Fri May 6th, 2016
We have deplored bombing people as a means of dealing with the threats of terrorism or any other ism. It gives us a bad name; it breeds hatred, provokes dreams of revenge which are sometimes acted out in real times, more times than we care to remember. Sometimes we miss, and perfectly innocent bystanders get demolished, which makes us look even more horrible. The reception that our bombing provokes should give us reason to rethink this whole bombing thing (largely a CIA thing and therefore a secret thing we aren't supposed to know about but there it is in headlines week after bloody week).
What I am going to suggest comes from a think tank in Brooklyn known
The scholars gathering there have come up with a remarkable remake of the whole CIA bombing thing. Instead of dropping explosives which are often harmful and exceeding unpopular the world over, we could drop good things. The scholars, while sipping Guinness and other stimulating beverages, considered apples and oranges, puff pastry and fresh bagettes because some of us personally like those things, but tastes differ. So they hit upon poetry. Much of the world values poetry over dangerous explosives. Poetry costs so much less than lethal explosives, and is so much safer to handle store and ship, that the Office of Management and Budget will see the obvious advantages of substituting poetry for bombs. It should soon become the weapon of choice. Bombs should be banned. They are that bad.
If the targets of our bombing were terrorists, as they often are, how much better it will be to convert terrorists into poetry readers. They will then try to find hidden meanings and be so absorbed in that endlessly difficult task they will soon give up their terrifying endeavors and settle down and become disputants on intention, metaphorical deciphering and wondering if the world has gone completely mad.
All those people who think about how to make a more lethal bomb could be assigned to reading poetry so as to better choose the right kind of poetry for their designated target. Rooms full of intelligence analysts could be diverted to analyzing John Ashberry’s poems, and if they uncover their meanings just think what a boon to the world that would be. Meanwhile, our aggressive propensities would soon be dissipated in disputations that could go on into the night and end up in a flood of new insights into the meaning of poetry and its use as a means of quieting crying babies and nasty mullas.
While in our country poetry is considered an outsider kind of literary pursuit, that is not true in Arab countries where poetry is mainstream, much more mainstream than bombs. So let the cry be “Poetry Away”.