Thursday, August 12, 2004

(7 sonnets) American Candidate - The [semi-cliched] Science Fiction Version (of REDEMPTION?)



RHETORICAL VERSE /
SEVEN(software-verifiable) SHAKESPEAREAN-FORM SONNETS
and ONE HAIKU



{ACS.049_01} LET'S MAKE SOME SCIENCE FICTION.

Let's pretend
{ACS.049_02} huge flying saucers suddenly appear
{ACS.049_03} around the world and through our TVs send
{ACS.049_04} a message that will fill each heart with fear.

{ACS.049_05} "YOUR PLANET SEEMS QUITE STUPID.
PROVE IT'S NOT
{ACS.049_06} OR WE ARE GOING TO TURN OUR LASERS ON
{ACS.049_07} AND RAISE EARTH'S TEMPERATURE
TO VERY HOT.
{ACS.049_08} TEN WEEKS FROM NOW,
L.A. MAY FRY AT DAWN.

{ACS.049_09} WE'LL TAKE A VOTE IF YOU'LL ALL
LIVE OR DIE
{ACS.049_10} DEPENDING ON WHAT SOMEONE YOU SELECT
{ACS.049_11} WILL SAY IN YOUR DEFENSE.
THEY MUST NOT LIE.
{ACS.049_12} WHO YOU THINK HAS THE SKILL
TO BEST DEFLECT ...

{ACS.049_13} ... OUR LASERS WITH THEIR WORDS
AND SAVE YOUR SKINS.
{ACS.049_14} OR WE WILL EAT THEM.
WE LOVE CRISPY THINS."


{ACS.050_01} I doubt that we would want to trust our fate
{ACS.050_02} to Bush or Kerry's skill to make our case.
{ACS.050_03} Ten weeks from now. The Live-Or-Fry DEBATE
{ACS.050_04} determining if Earth they will erase.

{ACS.050_05} NO, not those two.
WHO would we choose instead?
{ACS.050_06} HOW would we pick the one to save us all?
{ACS.050_07} A CONTEST to compare them head to head?
{ACS.050_08} Which person with word skill most on the ball?

{ACS.050_09} HEY, WAIT A MINUTE, Cutler's got a show
{ACS.050_10} on Showtime that he claims will choose someone
{ACS.050_11} with voting at the end to let them know
{ACS.050_12} the people's choice --
all others they've outdone.

{ACS.050_13} Will Cutler's game produce someone you'd trust
{ACS.050_14} to save us from becoming pizza crust?


{ACS.051_01} Now, trust me, I can tell you they won't do.
{ACS.051_02} None of the AmCan 10 was chosen for
{ACS.051_03} their skill in RHETORIC. None of that crew
{ACS.051_04} was tested on that scale to pass the door ...

{ACS.051_05} ... into the AmCan game that's playing out
{ACS.051_06} before a nation that could not care less.
{ACS.051_07} 'Fore Cutler's PR cronies start to shout,
{ACS.051_08} "How do you know?"
I'll swear that it's no guess.

{ACS.051_09} They picked Bob Vanech -- that is proof enough.
{ACS.051_10} And Chrissy Gephardt who looked like a deer
{ACS.051_11} caught in the headlights of Parks pro-life stuff.
{ACS.051_12} And none of them, REAL ORATORS, my dear.

{ACS.051_13} Whoever wins the AmCan game won't be
{ACS.051_14} someone to save the earth. Someone like me.


{ACS.052_01} NOW, WHETHER I would save it, I don't know.
{ACS.052_02} I'd have to think about it for awhile.
{ACS.052_03} I always tell the truth. I'd never snow
{ACS.052_04} the aliens with bullshit and a smile.

{ACS.052_05} Perhaps there is no case that can be made
{ACS.052_06} to justify the saving of the earth
{ACS.052_07} from this apocalyptic laser raid
{ACS.052_08} by aliens with fried-skin added girth.

{ACS.052_09} BUT IF there's such a case, I'd make it best.
{ACS.052_10} I'll brag a line or two, but then we'll move
{ACS.052_11} on to how to select -- construct a test
{ACS.052_12} of competence. A game you'd trust to prove ...

{ACS.052_13} ... who best could make the case
to save your life
{ACS.052_14} on principles as sharp as Occam's knife.

{ACS.053_01} IMAGINE MEETUPS in each far-flung town.
{ACS.053_02} A hundred people gathered to decide
{ACS.053_03} which of those hundred everyone would crown
{ACS.053_04} by voting to select to take the side ...

{ACS.053_05} ... of earth against destruction. Who best told
{ACS.053_06} the story of why earth should not be burned.
{ACS.053_07} They're guaranteed to vote for skill, not old-
{ACS.053_08} school ties or friends or family. Some spurned ...

{ACS.053_09} ... before that local contest, might prevail
{ACS.053_10} if it was clear no one was better at
{ACS.053_11} constructing arguments that all would hail
{ACS.053_12} as "better." Life at stake --
they might well pat ...

{ACS.053_13} ... a homeless woman on the back and say:
{ACS.053_14} "Dear gal, you stink,
but you might save the day."


{ACS.054_01} A HUNDRED CITY WINNERS do the same
{ACS.054_02} as many levels as it takes to find
{ACS.054_03} those judged "the best" to play the final game
{ACS.054_04} on TV where the most skilled will have climbed ...

{ACS.054_05} ... into the ring to let "the people" choose
{ACS.054_06} who they believe is best to win it all
{ACS.054_07} "The one" who'll speak for them and will not lose
{ACS.054_08} and let the earth be fried to crispy ball.

{ACS.054_09} There'd be no guarantee that they could win
{ACS.054_10} the alien's agreement, but no one
{ACS.054_11} would worry that some arbitrary men
{ACS.054_12} like Bush or Kerry --
'cause they were some son ...

{ACS.054_13} ... of priv'lege -- held their fate without belief
{ACS.054_14} they were the best to save us all from grief.


{ACS.055_01} WOULD BOKE be THE LAST ORATOR in this
{ACS.055_02} selection of the best by truest vote --
{ACS.055_03} untainted by corruption, luck, or kiss
{ACS.055_04} of any arbitrary asymptote ...

{ACS.055_05} ... of social paths occluding in the past?
{ACS.055_06} That much, he would not brag, but I assure
{ACS.055_07} you he would in all cases beat the cast
{ACS.055_08} of AmCan -- whose selection was not pure.

{ACS.055_09} And Bush and Kerry? Definitely so.
{ACS.055_10} I'm sure ten thousand could -- if they had been
{ACS.055_11} positioned to contest them throw by throw
{ACS.055_12} and hope by hope in words. The awful sin ...

{ACS.055_13} ... of Cutler is he promised us the chance
{ACS.055_14} to bypass all the crap. See who can dance.

# # #


HAIKU CODA

But just what Martians

would think is persuasive

is up for debate. {serious smile}