Kate Clinton

Kate Clinton is a faith-based, tax-paying, America-loving political humorist and family entertainer. With a career spanning over 25 years, Kate Clinton has worked through economic booms and busts, Disneyfication and Walmartization, gay movements and gay markets, lesbian chic and queer eyes, and ten presidential inaugurals. She still believes that humor gets us through peacetime, wartime and scoundrel time.


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By Kate Clinton on November 01, 2013

Unlike Sovietologists, I do not claim a deep knowledge of Russian history. But I took no pleasure watching vaunted Sovietologists like Condoleezza Rice being blindsided by the implosion of communist Russia. (OK, a tiny bit.)

Nor did I revel in watching as American anti-communists tried to cover their gaffe by recreating a secretly governed, heavily surveilled, undemocratic America.

Nor was I thrilled to watch Russian former communists impose an oligarchic capitalism that threw average Russian people deeper into grinding poverty.

By Kate Clinton on November 01, 2013

Sometimes I look at all the Apple products in our house -- iPads, iPods, minis, iBooks, laptops, desktops, tangled balls of cords -- and I have iGuilt. How many Chinese youth have I plunged into despair just so I could play Words with Friends? All the crapple is an eyesore.

Despite my Apple-shame, I have a passion for my late-in-life hobby: developing apps. Since high-tech is not really my specialty, I mostly daydream with my head in the cloud.

But I have managed to develop a few. My first app was called "Really?" and it tells you where you were last night.

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By Kate Clinton on November 01, 2013

Oh, don't mind me. I've just been a little cranky, a tad blue. I think it started in the madness of March, with the tenth anniversary of the war in Iraq. It is not just the costs in blood and treasure of the off-the-books war. It is that George W. Bush is not in jail. He might not be able to visit Europe, but he's still not in Gitmo, which remains open, by the way. On the day of the splashy opening ceremonies for the Bush Liebrary, I hid the sharp kitchen knives.

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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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