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The Shoelace


Charles Bukowki opens my favorite poems, “The Shoelace,” with the following grim observation:

a woman, a
tire that’s flat, a
disease, a
desire: fears in front of you,
fears that hold so still
you can study them
like pieces on a
it’s not the large things that
send a man to the
madhouse. death he’s ready for, or
murder, incest, robbery, fire, flood…
no, it’s the continuing series of small tragedies
that send a man to the
not the death of his love
but a shoelace that snaps
with no time left …

I’ve been thinking of this poem quite a bit as the wingnuttosphere stoops to tie the shoelace — losing their minds, so to speak, over the Jamil Hussein “scandal.” Treason-in-Defense-of-Slavery Yankee has even issued an impassioned, Althousian plea for attention on behalf of his fellow “citizen-journalists.” Why, he asks, won’t the lefty blogs discuss this almost completely unimportant story about an Iraqi police captain who, though quoted by the Associated Press, may not actually exist?

Allow me to pose a question. Bloggers who accepted the Bush administration’s claims about WMD; who insisted that the Bush administration fulfilled its obligations to the victims of Katrina; who rationalize torture and unlawful detention in facilities known and unknown across the globe; who shamelessly urge a “gloves off” policy in Iraq that would surely generate massive war crimes; who snicker over the garroting of Jose Padilla’s mind; who insist that a peer-reviewed study using conventional public health methods is invalid because it . . . well . . . sounds weird; who rally in opposition to a Flight 93 memorial because they see subliminal Islomfascism in the preliminary designs; and who find the silhouette of George W. Bush in their morning toast — these folks have some form of credibility remaining?

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