14 April 2001
Mike L, Anne B, Bob P, William G, Maiko C, Sascha M, Paul K

In Defense of Saturday Night Live

Wait: what?
Beorge Gush was elected?
When did that happen?

You find out the damnedest things on late night TV.
You'd have never believed it otherwise.

Schweaty Wieners, Chinese Photocopies of secret military documents, Alec Baldwin.
All evidence to the contrary, a delicate balance that supports the weight
Charles Nelson Reilly

Commercialized excess coming to the
Prospect Avenue near you
Pardon my global warming
Cockroaches swarming
Near Tod's run-down property

alec beorge batterthwaite -- phenombomen-al. gore-bush beautiful mindlesssssssnesssss.
saturday night liberace.  politics...
when three meld together.

Saturday Night Live is an excuse
a handy excuse, to sit around with friends
and laugh
and it's not a meeting
there is no agenda
but there is laughter
and sitting together in the same room
enjoying the neighborhood
walking over in the warm air
because it's spring and the moon is
quite bright tonight
and there are hyacinths
to be surreptitiously harvested on the way home
I hear they can smell up the whole house
with the windows open
and maybe SNL on the TV
with the borrowed rabbit ears
but if anyone asks what I'm doing
I'm just watching TV
otherwise it's traitorous.

I require laughter weekly,
and I'll take my laughs in the gutter if I have to.

The musician has very short hair and the commercials fade into one flashy neverending blur

What did you do for the Rand Corporation?
Aaack, aahhckk..aaaack.
Was the government involved?
Did your work impact the economy in any way?
Aaahhk...yaaahh, yaahhack.
Will it affect our standing in the mathematics of tears?
Umm... no.
Very well, then.  Assuming you can shave the back of my head satisfactorily, you may be on your way.

[Tender light of a nuclear dawn
Flashes over the horizon
Past Hainan
And through human


Rand?  I set up methadone treatment sites.
"Drug treatment process study" -- look it up if you don't believe.
Methadone works -- it's one of the most effective treatments.
The people I met were so nice. Like politicians.

"Rand? Ayn Rand?" I stuffed the beer back into the desk drawer. SNL was going to have to wait.

"That's right. Rand.  Al's old flame. Seems she's been seen skulking around down Argentina way. Boys down there say her hand's all OVER this new FTAA thing they've been dealing with. I know she's dead, but the resemblance is just uncanny..."

The dame had a point. The tattered scraps of legalese she pulled from her suit jacket bore all the signs - turgid prose, Pollyanna-ish rosy assumptions built into the models, the hoary old refrain that greed is good, the one true virtue of man. I asked where she got the goods. We'd been all OVER the net, scouring the home page of the US trade representatives, without much to show for it. I was beginning to think I'd lost my touch.

"These? Scored 'em off of the Weekend Update. Looks like someone up there finally realized the airwaves are to be used for the public interest, and cleverly worked the regulations into the latest joke about Puffy Combs. Took us a while to break the code, but when we went to track down the informant, he was dead. One too many Clinton jokes.  That's where you come in..."

Dead as a rotten squirrel offered up fricasseed to a family of four with a tax cut. Yes sir, it looked like I had myself a case. I switched off the TV, grabbed the beer, and tossed it into my duffel bag with my French-English dictionary and a couple of oversized puppets. Looks like I was on my way to Quebec City.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books