Thursday, October 3, 2013

We Here at Progressive Health Would Like to Thank You for Being One of the Generous Few Who've Promised to Bequeath Your Vital Organs to Whoever Needs Them. Now We'd Like to Give You the Opportunity to Step Out Far in Front of the Other Donors by Acting a Little Sooner than You Expected, Tomorrow, to Be Precise, the Day You're Scheduled to Come In for Your Yearly Physical, or: Sixty-Four Today

Yes, I played these a few months ago, a WFMU DJ put Buckingham in my head which always means a cascade. Forgive me, I love Lindsey Buckingham's music, and today is his 64th birthday, meaning I'm old too.

  • I've friends who've told me, friends who've hinted, friends who've told me by not telling me, how pissed off they are that I am not sufficiently angered at and not sufficiently blaming Tea Party Republican congresspersons and their constituency for the current clusterfuck. Lordy, the harangue from my obamaphile Hilltop friend yesterday. I'm not reciting and/or re-paraphrasing the old arguments. My damnlessness is catalyzed primarily and powerfully by my revulsion at the prospect of reciting and/or re-phrasing the old arguments of the rationale for my apostasies. Again, to those loved ones and friends personally affected, I sympathize that you're fucked, I hope you are unfucked soon.


  • PICARD: You let their emotion sway you.
  • SPOCK: On the contrary, I am pursuing the most logical course.
  • PICARD: You are as sceptical as I am. Is it logical to ignore your own good sense?
  • SPOCK: I fear the influence of Sarek has colored your attitudes, Captain, toward reunification and perhaps toward me.
  • PICARD: That is the second time you have accused me of speaking with another man's voice. It's true he will always be a part of me. His experience, his spirit. But I speak with my own voice, not his.
  • SPOCK: Curious that I should hear him so clearly now that he is dead. Is it possible that I have brought my argument with Sarek to you, Captain? If so, I apologize.
  • PICARD: Is it so important to you to win one last argument?
  • SPOCK: No, it is not. But it is true that I will miss the arguments. They were, finally, all that we had.


Carl Dennis

We here at Progressive Health would like to thank you   
For being one of the generous few who've promised   
To bequeath your vital organs to whoever needs them.   

Now we'd like to give you the opportunity   
To step out far in front of the other donors   
By acting a little sooner than you expected,   

Tomorrow, to be precise, the day you're scheduled   
To come in for your yearly physical. Six patients   
Are waiting this very minute in intensive care   

Who will likely die before another liver   
And spleen and pairs of lungs and kidneys   
Match theirs as closely as yours do. Twenty years,   

Maybe more, are left you, granted, but the gain   
Of these patients might total more than a century.   
To you, of course, one year of your life means more   

Than six of theirs, but to no one else,   
No one as concerned with the general welfare   
As you've claimed to be. As for your poems—

The few you may have it in you to finish—
Even if we don't judge them by those you've written,   
Even if we assume you finally stage a breakthrough,   

It's doubtful they'll raise one Lazarus from a grave   
Metaphoric or literal. But your body is guaranteed   
To work six wonders. As for the gaps you'll leave   

As an aging bachelor in the life of friends,   
They'll close far sooner than the open wounds   
Soon to be left in the hearts of husbands and wives,   

Parents and children, by the death of the six   
Who now are failing. Just imagine how grateful   
They'll all be when they hear of your grand gesture.   

Summer and winter they'll visit your grave, in shifts,   
For as long as they live, and stoop to tend it,   
And leave it adorned with flowers or holly wreaths,   

While your friends, who are just as forgetful   
As you are, just as liable to be distracted,   
Will do no more than a makeshift job of upkeep.   

If the people you'll see tomorrow pacing the halls   
Of our crowded facility don't move you enough,   
They'll make you at least uneasy. No happy future   

Is likely in store for a man like you whose conscience   
Will ask him to certify every hour from now on   
Six times as full as it was before, your work   

Six times as strenuous, your walks in the woods   
Six times as restorative as anyone else's.   
Why be a drudge, staggering to the end of your life   

Under this crushing burden when, with a single word,   
You could be a god, one of the few gods   
Who, when called on, really listens?


  1. re Progressive Health - cf. organ donor scene from monty python's the meaning of life

    re Political Economy of Zombies cf. Jonathan Coulton's Re: Your Brains

    re The End of Public Space see also

  2. LB's always been a secret guilty pleasure. Love "Crystal" from Buck/Nicks & "Frozen Love". First record I ever spun on the radio late at night. Thanks. "Second Hand News" too

    Yeah, it's all we've got. I've tried to make some sense of the whole thing. Not a partisan positional emotive statement, but a rational analytic one. That's how I roll. Better jump now, cause I know I'm gonna' lose you on the next one.

  3. I haven't actually abused you (I think I made one obliquely snippy comment in response to something obliquely poseur) because you haven't made the mistake of blaming, or seeming to blame, both sides. Nor have you linked to anyone who did, as far as I've seen. And one of the links above seems more or less reality-centered. The both-sides blame is as false an equivalence as I've ever seen.

    I actually don't have a problem with that helmetball thing. Private enterprise is stepping in to solve a problem, on its own dime. Misplaced charity, sure.But it's hilarious that that Air Scouts can't fly themselves to BWI.

    I'll say some more partisan stuff over at my place when I have the energy. Ba'al knows I have the time.