Tired of Life in a Political Fallout Shelter?

by | Sep 7, 2023 | Larry's Observations

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo

Tired of Life in a Political Fallout Shelter?

by | Sep 7, 2023 | Larry's Observations

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo

Politicians and lawyers are number one and two on the Most Hated Professions List. Imagine that! We are ruled by people we hate to be. What does this say about our so-called society and civilization.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of politics and so-called political thought and rationale I could barf! I am tempted to say you are as well or will soon be.

We are inundated with political fervor, and I cannot for the life of me find any redeeming social characteristic for any of it. I have lost friends over politics and verbally attacked for my beliefs. Stop the insanity! Politics has infiltrated every segment of life and I just wish it would go away!

I hate to sound like a namby-pamby, bitching about this or that. To wit, it has even affected my writing. I have written and rewritten this issue of OBS Post a gazillion times in my head. So, I sat myself down this morning and had a heart-to-heart with myself and started writing again.

We appear to be stuck in a political fallout shelter with a limited supply of food and oxygen. Sometimes the politics of it all sucks all the air out of the shelter and affords us no protection from the political fallout. I keep feeling like I must use my words wisely while I struggle to not offend the political aristocracy and my friends. I worry about using my words up and running out of the allotment given to me by a higher authority but then I realize I am the higher authority and can dispense words as I will. But there is one word that sucks the life out of me—that dang word politics. How did we end up in such a self-grandiose world that worships politics as its savior?

Politicians and lawyers are number one and two on the Most Hated Professions List. Imagine that! We are ruled by people we hate to be. What does this say about our so-called society and civilization. Not much, I would say, but here we are.

Nevertheless, I am told that politics is the solution and the only way out of our dilemma. I am told that politics is/are unapproachable, and I just must live with it. But I am a rebel with a cause, and I cannot live with a politically expedient solution.

What that cause is, is difficult to describe. I believe in the sanctity of humanity. I believe that we are spiritual beings fending for ourselves in a most physical world. I believe there is more to life than politics and that we have been led down this crimson path by those wishing to retain their power and in turn make us all into slaves of some sort. At the very least unfeeling automatons shuffling our feet through our miserable lives. That’s what I believe, and you cannot fault me for that, can you?

But lest we get ahead of ourselves let’s take this word politics apart before we succumb to it and see what makes this word a bible unto itself. On the surface politics appears to be a very accurate word that describes the affairs of the world. According to Aristotle (considered to be the father of politics) in the 4th century BCE, politics deals with the structure, organization, and administration of the state, especially the city-state as known in ancient Greece. A city-state is an independent sovereign city which serves as the center of political, economic, and cultural life over its contiguous territory per Wikipedia.

The Britannica Dictionary tells us that politics are the activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government. Note the emphasis on keeping power in a government.

How did we all fall off the turnup truck? It is not that I long for yesteryear and how great and simple life was before people had civil rights. Not by any means do I want to go back to those “simpler times.” But I do long for civil rights with the emphasis on civil. And whereas politics are supposed to give us structure, this modern definition of politics—i.e., keeping power I find deplorable. Aristotle would be turning over in his grave should he even get a sniff of political fervor ravaging our land. For Aristotle politics was a science not an activity of power games.

Aristotle, the father of Political Science

Did you know that policy and politics have the same roots? Both derive from the Greek politikos, from politēs ‘citizen’, from polis ‘city’. Politics as a science should be run by agreed upon set policy and not whim.

That’s my rant for this week and here’s one of the oh so few political poems I have written. It involves the great state of Florida where I currently yet unfathomably currently reside.


Is the Florida I know reactionary?
or contemporary?

Does it flow like frozen molasses,
or does it hunker down with the masses?

and grow weeping willow trees,
instead of palm

What is wrong with the proletariat?
when we are not allowed to use that word

I cannot say woke,
when I have never been awake

I can’t betray my ancestors when I cannot talk about
the mutual introspection of slavery.

In a cleaner world there have been no faults
and no one is responsible for anything because it just happens.

This is my Florida!
Flying by the seat of its pants.

But do not look for any color,
for Florida is colorless.

What it lacks in dynamic
is supplanted by sun.

Which beats down heavenly rays,
for those fortunate enough to see.

Not to disagree with the hierarchy
of broken dreams let alone promises.

I don’t care if I was looking for Magellan,
and found that Ponce de Leon character

We are not all equal in this great state of cheer.
We are whitewashed with opaque finishes and desolate days.

Do not grab on to your grandfather,
we don’t know from under what rock he will be emancipated.

And why should he have to be freed,
if there was no such thing as slavery

That proclamation went to hell,
when it moved to Florida

Pour out the attributes and
discover they were searching for

Needy white men who played poker
with our lives

Greed was the mistral winds
lining their pockets with misery

cold and lacking compassion
selling swamp land for freedom

Welcome to the new state of Florida,
where you must fight for your own liberation.

Flags of every color should be flying from every hollow.
raise them before they are taken down and burned.

With the talented misery of its inhabitants

Praise someone or something to free us from this tyranny,
of one man’s eyeballs sequestered in pain and humiliation of others

This is Florida!

Home of the not so free and not so brave.

I cannot think of a better way to end this weeks OBS Post than with the irrepressible Woody Guthrie!

Lawrence George Jaffe

Lawrence George Jaffe

Lawrence George Jaffe is an internationally known and an award-winning writer, author, and poet. For his entire professional career, Jaffe has been using his art to promote human rights. He was the poet-in-residence at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, a featured poet in Chrysler’s Spirit in the Words poetry program, co-founder of Poets for Peace (now Poets without Borders) and helped spearhead the United Nations Dialogue among Civilizations through Poetry project which incorporated hundreds of readings in hundreds of cities globally using the aesthetic power of poetry to bring understanding to the world.

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