Thursday, October 26, 2006

In a Pillbox somewhere, Shaping the Common Good.

I close my eyes and I can see thousands of bodies scrambling over scaffolding and foundations. I hear two way radios squawking, the varied pitch of power tools and the rumble of heavy trucks as a structure begins to emerge in front of us and inside of us. It’s the new moment. It’s the brand new tomorrow.

A conveyor belt stretches from a great big pillbox of a building, where they recycle and re-constitute the past and it flows from there into another great big pillbox of a building where the clay-like, gray substance is shaped and stamped and bent to its designated need and then lifted by cranes or humped by workers to wherever it gets fitted into the scheme of things.

Looking at the thing in front of us and inside of us, it’s hard to tell what it’s going to look like at the end. It seems grand and hopeful from a distance but up close, it looks scary and intimidating. On the walls of surrounding buildings, street artists work to glorify the construction. Mostly it looks like the son’s of Diego Rivera and Tom of Finland got together to celebrate the new worker’s paradise; even if Tom of Finland never had a son. There will always be offspring. That’s what Saruman told Rick Santorum and he showed him what he meant and Rick said it was good and a lot like pro-life.

There was a common purpose and a common joy in the hearts of those who worked to build the moment, to build the future; because everyone knows that the future is now. Even if they didn’t, there were great banners proclaiming it which had been painted over the muscled forms of Tom and Diego figures as they wrestled horses and raised girders.

As I stood there I thought of the sweat pouring off of John Henry’s back and I found myself whistling, “I’ve been working on the railroad.” You can’t be there and not feel something. Whether you’re Donald Rumsfield or Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the origin of poetry is always red. It’s no matter if it sings in the blood of an aristocrat or a field-hand. The other colors, when they come dancing from the portals of the imagination, all defer to the common red of our one passion to be free or to bind. Liberty itself could have no meaning without confinement or slavery. In this sense one might say that those who enslave us are the primary architects of our freedom.

Soon, some small portion of those eligible, will exercise their right to determine the final shape of the building and the use to which the building will be put. They will vote for their agents who will become the articulation font for their hopes and dreams. At the same time, other agents will transform their primary intention with the transposition of ‘ones’ and ‘zeroes’ into some more cohesive arrangement of the total for, ‘their own good’. It’s always for your own good. It may not look like it, but remember... you have never known what it looks like. It has only been when it was shown to you afterwards that you knew what your own good looked like.

All over the country, in all of the places where the same building is rising, in another pillbox of a building, tireless workers are shaping your votes the same way that the workers are shaping the soft substance of the recycled past into the parts of the building as it becomes the whole. Your votes are being shaped to reflect the final perfection of the building as it comes to embody your collective will as it is shaped by your agents who best understand what that will intends.

Somewhere in the bowels of the machine, adjustments are being made, colors are changing, the letters in the names are rearranging and what you really wanted is being forged into the perfect image of your unspoken and formerly unknown desires.

Yes, we have often struggled with ourselves and with others. In the teeming, bubbling crucible of our times we felt it all and from this has come our certain knowing of what we most wanted and we knew it to be true in the very moment that we heard it announced through the speakers in the ceilings and in our heads. “Yes! That is what I wanted. Thank you for helping me to understand that.” Everywhere, people are embracing each other. They are dancing in the street. Bunting is whipping in the wind. Brass bands are proclaiming our joy and children with shining eyes are wondering at the import of this great moment of common understanding.

There’s not a dry eye in the house and, for a variety of reasons, there shouldn’t be. There are some who may be wondering how many divisions the Pope has and why anyone would ask a question like that. There are some who will not be happy because they were incapable of seeing how the building contained all of the things they had always wanted. You can well assume that these people never knew what they wanted and still do not. However, in this glorious time, there will be places set aside for them where they can learn, under the loving hand of those who do know, just what it is that they do not know.

As is proper, a massive shroud has been raised all around the building at this time. How can you unveil something if it is not veiled? You cannot. So... now you can hear the sounds, like a child (left in the car outside a tavern in 1958) can listen to The Shadow on the radio and see it all come alive in his head. It’s real enough. Behind this screen the final touches are being added. The excitement is keen. Soon will come that moment when the labor is done and everything waits for the thing to be seen. In the small pillbox of a building, the votes have all been shaped to the closest tolerances of those who determined the nearest approximations of the will of the people. By some strange trick of magic, as the votes were being cast, the building itself was being reshaped to accommodate the impact of each single vote as it was re-birthed in the small pillbox of a building and... it was all done simultaneously.

All of the shaping of the votes was not accomplished in the little pillbox of a building. Some votes did not need to be reshaped. Some were reshaped by events as they were manufactured in another pillbox of a building. Some were reshaped by information about the events manufactured in another pillbox of a building. Anything can be reshaped in a pillbox of a building somewhere; bodies, hearts and minds... all.

Some of the votes were shaped in pillbox buildings where education was shaping the minds that manufactured the votes that were reshaped in the small pillbox of a building. Things were reshaped in marketplaces and offices and watering holes and community events which were further shaped by events and information that had been manufactured according to the time needed for the final result of shaping the vote that shaped the building that manifested the present as you dreamed it into being with the help of your agents who articulated your intent.

It really is a perfect world and all of us helped in some small way to make it what it is, even if we only did it through our agents or only helped according to things we received that were made in a pillbox somewhere. What we wrought was all the result of what we were and what we knew after we ourselves were reformed and remanufactured by whatever it took to bring us to this point. Can’t you hear the hammer hit the steel? Can’t you feel the music in your blood? Can’t you see destiny gleaming up ahead where she sits? That shining city on the hill...



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The3rdElf
The 3rd Elf