Allen Ginsberg’s America vs. Rachel Maddow’s Russia

America you don’t really want to go to war.
America its them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen.  And them Russians!  

 –“America,” by Allen Ginsberg 

Way, way back in 1956, in an astounding feat of poetic forecasting that somehow fused William Blake with Nostradamus, the young Allen Ginsberg pre-visualized the exact political line of attack that Rachel Maddow and her fellow faux progressives would take in the year 2017! Insomniac, horny, stoned on weed and cheap wine—but with the visionary power shooting through his soul via gamma-rays from Blake and Whitman–somehow the beatnik bard peered 61 years into the future and switched on his psychic MSNBC, and this is what he heard Maddow say:

The Russia wants to eat us alive! The Russia’s power mad!  She wants to take our cars from out our garages!
Her wants to grab Chicago! Her needs a Red Reader’s Digest!  Her wants our auto plants in Siberia!  Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations!

Uncanny, no?  I mean, he took the words right out of her mouth!  But maybe we shouldn’t be that amazed; after all, Ezra Pound said that “poetry is news that stays news,” and if so, The Ginsberg Channel keeps broadcasting across all space and time, beaming out its dead-on analysis of this pathetic Democratic Party ploy for all to see and hear.  Let’s tune in.  What’s old Chris Matthews saying about Vladimir Putin now?

Him no good.  Ugh! Him make Indians learn read.  Him need big black niggers.  Hah.  Her make us all work sixteen hours a day! Help.

Yes, he’s cut through all of Matthews’ slobbering obfuscation, with a poet’s gift for cutting to the quickI wonder how old Ginsberg would feel if he knew how perfectly he’d captured the way these losers think—the way they deflect all blame for their staggering loss to the single worst candidate ever to run for President—the way they continue to silence all thought about their candidate’s pro-Kissinger, pro-war, pro-private-prison, pro-capitol-punishment, anti-single-payer, anti-poor-person policies by yammering on and on 24/7 about Russia:

America this is quite serious!
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.    

And oh, dear Allen, we know exactly what channel you were watching!

John Eskow is a writer and musician. He wrote or co-wrote the movies Air America, The Mask of Zorro, and Pink Cadillac, as well as the novel Smokestack Lightning. He is a contributor to Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence. He can be reached at: