedom,
So we know that we are free.

He says, Ask not what your country can do for you!
I ask, What is this thing, this country?
Other than a grand notion filling up my head?
And what might otherwise have filled that space instead?

What is dismissed in exchange for a dream?
What cost has gone uncounted?

He says, Ask what you can do for your
I say, ask him if the Price Is Right.


Better the pride that resides in a citizen of the world than the pride that divides when a colorful rag is unfurled. - Neil Peart

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