Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Meditations

I was at the Lobbyist's pleasure dome again last night, as she tried with all her wiles to learn the top secrets of my powerful agency and thus turn that mighty ship to her purposes. Alas, all I know is where they keep the toner and how to bang the vending machine just right for a free Diet Coke.

We were nonetheless kept awake by the snarling Harleys of the Rolling Thunder something-or-other as they prepared to ride in Memorial Day memorial of the fallen, MIA/POW amd otherwise SOL. I suppose it makes some sort of elliptical, atavistic sense, parading around with all that overloud, impractical power between your legs in honor of the war dead etc. But mostly it's just fat, mustachioed guys on bikes. Bikes are what they have instead of physiques.

Perhaps there is something laudable in this straightfowardly macho presentation of self -- for better or worse, this (and what it implies) is what I am and stand for. If what you see is what you get. What purpose that has in today's world, I dunno. And how much of it is inauthentically tied up in sentimental fantasies about knights-errant or maverick cowboys, likewise I dunno.

Maybe my reservations are just shamefully elitist. Or maybe elitism gets a bad name -- when disassociated from noblesse oblige.

Let's just hope the Preznit isn't pissing his prissy lies all over the graves at Alrington again this year.

Memorial Day

On Saturday, big, black-booted men mass on snarling Harleys
– big, kidney-shivering symbols, loudly announcing their power
between the knees – processing to a Memorial of the Lost Cause,
a cause being lost again to false memory and revisionist myth:
the Myth of the Liberal Backstabbers sapping the will to win,
the Myth of the Hippies Spitting on the better men who went
to war in their stead – as if we hippies had that much gumption.
There is something very dumb about these big bikes they ride;
they’re expensive, heavy, uncomfortable, and for all that power
not that fast or agile; the Germans and Japanese build better ones,
but the Harleys are American-made which must mean something.
But after all, it is a symbol, like a sailboat or a mink coat, nothing
to do with function, and doesn’t all fun embrace something dumb?

On Sunday, our Virginia trip is arrested just north of Memorial Bridge
– under the massive neo-classical statue Valor: two-gilt bronze nudes,
a bearded muscleman riding a Clydesdale and his Valkyrie bride
striding out beside him, small-breasted, big legged, like the women
in the R. Crumb comix – by two jodhpured troopers on Electra-Glides,
the outriders for the princely progress. A cop-chopper chatters back
and forth across the bridge and Mall tying to spot snipers or plotters
against the indispensable President, on his way to eulogize at Arlington,
where he will cheapen everything he mentions with his vapid platitudes.
After five or ten or fifteen traffic-snarling minutes of this, someone says
it’s safe and a platoon of troopers rides by, all lights and sounding sirens;
then we get the SUV’s packed with sharpshooters and machine-gunners;
then the limos, black as anthracite, flying little flags from front fenders;
then the many back-up body-guards, mobile command-posts, radio-vans,
ambulances, et cetera, all moving at high speed with sirens, charge
of the blue-light brigade, the President’s posse of permanent emergency.


At 1:36 PM, Blogger J said...

hey david, here is that site i was talking about where i made the extra cash this summer, it's pretty cool... anyway,
check it out ..


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