Monthly Archives: April 2007

headlines: april’s last day remixes on the same old song

Dear Readers,


You can do it, I know you can.  Another deep and yet not deep enough day in the news. Keep reading for today’s Hip Hop based commentary on the New York Times headlines by Political Poet Naxal.  That’s me.  I flips the news like you never seen.  Enjoy.

Short Riffs: Headlines Remixed

Note: The following poems are found art, based on gleaning words from April 30, 2007, Section A headlines and Ad banners, which are news in their own way (ie. because they paid).

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4.30.07 #1

All the News/That’s Fit to Print/Rule Out a/Quiet/Search for Faith

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4.30.07 #2

Expensive/Open Secret/Iraq Violence/U.S./Seeks to Persuade/Avoid/Collapses/Flowing/Loss

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4.30.07 #3 (ads)

I Need Your Diamonds/Cultured Pearls/Golden Fleece/Dare To Wear/Custom Clothing/What Are You Made Of?/Make Bids/Own the Room/Matter

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4.30.07 #4 (ads and headlines)

In/War/New York’s Premier/Classes/Search/Seek/Turn to/Creating a/Chanel-Cartier-Gucci-Louis Vutton-Brooks Brothers/Stir

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4.30.07 #4

P.E. Classes Turn to Video Game/Reliable/Fake/Health Plan/That Works Legs, Not Thumbs

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 4.30.07 #5

Quiet/Candidate/Learns/Talks/Common/Conversations Like These Sell Out Fast/Democrats/An Unlikely/Institution/Obama Keeps His Faith Close/Audacity and Hope/Test Drive/America’s/Rule

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Stay tuned for more up to date news from political poet Naxal.

Peace,

N

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headlines: Photo Propoganda, A Prince, His Boundaries, and Chemo

Dear Readers,

Another deep and yet not deep enough day in the news. Keep reading for today’s Hip Hop based commentary on the New York Times headlines by Political Poet Naxal. That’s me. I flips the news like you never seen. Almost on the Daily. Enjoy.

Table Of Contents
Chapter One: Tipping Point-Saudi Arabia’s Growing Dissent and How It’s All About the Boundaries
Chapter Two: Admissions

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Chapter One: Tipping Point-Saudi Arabia’s Growing Dissent and How It’s All About the Boundaries

The headline in the first column of the front page of the Sunday, April 29, 2007 New York Times reads: As Saudi Steps Surprise U.S., A Prince Is Sounding Off Key.

The headline is under a horribly beautiful photo, unrelated but so related, taken from the birds eye view of a sharp shooter, poised behind a gorgeous iron wrought screen, a military outpost, a prison guard tower, whatever you want to call it, I’d rather not be looking at Iraqi people walking, bicycling, talking, handling business getting from point a to point b on another miraculous day in their hood on their street, no I’d rather not be looking at brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, from the rifle poised perspective of some young buck soldier with too few options and too many pre-packaged conclusions about who, what, and why. The photo makes me feel like the New York Times wants to unite its readers right there in that outpost, that prison guard tower, and bump that, it ain’t gonna be me that falls for that abuse of press power bullshit.

Once again, the headline: As Saudi Steps Surprise U.S., A Prince Is Sounding Off Key.

Prince Bandar Bin Sultan is the nephew of King Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia. The Prince has been the Bush fam’s closest Saudi Arabian ally for a minute. According to the Times, Prince Bandar “has mentored Mr. Bush and his father through three wars.” Three wars against his own kind. But lately, Prince Bandar, his uncle the K-I-N-G, and other top oil officials have been more willing to I’ve-had-it-up-to-here-with-you regarding the Bush led 21st century colonization of the Middle East. Three weeks ago King Abdullah was speaking at a meeting of Arab heads of state in Riyadh and managed to “condemn the American invasion of Iraq as ‘an illegal foreign occupation.'” But Prince Bandar’s departure from rank and file support of White House policy has taken the form of a decidedly shakier stance.

While the Arab world’s richest are beginning in earnest to brew up a boiling rage against the Bush administration for its continued genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan amongst other places, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has been slower to get up to speed. He keeps telling the White House I can make ya look good, when he either can’t or doesn’t want to, or both. Till the present day, Prince Bandar continues to promise the Bush fam that he can help them out in their now uphill battle to appear as though they are doing something worthwhile in the Middle East.

But Prince Bandar’s word can no more be his bond. Uncle King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia aint havin it. As a result, the once genuinely nurtured friendship between Prince Bandar Bin Sultan and the Bush fam is quickly souring.

Take this past February. Remember reading about Secretary of State Conoleeza Rice taking an epic trip across the Middle East to help patch things up? Before she left D.C., Prince Bandar made one of his stop by’s at the White House to talk to his homie George about what uncle King Abdullah would do to make Rice’s trip as fab as possible. Specifically, the Prince promised George that Rice’s trip to the Middle East would be awash in the glow of a glorious photo opp, showing Rice between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, “peacekeeping.” All it woulda took for that globally covered lie to go down was Saudi Arabia shunning Hamas. But King Abdullah decided against that divide and conquer move, and instead chose not to force Hamas to recognize Israel and give up all armed resistance. The White House lost out on its photo opp. And the White eyes of the Bush fam narrowed. A chill spread into the hot Brown coals of Prince Bandar’s heart. But we’re still friends aren’t we question mark began to untwine and reveal the under belly cord of mortally challenging conditional love.

The Prince seems like a guy I could relate to. Super thoughtful, real friendly, looking for love in all the wrong places. Around two years ago, the Prince heard Colin Powell’s wife, Alma, drop the rich and fab tidbit that she soooo missed a luxury car (a 1995 Jag) that her and Colin had traded in for another ride. Some time later, Colin Powell resigns from his post as Secretary of State. Next thing you know (two days later to be exact) Prince Bandar is at Colin Powell’s door (unannounced) with a 1995 Jag identical to the one the Powell’s used to have. Like hey I just wanted to drop by at this important time, and here’s the keys. You know, a thoughtful lil gift for his peeps. His peeps. They are his friends conditionally, until the Prince decides to stop selling out his own people to the largest contributor of genocide in the Arab world in my generation. Then what happens? According to the Times, the Powell’s recently traded away the Jag so thoughtfully given to them by the dear Prince. Which is tacky as all get out. I’ll bet a million that Alma is boiling mad at Colin about that shit, I mean, twice he traded in a car she was feelin, hell to the no! So why’d they ditch the Jag? Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has begun to become a less reliable inside informant. Period point blank.

Point blank is right. Watch out Prince, the Royal Bush Fam don’t like it when their foreign brown skinned diplomatic darlings graduate from an elite institution of imperialist learning and decide to get all grown and nuanced and new age Boston Tea Party on that ass. Bin Laden for example. Sadaam Hussein for example. Prince Bandar Bin Sultan graduated from the Royal Air Force College in London. One of his “friends” from college and his biographer (note to self: Even Princes Have To Learn How To Pick Better Friends), William Simpson, gets to end the article with this ominous quote: “Don’t expect the man, because he happens to have an American background, not to play the game for his home team…The home team is Saudi Arabia.” Ouch.

A former Bush administration ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Robert Jordan, indicated to the Times that Prince Bandar Bin Sultan “does not want to go down in history as Mr. Bush’s Arab Tony Blair.” Damn.

The Prince keeps being obviously challenged in setting boundaries with his pal George Bush. The Times reporters who investigated this story (Fattah, Slackman, and Weisman) said Prince Bandar “has a longtime penchant for leaving room in his dispatches for friends to hear what they want to hear.” Well shit, I hear that. It’s hard to start doing what you know is right, only to be misunderstood by loved ones who selfishly interpret your self respect as insulting. Can I get a Amen, a Hari Om, a Ho from my folks??

So what happens when paid-in-the-shade Middle Eastern allies of the Bush administration begin to renege on their implicit contract to rubber stamp, rubber shudder and stay quiet while Cowboys kill more Indians?

A chance.

A chance.

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Chapter Two: Admissions

Admission: There’s another article on the front page that scares the shit out of me and I don’t know how to comment on it. But Dad, I hope you’re still reading. The headline reads: Lingering Fog of Chemotherapy Is No Longer Ignored As An Illusion. My Dad is undergoing chemo right now. Got two more poison treatments to go even though the cancer is no longer detactable in his body. And he’s been saying his head don’t feel right. Got two more to go even though. My dad is a scientist, a PhD. He once told me about this cancer convention that he went to, where he was sitting at the table with MD’s who were trading stats like baseball cards on the number of chemo’s they had administered to patients. Not how many people that had cured or helped, but how many chemo’s they had managed to administer. That was his clear analysis. And now my father, the immigrant, the survivor, has little umph left to advocate for himself around I’ve had enough and this is enough and I won’t accept anymore of your posion. Even though his doctors already took him “accidentally” and bone chillingly unnecessarily to the brink of death right before they blasted him with the chemo doses he has still fought back enough to heal. Currently, my father is willing to go along with the rest of their perscription for his healing. I don’t know if this is as scary as it feels. But I’m thinking it won’t be the chemo that keeps the cancer away. It will be the truth. A swiftly tilting planet departure from denial. I don’t know how to comment on this article. So this is what I said instead.

Admission: My lil nephew Ahbinav Sharma-Mall is waitlisted, pending admissions at Stanford U. I’m sooooo proud of him. Go Gucchu!

Admission: I’m doing my best to make this a daily blog. But it ain’t always. So what should I call it while I’m strengthening my practice around daily-ness? A regular blog? A weekly blog? Any suggestions folks?

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Stay tuned for more hip hop inspired news from political poet Naxal.

Peace.

headline: ask your best question and congress raises a largely symbolic fist

Dear Readers,

Another deep and yet not deep enough day in the news. Keep reading for today’s Hip Hop based commentary on the New York Times headlines by Political Poet Naxal. That’s me. I flips the news like you never seen. Enjoy.

“War Bill Passes House, Requiring An Iraq Pullout”

On May 1, 2003, George Bush gave a press conference on the war in Iraq from an aircraft carrier. At this photo opp, he stood in front of a sign which boldly proclaimed, “Mission Accomplished.” 4 years later we are still at battle. And today, in response to the war with no end, Congress narrowly passed its strongest measure against the war. The House bill approved $124 billion for war spending on the condition that troops begin a full withdrawal starting on October 1st. And today the Senate will consider and most likely approve a similar measure, conditioning nearly a 100 billion dollars of war money on a Fall 2007 pullout. Democrats and their allies who are creating print and broadcast media to garner supporter for these measures are relying heavily on the juxtaposition of Bush’s 4 year old “Mission Accomplished” message with the ongoing war. For example, the Times reported today that American’s United for Change has a commerical which shows repeat clips of Bush at the May 1, 2003 press conference with following message, “He was wrong then. And he’s wrong now. Its the will of one nation versus the stubborness of one man.” Hmmm.

Look, I’m glad Congress passed the measure, and I’m heartbroken that Bush has veto power (cheesy right, still heartbroken after I *been* known this Democracy is a “Travesty of a Mockery of a Sham”-Ward Churchill.) and will no doubt use it to stop the Bill from being enacted. But given the overwhelming amount of power centralized in the Executive these days (Big Ups to Mumia and KPFA for helping bring clarity to the import of the Patriot Act on this particular point), I think an extended analysis of these Pull Out Measures will be a distraction. Will it be Congress that ultimately ends the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan? Probably not.

Okay, so on to something interesting: Questions.

I don’t think it makes sense for Democrats and their allies to play up the whole Mission Accomplished thing. Who’s to say that sign behind Bush was wrong?

Check it, sometimes I catch myself getting hooked on a question, big or small, only to discover that the answer I’m looking for needs me to be asking a more pointed or more nuanced question. So lately I’ve been asking myself: What am I really trying to ask here? What is my Best Question? Cause the hope is, by getting closer to the best questions, I’m making room for the answers I need. Name that band: “You Can’t Always Get Watcha Want…But Ya Just Might Get Watcha Need!”

On the Mission Accomplished spin: I would argue that the first question to ask is: Whose Mission? Come on now, somebody’s Mission in the Middle East has f’sho been accomplished. Haven’t Bush and Cheney and Bechtel and Halliburton made more money/colonized more ancient flows/paved more of the world/stunted the lives of more little girls? I swear I be tryna keep it light, but that’s the truth y’all, that’s the truth. Mission Accomplished.

Next question I want to ask is directed towards the Democrat identified slangers of this ‘lil spin: What Mission Has Not Been Accomplished? What hasn’t America done that it was for real supposed to do? Bring freedom to more nations? Survey says: Wrong! Bring stability to more nations? Survery says: Nope. Someone tell me what Mission we were *legitimately* on in Afghanistan and Iraq that was Not accomplished. And while you’re at it, please make sure you are asking your best questions. 🙂

Stay tuned for more political poetry and political commentary from Naxal, aka Roopa Singh.

Free all prisoners of state violence and personal silence!

Peace,
NaXaL