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Between Blackbird
© January 2, 2004, Roy Stucky

Born between blackbird conception and flight,
Spies my companion of fickle birthright.
Steel and titanium dangle above human heads,
Makes perfect sense to be living in dread.

Robot voyeurs haunt the blackness of space,
Watchers design the machine-readable face.
Monitor phone calls across every sea,
Targeting someone I hope is not me.

Born between blackbird conception and flight,
Years leading up to the dark of this night.
Born between blackbird conception and flight,
Child of the race to command every height.

Danger's reflected from airport to Dow,
Tags for the people confuse man with cow.
Power is calling to those in the know,
Baubles entrancing the carrion crow.

 


The Blackbird was designed in the late 1950's and built in the early 1960's. For me it is the glamor of the surveillance society, but even this marvel is not without threat. In 2004 the reaction to September 9, 2001 seemed ominous.

By 2013 those concerns have proved well founded.

 


Quotations

"Because Herzog behaved like a philosopher who cared only about the very highest things - creative reason, how to render good for evil, and all the wisdom of old books. Because he thought and cared about belief. (Without which, human life is simply the raw material of technological transformation, of fashion, salesmanship, industry, politics, finance, experiment, automatism, et cetera, et cetera. The whole inventory of disgraces which one is glad to terminate in death.)"

...

"Well, for instance, what it means to be a man. In a city. In a century. In transition. In a mass. Transformed by science. Under organized power. Subject to tremendous controls. In a condition caused by mechanization. After the late failure of radical hopes. In a society that was no community and devalued the person. Owing to the multiplied power of numbers which made the self negligible. Which spent military billions against foreign enemies but would not pay for order at home. Which permitted savagery and barbarism in its own great cities. At the same time, the pressure of human millions who have discovered what concerted efforts and thoughts can do. As megatons of water shape organisms on the ocean floor. As tides polish stones. As winds hollow cliffs. The beautiful supermachinery opening a new life for innumerable mankind. Would you deny them the right to exist? Would you ask them to labor and go hungry while you enjoyed delicious old-fashioned Values? You - you yourself are a child of this mass and a brother to all the rest. Or else an ingrate, dilettante, idiot."
Saul Bellow

 


Bibliography

God (forever and ever)
The Holy Bible

Saul Bellow (1915-2005)
Herzog (1961)