Thursday, June 3, 2021

Standing Up

Yes, yes, life is a fountain, an underground spring with hidden sources. And we are detectives seeking them within and without; not only the life-affirming elements but those forces which subvert this process.

I gained a pound this year, all in my nose. I can smell trouble. It’s my middle name. There is a stench of democracy dying in State Houses abetted by the high court while senators cower and bloviate.

Whatcha know Joe?

I don’t know nothin.

Whatcha know Joe,

Tell me somethin.


Joe Manchin, the senator from West Virginia has trouble standing up for what he avows. He is a master equivocator, a spineless man who refuses to rock the boat.

In the dark but brilliant TV series, Death and Nightingales, on Starz, the woman love/hates the man who has betrayed her. He has already dug her grave. Now he is rowing with her to an island; he cannot swim. She dares to stand up in the boat and he is overthrown by the rocking. She stood and asserted her power.

The filibuster remains as a vestige of the Jim Crow South. Recently thirty-five Republicans prevailed over a bi-partisan majority of fifty-five by invoking this retrogressive tool. Senator Joe can't bring himself to reverse this malevolent arithmetic.

Maybe the Red State Democrat is as drowsy as the narrator in Keats’ Ode to A Nightingale, with a longing to flee the world. But democracy like the nightingale is not made for dying. Keats wrestled with the notion of easeful death but emerges. May Joe wake from his intoxication with the power gained from what John Keats called embalmed numbness.


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