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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The State of the Union, Post # 101

I, like so many of my fellow Americans, found something else to do when President George W. Bush gave his State of the Union address, so, today, I've been forced to rely on the reactions of others. According to this link, it seems that, regardless of their position on the political spectrum, the pundits at MSNBC didn't like at least some of what he had to say. Reading their analysis and its consistency with his statements in the past, I can certainly agree with some of the concerns expressed therein. To the statements of the MSNBC columnists, the main thing I would like to add is an offer to Tucker Carlson to select some new and better ties for him, and to find a hairstylist to give him a real haircut instead of that Problem Child ragtop he insists on wearing. I know someone in my area who can fix his hair up very nicely, and for a very reasonable price. But all kidding aside... Wait, was I just joking then? His hair and bowties are truly awful, and I keep hoping to see Mr. Blackwell coming out of the closet, er, jumping from around a corner to ambush Mr. Carlson. Fate has thusfar not been that kind to the world.

Back to the point, I did find merit in what Mr. Carlson had to say about the original method of delivering the State of the Union report and its reasoning. The first paragraph I found especially accurate for not only this president, but his immediate predecessor: "For most of America’s history the State of the Union address was not read aloud, but delivered in written form to Congress. The Founders and the early presidents understood that there’s a fine line between a chief executive and an emperor. A spoken address, they thought, would be an invitation to demagoguery. They were right."

To me, this and other statements by Mr. Carlson, an unabashed conservative as opposed to President Bush's neoconservativism, may be yet another signal of growing dissatisfaction among the President's conservative base. All in all, my response to the State of the Union can best be summed up by one of my favorite poems, a work by William Butler Yeats. I will leave it to you, the readers, to determine whether this is meant as simply another expression of my festering cynicism and undying pessimism about the future, as an expression of deeper grievances against the current administration, or as simply an expression that I just really like this poem.

The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats

"TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

"Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"


Snave said...

That poem seems like a warning for us to all be careful. It's a goodie!

I like the book "Skipping Toward Gomorrah", written by Dan Savage, a gay guy who tries to commit all seven deadly sins on purpose, then once he succeeds, tries to do it all again within a 24-hour period!

Joni Mitchell also did a song called "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" on her "Travelogue" album.

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