Sunday, September 26, 2010

a familiar fable

If you were the member of a tribe that was constantly attacked by other tribes,

if for centuries those clans had continually robbed your crops and stole the fruit of your labors,

wouldn't you consider those groups your enemies?

And what if your tribe and those same hostile tribes were under the rule of a larger entity,

a body politic, a realm, that favored those rival tribes, that in the distribution of its wealth and benefits

had always unfairly granted those enemy tribes more resources than it gave to you—

If you were a member of this outcast caste, this slave class,

might you not resent and even rise up in rebellion against the system that despised and exploited you—

You probably would,

unless of course you were a Poet,

in which case you'd be kneeling down and kissing the ass of those enemy tribes

of Music, Painting, Film, etc.,

and prostrating yourself at the feet of your most rapacious enemy, the Prosewriter tribe,

and your whole tribe, every Poet would be groveling alongside you—

Nor would you and your fellow helots mass your forces in united protest against the State that supported and awarded its endowments

to those foe tribes of Musicmakers, Painters, Filmistes, Prosewriters, et al,

those adversary tribes who have eternally plundered and plagiarized your achievements, the produce of your hands,

who have commandeered, hijacked the goods your serfdom has created—

those rival tribes, whose punishment for the evil piracy of your work

has been what?

Not punishment, but prize: to garner the major share of any and whatever Arts funding

the greater society meagerly dispenses in its budgetary decisions.


But of course if you were a member of this tribe, it wouldn't be heredity; fate would not have cursed your birth into this family of Untouchables:

no, you would have joined it yourself, free will, you chose to enter this pariah pack

and suffer its abject, its humiliating impoverishments,

to sacrifice your life in masochistic menial fealty

and obsequious servitude, in endless subjection

to those superior vicious tribes who fang the food from your mouth, who loot your livelihood and ransack your soul,—

and oh yes, you'll crawl and humbly bless the god that rewards those enemies.