Politics Isn’t a Dirty Word

As we prepare for the 2016 campaign season, it’s time for another of my brief essays.   Consider the following conversation:

“Where’ll we go for dinner tonight?”
“I don’t know – where would you like to go?
“Maybe sushi…or pizza.”
“I don’t feel like pizza – let’s do sushi.”

Sound familiar, even banal?   How many times have you had a conversation like that? I know the answer – a lot.

Well, I’m here to tell you – that’s politics, the decision-making process associated with any form of governance.   Governance is merely the exercise of control over a system or process – in this case, the breaking of daily bread.  Politics in this broad sense is fundamental to our daily lives.  We are all truly politicians.

Why, then, is politics considered a dirty word in some circles, to the point where some candidates for public office are reluctant to reveal their political backgrounds when they publish their ballot statements?   Governance requires that some person or some body of persons be in control.  And those that Roosevelt called “malefactors of great wealth” have engaged in a lengthy propaganda campaign to help insure that they remain the body of people in control.

DON’T BUY IT.  Politics is essential to democracy. Politics is us.

Poems and Songs

In the Sixties and Seventies, I wrote a number of verses that I called “songs”, that were inspired by the popular music of the day.  It was the fashion to refer to artists like Bob Dylan as poets, so it seemed logical to refer to song-like verses as songs.  At some point, I may post some examples on this site.

I’m aware, of course, that popular songs have a structure that is dictated by the needs of the music.   Since I am devoid of musical talent, I’ve never seriously envisioned writing actual songs – with one exception.

When I was young, I was enthralled by musical theater, especially anything that involved clever verse – like  W. S. Gilbert  and Cole Porter.

“In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something simply shocking
Now Heaven knows; anything goes.”

It seems to me now, as it seemed to me then, that to write something that sticks in the mind is rather glorious.

The following modest Cole Porter imitation, from 1965, is the only actual song I ever wrote.

You Simply Can’t Be You

All of my life,
With its trouble and strife,
I’ve got the small end of the stick,
Now you come along,
Like a girl from a song,
And all at once, I’m lovesick!

You simply can’t be you,
I’m afraid it just won’t do.
As you can plainly see,
You’re not the one for me.

You simply can’t be you,
My dream cannot come true.
A beautiful girl, for a guy like me,
Is like a pair of wings,
For a ship at sea,
Or a cold beer mug
For a cup of tea.


I guess that that’s the catch.
We just aren’t a match.
The simple reason why
You and I don’t fit
Is that I’m the guy
With the face that sunk a thousand ships.
So no matter how hard you try.


A is for Arnyx Illustration
































A typical illustration from my book of children’s verse:  “A is for Arnyx”

Book Giveaway

I am giving away free copies of my book of children’s verse  A is for Arnyx.   The giveaway is managed by Goodreads.com.  Visit my Book Page to enter.   It just takes a click.