Well, worn masonry
Cimmaron square set with paste and algae
Dutiful to kinder and country
Served with quiet simplicity
With faith flaking a ruddy face
Bearing witness to a contract’s breach
Absentee care leads to rainy weeping
And glances askance by other parties
Clutched in fear with selfish concerns
Truer solutions are beyond one’s reach
Old and tired from a century’s work
Rest is the best rescission
In truth, expectations are nigh to nothing
When agreements are honored not
As time used to build one’s trust
Is never time prodigally spent
© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved
Last Friday I ruminated on the building decay in town and how other people aren’t willing to step up to the plate to prevent urban blight. This is not advocacy for mandatory civic duty in as much as it is a candid critique of American operating philosophy.
As I see it today in 2013, people are not acting with the due care needed in public. We have romanticized individuality to the point of caricature. This caricature believes that it’s someone else’s responsibility to keep and maintain anything of public interest. If one’s name is not on the title or deed, then one is not responsible for any of it. Even if it is, action is debatable.
The easiest, and most visible, proof of this is the amount of litter permitted to lay on the roads and sidewalks of this country. New York City is atrocious about this, but on the other hand it could definitely use a revamping of waste disposal methods. Albeit a fruitless endeavor, I keep to a belief of picking up litter, if I see it. Yes, this means getting one’s hands dirty. Yes, this means worrying about a mess someone else created, but I do I anyway. Just because I didn’t create the mess doesn’t mean I’m scot-free to ignore it.
Another phenomena is the wanton development of a municipality without consideration to the existing infrastructure, resources, or body politic. It is understandable that some people in the community may be reticent to demolish the older buildings, but it’s really too late to save them. There’s a time and place posterity, but there’s most certainly a time to start anew. History is, and always will be, in the making.
Someday I may take pictures of Hooterville, but for now my poem will have to do.
I think the problem lies in the American dream which only concerns the total financial success of an individual. The fulfilment of financial success promises complete happiness and fuck everyone who gets in my way. Oh, and I also have a gun to confirm I have achieved my dream, so pick up the rubbish you sucker. That, sadly, is the American dream, and until your Constitution makes is as important to help one another as it is to have the right to kill each other, you’re going to have the same problem. If it’s any consolation, the UK is going the same way.
Being within spitting distance of the trenches here in America, the concept of the American Dream is more an anachronism than anything. Quite a few of my contemporaries are aware that “the cake is a lie,” to put it in a modern idiom. Most people here wouldn’t turn down money, if it were ever handed to them, but they know the game is rigged. They’re merely trying to do what they can and live their lives. The “American Dream” sophists these days are the crooked opportunists in commercial enterprise and the blowhards on conservative talk radio. The public sector has a rather cozy relationship with industry big wigs, and therefore complicit in the scam. As long as their beaks are wet, who gives two figs about the common citizen?
Guns, on the other hand, are a different can of worms. The average citizen could pick up a piece without too much trouble. I know a handful of people with their own personal arsenal. It’s all legitimate according to the law, and these people even have their concealed handgun license. They’re not what I would consider well-to-do. It’s the mental health of the owner which makes the firearm a six o’clock news special. Sandy Hook Elementary and Columbine are prime examples of this. The shooters were not in the right state of mind to possess these instruments of power. So, using arms to push a private agenda is more Hollywood than what I see in everyday life. I can’t even remember the last gun-related death here in town. The last three murders, which happened over a span of seven years, were done with knives and a claw hammer.
What I see in casual observation is the deliberate isolation in a person’s way of thinking. It goes along with being raised with strong overtones of individualism. The balance of these lessons have been destroyed and people are willfully ignoring the impact of their behavior on the community around them.
We start our mornings at the beach with a hefty trashbag to clean the cigarette butts and beer bottles and tops before we set up our camp. It’s so amazing to me that people can be in a beautiful place and leave it littered with their mess. It’s really sad.
Doubly so for cigarette butts. I smoke, but make sure I a) have the cherry extinguished and b) have thrown in a proper waste container when it’s done. Thank you for your efforts!