Friday, April 25, 2008
Alix Olson on the power of the word, and Split This Rock
The United States was not founded upon its espoused principles of liberty, freedom, and equality. And so, we artists are faced not with the task of reclaiming those "original ethos", but of fighting to instill them: layer by layer, decade by decade, citizen by citizen, poet by poet. We are fighting to Constitute a new America.
This Administration has waged a war on words. Their commitment to pre-emptive and perpetual war has claimed the dominant narrative. "Spin media" is in full effect: twirling us like little tops until we are dizzy, disoriented, disaffected, and ultimately disorganized.
Poets are determined to win words back. After all, words offer us the ability to reclaim the transformative power of the imagination: the freedom to imagine a new world, one where air, water, and love are free. Words should afford us communication, explanation, and empowerment. Instead, they are being manipulated to denigrate, debilitate, target, terrorize, and propagandize us into obedience.
This week forced me to remember that it is disobedience that affords progress.
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