sheep shuffle. Do the dead sheep shuffle. Get in line. Waste your
yer gonads groped and your belongings touched by strangers’ fingers.
shoved, get yelled at.
you ASS, don’t go down THAT line, I said THIS ONE HERE.”
of the other sheep not, “Where do you get off telling this guy what
of other sheep was, “Where do you get off not following orders like
you’re supposed to do and getting on the wrong line and making it
so much worse for the rest of us?”
of all were the eyes. Not of the tormentors, but of the victims.
Spaced out, happy, in a way, happy to have big strong adults — armed
men and women — tell them where to go what to do, finally some structure
in their pathetic lives.
again, what did I do? Did I scream “NO?” No. Did I shove my “weapon,”
a toenail-clipper, in the eye of the rent-a-Nazi who confiscated
it? No. I’m as bad as you are. I don’t deserve to live, at least
not like a free adult.
Lauderdale. Newark. Same thing. Get in line and beg to be let on
the airplane you reserved a seat on months ago. The airplane you
paid hundreds of dollars so you and your wife could sit in crowded
rows with the rest of the cattle. The airplane owned by an airline
that laughingly calls you a “valued customer” as their cheap thugs
search you from your stocking feet to your goofy American head.
me with my hip-replacement! Back luck. Sets off the beeper every
time and it’s:
over here sir. Remove everything from your pockets sir. Hip replacement,
eh sir? Right hip? Arms to the side and stretched out sir. Yeah,
that’s it, like you’re on a cross, sir. What’s this? Antacids, sir?
Do you have a prescription for — oh, they’re over-the-counter. My
mistake sir. Hmmn. Nothing else on you,” re-inserting his wand into
its holster. “Must be that hip replacement you was going on about.
Okay, you’re free to go sir. Yes, that line over there, sir. You’re
free to go over to that line there.”
yeah, I know: we don’t have it as bad as the Iraqis, or the Palestinians,
or the Afghans, or the Chinese.
just as we pay airlines for the privilege of cattle-hood, we pay
THE MAN to make life miserable all over the world. Our only consolation
is that we’re “free” that is, it’s not as bad here as it is in other
places THE MAN has devastated. As for other countries, well, they
have their own MAN. But I give them credit for kicking OUR MAN on
his fat ass when they did. At least the woes of the citizens of
other countries are not our responsibility. Like, say the ridiculous
condition of American “citizens” who’ll walk straight to the gas
chambers grinning self-righteously about how free they are. The
Nazis would have loved a crowd like this. Would’ve saved them a
bundle on soap and other “don’t worry, it’s all good” type props.
yeah: it’s not as bad here as it is in Columbia or Saudi Arabia
or Guatemala, or wherever else THE MAN dips his sticky fingers.
But it will be. It will be indeed
while the sheep are bahhing about the “dems” and the “repubs” THE
MAN who controls both of those groups of boated, pocket-stuffing
windbags, THE MAN who controls most of the world with amazing violence
and relentless pursuit of death and fear, is cooking up new ways
to beat us down, to mold us into the pathetic model barnyard creatures
of HIS psychotic vision.
I say. I say, “Moo. Moo. Moo.”
disgusted with myself for paying for the privilege of being searched,
manhandled, and more or less kidnapped as the plane waited on the
runway while some flaccid representative of THE MAN outbid the airline
for the flight lane. People have been killed for less. A whole lot
less. If fact, THE MAN is killing and killing and killing people
for doing little less than not being THE MAN.
you think it’s Time to stop whining and deluding ourselves into
thinking we’re not despicable, weak …barnyard animals for not doing
what must be done to secure our individual liberty and basic human
was Time ten years ago, twenty, thirty. We didn’t act then, why
do we think we’ll act now? Especially now, after a quarter a century
of brainwashing with depth, breadth and intensity not seen since
Stalin was still sleeping in a separate room every night and “The
Manchurian Candidate” was a nightmarish “fiction” in the theaters.
are indeed pathetic. But it’s not too late to change. As long as
we’re clear about what we’re talking about. One of us must go. THE
MAN, or everyone else.
Engel [send him mail]
writes and lives in NYC. He has published essays poems and fiction
in numerous magazines, online and off, and has just completed his
first full-length book, Topiary, which he hopes to publish
by the spring.