The Ultimate Antientropy by Theodore Weiss
(I like to grab my Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, open it, and read, at random, several selections of the poet that it is opened to. Today it was Theodore Weiss. Apparently my ego has been appeased enough to allow another poets work to appear on MY blog. Don’t get used to it.
The title comes from a Buckminster Fuller quote, “Man is the ultimate antientropy.” I have to admit, my first reaction to that quote was he should know better, he was an engineer and had to know the laws of thermodynamics, once of which is, essentially, there is no antientropy in the physics sense of the term.
I did a little research on the term and came to learn the reference was made to the meaning of entropy as a state of disorder (not energy as I had assumed), but still a very untidy statement from the Buckster. I expect better in the future. Oh, he’s dead? Never mind. Although, I wonder what he thinks, now, about that statement, being dead and all, don’t you?
By the way, when are you guys going to start reading poetry? I’m getting a little tired of doing all the heavy lifting around here.)
[The reason I got out my anthology was to do some research on the whole jobs, or lack of jobs- unemployment, issue. You’re thinking,”Hey, why would you look to poetry for inspiration on such a problem? Why wouldn’t you look to an economics text or a psychology text or a similar work of fiction?” Well, when fiction is called for, call on the ultimate fiction, I always say (or at least plan to say from this point on.)
As I referred to in “This is happening…”(which you will recall having read my prior posts in their entirety, ahem) the economy balances on the public psyche, recession largely being a reaction to the public perception of imbalance in the economy. What is the source of the imbalance? Well, two schools of thought on that one: the collapse of leveraged mortgage-backed securities that led to bank instability, that led to insurers default, that led to credit lock-up, yada, yada, yada, government intervention to save the market, free-marketeers howling about socialism while still having a job at least; well, you know what I mean it was in all the papers.
I have to admire credit default swaps. They are the ultimate fiction, the poetry of Wall Street: so completely free to explore, unrestrained, the limits of fiscal responsibility, and like poetry, almost unreadable to the untrained eye. I view this recession as a failure to support the arts, the avant–garde. If only the public fully grasped the delicate, lyric perfection of levering this fiction to extract pure profit, I know they would not have abandoned their obscene mortgages simply because their wages could no longer support them. Art is all about sacrifice and their lack of sacrifice shows their lack of commitment to the arts, learned in the Reagan years. I say support the Arts, the avant–garde, the way forward; it’s the only way out of this mess.
As I referred to at the beginning of “So Red the Rose”,” I remember,now, why I turned my back to you 30 years ago..” I’m sure you remember the rest. It’s this greed thing, America’s new obsession. I shouldn’t say new, this has cycled through the country before: the “Gilded Age/Robber Baron Age” that preceded the Great Depression. As the wealth of the nation becomes ever more concentrated into the hands of a few, the general public wealth must necessarily diminish to the point that the housing market collapses, the overall wealth of the nation collapses, the revenue to the government collapses but the wealthy (if they’re smart enough to stay on the sidelines, where they are at this point in time, afraid to get involved) stay wealthy for a time, but the reckoning always comes. As John Dillinger was quoted as saying, he robbed banks ” because that’s where the money is.” Note to the wealthy; get off the sidelines and get in the game while there still is one or the government will have no choice but to go where the money is. I keep hearing there’s approximately $3 trillion off the market. That’s pretty good seed money. Or would you prefer a depression?
In case you haven’t connected the dots, those are the jobs we need.
So, if you want to keep your money, you’re going to have to risk your money. You’re probably not going to get the rate of return that you have become used to but at least you’ll have a better shot in the markets than you’ll have against the government. Appealing to your greed, now, your most consistent trait, not to your social conscious, patriotism or an expectation that you will suddenly get religion. Risk it or you will certainly lose it. Call it socialism, class warfare, redistribution of wealth, whatever, I don’t care.
I’m in the avant–garde, it’s how we roll.]
I guess I’m not going to post that poem after all. Google it.