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Friday, September 26, 2008

Main Street

I organized one of the protests that were held nationwide yesterday afternoon against the Bush Bailout Bill. About 20 people showed up, not a bad showing for an event that had about 16 hours advance notice. We all brought signs and stood at the main intersection in Northampton from 5 till 6:30. More than half the cars going by were honking and waving and giving us the thumbs up.

Unfortunately in my rush to get out of the house I forgot my camera, which is a pity because there were several cool signs- one woman drew a nice caricature of S. Palin above the line "I can see disaster from my house!". Another guy had a half-mannequin dressed in a business suit which he held up on a pole- the figure had two heads, one Bush, one Cheney. The Cheney head had horns coming out of its forehead.

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here's something I wrote on the subject a few years ago-


44th and Sixth

The old man stands like a shadow in some deep South shanty,
beer-swilling, Main-Street town,
as he covers his head for the New York cabbies and bus drivers
who pass him every day on his corner as he stands and waits.

He stands on the corner of 44th and 6th,
stands their every day,
to greet the bank manager and his help
as they rush to work.

Go away old man,
take your stubble-face,
and your hunger-stumble walk,
and your booze-sour breath,
and go away.
We don't want you here.
You're not our fault.

A man in a three-piece Italian suit hurries by
and the old man stumbles across the sidewalk,
a smile on his blank, glassy face;
Hey, old man,
don't stare at me from your corner of the street;
I am not your solution,
and you are not my problem..
I have problems of my own.
My BMW is always in the shop;
my club is admitting Jews and blacks;
my accountant is screwing my accounts,
and my wife too, every Thursday;
so get out of my way, old man,
I'm in a hurry.
I need a good stiff drink.
And don't stare at me, old man.
I am not you.

A passerby gives the old man a dollar
and the last half of an uneaten sandwich from the local deli,
and the banker glares at him through his glass wall,
as the old man stumbles away to eat the sandwich,
and to use the dollar to buy some respite
from his reality.

But he'll be back.
In a day, or a week, or a month,
as you pass there again,
scarf tight against the slicing November wind,
the old man still stands,
head bowed,
like a shadow in some deep-south,
pickup-truck, Main Street town,
lost and at large in his reality,
as the cabbies grind by,
and the buses miss him by inches,
and the banker sits behind his glass wall,
because its not his fault.

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6 comments:

Malach the Merciless said...

I would of attended if it didn't take me three hours to get there

Hungry Mother said...

How true. Thanks for your demonstration. Things at the beach were just a typical rainy day.

Mrs. Chili said...

Colonel, give it to me straight - are we heading into a depression, here? 'Cause I'm starting to get nervous; genuinely, "stock up on canned goods and toilet paper" nervous...

Colonel Colonel said...

Malach: we saved a cheeseburger for you!!

HungryMo: Street demonstrations are always a load of fun. FB doesn't like to do them, but I love getting out there with a sign in people's faces...

Mrs.Chili: If only I was as wise as the economists, who don't know either. But the best bet seems to be - Depression? No. Recession? probably, with or without the "bailout". It now looks as if Bernanke got freaked out by the implosion of the Money Market Mutual Funds last Wednesday, which was about to deep-six the economy, but that's now been taken care of.

C.Rag said...

I love it when Senator Shelby asked the Ben & Hank Show if they had thought of any other alternatives other than their 700 Billion Dollar Bailout Plan he received only blank stares during the Banking Committee hearing.

This is such a mess. On Marketplace on NPR, they were talking about how they came up with the number 700 Billion. The answer is that no one knows why 700 Billion.

Cissy Strutt said...

It's scary watching all this from down here at the bottom of the world, knowing it affects us profoundly, and being without any power to do anything about it.

Oh, we did send Tintin over to see you. Don't take him to any strip shows.