Thursday, July 26, 2012

Words . . . Words . . . and Words.

What if they held an election and nobody came?

Well, first of all, the election would come to you, if with this twisted phrase I may continue the vein of the Bertold Brecht poem that inspired it. Maybe (more on the maybe later):

What if they gave a war and nobody came?
Whey, then, the war would come to you
He who stays home when the fight begins
And lets another fight for his cause
Should take care:
He who does not take part
In the battle will share in the defeat.
Even avoiding battle will not avoid battle.
Since not to fight for your own cause
Really means
Fighting on behalf of y our enemy’s cause.

Or – and there’s always an ‘or’ in these kinds of things – perhaps you’d like to continue in the vein of the Carl Sandburg poem that inspired the phrase:

The first world war came and its cost was laid on the people.
The second world war — the third — what will be the cost.
And will it repay the people for what they pay?...
The little girl saw her first troop parade and asked,
‘What are those?’
‘What are soldiers?’
‘They are for war. They fight and each tries to kill as many of the other side as he can.’
The girl held still and studied.
‘Do you know ... I know something?’
‘Yes, what is it you know?’
‘Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.’

Or the Allen Ginsburg poem from the 1960s:

What if they gave a war and nobody came?
Life would ring the bells of ecstasy and forever be itself again.

I do know the phrase inspired some awful pop art. And some awful modern poetry as well.

But suppose they held an election and nobody came?

Also an unoriginal question. Google that and Google spits out 160 million responses, almost all of them along the same vein as this:

It would have to be absolutely nobody. Because the bums get one vote, and they’re in.

Or you get something like this:

Not nearly as political a statement as trying to elect Pigasus as president, but just as useful, I suppose.

What’s the point of all this? Nothing, really. A collection of words that pretty much mean nothing.

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