On the Road to Progress
Every day the road displays the slaughter
at the altar of progress and prowess;
how fast and far can we travel.
What gets in the way, pays
and paves our path in blood –
human and the other animal offerings.
The guttural roar of empire
smothers the whimpering
of minions in their death roll pleading
S … ave
O … ur
S … ouls
But a corpse is not long in the sun –
a mere crows meal, maggots feast
lubricant for the corpulent tyres
on the limo of civilisation;
Fatboy Slim remixes
You’ve Come Along Way Baby
while Hannibal Lecter’s
appetite is whet
for the silent lambs.
Warning: song contains lyrics that might be considered offensive
19 thoughts on “On the Road to Progress”
Every day I drove these country roads I see roadkill – kangaroos, parrots, feral cats, etc., – and today as I say a decapitated galah I thought about this metaphor for progress.
*shudder* – “What gets in the way, pays
and paves our path in blood” – ain’t that the truth about corporate greed?!
On this subject, I think you’ll find this doco interesting. It’s been on tv here recently –
It will leave you feeling even more convinced that “humans are overrated” 😦
That’s exactly what I’m talking about bb – I haven’t seen it but will try to track down the whole show – thanks bb. I can’t see humans solving this problem – success is defined by countries as a climbing stock market which implies productivity and progess (in a finite world of resources) – we’ll just wreck this planet and maybe find another one to invade (by the ‘lucky’ few) or the problem will be solved for us by a mass culling of the population by such things as starvation, war, nuclear accidents or nuclear terrorism, disease, ocean acidification. It’s extremely disturbing to see what is happening in Greece at the moment with the austerity measures (supposedly necessary for the survival of the economy) – desperate people who can’t access health care or afford to bury their dead, rising fascism, extreme racist violence, the voting in of members of a neo-Nazi movement etc., Really scary stuff!
Yes, what’s happening is Greece is very disturbing, Gabe – and I am seeing shadows of this closer to home now, too. The most dangerous human beings are on opposite ends of the spectrum – the ones with too much power, and the ones left with no options.
The humans-heads-in-the-sand are, for sure,
“a mere crows meal, maggots feast
lubricant for the corpulent tyres
on the limo of civilisation;”
desperate people do desperate things – at least they have some sort of excuse 😉
Don’t know if it’s ‘progress’ or ‘greed’ that is the culprit…which ever…a fine poem.
Thanks Charles – I think your poems have rubbed off on me in the telling of this one. I suppose there can be good progress but it is in the minority at the moment – greed has a lot to do with it, but I don’t think is the key – one of the world’s richest mining magnates is focused constantly on growth for growths sake (rather than for the $’s) – it’s like an obsession with ‘success’ in terms of look how good I am at being an entrepeneur, so hardworking and clever – unlike those stupid poor people who don’t work hard enough and the money is just a symbol of the success. Though I suppose you could say that is greed of another kind. I think humans are programmed from an early age that what counts is things that can be counted – better grades, more money, better clothes, more of everything.
I really liked this poem, because it’s dark and perhaps even relentless, and that really does float my boat. Also the opening stanza is just fantastic – the musicality of the wordplay really is engaging. Well, don’t I sound like a literary toff! But sometimes simply clicking a ‘like’ button isn’t enough.
Bwahahahaha – I think I love you Nigel. Poems just flow out of me when I’m pissed off – lucky I’m pissed off most of the time – haha – that’s why I don’t meditate and try to relax – would destroy the flow. I think I need a good dose of ECT to reboot me at the moment 😉 or maybe I should just stop reading and watching the news. I am predicting that Tony Abbott will be booted from his oppositional position soon (20th of November to be precise and almost certainly wrong – Crikey’s First Dog on the Moon (the cartoon) has a ‘when will Tony go’ competition on twitter at the moment where you guess the date of his removal – hahaha) so if this happens I will immediately go from negative to positive and will think humans are marvellous animals.
Progress is never worth a life…
No it’s not Graham but unfortunately as we all know it was the norm, particularly when the British ‘progressed’ to Australia and America and the landscape ‘progressed’ from hunter gatherer lifestyles to the supposedly more ‘civilised’ growing of crops – and the room for the indigenous peoples shrank.
Is it really progress if we kill so much on the way? What would real progress look like I wonder?
I don’t believe so but many do and they compartmentalise progress to each item (also ignoring what it takes to obtain an item) eg., barrels of oil are counted and priced to the market but in isolation from the real cost to the environment etc., Everyone probably would have a different definition of real progress – I know what mine could include (but many would disagree) – mine would include progress towards a sustainable system of production and ethical products which are created in an equitable and good working conditions for producers of the products and reducing harm to the environment along the way – something along those lines anyhoo 😉 I think if all the billionaires behaved like Bill Gates than we would really have come along way – he has written some very interesting stuff on innovation to alleviate poverty and disease.
True words. And for empires, there are also corporations: and these I mistrust more than anything.
I agree Kate and my use of the word empire is really a coverall for these things, including corporations; thanks 🙂
In outback Queensland road trains have no hope of stopping for even a wandering cow, so they have industrial strength bull bars that simply throw the bodies aside at 100KPH. BTW, there are plenty of fat wedge tailed eagles out there.
We have plenty of fat wedge tailed eagles around here too Stafford – not that this poem is about roadkill 😉
So powerful. I feel really sad about the poor galah. That’s just awful….
Makes my heart sink when I see dead birds – and you really have to watch out for them when you are driving 😦 You don’t see too many parrots and crows killed (too smart) but usually doves etc., Thanks Selma 🙂