Newspaper Poem

A poem taken from a newspaper or magazine article, using words and sentences from the article.


The moon is rusting and we don't know why.

Hematite shows, where latitudes are high.

But how can that be, since the moon is dry?

There are a couple theories as to why.

Solar wind calms in our magnetic sky.
Meteors make the surface liquefy.
From “New Year Poem,” by Philip Larkin

For sometimes it is shown to me in dreams
The Eden that all wish to recreate
Out of their living, from their favourite times;
The miraculous play where all the dead take part,
Once more articulate; or the distant ones
They will never forget because of an autumn talk
By a railway, an occasional glimpse in a public park,
Any memory for the most part depending on chance.

How much more of a freak show can America’s game become?

Put aside the question whether the academic joke, financial catastrophe (UD thanks John for the link), and criminal bacchanalia university football represents makes it a terrific fit with American higher education. Put aside the fact that multiple high schools are unable to field a team because so few guys (thanks for the link, Charlie) are stupid enough to take part. Put aside the ritual militarization of high school games, with fights and gunshots becoming a structural part of the fun. (As Ravi, one of my readers, puts it, we’re heading toward “open carry on the gridiron.”)

Look merely at one professional team, the Raiders, which recently boasted the Three Violent and Insane Stooges (all were rapidly suspended or dumped or whatever).

UD doesn’t get it. If you really want to watch an insane obese male lumber about destroying everything in his path, you’ve already got the President.

It’s summer. So mass murder moves…

… to the beach.

“We are intrinsically more violent than the average mammal.”

Uh, yeah.  We like being violent, and we love watching and imagining violence.  Tens of millions of Americans elected a president who physically stalked his opponent during their debate, and whose face goes red as a baboon butt when he shrieks Lock her up to shrieking crowds.  Violent Video Games R Us.  Violent Rap Lyrics R Us.  If a NASCAR monster doesn’t go flying off into the stands lacerating a family we feel cheated.  

We’re pretty fucking protective of the football players designated to be competitively violent for us on a regular basis.  They are our heroes.  We overfeed them and give them special drugs to make them scary to look at and capable of immense leverage against weaker people; we dress them up like monsters and moan with bliss as they fracture and concuss.   Every single day of their lives we cover them with be violent kisses and shower them with be violent fame and fortune, and when they’re violent off the field (why wouldn’t they be violent off the field?) we cover it up.  The police, the university administration, the media, the sports leagues, the rest of us: We cover it up, and at the end of each year we give the most violent of them trophies.  “The NFL looks for players who are aggressive — and, by definition, that means they have to be OK with harming themselves and others.” 

You can write all the high-minded articles you like about how we all agree that violence against women by the most violent heroes among us is shocking and wrong; you can talk about penalties and solutions.  

It often seems that only video evidence forces the NFL and its teams to take a victim of domestic violence seriously. Even when action is taken, the league hopes the public’s memory will fade. “[The NFL] wait it out, because fans have a very short attention span,” says [one observer]. “There is no financial reason for them to not continue the status quo.”

Instead, if change is to come, fans are going to have to take action. “So painful as it’s going to be, we’re going to have to boycott teams who fail to meet basic standards of human decency,” [says another]. “So as a society we have to certainly send the message that hiring and retaining players who are perpetrators of violence will result in harm to their bottom line.”

Uh, who’s “we”?  Have you noticed many women, who might be expected to care most about the pummeling of their sex, in football and hockey stands?  In sports organizations?  For successful college and professional teams, failing to meet the basic standards of human decency is job one; failing to hire and retain perpetrators of violence is the quickest way to get yourself fired as recruitment coach.  

We don’t even care that our biggest heroes go nuts (who wouldn’t?), ending up in jail or gaga or dead or killed after years of getting bashed to bits as fucking freak shows for the rest of us.  Really, mes petites: I wouldn’t hold your breath on the whole violence-against-women bit.

Okay, so its one star player was just arrested for domestic abuse…

… but at least Kansas has a shitty football team whose games no one attends.  And that’s bankrupting the school.

Hughie Does Liberty

My savior, ’tis of thee,

Sweet school of Liberty,

Of thee I sing;

Land of hypocrisy!

Land for a perv like me!

Where I’ll pretend I’m Jesus-y.

Let freedom ring!

More on Washington State University’s Highest-Profile Representative

Leach talks like someone who can see the fading, wavy outlines of the system he wants to criticize, but because he doesn’t understand where he lies within this political conversation, he mostly comes up with nothing but empty words and sentences. He’s woefully and painfully undereducated on the topics that are upsetting him, and seems confused about what kind of conversation he even wants to have.

And that’s why he’s the highest paid person at a major public American university!

Leach’s own ideology is hard to pin down because he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about; his four-hour Twitter rant and response in this Q&A mostly come down to denial and steering things back towards himself. It’s all honestly impossible to parse, because there’s mostly nothing there.

In other words, a spectacular model for our students!

Background on Leach here.

Talkin Bout My Generation

‘Our Generation was Raised Around Schools Being Shot Up,’ Says Stoneman Douglas Survivor.

Disaster at Florida International University

A pedestrian bridge FIU installed only days ago has collapsed, trapping and killing multiple people beneath it.


Time to dust off the Jung.


UD thinks of her friend Paul Laffoley at this moment. He didn’t live to see the Navy footage.

Jerzy Soltan and His Sister Maria.

Probably 1914.


Twilight Zone.

Meet Howard Trachtman…

… the Martin Shkreli Professor of Pediatric Nephrology at the NYU Langone Medical Center.

Langone/Shkreli: Another great capitalist convergence.


But you can’t really meet Trachtman.

He has no comment.

Thanksgiving, 2015: Thinking of Paris.

More comfortable down below in that thick stew pouring into the Gare St. Lazare, the whores in the doorways, seltzer bottles on every table; a thick tide of semen flooding the gutters. Nothing better, between five and seven than to be pushed around in that throng, to follow a leg or a beautiful bust, to move along with the tide and everything whirling in your brain. A weird sort of contentment in those days. No appointments, no invitations for dinner, no program, no dough. The golden period, when I had not a single friend. Each morning the dreary walk to the American Express, and each morning the inevitable answer from the clerk. Dashing here and there like a bedbug, gathering butts now and then, sometimes furtively, sometimes brazenly; sitting down on a bench and squeezing my guts to stop the gnawing, or walking through the Jardin des Tuileries and getting an erection looking at the dumb statues. Or wandering along the Seine at night, wandering and wandering, and going mad with the beauty of it, the trees leaning to, the broken images in the water, the rush of the current under the bloody lights of the bridges, the women sleeping in doorways, sleeping on newspapers, sleeping in the rain; everywhere the musty porches of the cathedrals and beggars and lice and old hags full of St. Vitus’ dance; pushcarts stacked up like wine barrels in the side streets, the smell of berries in the market-place and the old church surrounded with vegetables and blue arc lights, the gutters slippery with garbage and women in satin pumps staggering through the filth and vermin at the end of an all-night souse. The Place St. Sulpice, so quiet and deserted, where toward midnight there came every night the woman with the busted umbrella and the crazy veil; every night she slept there on a bench under her torn umbrella, the ribs hanging down, her dress turning green, her bony fingers and the odor of decay oozing from her body; and in the morning I’d be sitting there myself, taking a quiet snooze in the sunshine, cursing the goddamned pigeons gathering up the crumbs everywhere. St. Sulpice! The fat belfries, the garish posters over the door, the candles flaming inside. The Square so beloved of Anatole France, with that drone and buzz from the altar, the splash of the fountain, the pigeons cooing, the crumbs disappearing like magic and only a dull rumbling in the hollow of the guts. Here I would sit day after day thinking of Germaine and that dirty little street near the Bastille where she lived, and that buzz-buzz going on behind the altar, the buses whizzing by, the sun beating down into the asphalt and the asphalt working into me and Germaine, into the asphalt and all Paris in the big fat belfries.

Henry Miller, The Tropic of Cancer, 1934.

All the life flowing through that city. Captured by a hungry American in love.

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