Friday, October 19, 2007

Howl Footnote

Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
Holy is God! Holy are the books of Moses! Holy are the Poems of Solomon! Holy are the Prophets!
Holy John and his Baptism!
Holy the angels who ministered to Jesus!
Holy the Spirit of God which rested on Jesus!
Holy the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Howl III

Simon Peter! I’m going ahead of you to Galilee
Where you will see me just as I told you
Simon Peter! I’m going ahead of you to Galilee
Where the terror and amazement will abate
Simon Peter! I’m going ahead of you to Galilee
I did tell you suffering, rejection, death, three days, and raised
Simon Peter! I’m going ahead of you to Galilee
For I expect to see you there in simple garb no bread or bag or belt
Simon Peter! I’m going ahead of you to Galilee
Waiting for you to use your authority
Throw out demons
Anoint and heal the sick

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jihad the Musical!

I can't remember if I've blogged on this before. I think it looks pretty cool, sort of a "Springtime for Hitler" of the modern age.


Howl II

What status-quo-god of walls and hedges enclosed
their torah and immediately ate up their brains and imagi-
Stasis! Cut off! Tempter! Blinders and obli
gations! Crowds riled up screaming out-
side of palaces! Nude boys running away! Old men
placing verbal traps!
Stasis! Stasis! Nightmare of Stasis! Stasis the loveless! Mental Stasis! Stasis the heavy judger of men!
Stasis the incomprehensible prison! Stasis the cross and nail, soulless courtyard and sabbath of
sorrows! Stasis whose tests are judgement!
Stasis the vast millstone crushing the little ones! Stasis the stun-
ning words “blasphemy”
Stasis whose mind is possession! Stasis whose
Spirit is unclean! Stasis whose fingers
are legion, many armies! Stasis whose breast is con-
vulsing and dumb! Stasis whose ear is a smoking
Stasis fasting before the groom! Stasis laws, not people! Stasis you elder
lovers! Signs you do not see, conspiracies you concoct!
Caesar’s! Authority! Arrest! God of the Dead! Arrest! Immediately Arrest!
Stasis unmasked is named power!
Stasis who tramples children! Stasis who firsted the first and lasted the last! Stasis, snatcher
of widow’s coins! You poisoned
yeast! Robes! Head tables! Devourer! Ostentatious! Hollow! Words! Stasis crying
out demon at God’s Spirit!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

20 years after the collapse of communism (give or take a couple of years)

Check out this slate article, its about former East-block countries staring their past in the face and understanding what’s what. At one point the author, Anne Applebaum, compares Estonia in the 00’s to Germany in the 60’s. This got me to thinking about this wild trip that has engulfed most of my lifetime that some commentators are calling “the end of history.”
The world is still convulsing as it deals with the question of what now? What do we do with the vacuums created by the cutting of that great Iron curtain? Does Western Democracy and Capitalism inevitably insert itself into the rubble that America perceives as the dustbin or history? If yes, what are the effects? What will people say when they are given a voice? Will they parrot our talking-points? By no means! Globalization will not only change the globalized, but the globalizers as well. A multiplicity of claims couched in cultural conxtexts will clash. There will be localists wielding power in response to uncertainty. The back and forth of this new paradigm requires responsibility. No more can we simply say us/them, but instead us/us/us/them/us/them/them/them depending on individual incidents and issues. Look at Frances’ response to the USA leading up to the Iraq war, they were after their own interests. Look at Russia’s power-plays in the arctic, and cyber-attacks on Estonia. Look at the near toe to toe game of chicken America and China played before 9-11. Look at Iran’s audacity. It is like the Greeks, once they defeated the Persians they turned in on themselves. It’s like the end of World War Two, after the defeat of Nazism the allies turned in on themselves.
Perhaps the world is shifting in order to create a new Balance of Power. To do this many nations are drifting away from America to counter-balance the current un-evenness in things geo-political. What form will the opposition take? And as is always the case with dichotomies, how will the nature of this “other” shape our own perceptions of reality and ways of living? Or perhaps I am being too western-centric? When this all shakes out will American-ness and Westernness even be the defining feature of this new balance? Perhaps a North-South divide, as some people speak of. Or a division based on the rural and the urban, the religious and the secular, the mechanized and the industrial?
Or perhaps there shall be no ridged dichotomy (as if there ever is outside of textbooks). Perhaps there will be tiers, the post-industrial west will slumber in its multi-national glory while less developed countries play games of intrigue with one another, asserting their national identities now unfettered by international capitalist/communist paradigms.
I have very little clue of where we are headed, but it feels good to look at where we’ve been, and how that informs where we are.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Howl I

So this is a 4 parter! With all respect due to Allen Ginsburg.
(Chris Halverson)
For Simon Peter

I saw the anointed of this generation destroyed by
madness, flogged, stripped naked,
dragged through Jerusalem’s streets at dawn
looking for his God,
his God, forsaken by the ancient heavenly
connection to the Spirit of Holiness on the cruci-
fix of the noon darkness,
who taught synagogues and lean crowds with the authority of
a prophet-Elijah-John and fed the multitudes bread and fish multiplied
like good yeast
who immediately cast out spirits unclean into swine and
immediately de-possessed the demon possessed
with shivers, shakes
shouts, “Holy one, Son of God” “be silent”
who healed the sick “tell no one” immediately settled the storm, walked on the back of Leviathan,
back behind him howled his disciples, scared as he
restored the sight, afraid as Peter said “Messiah”
who sat down, a master seeking sinners, treating tax collectors, forgiving
sins themselves, mat thrown away, standing, immediately standing still standing
Rabbis aghast at the Rabbi breaking the fast, wedding guest

Scruffy Professors