But I Do Feel Safe by Richard Tornello


Tell us what you thought about the November issue.

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Post November 19, 2009, 08:10:41 PM

But I Do Feel Safe by Richard Tornello

Richard Tornello often has a tough vocab word in the middle of his poems. This time it's schreibmit. Excuse me a moment while I revel in the 21st century so I can actually try to find out what it means, rather than waste 3 hours traveling to the library to find an Oxford Dictionary.

"Writealong"... uh... okay. Moving on.

The contrast is of course obvious. "In the land of the free and where writing about kitties can cost you your job". I refer everyone to this energy drink.

http://www.energyfiend.com/2009/07/big- ... snt-a-joke
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Post November 19, 2009, 10:04:42 PM

Schreibe mit

to write with. Kanns do schreibemit ?

They can't monitor graphite. The pen, the write-with is a weapon against fascism and in this case, unlike the keystrokes of our computers that can be monitored, us private concealed carry weapon, in more ways than one!
RT
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Post November 19, 2009, 10:07:43 PM

typo correction

...is private a concealed carry weapon...
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Post November 20, 2009, 12:16:37 AM

I sense this is about the increasing ways our lives can come under surveillance in today's electronic world, especially where freedoms may be infringed in the name of safety and security. And the fact that so much is monitored may make one feel less than free in a supposedly free society.

However, I worked in retail for a while, years ago. Having worked where I was constantly under the camera's watchful eye, I don't really think about such things anymore. It doesn't really bother me so much.

Just the other day, it was surprising that I noted cameras on traffic lights at a certain intersection. I usually don't even pay attention to the cameras perched in various public places. As a matter of fact, I welcome them in certain areas.

Of course, such things can be abused. And such abuse does worry me.

By the way, "schreibmit" completely throw me. It makes it hard for me to figure out the intent of the work. Otherwise, I like this one.
"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did. I'm going to recite poetry!"

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Post November 20, 2009, 01:08:49 AM

Why do security and freedom have to be diametrically opposed in our world? It's always frightening to think about how prophetic Orwell's 1984 was.

I guess the interesting point about Richard's poem for me, is actually the perspective of the person in the poem, whether that is Richard/the poet himself, or a dramatic persona, that individual does not feel safe because of the watcher, he feels watched and his privacy invaded. He distrusts the watcher. And the irony of the title is that his sense of safety comes from his ability to be subversive, violently subversive, even if only metaphorically through words. Using the German word and concealing some of the meaning of the last line makes the subversiveness he's talking about mysterious and more powerful. Most subversive movements rely on secrecy. If they are not secret they will be quickly discovered and rooted out by the establishment against whom they're being subversive. Richard uses a word whose meaning in not immediately clear to the reader to create that sense of secrecy for the reader. I think it's a good technique that works well here.

Hero
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Post November 20, 2009, 03:41:27 AM

davidsonhero

on the nose!

I could have said my secret pencil or something like that, but the German changed everything.

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Post November 20, 2009, 09:35:08 AM

davidsonhero wrote:Why do security and freedom have to be diametrically opposed in our world? It's always frightening to think about how prophetic Orwell's 1984 was.

I guess the interesting point about Richard's poem for me, is actually the perspective of the person in the poem, whether that is Richard/the poet himself, or a dramatic persona, that individual does not feel safe because of the watcher, he feels watched and his privacy invaded. He distrusts the watcher. And the irony of the title is that his sense of safety comes from his ability to be subversive, violently subversive, even if only metaphorically through words. Using the German word and concealing some of the meaning of the last line makes the subversiveness he's talking about mysterious and more powerful. Most subversive movements rely on secrecy. If they are not secret they will be quickly discovered and rooted out by the establishment against whom they're being subversive. Richard uses a word whose meaning in not immediately clear to the reader to create that sense of secrecy for the reader. I think it's a good technique that works well here.

Hero


Going further, I feel this is the defining topic of the age, because now citizens are snooping on *each other*. The authorities need not even be involved!

Words are more than metaphorically subversive... legislation is nothing but words. Congresscritters love to subvert things by sticking riders into unrelated bills.
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Post November 20, 2009, 12:30:48 PM

snooping

Sort of reminds me of Nazi Germany, North Korea, Maoist China, and all the other places with thought-police and fearful populations.

True Democracy, real Republics are messy places. Locked down order is not part of that political DNA.

If you've noticed, now some countries want to introduce an international blasphemy law that would if, accepted, override the freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights. I thought divine right went the way of the Magna Carta.

If ones faith can't take the heat, maybe one should relook at that faith based structure and figure out why, not legislate speech and writing or are we are going back to the inquisition.

One would hope we would learn from history.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

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