What America is Owed


There are some who are in darkness
And the others are in light
And you see the ones in brightness
Those in darkness drop from sight

Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht.  ‘Die Moritat von Mackie Messer’ (The ballad of Mack the Knife)

Life is not peachy as some would have it for others. This small article tries to look towards the political future of America with optimism. Which may seem strange, given tone and setting, but then life is often strange, is it not -and getting stranger by the hour, in this ‘ financial meltdown’?

Reminded in such thought of German Cabaret in the early 1930’s and the challenge as to ‘Conferencier’ or Master of Ceremonies.

Thus the extract from Moritat above; ballad of murder.

Of :  ‘as could have been’; as sense of loss. Of what is, will be?

The subject  matter and style of approach here not as found in the news or as opinion, it is far from such ‘truth’ given as authoritative by a talking head, or bought and paid for hack,  reflecting  illusion serving  dark cause;  as brings black block ever closer in the loom. That’s from another of the Moritaten, by the way, perhaps the darkest of such ballads.  It is from ‘The Executioner’s Song’, as given below in translation.

Such approach cannot be present when margins grow daily in America concerning exclusion; when money communicates line so clearly, so strongly.

The tragedy of a great loss in the making, of the sometime within great notion, of hall of mirrors, of historical interpretation, of the people, by the people, and for the people; of absence of  ideological tithe to ‘Combine’?

Of inch given, taken as yard – within Democracy as great notion. But taken; nonetheless.

And more than yard in such theft as arrogation, expropriation – as world will testify – such care be given in the attention as directed to those not living dream as turned to nightmare. Not least would money so also testify, as capital withdrawn to service of  nefarious  best laid scheme gone agley.

If money could talk.

But does it –  emanating  in the appearance from form of  puppet, as echo; wind in dry grass; tone of abrogation?

Of this Financial Crisis as ‘Made in America’.

Of immoral Economics as Fascism, for where morality prevails in such conjunction  Democracy?

This as cleverness far from peachy given ‘black block’, as in Moritat loom.

There are many parallels to be drawn between America now and Germany in time of Moritaten and Cabaret, before Hitler closed down the clubs in which such thrived, in 1933.

True, the Dollar may not yet be wheeled worthless proportionate as to size of  barrow, but it is fiat – and as fait as in the accompli concerning takeover, and this more than  mere play on words. True, America may not yet have such as ‘Sieg heil’ salute, but the little men with badges are back, and some as wait in the wings may yet make such insistence concerning acknowledgement, respect shown in the abrogation that is ritual in Fascism.

Scarlet billow yet to spread?

America does not call it ‘propaganda’, as per Goebbels –   but calls it ‘spin’, as per  Rove?

In any event, the sacrifice must be uniform – given as one in the abandonment; in the conformity, evidence of serving cause present, loud and clear in the fear –  as  of   ‘do not look here, but over there!’

Of  invasion of compulsory sex morality, and of little men.

But such as small part of ‘taboo’.

Speak up in America today concerning anti – war, concerning ‘spread of wealth’, concerning legitimacy of vote, and risk being branded ‘unpatriotic, un – American’? In media interview risk being ignored to the selective attention, camera panning elsewhere, or microphone removed? Then cometh the edit – if not also electro shock? In protest risk being herded into cages in Free Speech Zone; unacceptable to ‘coverage’ as the images of the dead from war returning in coffins draped in flag, their heroic sacrifice as unworthy of acknowledgement thereby? Such drop from sight wilful, no reflection the light they still are as cause to same; such sacrifice made.  Rather not shown?  In such ill wind, flag fluttering seized by ‘patriot in pragmatism’, waved by scoundrel incapable of such heroic sacrifice himself or herself, but of sending others to their deaths all too willingly – as is the way when the ‘heat’ is on;  in season of the bitch?

Just a jack knife has Macheath, dear….

America in process of being hi-jacked by a small group of bankers within society; echoing warning by Jefferson, but more latterly of Eisenhower concerning ‘Military Industrial Complex’ –   both right on the mark concerning finance and fascism; where Military encompasses War as Economic, return on investment the view, much to the benefit of bottom line of companies as Halliburton, connection to coterie so pragmatic – Vice Presidential, no less. Such hi-jack carefully planned; as years in the making. The unmasking slow – before we see once more again that horror; sense that heat, see that bitch,  feel that fear from Bastard preparing once more  to squat to  feed on mass sacrifice and sufferance– and  to murderous, hellish demand for more.

Coup de grace in Coupe D’etat.; Democracy,  RIP.

Yes that line forms on the right dears, now that Macky is back in town.

Rejoice felt by humanity last time the Bastard was defeated; faded, and with it the memory – alongside vigilance ever against as required.

For it works the same in any country, as Goering said.

This time around fear fashioned as a tool of the power accumulate, censorship prevailing, but quietly, surreptitious and sly, as in election to follow line by individual and of Candidate alike, in the self imposed, unwritten but understood taboo present in repressive Zeitgeist forming as black block, of those who can still somehow see themselves as free, yet inside; prohibition growing, nurturing on fear:  in the quiet murmuring of doubtful thought within birth pang of the Bastard , borne by heat of bitch:  ‘one cannot say that!…’

As in the demand for unquestioning obedience, as in the constraint of what it is ‘to be American’ –  to be patriotic to the cause?

As in the murder of Democracy?

As in Moritaten?

Did our boy do something rash?

Of  the thin end of wedge to be.

Of that hi jacked as American Way?

For the Conferencier in Berlin Cabaret; knowledge of wedge end, and articulation thereof was the demand.  As counter to shock and awe – in stating despite taboo.

Think of the sheer balls of Werner Finck, who as Conferencier in Die Katakombe of Berlin Cabaret in the 1930’s kept up a barrage of insults over Brownshirted  Nazis seen everywhere;  one of which in audience  once shouted:

‘ Dirty Jews!’

His masterly reply, in realization of Conferencier role true and worthy:‘I’m afraid you are mistaken – I only look this intelligent’

In the puzzlement, realization of the distance, the counterpunch of humility in self deprecation set against despicable alternative, vision so clear of lie born of fear and loathsome hatred – and then the laughter; release of such tension, whom laughed at or with being cleverness of the wit, to fine line of survival,  in such time of fierce fun.

Here is how such a Conferencier could recount; style of another such master; Paul Nikolaus, concerning tomorrow’s news to which he oft brought such biting wit:

Tomorrow’s news as per mainstream media will be more lies. Lie upon lie upon lie, as illusion to reality; of how there is love instead of hatred, how wars are welcomed, how hearts and minds are won, how Democracy can be spread through superior firepower, will imposed thereby, transplanted –   of how war is  paying for itself! Of how things are getting better, while all around can be seen as worse.

Of how inside every bomb dropped is a fat little old lady…

Of how it is that: ‘You can trust me, I’m not like the others’ can be as humor born of piano wire gallows, or of meat hook antechambers to same.

Of how things are getting better; to cause of look of disbelief, hastily disguised, lest others see.

Of quiet disappearance.  First of things, and then of people – but always of the truth.

Of how a knife buried nine inches in the back, retracted to six, is progress made, while the numbers of candidate for such progress to be evidenced grows, to entry in growing file, net caste wider, roam of such as Mack, line forming to the right.

Such deadly wit these Moritaten; ballads of murder, and where concerning truth as the first slain in time of Fascism.

Do not adjust your mind, reality is wrong?

For the pattern is always the same.

The bitch in heat evermore aroused by cruelty, depravity, sufferance, ‘triumph’ of the venal,  polarisation within as would lead to ‘conquering’  the without.

Be it Liebensraum, Full Spectrum Dominance, Ubermenschen, Democracy, Der Juden,  Terrorist – or just ‘Enemy to the way’  as ever growing category.

It does not matter the particular lie to the ‘murder of truth’. Always illusion over reality.

Always full of hate, of fear; this bitch on heat.

Always such fear cranked up, lives destroyed and someone else to blame, to hate; this bastard born to such old tune.

So long as is not true cause of blame; things getting better the claim – in the dropping of from sight, into darkness.

It is not peachy having to turn one’s cleverness to insight tragic. Far rather paranoia, or head buried in sand, Ostrich like, or up one’s own backside, as better that than it be someone else’s, in the giving up of precious individuality as voice variant, contributing towards Democracy; rather than the hollowness of echo; imitation of voice in the uniformity, bringing black block that bit closer in the loom, in extending friendship to the death that is Fascism.

It can be a sad thing; the sense of difference as distance.

Between those long gone, sold out and following line as ritual of puppet dance, and those still in the light, seen in brightness relative. Ordinary Americans as body of humanity, such as laboring true; no hidden agenda, no crap, no lies – yet to be terrified  into sacrifice by way of abrogation? Into going along with illusion, in failure to speak up as such is not the way, no breaking of taboo in acceptance of the margins; first as reluctant then as ‘willing’ accomplice, as in this little song, exemplary amongst Moritaten:

It looms on high that black block
We judge heartily but pierce,
Blood red heart, blood red frock,
Our fun is always fierce.
Any enemy of the time
Will bloodily executed be.
Whoever is a friend of death,
Adorn with song and sound will we.

No rejoice such thrust, such clarion call, such pointing to brink gone over; such Rubicon crossed.

For Democracy is indeed as love, not as flag of any Nation; not as of any man or group to lay sole claim towards, but belonging to all, as in Brotherhood; as in voice.

For Fascism is of desire also; of power lust, of object covet – but never of love, never of  people – never of such as you and I.

When Democracy dies in any Nation, all humanity compelled to weep thereby. Over black block looming closer, over bloody execution, over greater the friendship extended to death.

Over hate prevailing over love.

Over bitch in heat, and Bastard  borne.

These words are harsh; they are of Moritat.
As song of execution;   ballad of murder.

Election as the choice is between the evil of two lessers?

Where the voice for peace?

Where the voice for the poor?

But there is hatred in the chanting, in the booing and the catcall, in the stench of bigotry in the air as fear and hatred ;  as card to be played, tool of control, lever pulled or button pressed?

Money talking as bitch on heat of bastard to be – of yet more sufferance to be born? Of yet more War.

Strings attached for all to see as puppets dance on the stage.

Bound to dance for ‘them as brung them’.

To sound of rat’s feet over broken glass, such dry cellar in hollowness evident, no doubt.


Is there still remnant in such puppet as humanity born glimmering of the light, not as dropped from sight in darkness; is there hope yet for ‘turnaround’, for greater cause to prevail as from deep in essence, hidden inside coming to fore; for love of people over object, for compassion as cannot permit condemnation to hateful path in abrogation to prevail; in  the sight of black block looming high being forbearance?

Is there yet the strength, the presence, to say: ‘No!’ ?

For transcendence – of man over puppet, reality over illusion, sanity over madness – to prevail?

That such moritaten for Democracy be too soon, that black block looming passes by, that there be the victory snatched from jaw of defeat, pearly white teeth avoided?

As to what America is owed?

“In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile—and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. We owe that to ourselves and our crippled self-image as something better than a nation of panicked sheep.”
Hunter S Thompson.

That such owing be repaid in full, act put together, and that there be winning -and avoidance of loss complete.

That such as old Macky meets nemesis.

This truly what America is owed..

To itself.

And ten will get you five the act is got together.

STEPHEN MARTIN can be reached at: stephenmarti@yahoo.com








Stephen Martin can be reached at: stephenmarti@yahoo.com

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CounterPunch Magazine



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