Wednesday, August 25, 2004

(7 sonnets) EDUCATION, i.e., There's got to be a pony in here somewhere! {smile}


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



{ACS.141_01} THE LIBERALLY EDUCATED CAN
{ACS.141_02} NO LONGER function as the guardian
{ACS.141_03} of freedom and democracy. The clan
{ACS.141_04} of "best and brightest" clearly now has run ...

{ACS.141_05} ... completely out of gas this century.
{ACS.141_06} They can protect their priv'lege, but that's it.
{ACS.141_07} They hold no high ground, just use strategy
{ACS.141_08} like all the other players of BULLSHIT.

{ACS.141_09} The Bullshit Game requires a certain field --
{ACS.141_10} a level one that's seeded well and trimmed.
{ACS.141_11} A nation full of people who will yield
{ACS.141_12} to BULLSHIT: Educationally dimmed.

{ACS.141_13} The ones who best exploit this weakness rise.
{ACS.141_14} George Dubya's Gang Of Punks

now trump the wise.

{ACS.142_01} MASS MEDIA transformed the pow'r of speech.
{ACS.142_02} The world of radio and TV's not
{ACS.142_03} the same world as before. How should we teach
{ACS.142_04} our children (and ourselves) to better plot ...

{ACS.142_05} ... a course through all the noise
our culture spreads?
{ACS.142_06} A HIGHER EDUCATION, we believe,
{ACS.142_07} prepares us to succeed -- it fills our heads
{ACS.142_08} with everything success can preconceive.

{ACS.142_09} But we don't see how near a hundred years
{ACS.142_10} of media has changed the very ground
{ACS.142_11} beneath the playing field. The social spheres
{ACS.142_12} are now defined by TV's sight and sound.

{ACS.142_13} OUR EDUCATION HAS NOT CHANGED to fit
{ACS.142_14} the new environment where we now sit.


{ACS.143_01} For eighty generations RHETORIC
{ACS.143_02} was central to what EDUCATION means.
{ACS.143_03} That word's now synonym for what is slick --
{ACS.143_04} "just talk, not action." Even ivy deans ...

{ACS.143_05} .... no longer have a clue why they should need
{ACS.143_06} to think about it, other than a course
{ACS.143_07} (or two) in Freshman writing. Well-degreed
{ACS.143_08} young men and women are to be a source ...

{ACS.143_09} ... of knowledge in a discipline defined
{ACS.143_10} by categories in the catalogue.
{ACS.143_11} Though speaking well most surely has declined,
{ACS.143_12} they think that Rhetoric's just ancient fog.

{ACS.143_13} Well sorry, boys and girls, you've got it wrong.
{ACS.143_14} Your head's been up your ass a bit too long.


{ACS.144_01} FROM TIME TO TIME A WATERSHED
must come --
{ACS.144_02} a shift in social practice to correct
{ACS.144_03} imbalance on some scale. Yes, slip a thumb
{ACS.144_04} on one side that's too light in retrospect.

{ACS.144_05} There are some patterns history repeats
{ACS.144_06} and RHETORIC is somewhat of a loop.
{ACS.144_07} Look back to Cicero then up to Keats
{ACS.144_08} and back to Shakespeare; up to Lincoln
-- snoop ...

{ACS.144_09} ... through time and try to feel what kind of shift
{ACS.144_10} that education needs to make to turn
{ACS.144_11} the media-imbalanced thoughts we sift
{ACS.144_12} into democracy. So we discern ...

{ACS.144_13} ... the balance in the flow of all that noise.
{ACS.144_14} Like gymnasts of the word
give our thoughts poise.


{ACS.145_01} WHY BRING THIS UP when AmCan is the case
{ACS.145_02} we are inspecting? If we don't, we'll fail
{ACS.145_03} to understand how Cutler could disgrace
{ACS.145_04} its possibility -- so badly nail ...

{ACS.145_05} ... the landing (or the take off, either one).
{ACS.145_06} THE FRAMEWORK of our culture has no holes
{ACS.145_07} for all that AmCan promised. What they've done
{ACS.145_08} is execute within the current folds ...

{ACS.145_09} ... a pattern that will not disturb a thing.
{ACS.145_10} What else would you expect, the wise might ask.
{ACS.145_11} A vetted member of that class can't bring
{ACS.145_12} a real transition, or lift up the mask ...

{ACS.145_13} ... on TV, heaven knows, they must sell bull.
{ACS.145_14} It isn't easy to get RJ's pull.


{ACS.146_01} Well, many people thought that he would try.
{ACS.146_02} THE BIG IDEA appealed to them all.
{ACS.146_03} Yes, it's for TV, but we've heard this guy
{ACS.146_04} is someone who has heard a higher call ...

{ACS.146_05} ... than where most folks in Hollywood
take aim.
{ACS.146_06} They had some faith and hope
that he'd transcend
{ACS.146_07} the box. And so, yes, he must take the blame
{ACS.146_08} for all the bullshit. Cutler badly sinned ...

{ACS.146_09} ... and can't admit it, or he'd make it worse.
{ACS.146_10} (That seems to be a trait of Hollywood,
{ACS.146_11} or simply POWER -- truth cannot reverse
{ACS.146_12} the error. Just say bullshit 'till it's good.)

{ACS.146_13} We'd have to've sent ol' RJ back to school
{ACS.146_14} before he could have made our AmCan cool.



{ACS.147_01} THE BUNNIES OF THE REVOLUTION ring
{ACS.147_02} the bell at Bunny School and wait for you
{ACS.147_03} to pin your bunny tail on and then sing
{ACS.147_04} a song of your own making as they brew ...

{ACS.147_05} ... some Bunny Beer out back for later use.
{ACS.147_06} You sing a song of pain -- the safety pin
{ACS.147_07} that's holding on your bunny tail is loose --
{ACS.147_08} and when you're done the Bunnies shout
AMEN!

{ACS.147_09} The Necessary Angel can't resist
{ACS.147_10} a snapshot of your suffering to share
{ACS.147_11} with God who'll smile and lightly ball his fist
{ACS.147_12} to push that pin in deeper so you'll spare ...

{ACS.147_13} ... no passion in expressing what you think.
{ACS.147_14} BOKE turns to face the cam'ra ...
Did he wink? {smile}


# # #


HAIKU CODA

The Iraq Mess proves

"the meritocracy" needs

new education.