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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Red Room with Spooks


.

Lindsay Mills, girlfriend of Edward Snowden

Lindsay Mills, the acrobat girlfriend of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, strikes poses for a photoshoot in Hawaii: photo by Luis Silos III Photography/Splash, via The Guardian 12 June 2013



Prism, cloudy, cloudy. Sun with a chance
of red rain
the flaw in the mechanism is the mechanism
itself. Here, take all my personal
information, baby. I've no use for it any more
Never much enjoyed having any of it
and there'll be no need for it where I'm going
They've got all the data anybody could ever want
hard-wired in anyhow
so let's shed these old identities
lose ourselves on an uncharted westerly
stop the world and melt with a figment
in some other universe we'll never meet again
go
anonymous to the end of time
and untie the knot
before the photo-op blows over






kind: photo diptych by Marie Wintzer, 27 April 2013


sore, sore, sore - splenetic
bitter, bitter, bitter - caustic
sour, sour, sour - raw
blister, blain, pimple - tumor
ulcer, blue, scratch - kind


A news bulletin on a Hong Kong train shows Edward Snowden

A news bulletin on a Hong Kong train shows Edward Snowden, the US intelligence analyst who revealed the NSA's massive surveillance dragnet: photo by Bobby Yip/Reuters via The Guardian, 13 June 2013

edward snowden hong kong

A picture of Edward Snowden is displayed on the front page of a newspaper in Hong Kong on Wednesday
: photo by
Kin Cheung/AP via The Guardian, 12 June 2013

photo

expired
: photo by Marie Wintzer, 27 April 2013

exhale.
terminated by passage of time

(for someone who is very fond of red and who is in possession of an entire team of unfinished reds)


photo

And when the hour of his departure drew near: photo by Marie Wintzer, 23 October 2011


"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."
"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you..."

-------
(Holga toy camera - texture)




kind: photo diptych by Marie Wintzer, 27 April 2013

10 comments:

TC said...

Soooo... did the fun just get serious?

Marie W said...

Entering the Red Room this morning. Reading your poem reminds me that we never really leave it anyway. But, first of all, thank you for the features, Tom! It's always such an honour to be here on BTP, home of so many great poets and photographers and artists. Yes, a great honour to sit together at the breakfast table while the airplane of words is delivering its daily goodies.
They've got all the data anybody could ever want. Oh yes, what else could they ever wish for. I like the word data in there, like the pinnacle of happiness in our day and age, a snapshot of their desires, a dream unattainable. Data. They can have the knots, yes, why not. And while at it, if they could also untidy the knots in our brains that would be nice. But much harder I suppose. Time to start working on it (knot).

TC said...

For those people who have come of age after 9/11, it may no longer be possible to remember a world in which domestic surveillance was not so pervasive a condition as to be a veritable fact of life. To be "protected" against the paranoid fantasy projections of a failing society may not be what the people would wish to buy with their tax money, but it is what they are getting. There are half a million of these "private contractors" (mostly ex CIA personnel, like the person who exposed all these secret networks last week), working for "private firms" that are in effect extensions of government "security" agencies; this in addition to the five million people employed directly by the government to do exactly the same sort of "work" (snooping, eavesdropping). All are quite well paid... to produce nothing. This at a time when the streets of the cities are a war zone, millions are going hungry, the so-called "health care system" is a cruel travesty, and every urban doorway houses a huddled rough sleeper at night. The young man at the center of this recent disclosure has said that he does not wish to be considered a hero for disclosing the truth; he has said that it simply occurred to him, after a while, that his job required him to do things that he believed to be detrimental to the integrity of the only world there was ever going to be for him to live in. Many people have suspected, even supposed, that the state of things he has exposed has become a reality; but before now, no one who is involved in these secret machinations has raised a hand and said, "Yes, it was me, I did these things, I was not alone, and here's how it works". To do this he has sacrificed relationships, family, friends. He has suggested that he fears he may not live much longer, that sooner or later (and probably sooner) somebody will "get to him". That seems a rational fear.

Meanwhile, I think it's only reasonable, too, to expect the "security" industry, which for the past dozen years has been dangling wads of cash before the greedy eyes of every young tech nerd, to go on doing so, without control or constraint, so that soon enough the principal "product" of the society will in fact be "security" (another, perhaps more accurate word for same: "fear").

Indeed the President has lately declared that the first priority of his job is... yes, providing "security". But he is in error. In fact the first priority of his job should always be something else: protecting this strange anachronistic thing it's rumoured we may still have here, the Constitution.

Wooden Boy said...

melt with a figment

go anonymous to the end of time

That even our disappearance could be another illusion is a fearful thought.

The Red Room: "we never really leave it anyway".

manik sharma said...

Tom,
The average man has been precisely made to look that,average..

Hazen said...

Sorry to be late to this party, but . . .

A COAT OF ARMS OF THE BENIGHTED STATES

greed rampant
on a blood red field

at top right,
Pornography and Piety,
two pallid and obese figures
joined in holy sanctimony,
diddling one another
while praying
for different outcomes

at top left
a police badge
showing in clockwise fashion
taser
truncheon
cavity probe
surveillance camera
and handcuffs

centered below this
upon a blazon of ignorance
a one-size-fits-all
gimme cap
in desert camo
surmounted by two crossed Predator drones
and the motto:
Bring It

Liberty a corpse at the bottom;
Justice decapitated;
on one side of the scales
her head
on the other a bag of money
above both
an open Bible superimposed
on a stack of light automatic weapons


across the middle a blaze-orange fesse
showing in an endless loop these devices:
the greased palm of corruption
the loaded dice of a speculating class
the double-cross of deceit and treachery
the torturer’s toolkit
and the stenciled maxim:
No Mercy
No Questions

around it all
a crenellated border of
self-righteous cruelty

the whole thing over-large
unwieldy
and broken

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

back into the world of the fog this morning --
"and there'll be no need for it where I'm going"


6.15

grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, song sparrow calling from branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

“where the background lines,”
“far below what to do”

supposed, “let work be work,”
perspective something

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
shadowed green slope of ridge across it

TC said...

Perhaps the Middle Ages were just like this, without the wireless connection.

These mottoes emblazoned:

"the average man"

"we never really leave it anyway"

“let work be work”

And our heraldry:

across the middle a blaze-orange fesse
showing in an endless loop these devices:
the greased palm of corruption
the loaded dice of a speculating class
the double-cross of deceit and treachery
the torturer’s toolkit
and the stenciled maxim:
No Mercy
No Questions

around it all
a crenellated border of
self-righteous cruelty

the whole thing over-large
unwieldy
and broken

Elmo St. Rose said...

right now it's the singer not the
song...can't trust the government
one stupid thing after another...
recently has caused me to resurrect
a word from the past...a more
polite word actually...in the area
I grew up in where sentences were
punctuated with 4 letter words...
crass I thought for a long time
the word dufus but recently awkwardly searched for its pleural
which I originally thought was
dufusai but that was wrong, the
pleural of dufus is dufuses...and
why did I search for the pleural
because some of the things that are
coming down from the government
in many fields are so awry, no one
person could be stupid enough to
think these things up. Now here is
my chance to enter the language...
My friend Charlie Vermont says that
people who study how to be stupid
are "dufusorial" as in professorial.
Orwell had many things right. He
should be studied. Being more
conservative than most of visitors
to this blog, I believe we needed
surveillance to protect us from
those who would do us harm. Political correctness in government
is causing everyone to be blanketed
and the wrong people could use this
power to obliterate freedom at some
point in time.

TC said...

Elmo,

"I believe we needed
surveillance to protect us from
those who would do us harm."

Well, whether or not we needed it, we've got it. They're here with us, in this moment, the contractors from the DC tech corridor. monitoring every keystroke. And I consider that form of invasive attention a violation of my privacy, my constitutional right to free speech, my dignity (what little may be left of it) as a human being. That is harm. Those who would do us harm are those who have taken over the government of the former land of the free, and assumed unto themselves godlike powers. Me, I'd rather have chosen my own gods, if I were to have had any.

"O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there." (Psalm 139 vv. 1-8)