An Empire in Decline

1 Jul

we drove through Mississippi
(em, eye, crooked letter, crooked letter, eye… crooked letter, crooked letter, eye… hump letter hump letter eye)
at night
sliced through the Delta like I’d sliced through a foreign Delta long before in another country with another travelling partner
save for the usual gargantuan mosquitoes and trumpeting bullfrogs
(that trip he pulled on a rope attached to the boat while i was sat there like royalty)
i went on and on about the decline of the empire of the great United States
about the shameless exploitation of the poor in India and Bangladesh and Indonesia sewing soccer balls and tennis shoes for us
about the evil of Capitalism which is not much better than colonialism
not much better than what the Brits did in Burma let’s say
at the beginning of the 20th Century or in India
but the surest sign of decay (i said)
is the careless way in which we now treat our own language
and the excuses we all make for our un-educated handling of grammar and syntax
that is the last step on the obtuse slope to mediocrity:
the savage obduracy and contempt for argot
Valeriu called me a snob obscurantist an elitist a pompous immigrant
and then we pointed the hood north toward Memphis
toward Graceland

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