The Brutal Honesty of Politcally-Motivated Spoken Word

Tonight, I visited the Literary Cafe and Poetry Lounge in North Miami for a school project. What I encountered there was somewhat unexpected. This outlet is located in an underdeveloped area containing many low-income residential neighborhoods. At the Literary Cafe, poets showed up to perform their spoken word, which was on a variety of issues, in front of a ‘full house.’

In some of these poems, the economic and political frustration was explicit and was almost palpable in the large meeting room. One poet spoke of kids trading body parts for college degrees (a reference to young college students deployed by the military). Other poets talked about how they could not afford their homes, debts, medicine, and raising their children (while being used as cannon fodder for Uncle Sam’s unjustified wars). Another talked about the still-common police discrimination the local black community experienced. He said what would happen if the blacks were whiter: “If they were three shades lighter, they would be over for coffee [instead of being arrested].”

The poets seems to have recognized that the problem lies not so much in the red herring conflict between millionaire Democrats and Republicans as in the entire top 0.1% of the population “screwing over everyone with an income less than $100,000.” They have realized that the Democratic and Republican parties are both, for the most part, right-wing authoritarian factions, which dupe the masses using slightly different language than each other. Nothing illustrates this more than the seizure of the Democratic Party by the “Limousine Left,” or “Champagne Socialists.” One of the poets (an ex-soldier, who served in the Gulf War and Panama) told me, “You won’t hear that on CNN or FOX.” He is right.

The corporate news obscure, misrepresent, distort, or do not even report the most pressing problems this country is facing all in the name of making America look invincible and benevolent. If the corporate media would report the important truth (or what passes for it today) about these issues, it would lose preferential access to business and political sources. (“If we tell them the sad truth, they’ll report it! Don’t answer anymore of their questions.”) It is in this way that the news is manufactured by market forces. This guarantees that American major corporate news turns into propaganda, which rarely shows even a mere semblance of the small tip of the tip of the iceberg this country is crashing into (e.g., the coming economic disaster). It is alarming that one can actually get better insight and analysis about the true state of this Union at a spoken word lounge than at a corporate news station.

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~ by jsacc001 on April 6, 2008.

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