frog's blog

Anuran, n. an amphibian of the order Salientia (formerly Anura or Batrachia), which includes the frogs and toads

Monday, November 28, 2005


A white man named Duke is crying on TV.

Radio, Cable, Website, Blog, it’s on every channel, a perennial Republican politician is balling his eyes out because he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, “admitting he took $2.4 million in bribes mostly from defense contractors in exchange for government business and other favors,” to be exact. Sure, this conservative who looks more like a crook, this pathetic political convict will get some hard time, but that’s not the half of it.

That’s not why I’m crying tonight.

We live in a society that produces misery for millions of the working poor as a matter of course and starves billions on slave wages in the developing world. So why do we have to pay to see another rich, white man cry?

Misery. Tragedy. Words that suffer when compared to the reality of life on Earth in the year 2005. Thousands die in wars for profit, wars based on lies. Then there’s the collateral damage caused by global warming and chronic ecocide. Hurricane. Tsunami. Earthquake. Tornado. Those bible thumping beggars for the apocalypse get what they paid for. Pass the popcorn and the Hal Lindsey novels.

This holiday weekend, a student of mine went home to find that her mother had taken her own life with a gun while planning a Thanksgiving dinner. A housemate’s brother fell from a tree to a bleeding brain and likely loss of his legs. Another comrade’s lover caught fire while cooking. Today, my wife remembers the fifteenth anniversary of her first daughter’s death, the stepdaughter I never knew.

These are personal tragedies worthy of the tears that will likely never fill the dry creekbed of the soul after a season of draught. These are the tears that will water the compost of the soul to create a spring garden of growth. These are tears worth crying, the tears of mother, daughter, sister, lover.

But the tears of a political clown? On national television? He steals from the poor to feed the war machine and wants us to feel sorry for him?

For the families of New Orleans, for the workers who got pink slips for the Christmas season, for the people cut from Tenncare, for the working-class soldiers trapped in this stupid, worthless war, for all the parentless children and childless parents and heartbroken spouses, I am ready to cry, weep an ocean for your pain.

But for you rich politicians, rich on the blood of the victims, your vice fed by working people who pay their fucking taxes, my heart has grown cold. I cry for the world but never for you. My heart is broken for my wife, my student, my housemate, my friend. For you, my eyes are dry.

And it is actions like these that make it a life challenge to seek radical, unconditional, antiauthoritarian love in such a loveless society in love with its own facile fantasy of love.


At 7:37 AM, Blogger Elyce Rae Helford said...

Very powerful post.
I have little hope for better in this world, but I live and work for it.


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