Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Thrasher In January
I was living in the City of Cardiff when Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States. The general opinion was that citizens of the United States were an unnaturally cheerful bunch who waved flags and who reckoned the British Isles qualified as the Near East. Then when they elected a film star as their king, it was obvious to us they'd all gone quite insane and the world would shortly end. His Evil Empire Speech, some of us thought a comedy routine, but more likely we were enthused by the certainty this man and his underlings would further concentrate wealth, as some theories predicted, then at least something could be called true.
At the beginning of the 1980's in South Wales, mines were shedding miners, steel was already gone to Japan, I think. Our iron foundries dying, our factories shuttered, the middle class still obsessed by poor opportunity after being so well behaved at school. We had elected Margaret Thatcher who wanted us to be Great again. And I could go on into the torrid account of how our great leader fell when she called for a Flat Tax which she decided was a Community Tax, but which in fact was a Poll Tax, and which because of tradition meant rioting. But, I'd like to announce, I am one citizen of the United States who has just seen a Brown Thrasher in January out there on the Solstice Path and I have priorities which do not include listening to what used to be called pretenders, but who now are called candidates, sing.