Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.
— from “Ash Wednesday,” by T.S. Eliot
What’s with the “us,” Tom? Speak for yourself. My wings are working fine, and tonight I might use them to fly to Wisconsin, where David Koch’s Republican lapdogs just sneaked through a new bill that will tear the heart out of collecting bargaining rights in that state.
Republicans had denied that their so-called Budget Reform Bill was to crush labor unions, but 14 Democratic senators knew better and went AWOL three weeks ago to keep the bill from being voted on. So Republicans stripped away parts of the bill in order to present it in a form they could weasel into law without the presence of any Dems. That happened last night. The Assembly is rubber-stamping the bill today.
Said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, “In 30 minutes, 18 state Senators undid 50 years of civil rights in Wisconsin. Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten.”
This is a national story. The future of organized labor, and decent treatment of workers in general, is on the line. PA Gov. Tom Corbett, who’s only slightly less right-wing than Walker, is watching closely, and so are his opponents. (Where’s Obama on this issue? Still in hiding, I guess.)
Today, pissed-off protesters who understand what’s happening to Wisconsin government are climbing through the windows of the state capitol. The billionaire Koch is probably having a good laugh on the phone with Gov. Scott Walker. (This time it might really be Koch on the line.)
Where’s that leave you, Tom? I know, it’s Lent now and you’re depressed and into your soulless-sounding Catholic conversion bit, and you’re trying to equate spirituality with sitting still and doing nothing, which is how it usually goes with dessicated academics like you. You were dead long before you stopped breathing.
But really — couldn’t you get off your dead ass for once and take a stand with flesh-and-blood humans instead of laying on us your ashes-to-ashes resignation and wishy-washy prayers (Teach us to care and not to care…) to describe your obscure version of enlightenment? I’ve looked through volumes of your work, first time in a long while, but can’t find much that has a pulse.
I prefer Warren Zevon:
So much to do, there’s plenty on the farm
I’ll sleep when I’m dead
Saturday night I like to raise a little harm
I’ll sleep when I’m dead
Zevon’s stuff doesn’t need to be annotated, but at least he speaks for the living. You either care or you don’t care.
Update: The modified Budget Reform Bill is more than just anti-unions. As Crooks and Liars put it, “Every public program, worker, and Wisconsin citizen will be at risk as a result of this ‘legislation,’ if that’s even what it is.”