Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just Like Evelyn "Champagne" King and Shirley and Company Sing

If politicians want journalists to stay out of their bedrooms, I guess they'd better learn to stay out of journalists' bedrooms. But nooooo. Instead, they've ordered the cops to camp out in front of vegan eco group houses just in CASE someone inside is THINKING of throwing a soy-whip pie at a state delegate sometime in the year 2525.

So, if preemptive arrests of journalists is OK, I guess journalists should have been allowed to preempt Miss Cristal or Bristol or Britneee or whatever the hell her name is's pregnancy.

My conspiracy theory: The hurricanes and the VP choice and the pregnancy alike are all out there to divert attention from the fact that journalists and activists are being targeted, harassed, arrested, beaten, jailed, silenced, prosecuted, persecuted, all without cause.

Time out for a little ray of light, as Madonna sings: The rock n roll poet is back to taking care of business, every day, in honor of National Poetry Month.

Now for my own shame--and this one's just the tip of the iceberg--last week I went ahead and did a job I know was damned dead wrong. My boss gives us the chance to bow out of doing marketing we disagree with morally, and I didn't take it. It was for a product that's environmentally damaging, without a doubt. They needed a damage control, image rebranding campaign. And here's why I did it--not for the money, not out of indifference, but because I saw the samples and the ideas they'd come up with, and I knew I could do it so very much better. So it was out of pride in my work.

This week I took myself off the account. I'm not patting myself on the back. I'm still whacking myself upside the head for doing it in the first place.

I feel like comparisons, even twice removed, to evils such as the Holocaust and American slavery are by nature invidious and at the very least grandiose; there's simply nothing that compares. But as long as I'm covered in sackcloth and ashes anyway, let's make it worse: There's this scene in Schindler's List where this woman prisoner tries to pull Rafe Fiennes aside and tell him the plans for the bunkhouses they're constructing at the concentration camp are all wrong; she's an architect, she explains, she knows these things. Sir. And he says "hmm," and he shoots her. It's a big ugly metaphor for the teeny tiny small-scale cockeyed compromises I'm stuck with too often. But if you aren't aware that the teeny ones can take you by the hand and lead you right into the bigger ones, well...

So, this time they came for the vegans with video cameras, and next time they'll be coming for Keith Olberman, unless you write a poem or grab a camera or donate.

Image: Cover of Shirley Goodman's comeback hit, "Shame Shame Shame," which contains the awesome lyric referencing the great William DeVaughn: "I've got my sunroof top, I've got my diamond in the back." She also sang backup on Exile. I bet she doesn't have anything to be ashamed of.

1 comment:

Pam said...

What I'm reading out in the semi-intelligent reaches of the blogosphere is along the lines of "Oh, it's just those Democracy Now! people, trying to get attention."

I guess they were wearing metaphorical short journalistic skirts and low-cut journalistic blouses and were thus asking for it, right? Sheesh.