No false patriotic wreath
Rick Santorum made a funny! He thought his campaign slogan “Fighting to Make America America Again” would really stick it to all those Muslims, gays, feminists, and so on, who obviously want to dismantle the republic, stat. But apparently he slept through senior English, because he was totally surprised to find out about this extremely famous poem by extremely famous American poet Langston Hughes. Here, read it again, and thank Rick Santorum for giving Hughes a shout-out during National Poetry Month.Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes
Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain Seeking a home where he himself is free. (America never was America to me.) Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed-- Let it be that great strong land of love Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme That any man be crushed by one above. (It never was America to me.) O, let my land be a land where Liberty Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, But opportunity is real, and life is free, Equality is in the air we breathe. (There's never been equality for me, Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.") Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? And who are you that draws your veil across the stars? I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart, I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars. I am the red man driven from the land, I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek-- And finding only the same old stupid plan Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak. I am the young man, full of strength and hope, Tangled in that ancient endless chain Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land! Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need! Of work the men! Of take the pay! Of owning everything for one's own greed! I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil. I am the worker sold to the machine. I am the Negro, servant to you all. I am the people, humble, hungry, mean-- Hungry yet today despite the dream. Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers! I am the man who never got ahead, The poorest worker bartered through the years. Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream In the Old World while still a serf of kings, Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true, That even yet its mighty daring sings In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned That's made America the land it has become. O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas In search of what I meant to be my home-- For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore, And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea, And torn from Black Africa's strand I came To build a "homeland of the free." The free? Who said the free? Not me? Surely not me? The millions on relief today? The millions shot down when we strike? The millions who have nothing for our pay? For all the dreams we've dreamed And all the songs we've sung And all the hopes we've held And all the flags we've hung, The millions who have nothing for our pay-- Except the dream that's almost dead today. O, let America be America again-- The land that never has been yet-- And yet must be--the land where every man is free. The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME-- Who made America, Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain, Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain, Must bring back our mighty dream again. Sure, call me any ugly name you choose-- The steel of freedom does not stain. From those who live like leeches on the people's lives, We must take back our land again, America! O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath-- America will be! Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death, The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies, We, the people, must redeem The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers. The mountains and the endless plain-- All, all the stretch of these great green states-- And make America again!
Here are some things that happens to a dude when he first starts to speak up about feminist issues:
He discovers that women in his life whom he would never have associated with the word “feminism” have strong opinions about the things that he’s talking about. Because while we have the luxury of perceiving these things as not being about us, and thus not relevant to our lives, every woman he knows has had to consider what she’d do if she got pregnant when she didn’t not plan to. Every woman he knows has been talked down to by a man who wasn’t as smart or capable as she was. Almost all of them have been treated poorly or made uncomfortable by some dude at some point who saw getting into her pants as a prize to be won. Even women who seemed like just one of the dudes begin to share experiences that he never would have imagined that they’d had, because doing so around him begins to feel safe.—
Why Feminism Is Also Dude-ism, by Dan Solomon, on the always awesome Hay Ladies
(NB: Cis women are not the only people who have to worry about pregnancy and harassment.)
Between Chicago winter, dissertation writing, chronic migraines, and Mr Machine’s frequent work travel, I’ve been feeling pretty blah lately. Not depressed, exactly, and no longer in the depths of grief that I was this time last year: just underwhelmed by the world. But today felt like a genuine spring day—warm sun, cool breeze, birds everywhere—and it made me think about the little things that have been improving my life lately. They’re all objects I purchased, which makes me feel uncharacteristically consumerist, but the truth is they bring me comfort or little doses of pleasure—an essential feeling when you’re staring down another grey day or scholarly article (or, most of the time, both). So I thought I’d share them with you, because why not.
- Noise-canceling headphones. I don’t know how I survived apartment living before I had them. These can be pretty expensive, but I got this pair on sale and am quite happy with them so far. Also good for when the guy next to you in the coffeeshop is muttering under his breath.
- Gel heel liners. Three months of wearing winter boots has made my regular callouses disappear, and these are a godsend now that I can wear cute shoes again.
- Tinted lip balm. I have terribly mixed feelings about my lips. I love their shape: big and plushy and cute. But I have dry, sensitive skin, and that means my lips are chapped 75% of the time. I love how lipstick looks, but I really can’t wear it very often. I just got this one in Fresh Plum and I looooove it. It’s a similar color to Clinique’s Black Honey, which is the best thing ever, but a little more matte so (for me) it seems better for casual use.
- Breatheright strips. I am actually just trying these for the first time this very moment, but already I feel like my brain’s getting way more than its usual share of oxygen. I’m hoping this might help with my migraines, as well, since they seem to be related to nasal congestion (though I don’t know which is the chicken and which is the egg).
So that’s my current retail therapy. What’s yours?
Ode to the Maggot
Brother of the blowfly
And godhead, you work magic
In slabs of bad pork
And flophouses. Yes, you
Go to the root of all things.
You are sound & mathematical.
Jesus Christ, you’re merciless
With the truth. Ontological & lustrous,
You cast spells on beggars & kings
Behind the stone door of Caesar’s tomb
Or split trench in a field of ragweed.
No decree or creed can outlaw you
As you take every living thing apart. Little
Master of earth, no one gets to heaven
Without going through you first.
- Friend: Well what if we have a disabled kid? What happens then?
- Her fiance: Well, then we drown them at birth. Problem solved.
- As reported on my friend's blog. Made me feel like as a disabled person, able-bodied people think my life has no value.
no insignia, no secret
password, no fleur-de-lis.
My initials aren’t on a branding iron.
I’m standing here in unpolished
shoes & faded jeans, sweating
my manly sweat. Inside my skin,
loving you, I am this space
my body believes in. — from “Unnatural State of the Unicorn,” Yusef Komunyakaa