By Anonymous (not verified) on February 14, 2009

It is the stuff of nightmares. You hear the shabby shuffle of their somnambulant stutter and your skin begins to crawl. To see their haunted hollow eyes on the cable news shows taking no notice of their surroundings is a spiral straight into terror. The worst part is the cries of the children as they cower behind couches, hands over their ears blocking out the monotonous intonations of the mind numbing mantra- “Tax Cuts. Tax Cuts. Tax Cuts.” They are the Tax Cut Zombies from the Planet No!, and they are not of this earth. Okay, maybe they are, but they sure don’t live in the real world.

Citizens of America, stay in your homes. The Minority leadership unleashed their legions of virtual undead to battle the White House’s economic stimulus package with a soul sapping single- mindedness and they’re still out there. “Tax cuts- good. Spending- bad.” The only three Senators to cross the aisle were the two ladies from Maine, who in the privacy of their own homes, are rumored to dress up as Democrats, and Arlen Specter, who pulled a Blagojevich, trading his support for inclusion of a pet project. But a good pet project. As opposed to all those bad pet projects. Which get called pork. By the pigs. Go figure.

In a courageous attempt to find common ground, Barack Obama risked infection from the mindless drones, meeting them en masse; yet not a single soul was able to summon the will to escape from the voodoo spell placed by Rep. John Boehner (R- Hell). The most frightening thing is not the glee they take in their current state, but how good they are at it. Like they were born to drag their feet.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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