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Linh Dinh is tracking our deteriorating social scape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union . He is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a just released novel, Love Like Hate .
Friday, September 20, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Atlantic City (5 comments)
The decline of Atlantic City will not be reversed, and its casinos will be imploded or abandoned soon enough. Under the boardwalk, there won't be one but many blankets, quilts, tarps and pieces of cardboard, and on them, folks will even make love as they almost taste french fries and hot dogs.
Saturday, September 7, 2013 Striking Russia through Syria (16 comments)
A war on Syria, then, is an attack on Russia itself, and that's why Russian warships are patrolling the Mediterranean. Countering the American menace, Russia will certainly be no silent spectator, and to show support for Russia and Syria, a Chinese warship has also shown up, with more coming.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Trenton (5 comments)
With its compact layout, Trenton is very walkable, though one must watch out for bullets, knives and cars careening out of control after their drivers had been shot dead. With four more months to go, Trenton has already tied its all-time record of 31 murders for an entire year.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Cherry Hill
With its detached homes and no central square, park or even downtown, Cherry Hill is your quintessential American Dreamscape. Its Main Street is barely 500 yard-long, with no stores. To shop, one drives to the Cherry Hill Mall, which is the slick, gleaming and sanitized heart of this community, even its raison d'etre.
Thursday, August 1, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Chester (5 comments)
It was a Saturday evening, but Chester's main drag, Avenue of the States, was mostly empty. Even fifteen years ago, there would have been many shoppers, or loiterers, at least. Now, there was hardly a parked car to break in. On both sides of the street for an entire block, there was only one business open, Huddle Barbershop.
Thursday, July 18, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: North Philly (3 comments)
The corner of Broad and Erie is the Times Square of North Philly, but instead of flashy signs pushing Kodak, Samsung, Canon or Virgin Airlines, you have stark billboards urging you to "ELIMINATE YOUR DEBT" and "REBUILD YOUR CREDIT."
Thursday, July 4, 2013 7/4/13, a poem (5 comments)
Is it the Fourth of July yet? / So who should I shoot now?
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 Peeping NSA, a poem
The USA has become a one-way mirror, / And a one-way, high-speed highway to hell. / In this perverted, capsized nation, the top / Criminals are lauded, while the selfless / And conscientious are caged, when not shot.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: South Philly (2 comments)
It is the 4th of July again. With each birthday, we become sadder, with less vigor or clearsightedness, only an unfocused or misdirected anger. Dread lurks behind each or our grin or drunken laugh. Racked by anxiety, we reassure ourselves that everything on television still looks more or less the same.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Camden (1 comments)
On the day this country was born, I would not be in Philly, its birthplace, but Camden, its prototypical morgue. A habitually lawless government has no business celebrating the Constitution, and with this country being deliberately tortured and drown by its rulers, accompanied by flag-waving acquiescence of deranged voters, each 4th of July has turned into a sick and sad spectacle.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Philadelphia (2 comments)
While fixated on sports, singing contests and network news, we're being lowered into our degradation. NSA, FBI, Homeland Security and CIA spooks shadow us for evidence of rebellion and espy nada. After inconsequential Occupy and Tea Party twitches, all is quiet. Those sign waving assemblies merely served a carthatic function, and even wore us out, without threatening the status quo at all.
Saturday, June 8, 2013 Broke Poem (1 comments)
I guess we ain't broke enough to reform /
Into functioning poems, handcuffs or bombs. / As is, academic jive, voting and FaceBook. / Detonating endless violence, they preach / Symbolic whining to us hushed puppies.
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Scranton (12 comments)
Within a generation, Scranton has lost hundreds of factories of all kinds, with the only manufacturer left the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems plant. This jibes perfectly with our national policy, for we have stopped making anything that anyone can use or wear, only mega weapons that will blow up the entire planet.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: San Jose (1 comments)
To be misused or unused has become our common lot. In nearly every field, corporate, military, civic, media, entertainment and academic, talent and integrity are wasted, if not punished, as ruthless crooks, groveling connivers and grinning morons rise to the top.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Oakland (2 comments)
Should London's ghost amble from his Klondike Gold Rush cabin, now preserved on Jack London Square, this friend of the downtrodden would be aghast to be surrounded on all sides by bankers, stockbrokers, lawyers, "civic leaders" and assorted war profiteers kicking it back in luxurious surroundings.
Friday, April 19, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Los Angeles (7 comments)
For those with lots of cash stashed away, the coming years will be an orgy of cheap thrills dished up, for next to nothing, by a ballooning army of increasingly desperate Americans. They won't just screw us figuratively, then toss us a penny. They will do it literally.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Missouri (2 comments)
With killing and looting making up the DNA of any empire, we won't veer from our bloody ways, at least not of our own volition, though with the US of A rapidly winding down and entering its autophagous phase, state-sponsored butchering and mugging will be increasingly performed in your face and on your body.
Thursday, April 11, 2013 Postcard from the End of America: Cheyenne (3 comments)
I saw and heard enough to know that things were rough here, as they were throughout my recent travel. Downtown, there was a sign on a handsome high rise, "THIS BUILDING IS NOT EMPTY. IT IS FULL OF OPPORTUNITY," and nearby, the art-deco theater advertised movies for only $3.50. Here and there, posters warned against meth addiction.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Deranging America (7 comments)
Violence, always violence. From infancy, Americans are conditioned to enjoy violence, then lured or pressured to support it at every stage of life. Merely by voting, Americans sanction carnage against foreigners, and to have a healthy stock portfolio, one should also invest in mass murder. Even holding onto to a job can mean implicit or explicit participation gratuitous violence.
Sunday, February 17, 2013 Same Old News, a poem
Scanning this dim dive, you'll see /
A sad sack bunch of well-pickled / Priapic corpses not yet interred. / With pricks, they've erected skyticklers, / Defended motherlands against their kind / And bored their way across this globe.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Dimming Nation (5 comments)
In the Superdome, poor, helpless citizens were abandoned by their uncaring and negligent government not long ago, but for this big bash, tickets went from $850 to $1,250, with fans coughing up much more on the black market. New Orleans is back, they keep saying, but poisoned by the BP oil spill after being slammed by Katrina, the entire region is still in distress.
Saturday, February 2, 2013 War, Porn and Jive--a poem
Your bobbing head doesn't count. / If unemployed, they'll count / You as no longer interested / In eating, drinking or sleeping
Sunday, January 27, 2013 National Nervous Breakdown (27 comments)
When unhinged behaviors become increasingly pervasive, it's time we ask if this society is going through a nervous breakdown as it's falling apart structurally? From our psychopathic President on down, we're showing the world, and posterity, that we're clearly not right in the noggin.
Monday, January 21, 2013 My Local Rising, a poem
Canned tunes are our opiate. /
Turn them off to hear ourselves. /
Measure all with our bodies
Saturday, January 12, 2013 World War in Asia? (2 comments)
With the Asia Pivot, the US wants to encircle China, and supplies old and new allies with missiles aimed at its biggest rival. An amped up arms race means cash flow for the world's biggest death dealer.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 Those Laboring Days (1 comments)
For some business owners, it may be too painful to admit the obvious. They will latch onto "recovery" even as they sink and their neighbors go belly up.
Sunday, December 23, 2012 The End (1 comments)
Quitting Saigon, the American radio station played Bing Crosby's "White Christmas." One chapter of empire was closing, but now we're experiencing another, much more serious collapse. Our foundation quakes, our roof blows off, the earth cracks and our forests burn down. The President fakes a laugh, then cries most convincingly.
Sunday, December 16, 2012 Kill 'Em All, a poem (3 comments)
Roaring, "Bye, bye, Miss American Pie," / I'll strafe weddings, funerals and baby showers, / Blast children from their first English lessons.
Friday, December 14, 2012 State of the Union, a poem (1 comments)
Once I shoveled coal, tamed pig iron, / Strung bridges. Erected. Now I strut / Up and down Broadway, dazed, / Fingering coins, aiming for chicken.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 Breaking Point (5 comments)
In Egypt, people immediately protested and even clashed with cops after Morsi gave himself dictatorial powers, but here, all was supine, docile and purring even as Obama had assumed the right to arrest or kill anyone, without trial or even charge. Though we don't have dictators in the classic sense, we do have a dictatorial executive office that has expanded its power unchecked.
Thursday, November 22, 2012 Devouring Jackals (3 comments)
So a truce between Israel and Hamas has been announced, but what has been solved, exactly? Likely nothing. Born in blood and maintained through constant bloodletting, Israel has gotten its teeth into its prey, and it won't let go. If it had a choice, it would have devoured all already.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 Ass Won! (9 comments)
American democracy is like a restaurant with only two items on the menu, and no matter which one you order, ass or pachyderm, you're served a toxic and bloody mess.
Monday, November 5, 2012 The Last Naive Election (12 comments)
This election will be the last with American naiveté about the true state of their government still relatively intact. After November 6th, promises will be broken, bombs will be dropped, heads will be cracked, and scales will fall from the eyes of even the most thick skulled among them.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 Post Election Bombs (4 comments)
The only positive of any US election is that it can postpone, for a few months, the empire's worst excesses. We're scaling back our war crimes to allow the President and his handpicked opponent to huff hot air rhythmically up our collective muffler.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 Voting for Death (6 comments)
The world must see that Americans aren't all deranged and hypnotized as those who cheer and vote for one lying criminal after another. Imagine thousands in public places, declaring, "NOT IN OUR NAME!" The sooner we can affect a divorce between us and our rogue government, the sooner we can get rid of it.
Thursday, September 27, 2012 Sham! Sham! Sham! (6 comments)
To vote for Obama or Romney is to sanction the continued degradation of the USA, an accelerating collapse of the economy, further erosion of your basic rights and more wasteful and immoral wars. Keep in mind also that an open-ended quantitative easing, supported by both parties and unquestioned in the press, is a sly, open-ended bank bailout that will deflate your dollar and increase your cost of survival.
Friday, September 7, 2012 Party Poopery, with Confetti (7 comments)
As a step in a new direction, we must boycott this coming election and deny it of all legitimacy, and we shouldn't do this passively, by staying at home. Instead, we should turn out in massive, unprecedented numbers on election day, not to vote but to announce to the world that these politicians don't represent us, that these elections are mere charades masking the fact that America no longer has a representative democracy.
Friday, August 17, 2012 Decent Men vs. Strutting Ogres (5 comments)
Bravo, Ecuador, for its noble, just and beautiful gesture in granting Julian Assange political asylum! In an era where just about every politician routinely breaks every promise, the Ecuadorian President keeps his to Assange, though doing so puts him in the crosshair of the most powerful empire.
Monday, August 13, 2012 Time to Boycott the Election (30 comments)
There are those who reason that the right to vote has been so hard-earned, that it cannot be shirked, but when the entire electoral process has been thoroughly perverted and rigged, when cheating often occurs right out in the open, then it is our duty as citizens to boycott such a sick farce. A refusal to vote, then, becomes an indictment of the system itself, with the lower the turnout, the louder the accusation to the worldt
Thursday, August 2, 2012 Dire Train (5 comments)
With a functioning economy, even dumb people should have jobs, if they're willing to work, that is, but in ours, the geniuses, morons and everyone in between are similarly stuck on a tardy train to nowhere. You can have PhDs and still pay for your baked beans with food stamps. Unless we do something about our collective plight, and soon, only the criminally well-connected, and some of their lackeys, will survive this ongoing c
Friday, July 13, 2012 News Digested (2 comments)
Though our bank-bought government won't decouple itself from the bank vampire, private citizens can lessen their exposure to this bank beast, and starve it, by not getting into debt or defaulting. Since recent college graduates can neither find jobs nor repay life-wrecking loans, they will be at the vanguard, if only by default, sorry, of this strategy.
Thursday, July 5, 2012 Oil and Illusions (2 comments)
Since peak oil is here, we will see living standards plummet, although a global headcount shrinkage is still a way of. After all, a slice of bread can be divided into two, four or eight pieces, and just as a fat man can lose his jiggling lardship, an obese country can slim down considerably. A bank CEO, too, can be tranche into two, four or a hundred pieces, then fed to defrauded investors, buffet style.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 Banking on Zeros
Whether you're Greece or a recent college graduate, you don't dare defaulting on loans, because you can't imagine life beyond debts. Banksters are chaining Greece to them with additional loans, so Greece can service them into eternity. Privatized central banking is a perpetual debt machine.
Thursday, June 28, 2012 Gone Banana Republic (1 comments)
Left alone, we will figure out a way to scrape by, but it remains to be seen to what degree, and for how long, the government will try to prevent us from surviving on our own. One can say that the United States is becoming a police state because it is turning into a Third World country. Already, choppers snake through skyscraper canyons and tanks roll down main streets.
Monday, June 25, 2012 Obama's Leaked Diary
The latest crop of drones has artificial intelligence, so they can decide for themselves who the enemy is, and whether to kill or just maim him. They can also torture their target, by firing at his fingers or toes, one by one, or an eye, or a nose at an angle, so only the schnozzle is knocked off, without the bullet entering the brain. Genitals can be shredded, but slowly, to maximize pain.
Friday, June 22, 2012 Obama's Statement on Fast and Furious (4 comments)
Why did we provide guns to these mass-murdering, decapitating and torturing drug dealers? Why did we strengthen these ruthlessly greedy and even sadistic people when we're supposed to fight them in the War on Drugs?
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 As Language Goes (2 comments)
As America ceases to manufacture just about everything short of weapons, she's more prodigious than ever at generating illusions, with none more desperately insistent than a return to 2007, 2000 or even 1950. Instead of seeing what's ahead, we're walking backward into the future.
Friday, May 25, 2012 Browbeating Cyclops vs. Rambos (2 comments)
Americans are frustrated and angry, with some even contemplating turning off their babbling TV long enough to join or organize a sustained protest or rebellion, so the state is preempting that by warning that it knows what you're thinking, and if you step out of line, it can legally arrest, strip search, disappear or even kill you, without anyone knowing.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 The Fountain of Recovery
Now that we're entering what promises to be an even greater period of material and spiritual despair, which Father Divines will rise up to save the desperate and gullible? Instead of preaching self-control, racial harmony and charity, what bitter impulses will they unleash? The magical Fountain of Recovery will likely gush blood.
Sunday, May 20, 2012 White Living (2 comments)
In Chicago, white masters are plotting on how to f*ck with us all, including the lower whites. As expected, they've framed a few white youths and locked them up on bogus charge of terrorism. This is to condition the public to see poor whites, especially those with tattoos, nose rings or dread locks, as also the enemy.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 Blown Up Election (1 comments)
In this land of peeling yet persistent illusions, none is more farcical than the Presidential election, for even as it promises renewal, common purpose, focus and hope, and demands a collective soul searching, even, this elaborate and drawn out ritual will deliver nothing more than a new (or renewed) apologist for the same set of crimes against humanity, country and you.
Sunday, May 13, 2012 Idiocy as WMD (3 comments)
The more oppressive a political system, then, the greater its assault on its subjects' minds, for it's not enough for any dictator, king or totalitarian system to oppress and exploit, but it must, and I mean must, make its people idiotic as well.
Friday, May 4, 2012 CC FBI, a poem
I fancy myself stepping over corpses
Of tax-dodging and looting CEOs,
War profiteers and propagandists,
The ones who keep feeding us lanky dogs
Dryhumping homing soldiers, but don't show
Those who are killed, maimed or tortured
By these same guys and gals next door.
Friday, April 27, 2012 Make Love, then War (4 comments)
A master at being anti-war is accepting a Freedom Medal from a master of war. What is Bob Dylan thinking? He and Obama are no strangers. On February 9, 2010, Dylan performed "The Times They Are A-Changing" at the White House. If I remember correctly, Dylan seemed a bit sullen that night, and he skipped the final, feel good session at the end, when all the other performers gathered, beaming, around our Chief Executive.
Saturday, April 14, 2012 Poetry Sightings (3 comments)
It is Poetry Month again, but most Americans wouldn't know it, preoccupied as they are with forechecks, Mitt, Kim, Lady, Pippa and Doritos Locos Tacos. What a far cry from what Walt Whitman envisioned, since he actually thought our country would value poets more than any other.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 Know Thy Enemy (3 comments)
With the Trayvon Martin case, racism has again come to the fore, but what is racism but the most literal and narrow manifestation of self-love, in itself merely a survival instinct, and as natural as air or lust? A racist will defend and cherish only what is most like him, and nothing else, but one must mature from this, and I think many of us have, if only partially.
Sunday, March 4, 2012 Triage on Uncle Sam (3 comments)
The first stage of our rebellion is over, and though I fully applaud the courage and sacrifice of those who endured prolonged discomfort or police brutality to rouse America from its slumber, we must now aim for tangible results and not symbolic victories. Since time is short, we must get deadly serious. No more hedges.
Saturday, February 25, 2012 Missing Foundations (13 comments)
Americans are living on borrowed time, economically. Like air conditioners, copper pipes and aluminum siding of a foreclosed home, what remains of our prosperity will be violently stripped away. There is no economic recovery because the foundations for such are simply not there.
Thursday, February 9, 2012 Speed Freaks Must Die (9 comments)
As our leaders kill, we are fed pop music, until it's our turn, too, to be slaughtered. They have all the guns and money, while we have next to nothing but inconsequential words. Under such an arrangement, I don't see anything resembling a smooth and sane transition to justice, peace and sustainability.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 Cheering On Dumb, Stupid Animals (1 comments)
Without a doubt, America is the world leader in violence and intimidation, and the US, UK and Israel alliance is the true axis of evil, for these countries have been behind so much violence and turmoil for several decades now.