Rabbits Rule!

Feb 4, 2011 | 0 comments

 

Rabbits Rule!

     Yesterday was the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year 4709.  It is the year of the rabbit, considered by the Chinese to be calm, gentle, and persistent.  The year of the rabbit is traditionally associated with home and family, artistic pursuits, diplomacy, and keeping the peace.
     Presumably, this year on a global level, nations will become increasingly “insular,” strengthening their borders against outsiders (sounds all too familiar), but we will also see new, exciting art movements throughout the world.  I am interested in seeing this latter prediction play out, especially in view of the arts and humanities being under siege in our own state and throughout our nation due to budget constraints.
     Traditionally, of course, the arts flourish during times of repression and depression.  They provide the fodder for writers as well as for visual artists – John Steinbeck and Dorthea Lange Of the Great Depression era come to mind.  And the arts provide an escape for us all.
     I thought it was fitting, therefore, that Oysterville friends and neighbors gathered last evening for our second get-together to read from our favorite literary works.  Again, there was a wide variety of selections presented.  I thought Nyel’s choice was the most appropriate of all.
     He read two of Charles Bukowski’s poems.  (Remember him?  He was one of the Beat Generation poets in the era of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson.) The first one, “putrefaction” begins like this:
            of late
            I’ve had this thought
            that this country
            has gone backwards
            4 or 5 decades
            and that all the
            social advancement
            the good feeling of
            person toward person
            has been washed
           away
            and replaced by the same
            old
            bigotries.

            we have
            more than ever
            the selfish wants of power
            the disregard for the 
            weak
            the old
            the impoverished
            the
            helpless…
     It was written in 1951.  As one of the listeners last night said, “Some things don’t change.”  Or, at the very least, they come around again.
     Gung Hay Fat Choy! 

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