Harvey Taylor


Spinning

Lately, I’ve been noticing those new auto wheel covers,
the ‘spinning hubcaps’ that keep rotating after a car stops,
as if the wheels are still turning…
they don’t make a vehicle safer, or perform better, or
increase fuel economy—they’re strictly for looks.

Even if a car starts rolling backwards, after
stopping for a traffic light while going uphill,
the shiny-spinning-hubcaps still give
the illusion of forward motion,
one more gimmick in a never-ending flood of
gizmos generated for the consumer culture.

So what might be an appropriate response, but
it is telling that this, to quote an ad, “unique
system that keeps the wheel cover in motion
while the wheel remains stationary”
came on the market during a time when
the country has stopped moving forward, or
is actually sliding backwards in many ways, though
we’re constantly told that we’re progressing:
the educational quality of public schools
is seriously deteriorating, yet
the president keeps saying “No Child Left Behind,”
which apparently doesn’t include the children
in my neighborhood, whose music, art, and
gym classes have been eliminated, along
with the school librarians…
the health of the environment slips back, back,
with water and air quality regularly compromised
by such Orwellian laws as the ‘Clean Water Act,’
‘Clear Skies’ and ‘Healthy Forests’ Initiatives, and
the looming catastrophe of global warming is ignored;
the economy goes further into the black hole of deficit
each day, thanks in part to ‘tax relief’ for the
already fabulously-wealthy, which will compel
our children and grandchildren to ask,
Why did you let America turn into another
pitiful Third World country, where
the dictator runs up a humongous debt, and
leaves the people holding the bag, with all
tax revenues going to service the debt, and
nothing left over for real needs such as health care?—
we’d better start practicing our answer to that question…
or get involved, and begin turning things around.

And underlying everything else, the ‘outsourcing’ of torture,
the relentless attack on civil liberties, the morphing of
the presidency into a virtual monarchy, there’s the war in Iraq,
crazed to begin with, growing ever more criminally insane,
as the commander-in-chief and his fellow zealots keep leading us
further and further down the hellish road of calamity and death, and
the endless ‘War On Terror’ provides Osama Bin Laden—
remember him?—recruiting opportunities beyond
his most extravagant fantasies.

Meanwhile, the White House press secretary, and
Fox commentators, keep spinning the news, and
those flashy chrome hubcap-covers keep spinning
‘round and ‘round and ‘round

January, 2006

Last edited by TeganDowling. Based on work by HT.  Page last modified on January 31, 2006

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