What would you do if you received an e-mail from a friend announcing that he had obtained four one-piece work suits (a.k.a. union suits) that had formerly belonged to Halliburton employees? Each sports the Halliburton logo as well as the first name of the person to whom it was issued. Best of all is a suit with “Richard” on it (think “Vice President”).
I’ve never been much for street protests, but the opportunity to borrow one or more of these suits seems just too good to pass up. So I’m thinking, maybe I should organize some sort of “Poets Against the War” reading? If the emcee of such an event were outfitted by Halliburton, that might make for a compelling five seconds or so on local television.
Poets Against the War have designated September 11 “An International Day of Poetry” – presumably in commemoration of the CIA-sponsored coup that brought Pinochet to power in Chile in 1973, as well as for the events of 9/11/01. But as I thought this over today, it occurred to me that we would be better off titling a September 11th reading Poetry for Peace. Being “for peace” is just a lot more inclusive and disarming than being against war. I don’t want veterans, for example, to feel unwelcome. In fact, I don’t even want to presume that everyone who reads would be “anti-war.” Just pro-peace.
I am not especially interested in emceeing a rally or demonstration. I’m not a big Kerry supporter. But when a man can be publicly derided as a flip-flopper simply for seeing both sides of an issue, you know, that gets my back up! In this atmosphere, simply holding an event where people have to actively listen to those they may disagree with cannot help becoming a political act, I’m afraid. Even without the Halliburton suit.
(Remainder of post removed for violating Via Negativa’s ban on self-promotion)