September 1, 1939, excerpts
All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
-W H Auden
I’m waiting for the UPS delivery guy. I missed him Thursday. I know because he left a note on my office door, during lunch siesta. Friday I kept the office door open and stayed close by, to make sure I didn’t miss him. At 3:00 when I stepped out to open up the gate for the afternoon, I saw a note on the door, telling me that this is the third time they’ve attempted to deliver this package, and now I have to call them and pick it up myself, a fifty mile drive, one way. I was being punished by UPS for not being attentive enough to their needs.
I was sitting not fifteen feet away from the door. If Delivery Guy had knocked with any energy at all, I would have been there like a flash. It was the DVD of BrokeBack Mountain. I was Jonesing really bad for that package.
So I called up their “hot line(that’s a major joke)”, and ranted at the sexy recording(Would you like to press my pound key?) until a human picked up the line. By this time Delivery Guy was long gone to the next dusty little town. I was politely informed that I was SOL.
After a little more ranting, it was decided by the Package Gods that perhaps an exception could be made in my case, and I wouldn’t have to wait until June 12.
Delivery Guy would be dispatched to my home/office as early as Tuesday, May 30, with instructions to knock this time.
Would this be considered cause for a “just war”? Just kidding, En. Does that mean righteous kidding, in the same sense as a just, or righteous war? Or is it “just” war as in, “it could be a lot worse”?
Doe I owe more allegiance to a concept we call a “Nation”, or do I owe allegiance to humanity?
Do I owe allegiance to some more than others? Do I owe more allegiance to Canadians than to Iranians, for example? Canadians look more like me, and they’re funny because they’re so, well, Canadian. They’re kind of cute, in an uptight kind of way. Except for the Quebecois. They’re just cute. I like the fact that Canadians come in at least two flavors. What about Mexicans? They don’t look like me, at all. And they speak differently. What’s the cutoff point for allegiance? How alike do we have to be for me to be loyal to you? To protect you?
The idea of a “Nation”, was only invented about 500 years ago. It’s an idea with definite drawbacks. Nations are corporations, and were created to control the flow of money and goods. I think it’s ironic that one of the major principles of Free Trade as a policy, is unhindered flow of money and goods. The second principle is keeping people contained on their side of the fence.
Before Europe started incorporating during the late Renaissance, there were just spheres of influence, marked by language and culture. Borders of most countries changed all the time. Here in America, we seem to believe that God drew the boundaries with an indelible marker. How could I ever give allegiance to that notion?
Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
I don’t have answers, but I’ve heard that in the long run it’s more important to have the right questions.
My package is here. ‘Bye for now.