The Misfortune Teller ("Boobie Infotainment")

Boobie Infotainment
(from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America's post-literate retreat to Plato's Cave)

Some chose to place a saintly crown
Upon her dead blonde head,
While others felt relieved at last:
“She’s better off,” they said.
A woman born of others’ needs:
An unreal life she led.

The tabloids built an image up
To vend to those who dreamed
Of two deadbeat aristocrats
Unreasonably teamed:
A fable for frustrated lives
Vicariously beamed

Into those households where the proles
Preferred their rubbish crass
Along with propaganda "news,"
Leaked from and to an ass,
Delivered by celebrities
With tits or balls of brass.

Thus Marilyn, Diana, or
Maid Monica will do --
Along with Michael Jackson and
Dead Elvis Presley, too --
Distracting 'Murcans from the bad
And ugly larger view.

Just so did Bush and Blair concoct
Some “coalition” fun.
They’d have a go at poor Saddam
And set him on the run:
The mad dog and his Englishman
Out in the noonday sun.

This illustrates a lesson that
Some liars never learn:
Do not believe the lie yourself
Or else you’ll surely burn
And find your ashes dumped into
A small ceramic urn.

As Hayakawa wrote, we have
This thing, the Empty Eye:
A Technicolor campfire on
Which Boobies now rely
To dull the pain with images
That pass too swiftly by.

The Eye emitted “content” both
Innocuous and bland
And pushed it past the limits of
What Boobie brains could stand,
Inducing thought rejection all
Across the Boobies' land.

The pictures came and went too fast
To process on the fly,
So Boobies felt upset but they
Could find no reason why.
The only thing they knew is that
They felt compelled to buy.

With nervous systems stunned and jazzed
They couldn’t bring to mind
Some cartoons from the past that told
Of just this Boobie kind:
A salesman of the bait-and-switch
Who robbed a sailor blind.

He’d beg a meal from Popeye then
This Wimpy guy would say:
“I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for
A hamburger today.”
Which meant, of course, that he had no
Intention to repay.

King George the bumbling Boobie, too,
Worked things the selfsame way.
He waged a war on nothing down
But promised that some day
Some other one would come along
And all the costs defray.

“When Tuesday comes, I won’t be here,”
He snickered as he spent.
“I’ll eat my burger now and get
Those lenders to relent
Till I can high-tail out of town
And stiff them for the rent.”

The Infotainment tabloids, though,
Saw no need to retort.
They liked the dead-blonde pictures that
They showed around for sport.
Convinced that only “good news” lies
Deserved a full “report.”

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2006, 2009