The End of The American Century (Ginsberg Challenges and Laments)

Surfacing, fittingly, over the July 4 weekend, this short clip, courtesy Chicago’s MediaBurn Archive. Not completely sure of the date on this, but it is, in every sense, late. Allen speaks, dispirited, defeated (almost), directly to the camera, of the destruction wrought, of culpability/responsibility, with a series of rhetorical questions:

“Those of the moral majority and fundamentalist persuasion, who are worried about showing a little eros or sex on television, how do you feel about showing all this government violence?, do you think that justified? Is that your morality? Is that what it boils down to? and you, middle America, who have applauded all this and given your 82 percent approval to all this – is this what you asked for? is this your democracy? And you intellectuals who put up with it, congressmen, state department officials, CIA workers, look at the wreckage you’ve made, tens of thousands of Kurds perishing on mountainsides (everybody knew that would happen), the Persian Gulf poisoned (everybody knew that would happen), oily snow falling on the Himalayas (that was prophesied before your attack). What have we done and now how are we going to make up for it? Hasn’t this been the end of the American century? Hasn’t this been the termination in the great experiment of American democracy?, hasn’t this been the flowering of Eisenhower’s prophecy that we should be aware of the military-industrial complex? (now it’s the military-industrial-petrochemical-atomic-energy complex – and it’s almost unbeatable).

One comment

  1. Dear Allen- You speak and we listen, and wonder why your words are so easily overlooked. The true kindness in your voice, that special warmth, is your signature, your prophecy, expressing your grief. We have so far to go, this American culture.
    Loving kindness seems to be slow to develop. Thank you to the living people who assembled this archive.

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