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Gary Corseri has published & posted his work at hundreds of venues worldwide, including Op Ed News, The New York Times, CounterPunch, CommonDreams, DissidentVoice, L.A. (and Hollywood--) Progressive. He has been a professor in the US & Japan, has published 2 collections of poetry, 2 novels, and edited a literary anthology. He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and his dramas have been produced on Atlanta-PBS and elsewhere.
Mourning John F. Kennedy and a Half-Century of Degraded Arts and Culture
Kennedy looked beyond the "dust of centuries" to ponder America's "contribution to the human spirit." What other American president or elected (sanctioned!) political leader has conjoined the past titans of public life... with those who strode beside them to sculpt, paint and script the Age? More than our "Commander-in Chief," he ascribed to himself the greater role of Teacher-in-Chief.
Our Decadent Mainstream Media Proves Stalin Was Right!
It has been about 40 years since I found Joan Rivers somewhat amusing. How in hell does the news of her passing take priority over the lives and concerns of millions of working Americans? Didn't there used to be a separation between "real" news and sports and entertainment? And, if they had to share a format at all, wasn't the trivia shuffled to the bottom, put on the back burner, until serious people could prioritize?
Saturday, September 6, 2014(13 comments)
Beginning With A Line From Neruda
"Why bring us into this pinwheel of sorrows?/ Wasn't it better not to be born?" I cannot answer these questions here--questions, I suppose, not uncommon for too many in our frenetic and hyper-troubled world. I can, perhaps, delineate some factors that prompt such questions--hoping thereby to enhance a sense of kindredship, unity and empathy in the human family.
Friday, August 29, 2014(12 comments)
They Tell Me Not To Spell Out "Sh*t"!
"Once, scholars quibbled over pins: / How many angels rubbed their shins/ Together on a pointy head?" In militarized America, we are happy to talk about "war" and blood and gore, but find street talk about human functions a mite offensive. We proclaim our ugliness to the world thru our language and imagery, but get hoity-toity over certain proscribed words. Bob Dylan wrote: "The hour is late. Let's speak plainly now."
Sunday, August 24, 2014(8 comments)
Rats (a poem)
Is human nature degenerating? Have we always been this bad--so mendacious, so violent? Who are we, and what are we becoming?
Slaughter (a poem)
"When will they ever learn?" Pete Seeger sang. One of the great problems with learning anything nowadays is who is doing the teaching! Media squawks at us constantly. If we can't cut the strings... we are doomed.
Monday, August 11, 2014(10 comments)
"USreal: the Democracidal Minotaur in the Cesspool of Imagination"
"War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength," Orwell told us in "1984." All oxymoronically true and sad in our twisted world today. But, perhaps the greatest truth that prophet propounded was this: Whoever controls the information controls the imagination.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014(3 comments)
We Are The Palestinians
No man is an island, John Donne wrote 4 centuries ago. Every man's death diminishes me, he wrote. And we add now--every woman's death, every child's. We are all connected--more so now in our Internet Age than ever. Those people with ancient roots in their land must be cherished. No people have a "God-given" or self-proclaimed right to abuse others. Learn from the past, learn from others to move to a higher consciousness.
Monday, July 14, 2014(4 comments)
The "Peace Process" Dies Again
There is no "peace process."/ There is peace and the absence of peace--/ The gnawing hunger for it,/ The desperation of the vanquished.
Saturday, July 5, 2014(28 comments)
Another 4th of July! But what exactly are we celebrating? All this Bernaysian chanting in the herd: "USA! USA! USA!" How would a true revolutionary like a Whitman perceive our pathetic yawp?
Monday, June 23, 2014(3 comments)
A Conversation with Henry David Thoreau
I knew who he was, though the garments were the homespun style of 150 years ago. The voice was calm and reassuring--emitted from a sparsely whisker-fringed face, crowned with somewhat unruly hair. A long, thin nose, like the prow (not the rudder) of a boat parted expressive eyes--the left slightly larger, looking straight at one (or upon whatever it focused) while the right looked slightly right and downward and within.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
"A Conversation with Paul Craig Roberts: Transitions; Morals; Alliances and Dissolutions
This article will provoke some, annoy others. But, it will make people think. Agree or disagree with him, Paul Craig Roberts has a powerful mind... and it's important that all of us who seek positive change in this world understand where a man like Roberts construes the world, what he has learned from his experiences at and near the pinnacles of power. He's also an informed, scintillating, no-BS conversationalist.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014(2 comments)
"Bring Back Our Girls!"
Can we get beyond the headlines, beyond our culture of distractions? All over our world today, children are abducted, sold into virtual and real slavery, their labor exploited. They are sexploited by pimps in the poor world and the rich world. We focus attention on a single incident--a missing airliner, a capsized ferry, 200 Nigerian children kidnapped. And then we move on to the next event. We need greater perspective.
Saturday, May 10, 2014(15 comments)
"Disentangling Ukraine from Our 'Narrative Lines': a Zen Moment for Our Droned Psyches!"
"Zen demands intelligence and will-power," Carl Jung wrote, "as do all the greater things which desire to become real." In America today, we seem to have lost that vital connection--the symbiosis of "intelligence and will-power." There are intelligent people who lack the "will power" to assert themselves, to assert truth as they understand it; and there are many fools with all too much "will-power" to assert their folly!
Thursday, May 1, 2014(3 comments)
Kathy Kelly's Challenge: Witness, Courage, Compassion, Becoming
There is much that we can't forget in this book; a book about all of us. Kathy Kelly makes us think, makes us confront ourselves. Can we become better than we are? What have we done to create such a dispiriting world? What have we done to relieve suffering, "to act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God"? Kelly is probing basic questions about the meaning of life. This is our mirror now.
Saturday, April 19, 2014(9 comments)
The Rise of Our Dumbocracy (A Review of Paul Craig Roberts' "How America Was Lost")
Roberts' newest book (463 pages, from Clarity Press, 2014) is a compendium of 135 columns... written between August, 2008 and December 31, 2013.... PCR is simply one of America's best chroniclers of this sad, brutal era of imperial overreach and moral decline. Anyone who wants to understand where we've been... where we are... and where we're heading, had better read this book pronto!
Monday, April 7, 2014(1 comments)
Socrates Rebukes the NSA
We live in a Surveillance State--the most intense, the most far-reaching and pervasive in the history of the world. George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Hitler, Stalin--none of them could have imagined a state as technologically advanced as ours--nor one as hideously distorted. How have "leaders" throughout time cultivated fear of others--xenophobia, etc.--to control their subjects even so they act against their own best interests?
Sunday, March 16, 2014(3 comments)
"Never Forget": for Rachel Corrie
Source, Wikipedia: Less than two months after her arrival in Palestine, on March 16, 2003, Rache Corrie was killed after a three-hour confrontation between two IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) bulldozers and eight peace activists. Wearing a bright orange fluorescent jacket... she was killed while standing in the path of a bulldozer that she believed was about to demolish the house of Palestinian friends.
Monday, February 24, 2014(8 comments)
Hypocritical, Decadent US Preaches "Freedom" to Our Dying World
Freedom without wisdom is a tree without roots. Total freedom is anarchy (a condition Yeats long ago lamented when he wrote: "Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.") Living in "the land of the free" is a meme we teach our children in grade school--but how to think clearly about the meaning of that and their consequent responsibilities--the moral responsibilities of freedom--these are lessons we have neglected at our peril.
Lynne Stewart, Our Lady Mandela, in the Season of Giving
World "leaders" honored Mandela when he died. Unfortunately, other brave and wise men and women, who sacrifice their comfort, their health and welfare in the struggles for equality and dignity--languish in prisons in the so-called "advanced" countries, their stories ignored, their deeds mis-represented. If we are to advance as a people--as a species!--we must tell their stories.
Let us justly honor Mandela's fortitude, integrity and courage... but let us not for a moment lose sight of the fact that much remains to be done. While we can celebrate this man's personal triumph, let us also remember all those who have struggled in vain, and continue to struggle everywhere, for a humanity that is not just human but is humane.
"The Pursuit of Happiness (?): Jefferson, Chief Seattle, Helen Keller"
Hasn't this "pursuit of happiness" been our undoing? Whose happiness? How to attain it? The slave-holder's happiness, but not the tenant farmer's (let alone the slave's)? The settler's happiness, but not the Tribal People's? The billionaire's happiness or the minimum wage-earner's?
We define happiness in very personal terms, and there's never an end to it--not enough material goods, nor attractive mates, nor "life."
Monday, September 16, 2013(1 comments)
Prologue 3: Conversations on the Arts, Politics and History Between a Russian and an American
These pieces are like fugues: themes develop in the give and take between two artists, making the best use of the Internet, communicating across continents, trans-culturally. The focus is on politics and the arts--integrating these vital aspects of human life--as they were in the 60s and 70s, but are rarely seen as informing one another now! It's a new kind of "literary criticism"--not one person pontificating, but dialogue.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013(1 comments)
10 Reasons Why the US Needs an Intervention... in the US!
To justify a very immoral--probably imminent--act of ours--the bombing of innocent civilians with our terrorist cruise-missile bombs, we trot our our very compromised, half billionaire Secretary of State to declare "moral obscenity" when others do what we have done so often! Have we really gone thru Alice's Looking Glass, where up is down, wrong is right? Using our kind of "logic," the US should have an intervention here!
Friday, August 16, 2013(3 comments)
Prologues: Conversations on Politics and the Arts Between a Russian and an American
Sample Quotes: "Artists must be the antidote to all the insanity in this world! I want poetry to be dangerous!"--Gary Corseri
"We have obligations towards the great poets to continue their work. I have always felt this and this. ... We have a duty to our great precusors, a duty to posterity. ... I think that... culture... is in decline. I think it has a lot to do with the environmental destruction."--Victor Postnikov
Saturday, July 27, 2013(3 comments)
"When Lady Liberty Wept"
The noble words of Emma Lazarus, inscribed on a plaque in the pedestal of our iconic Statue of Liberty, have been turned inside out and made a mockery by the Empire that has replaced the hoped-for Republic and Democracy.
Monday, July 22, 2013(2 comments)
"Prologues: Conversations on the Arts, Politics, and Science Between a Russian and an American"
I have had trouble for several decades accepting the idea that politics and the Arts are separable! Why shouldn't the Arts be informed by interesting, provocative thought in the sciences, technologies, religion, spirituality, etc? Is this not a hodge-podge universe with all kinds of interwoven themes that artists--and other thinkers--are trying to interpret to bring the Whole--at least our little part of it--together?
Monday, June 24, 2013(1 comments)
"Who will watch the watchers?," the poet-satirist Juvenal wondered. "Who will guard the guards?"
The Roman Empire was disintegrating. The greatest power the Western world had ever known was under assault--from within and without. Who could be trusted? There were daggers in men's eyes. Trust authority? There were spies everywhere. Betrayals everywhere. Cruelty and barbarism. A time like ours now!
Robinson Jeffers: America's Neglected-At-Our-Peril Poet-Prophet
"If we are ever to grasp our fleeting Zeitgeist, we need the whole round picture--politics, the Arts, slang, sexuality, food--the whole cascading shebang! The American poet who best provides that, for his time and ours, is Robinson Jeffers, who died one year before JFK was killed, but at 75, had lived to see terrible presentiments."
Monday, April 29, 2013(3 comments)
Quotes from the Book of Memes
We live by memes. We die by memes. We kill and maim by memes.
This is an attempt to show how absurd life can be when we simply accept/inherit/assume some slogan or concept we haven't thought through, felt through, for ourselves. I take a well-known quotation and turn it around simply by substituting the word "meme" for a word in the original. I hope it lights up some minds.
(Linh Dinh's was perfect as is.)
A continuation of a dialogue begun last December. The premise is simple: Politics, economics, social concerns, religion, spirituality and morality--all are embraced by our cultural perspectives. The authors offer a revivified neo-Socratic dialogue, for the age of the Internet, to prune and hone thoughts, while reaching for a greater understanding.
"17 Camels: Can a Sufi Tale Heal Our Broken World?"
This is serious, ironic, capricious and penetrating! A quick study in deduction, induction... and seduction! A wild ride on a camel's back that makes us think... and yearn for a better world circumscribed only by the power of Imagination!
Friday, December 14, 2012(2 comments)
Contemporary Art and Politics: Poets Talk
A candid, pointed conversation between poets Gary Corseri and Charles Orloski on contemporary culture and politics, how we can learn from the past, and aspire to greater things now and in the future.