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All the same

“They are all the same electron”
    ~ John Wheeler, in a discussion with a fellow physicist as to why electrons behave alike

It’s too bad thirty people had to die
Infected by the meningitis bug
Invading their I.V. prescriptions. Why?
Because complaints about whatever drug
Had been compounded in that filthy shop
Before that day were left unheeded since
Some larger firms’ pet challenge was to stop
Compounding in all smaller venues. Hence
The cronies on the regulating boards
And large firms’ payrolls chose to look aside
(Whereas the pen is stronger than the sword,
In wealthy hands it handles death in stride)
Until those thirty dead became the news
And smoothed new legislation to provide
An end to doctors’ orders for to choose
From any but the larger firms’ production
Which makes sense, since we’ll all of one construction.

The modern mechanisms in our cars
Include wide swaths that block part of our vision,
Because the safety all claim should be ours
Is better served when we’re in a collision,
With a side-impact, than when we can see
Through minimal obstruction of our view.
The legislators all too well know we
Have watchful navigators all too few,
And none so watchful as to doubt a law
That adds expensive workings to the build
Of every new sedan, and a hurrah
To automakers means we won’t get billed
For damages that surely we can’t claim
When we can’t see that we’re all just the same.

With 4G broadband access at the ridgetop
And networked towers rising at the shore
Irradiating all of nature non-stop
In microwaves that through and through make sure
The Internet is live beneath all fingers,
Continuously cached behind all eyes,
Pervasively obtruded by all slingers
Of slant or spam, of fiction, fact, or lies,
There must be none who mind this radiation,
No one who’d ever wish to get away,
Or just a few who need some education.
You’re crazy if this blessing brings dismay.
How come we’re all alike beneath our skin?
Because we’re all the same American?

If we should think that something superficial —
The vegetarian against the carnie,
The office worker versus the official,
The volunteer opposed to work for money,
The country music singer or the rock star,
The chef who adds some salt or drips some honey,
The traveler who rides nearby or flies far,
The Hebrew or the Muslim or the Gentile,
The driver of the luxury or cheap car,
The ninety-nine or the high-pay percentile —
Is that which should ensure our own uniqueness,
We’ll disregard conformity we crave
When crass manipulation — our real weakness —
Of sentiment, by those who claim to know
What’s good for us have means to make us think
They’re right, though really they’re naught but a show.
Just turn it off, and in but just an eyeblink
We’ll be unique in fact, not just in name;
But till that day, we’ll all be just the same.

    June 2014

Thanks always returns

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