10 January 2009

American Juxtaposition: Frank O'Hara and Border Vigilantes

praying antennae outstretched
for news of the news of the world
there's a lot of traffic for a
quiet country road you stifle me
why do you keep me from having men

friends of my own race

Frank O'Hara (1964)

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(Border Stories, via NACLA)

3 comments:

MasterGote said...

Reminds me of a little work I just saw: "The only reason you are a citizen today is because your ancestors believed & practiced immigration." http://www.lttr.org/journal/5/the-only-reason

And I think it's time to start going on those volunteer webcams and pointing them to the sky. Once a day.

Also, his reasoning is rich: why do I focus on illegal immigration? Because it's illegal. He should look at some of the other illegal things that have been going on in this country. Why do people get so worked up about the illegality of poor people when the illegality of their own government is 1000 times more galling? Gah!

Buster said...

Why do people get so worked up about the illegality of poor people when the illegality of their own government is 1000 times more galling?

MG, is your question: "Why are people jerks and numbskulls?" I have often wondered this and never arrived at any good answers. I simply turn to folks like Frank O'Hara for consolation.

BTW, did you see the piece last week in New York magazine about how small-run queer zines are impervious to the recession? It was all very nice other than missing the obvious point: BREAKING NEWS: low-budget projects that never made money will continue to do so. But some pretty covers.

MasterGote said...

But it's not about people being jerks and numbskulls. It's about an utter lack of compassion for human beings on the one hand in the name of a principle that they willfully refuse to apply across the board on the other. It's about pettiness and hypocrisy and a dehumanized way of seeing people that is absolutely frightening. Yes, I know, you are not the one I need to be convincing here, and immigration is sadly not the only place where we fail to recognize other people's humanity. I just wish there were a saner, more constructive national conversation about this and these crazy people could retire their rifles. Ugh.

As for the other news, NO, I did not see and cannot find. But, I will say that it's not news to me, as the financial crisis has so far not affected me personally for the very same reason.