Talking To Myself Out In Right Field

by Scott Orlovsky

September 22, 2003


i wonder if the next terror attack
which will most definitely come
as terrorism experts
and administration officials
assure us
will result in an electronic
resurrection of COINTELPRO
empowered by Patriot Act II
Total Information Awareness
a computerized spy-monster
databasing our lives
in a Foucaultian Panoptic prison (1)
and DARPA satellites that identify
and target people by their gait
i wonder if the probability of error
which most definitely occurs
as computer and mathematical experts
and common sense
inform us
will cause collateral damage
to innocents misidentified
by their strolling style
choice of head-gear
or golden symbol dangling
from their neck
i wonder how many errors
computerized voting would generate
and how easily that facilitates
like occurred to over
90,000 residents in Florida (2)
I wonder if the time will ever come
when I will be censored
blacklisted by publishing houses
or muzzled like reporters at CNN (3)
maybe even disappear
to a Midwest American gulag
lost to a historian's footnote
like a young Russian poet
I wonder when the big lie will be revealed
but that doesn't usually happen
until the empire falls

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References and Resources

1.  For a detailed explanation see Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Vintage Books, 1995) pp. 195-228.  (back)

2.  Greg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (New York: Plume Publishing, 2003), pp. 11-81.  (back)

3.  CNN's top war correspondent, Christine Amanpour, stated, "I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did." -- CNBC, A Topic with Tina Brown  (back)

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Poetry on Swans

America the 'beautiful' on Swans


Scott Orlovsky is a World History & Cultures, and an American History teacher at Clifton High School in New Jersey. He has a BA in History from the Johns Hopkins University and a MA in History from the University of Colorado.

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Published September 22, 2003
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