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Monday, October 25, 2004

Poetry & Lyric
The Wrong Man’s Burden

with apologies to Rudyard Kipling.
(On second thought, shouldn’t he be the one to apologize?)

Take up the Wrong Man’s burden—
And ne’er apologize;
Just change the war’s objective
And amplify your lies.
There were no kites or music,
Nor W.M.D.s,
But honesty is weakness
And candor, a disease.

Take up the Wrong Man’s burden—
In stubbornness remain—
Deny the looming failure,
Ignore the growing pain;
We’re knee-deep in a quagmire
With those we claimed to free
Who now prefer the old way
To strife and anarchy.

Take up the Wrong Man’s burden—
And stay above the law—
No treaty or convention
Can stop America.
The moral approbation
Of others near and far
Denounce as soft on terror
And cowardice in war.

Take up the Wrong Man’s burden—
Protect the crude ye must;
Partition out the oilfields
To those ye know and trust.
Though Arabs might suspect it
And mind it terribly—
What’s good for Halliburton
Is good for you and me.

Take up the Wrong Man’s burden—
And spill blood as ye please;
Condemn the poor enlisted,
Far from their families,
To dodge the daily bombings
Your policies invite—
From so-called freed Iraqis
Who still put a fight.

Take up the Wrong Man’s burden—
Bear up under the curse
Of recognizing danger
And having made it worse.
Don’t let a guilty conscience,
Or pesky truths or facts,
Persuade ye of the error
Of misplaced counter-attacks.

Take up the Wrong Man’s burden—
And take it all the way;
Too late for doubt or questions—
The world changed on that day.
Suffer no dissenters,
Do what it takes to win—
Now that the torture chambers
Belong to you, not him.

J. Daniel Janzen isn't ashamed to make his living as a copywriter. There's a place in this world for well-crafted press releases and compelling brochures, and besides, a dollar per word is a hell of a lot more than he made working on The Clown's Graveyard for seven years. Dan takes out his frustrations by rejecting miscellaneous submissions to Flak Magazine, and vents any remaining spleen through the indulgence of such sites as Poor Mojo's Almanac(k), Kittenpants, Über, Haypenny, and the one you're reading.