Progressives At The Bat

Something is happening in the political world. Folks are beginning to catch on. They’re beginning to see the linkage between surging wealth for the few and austerity for the rest, and longing for a return to America’s post-War II fair wealth distribution and prosperity for the many economic model. Here’s a baseball season poetry knockoff describing what this might mean in the next election…

Progressives At The Bat

It looked extremely rocky for progressives in D.C.,
The folks they’d long depended on to others bent a knee,
The White House rarely answered calls, the Senate mostly cowed,
Tea party members ran the House, “We’ll make the rules,” they vowed.

But out there where the Beltway gang is rarely ever seen,
In countless places o’er the land where the living had gone mean,
The days of settling for a phrase, for promises unmet,
A spirit craving real change, these bad times did beget.

Yes in our nation’s capital they still ain’t yet caught on,
They still to Wall Street genuflect, buy the right’s self-serving yarn,
They don’t sense the awakening, ain’t twigged to where it’s at,
That progressives next election day will swing the big vote bat.

Michael Silverstein is a former Bloomberg News senior editor;
his latest book is Gorilla Warfare Against The Bureaucratic
State (Confessions of a Lefty Libertarian).


I Hate Spring

I hate spring. I hate it because it means the end of an exciting basketball season and the start of a dreadfully long and intensely dull baseball season. I hate it because it means summer reruns, which now begin long before summer arrives. Most of all, I hate spring because its most distinctive and wide spread characteristic is the reawakening of plant lust.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a killjoy or a prude. I don’t get angry when someone else (or something else) is having a better time than me. I’m also sophisticated enough to realize the necessity of reproductive activity in all manner of flora and fauna. It’s the way that different beings go about their reproductive business that gets me angry. I mean, I don’t impose my sexual proclivities on the plant world, so why does it have to impose its proclivities on me?

This isn’t an embarrassment issue either. I’m not one of those crazies who thinks we ought to put underpants on dogs and cats in the name of modesty, and I certainly don’t think we should apply similar garments to the stamens and pistils of our plant friends. If nothing else, the cost of doing so would be prohibitive. No. I merely seek an end to the sadistic imposition of one life form’s hanky panky upon another life form as a matter of equity and justice.

We live in a litigious society. I suppose that were I the sort of person who seeks to make everything right in court, I could find an attorney to handle this matter in the usual way. And indeed, if I did, It wouldn’t be that hard a case a win.

?I also wouldn’t have to shop around very hard to find a favorably disposed judge and jury composed of people similarly afflicted. Identifying deep-pocket co-defendants among human cultivators would also be a cinch. I can even see a high-profile television pick-up, a shocked Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes saying: “You mean to say this has been going on for thousands of years, and afflicted millions of people, and the cultivators of these heedless pollinators have done nothing, absolutely nothing, to protect the victims or make them whole?”

Yes, I could do it that way. And maybe it will come to that. But I’d prefer talking about it first like caring life forms and working out some kind of voluntary solution.

Here’s my offer: Do it all day, every day, for months on end. Just get yourself another vector. The open airways are my airways, too. And if we can’t share these airways equitably, if your reproductive closure adds up to my nasal closure, we have a problem.

Use bees to spread your stuff. Use birds or animals. Heck, use the Postal Service or advertise in local newspapers for all I care. Just get out of my face.

We’ll, I’ve said my piece. The spores are now in their court. I hope I won’t have to take this matter to another, less friendly, jurisdiction.

To learn more about a quirky novel (and a very unusual book of verse) from the author of this piece, hit one of these icons:

Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012              A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012