Friday, June 15, 2007

The Unknown Citizen By W.H. Auden

The Unknown Citizen
By W.H. Auden

(To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a Frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation,
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education,
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Going it Alone

Going it Alone
International treaties the Bush
administration has rejected or sought
to circumvent:

Kyoto protocol: March 2001; citing
economic concerns, President Bush
refuses to join the international
agreement to curb greenhouses gasses

Anti-Ballistic-Missile Treaty: December
2001; U.S. pulls out in order to persue a
missile-defense system

International Criminal Court: May 2002;
Bush administration renounces support,
saying it would put U.S. soldiers at risk
for unfair prosecution

Geneva Conventions: September 2006;
Seeking more latitude in the
interrogation of terror suspects, Bush
administration pushes Congress to
reinterpret standards on prisoner

Reprinted from Wall Street Journal June 11, 2007


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