rlbourges

Ode to Stupidity? No thanks, enough of it around already

In A post to keep afloat, Artists, Current reading, Irish Mist, Poetry, Revision on October 28, 2014 at 7:55 am

The lowest of the low points in the man’s public intervention: the few minutes before the official press conference when he deigns to answer a question concerning the death of a young man killed by an explosion during clashes with riot police this weekend. The man lifts a line from a song by Georges Brassens and says, in effect: “Dying for ideas is pretty stupid.” However, he adds, his thoughts go to the family, of course. He moves on to remind those present of the occupation of the building by protesters. Not a word about posting riot police after a deal was struck not to do so. Not a word about so-called non-lethal crowd control implements used in non-regulated ways. Tear gas canisters aren’t supposed to be fired straight into someone’s face. “Non-lethal” bullets aren’t supposed to be aimed straight into a human body at close range. Blinding and ear-shattering grenades aren’t supposed to land smack dab next to an unarmed man.

Stupidity thrives best inside a locked mental grid. I’m reminded of a much less dramatic circumstance, over fifteen years ago, when I refused to back up my car to allow an easier flow of traffic. Why did I refuse? Because I was in a bad mood, I was late, I knew I should back up, and I felt like a stupid idiot. So I decided to behave as one and refused to budge despite honking and angry drivers giving me the finger. An asshole, and proud of it. So there. The most serious consequence of my stupidity? Knowing I’m capable of behaving like an idiot. The most serious consequence of this man’s stupidity? A death, plus the growing anger and resentments that feed violence.

Meanwhile, the recently appointed Minister of Culture has no time for novels and such other wasteful uses of her attention span. We eats Algo-Rithm for breakfast, boyz and gurlz. Let’s all fill our bowls with juicy, crunchy, good-for-ya Algo!

Voilà. Therefore, I split my time in useful ways between reading, writing, attending to my own needs and those of others; and taking in every measurable bit of human intelligence and sensitivity I meet. This makes for a divided attention span. Our present Minister of Culture would not approve.

Current reading involves way too much contact with press releases and way too little with poetry, theater, and long or short fiction. Not to worry: I cram in as much as I can anyway.

 et vogue vogue les petits navires

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