I wrote this poem in response to the trivialisation and dumbing down I see all around me. People are obsessed with trivia while the big issues slide past unnoticed. Everything is superficial.
The media manages our views for us. We are not involved.
The game shows, talent shows and computer games fill our time and minds with nothing. We’re passing time.
The endless sport on TV provides an unremitting programme of essential viewing.
The alcohol and sex distract the mind.
We are worth it. We need to spend time and money on how we look or we will not be attractive. New clothes, new style, new accessories, new body, new make-up, new look. We have to measure up to the celebrities. We are being compared.
Fun is all there is. Fun is sex and alcohol – having a good time.
We all want to be famous, noticed and a celebrity.
We want wealth but not to have to earn it. A lottery ticket will do or instant notoriety.
It is trivial. It is superficial. It is pointless.
Life goes by – in the sky – nothing to do with you or I – Roy Harper.
Meanwhile the decisions are being made. The corporate giants are plotting. The media are planning. The politicians are jostling. The establishment is organising to maximise its position.
The wars are being organised. The wealth distributed. The honours awarded.
I saw the image of the naked little girls running through the napalm with her skin in shreds. I wondered is she’d dreamed of being a celebrity? And then I wrote this poem.
A baby with its shreds of skin dangling
A pompous politician playing the perennial race card
A bomb sliding through the clouds
Bloated stomachs on a diet of unfresh air
Chuckles in the back seat of a leah jet
Sulphur dioxide on the wind
Radioactive nucleotides in the waves
Purple upholstery in the limo
Another telly and flock wallpaper
Smiling for the cameras and a new dress
Throwing caviar down the garbage chute
A DJ and a bimbo at the reception
A maid, a new nose and two inches more
A smug disdain and a superior lilt
A million dead fish and a thousand dead forests
A cancerous womb and a deformity or three
Cardboard boxes under the archway
No boxes at all in the dust
A platitude and a shrug
A billion tons in the sea
Another Picasso and a Renoir
A pent-house and country estate and immunity from prosecution
Another dinner party
The power to move mountains
The power to bribe governments
An autobiography, public acclaim and fame
A shrewd move leading to a satisfying victory
Land, death, patriotic insanity and nationalistic fervour
Propaganda and manipulation
The power to trample ideals into dust
To trample asbestos into dust
To trample us all into dust
Sulphuric fumes in the rain
Toxic taste in the fish
A price worth paying for the life-style
An impression, a flutter in Las Vegas
A new yacht in MonteCarlo
Front-side seats for the big fight
Ten flunkies to keep away the public
A box at the opera
Bedecked in jewels with the right manners
More guns for the right to kill – elsewhere
To keep the masses controlled
Distracted and deceived
To educate only those worthy of education
To maintain the status quo
That’s the importance of importance