POEM: Model Citizen

Rowan was a model citizen
One-eighth scale
Painstakingly posed
With animating make up
Almost lifelike

This short poem, “Model Citizen,” is a reflection on the -like which should only be mistaken for at one’s own peril — or, in this poem’s case, at one’s ’s own peril.  The quo and the powers that be provide a straightforward framework, including incentives and disincentives, to behave in a certain way.  This is a large part of what we call .  Busy-ness and business are dominant aspects of Western civilization.  Unfortunately, being busy, or just seeming busy, isn’t necessarily linked with human betterment or .  Like said, “There is more to than increasing its speed.”  Surely, the capitalist business and consumer feeds the need for speed, ever-increasing “industriousness” to grow the and standard of living.  Perhaps the best example of why this path is perilous is the that a “successful” growth of worldwide standard of material living requires an increasingly unsustainable exploitation and consumption of natural resources, and concomitant waste.  If such growth is not to be a fatal planetary cancer, there needs to be wholesale changes in the way we do business, and busy-ness, as relates to the urgency of the situation.  We cannot settle for -light or lifelike.  Such citizen posers may be the of us all.

This poem points to the role of good in creating, maintaining, and sustaining healthy communities and a healthy planet.  In good , is the process and the is the goal.  Neither nor the can reasonably be entrusted to elites, whether these elites are , business, technocratic, or .  It is precisely these elites which have an interest in selling us something other than the .  The nature of existence, driven by the profit motive, has brought us to this place.  The common good is anathema to profit as king.  The unjust advantage held by elites is what keeps us on this perilous trajectory.  Nominal is a common tool used to fool average into accepting something less than the common good.  There is a great divide between elites, who are generally viewed as portraits of “success” — a mere fantasy for many — and the masses who would be greatly advantaged by securing the common good.  Of course, in affluent societies, the “middle class” comprise most of the so-called “model .”  Their advantage in the larger scheme of things is sufficient to buy into the quo, if not the powers that be.  The amorphous common good of some possible life is bypassed for the reasonable access to the concrete benefits of living in a materially affluent society.  Most simply put: if I’ve got mine, then risking that for something less certain seems like a bad bet.  So we settle.  In terms of , made nominal, this appears as that oft-too-common choice of the lesser of two evils, choosing between two elites who have no real interest in the common good, other than to pacify the masses and maintain stability and predictability.  Just note the language used with the utmost importance regarding financial interests and “markets” needing “certainty.”  Predictability has many nice facets to it, but in this case, the greatest certainty is that the will grow richer and the poor will grow poorer.  When this almost- formula receives little complaint or , it is a sure diagnostic that you are richer than poorer, or at least a committed wannabe richer.  In the end, this poem is a call to the poorer masses to throw off the illusions brought by nominal (in a ) and the modest temporary incentives to it safe as a “model citizen” only one-eighth scale.  Then, we can join together in a much truer democracy able to secure the common good for all — yes, even the richer.

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