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against war are such a bore...
February 12, 2003: In case you didn't know
it, today is 'Poets Against War' Day. And I just can't tell you how excited I
am about the prospect of poets all around America gathering to read their works
"as a powerful statement of public and collective resistance to the Bush administration's
drive toward war in Iraq." Those nasty warmongers, George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld,
must be quaking in their boots -- especially at the thought of this afternoon's
special reading from the Poets Against the War Anthology in Lafayette Park,
across from the White House. Serves Dubyah and Rummy right for trying to disarm
a rogue dictatorship like Iraq through war.
shame on you who shape our worldviews
Why George W. Bush himself will probably come running out of the White House, screaming: "I give up! I give up! Please stop! I'll call off the war! I'll call Tony Blair and tell him, we gotta have peace. I'll go to the UN and beg for more weapons inspectors, and a few more years to negotiate with Saddam! Anything! But please no more of that terrible, awful poetry of yours. No maas! No maas!"
Or more likely that's the fantasy of all the self-involved, self-promoting 5,300 untalented windbags who will join together today to "galvanize the country" with a day of poetic protest "to register their opposition to the Bush administration's headlong plunge toward war in Iraq."
After all, who knows least about defanging a sadistic, ruthless demagogue like Saddam Hussein than the beloved poets of our universities and campus coffee houses? Having spent most of their insular existences bitchily critiquing each other's empty narcisstic ravings in creative-writing seminars in the nation's universities, and cranking out their empty bluster in "little" literary magazines with big names that no-one ever reads, these bards for peace have accumulated a lifetime of experience that has prepared them for doing absoutely nothing of any practical value, except to apply for more literary grants and whine endlessly.
Indeed, who but a bunch of pampered, subsidized, unworldy poets would really think that only they could "make a difference" in influencing public policy in America? Talk about the irrelevant promoting irrevelance. The opinions of Billy Collins, the sitting U.S. poet laureate, mean as much to the American public as the actual title of U.S. poet laureate -- absolutely nothing.
Ask the average American who Billy Collins is and they'll guess he's a wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, or that he's that nice-looking fella who used to emcee the Miss America pageant. Highlight America's official poet laureate in a TV news clip, and Americans will turn the channel.
Billy Collins may "publicly declare" his "opposition to war" and say he finds it increasingly difficult to keep "politics" out of his "official job as literary advocate." But who cares?
Nobody. And especially no-one of importance, except perhaps Nancy Pelosi, Senator Patty Murray (aka Senator FruitLoop) or Susan Sarandon. But certainly not the American people.
Who cares that Collins, Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, former U.S. poet laureate Richard Wilbur and about 40 other writers and artists signed an anti-war petition last month? Or that in England, British poet laureate Andrew Motion has written an anti-war poem that cites "elections, money, empire, oil" as the motivation for war? Absolutely no-one but these pretentious prats, their families and maybe Noam Chomsky and a few of his fawning groupies.
Yet, that's the wonder of it all. These self-important fools don't have a clue. They really think that today, with their tortured verse, they will galvanize America into a massive outpouring of opposition to the Bush administration. They really believe in their heart of hearts that Americans will be mobilized into action by such trite verbiage as the following words from noted anti-war bard, Rainbow Angel:
So gather all of your thoughts
What else is there to say, except: Please, Rainbow Angel and colleagues! No more! No maas! We surrender!
In fact, the spirit of the Poets Against War is so irresistable, it's hard to resist coming up with our very own personal contribution to today's protests in verse:
Soupcoff is the author of 'Canada 1984' and a former radio and television producer
with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He also was Executive Editor of We
Compute Magazine for many years, and is now the Managing Editor of the popular
conservative Web site, The Iconoclast
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