Magazine article The Nation

The Beat Goes On

Magazine article The Nation

The Beat Goes On

Article excerpt

The Beat Goes On

Last week was a lively one in The Nation's continuing celebration of its 125th anniversary. On April 25 Katha Pollitt and literary editor Elsa Dixler spoke on feminism and the left before 250 people at Smith College. On April 27 columnist Alexander Cockburn talked to 500 people at a gathering at Syracuse, New York, on the press and the "new world order." On April 28 a banquet honoring the magazine and its editor and, not incidentially, raising funds for the intern program was held in New York City Twenty speakers trooped to the rostrum to pay tribute before an audience of more than 200 friends and supporters at the Century Club. Among those present were people who played an important role in The Nation's past--Linda Storrow, associate publisher under the late James J. Storrow Jr., the previous owner; Alan Sagner, a silent partner without whom the Fish-Navasky era might not have happened; and Hamilton Fish. Publisher Arthur Carter acted as emcee, introducing a balanced ticket of notable pols, including a former presidential candidate, the Mayor of New York, most of the city's top elected officials, the state Attorney General and two members of Congress, as well as a book bag of eminent literati. The lineup symbolized the melding of politics and literature in The Nation's pages. Epitomizing that union was the following poem, composed for the occasion by Allen Ginsberg and read--or rather sung--by the author.

JUST SAY YES CALYPSO

When Schwarzkopf's Father busted Iran's Mossadegh They put in the Shah and his police the Savak They sucked up his oil, but got Ayatollah's dreck So Thirty years later we hadda arm Iraq

Though he used poison gas, Saddam was still our man But to aid the Contras, hadda also arm Iran

Mesopotamia was doing just fine Till the Ottoman Empire blew up on a mine They had apple orchards in Eden and Ur Till the Snake advised George Bush "This land is yours"

The Garden foul'd up, brimstone came down In the good old days we had plenty ozone

The British & Americans & Frenchmen all Took concessions in the Garden So the Garden took a fall Got addicted to Emirs and their fossil fuels Police state Sheiks & Intelligence ghouls

The Sphinx lost his nose, acid ate the Parthenon Pretty soon the Persian Gulf'll be dead and gone

The Saudi desert bloomed with oil pipe lines To push the auto industry It's yours & it's mine LA and Osaka got a habit on gas In a bulletproof Caddie you can really move your ass

LA and Osaka got a habit on gas In a bulletproof Caddie you can really move your ass

From a Mickey Mouse war on cocaine & crack We dropped a million bombs on the kids in Iraq How many we killed nobody wants to tell It'd give a lousy picture of a war they gotta sell

When they wave a yellow ribbon & an oily flag Just say Yes or they'll call you a Fag When they wave a yellow ribbon & an oily flag Just say yes or else they'll call you a fag

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