As if the world had four corners—in one, a war;
in another, a revolution against uninvited restrictions
on what one could think. In the third,
messages on microfilm tied to the ankles
of caged birds with teeth and talons pacing
and bickering about what "mine" means.
In the last, alone, someone dressed as the 21st century,
skyscraper hat, flat-screen glasses,
stood at a table wondering about side effects
of medications and reward systems that are triggered
when boredom is bred in brains.
In a parable of panic and habit, a pilot landing
a crippled plane is like a country
where fearful rulers destroy dissent and whatever remains
goes from bad to worse. Sleep tight, you martyrs.
And you criminals who killed for a narrow share
of power and a few rotten spoils.
Enough is enough.
The corners converge, causing the globe to grow smaller
than all of time times space divided
by every petty difference.
The girl newly dead on the sidewalk says,
"Excuse me, but—
what kind of moral force is brute moral force?"
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.