The Stolen Child

by KATHLEEN PEINE

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

“The Stolen Child” WB Yeats

“I believe we should use any and all means necessary. I support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that policy.” Mitt Romney, answering a debate question in regard to drones.

The boys debating agree on certain things. This being one of them.

A study by Stanford and NYU indicate that the high-level targets hit in the strikes look to be around 2%. Available information, which is likely to be under-representing casualties, indicates that 176 children have been hit. It would be a fascinating and terrifying foray into new math to find out what the 2% or so high level targets hit translate into as far as brand new individuals to fight later. If x =enemies killed/maimed are subtracted from y, y being innocent non-combatants killed/maimed, then z=well, a whole lot of people who hate you for completely understandable reasons. I think that may be the point- the never-ending enemy that feeds the MIC. But they do agree on this math, don’t they?

We, on the other hand, are chastised by writers like Rebecca Solnit, picked at for our terrible naive ways when we don’t rightly see differences so evident to her. Don’t even think of voting for a third party- that will simply show how unpopular they are, she needles with tortured logic.

We are to accept the state of things, and lend support to the most heinous because they pull our strings on easy, reflexive issues. “I would never hold down a gay fellow and give him a haircut”. And I wouldn’t. Of course I don’t want to see a man like that in office. But the antiseptic orator, he makes oh so violent policy sound so…you know- rational. It’s of course been rightly said that the self proclaimed left in this country would have had a massive shit fit if GW had signed items such as the NDAA. And of course they would have. Or if GW had overseen the brutal annihilation of the Occupy Camps (because come on, you know those plans were orchestrated from the top). But he got the pass from his supporters.

I know that the assaults on women’s sanity as well as biology this year by batshit crazy Republicans is supposed to be enough to send us towards Obama. The thing is, I just think it’s such effective theater that this crap will never go away. Both “sides’ seem to need this kind of talk in the worst way. I’ve not seen Obama do much beyond late night talk show appearances to say “rape is rape”. But hell, this guy can give a speech. He could use that silver tongue to completely denounce those who relegate women to this lesser status. These topics sure do drive funding and divert attention from the corporate plunder. Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson certainly have a stance that I would imagine to be palatable without all the terrible aftertaste.

It’s just that the problems are so enormous, and neither man talks about the steaming pile of retribution that we have coming our way. Whether it is climate change (I think you know where the US comes out in terms of per capita consumption compared to the rest of the world….umm pretty damn high) or the hubris of sending video game deaths to possibly get 2 out of 100 really bad guys, even if it blows up kids and women just trying to scrape up some sticks for a cooking fire. The nation is careening past the word hubris. Is uberhubris a word? It needs to be.

And didn’t the US give comfort and book deals to charlatans who proclaimed that greed is the natural state of humans (50 K years of alternative living be damned). That can’t go unnoticed by the Gods of Irony. You want selfish- have a go at it. I give you about another 30 years with that kind of philosophy.

They say Michael Bloomberg is worth about 25 billion dollars. Initial reports indicate that it will cost 20 billion to clean up after Sandy. Okay, I find that estimate to be rather comically low, but still…wrap your head around that. One guy has the resources to possibly clean up after a 1,000+ mile superstorm. Can you even imagine what an outside observer from another time and place would think? “The Day the Earth Stood Still” alien would not be impressed.  Somehow the poor and middle class were brainwashed into thinking that it’s normal to have a man like that with so many resources. But, but, but-wealth redistribution and all. Well. yeah. I’m guessing that a society set up with more protections, or at least a base concept of individual dignity- things such as living wages, maybe no transport of goods greater than 500 miles, 30 hour work weeks( so perhaps we can gasp- live and love those around us without the rush of the wind in our ears until death)…that sort of thing might take a bite out of the plutocrats.  It probably sucked for the slaveholders when that practiced was abolished…but, but, but wealth redistribution, they probably whined. But of course that’s just crazy talk on my part. Those in charge are….well, in charge. And neither man running for president would ever talk about these things that could actually and palpably reduce misery. It’s always been a looters’ culture and there’s just less to loot all the time.

Our twilight is coming and I just can’t select one of these men. I just can’t do it. Our problems are enormous, our horizon bleak. Any hope and change is going to have to come from aiding and assisting each other, those close to us, and refusing as much as possible to help this lumbering ill- tempered Empire. I have no clear answers, but if I go to my grave with a clear mind, for me, that is something. I know what decency looks like. I can only hope others know too.

And it’s most certainly true; the world is more full of weeping than we can understand. But the only remedy is the water and the wild, and the disavowal of all that threaten what we know to be just, right, and beautiful. I see none of the above in either of these two men.

Kathleen Peine is a writer who resides in the US Midwest. She can be reached for comment at kathypeine@gmail.com

Will Falk moved to the West Coast from Milwaukee, WI where he was a public defender.

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