Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Call for Papers

April 9, 2018

Language and Meaning in the 21st Century

Sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics

Co-Sponsored by the

New York Society for General Semantics

Media Ecology Association

October 26-28, 2018

Princeton Club

15 West 43rd Street

New York, New York

Featuring the 66th Annual

Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture

to be delivered by

Diane Ackerman

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us

Send papers, proposals, and inquiries by September 15, 2018 to

mandklevin@aol.com

or contact

Martin H. Levinson, President of the Institute of General Semantics

c/o Institute of General Semantics, 72-11 Austin Street #233

Forest Hills, New York 11375

212.729.7973 (voice) / 718.793.2527 (fax)

 

Advertisements

The Business of Love

March 30, 2018

By Martin H. Levinson

 

My love for you is like an

IPO yearning to gain traction,

a center of excellence,

an industry model hoping

to make inroads against

your pushback, your reluctance

to roll out your affections and

operationalize a paradigm shift

in your core-caring competencies

to allow a white knight to bring

to the table seamless adoration

and customer service dedication

to disambiguate your every desire,

set the night on fire, and make the

best damn omelet you’ve ever tasted

when we ramp up in the morning.

 

A 21st Century Cri de Coeur

March 22, 2018

By Martin H. Levinson

 

I thought forever my existence

would be the same / that I was

a player in a predictable game /

but some things have happened

that’s given me pause / Margie has

left me for a guy named Claude /

my work at the factory’s gone up in

smoke / automation has made my

job a joke / my landlord said that

he wants me out / the building’s

gone co-op / what’s that all about? /

It seems you can’t count on things

to stay the course / life’s not like

still water / but a bucking horse.

The Worst President

February 24, 2018

A couple of weeks ago a survey of 170 presidential historians put Donald Trump in last place—behind even James Buchanan, whom many historians blame for failing to stop the Civil War. That led me to think about a comment that Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. the preeminent political historian of our time, made about American presidents, which was this, “President serve us as inspirations, and they also serve us as warnings. They provide bad examples, as well as good.”

As to the bad examples, the Supreme Court said over one hundred years ago that “The nation has no right to expect that it will always have wise and humane rulers, sincerely attached to the principles of the Constitution. Wicked men, ambitious of power, with hatred of liberty and contempt of law, may fill the place once occupied by Washington and Lincoln.” You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know such a person is sitting in the White House right now.

The GOP Serenity Prayer

February 5, 2018

By Martin H. Levinson

 

God grant me the

serenity to accept

the facts I can easily

change; the cynicism

to convince others

they are true; and

the wisdom to know

next to nothing.

Metonymy Gone Wild

May 13, 2017

By Martin H. Levinson

 

Beneath the rule of men entirely great

The pen is mightier than the sword.

—From the play Richelieu;

                        Or the Conspiracy

by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

 

Cardinal Richelieu fictitiously said the pen is

mightier than the sword which makes me

wonder if that noble cleric ever received a

 

serious wound from a blade that punctured his

skin and caused profuse pain as the object of

his disaffection sliced through muscles, organs

 

and epithelial tissue giving great distress to a

royal corpus that will someday enter heaven

if it does good works though countless clergy

 

say works are useless for getting into heaven and

atheists say there is no heaven, which means if

they are right that the Cardinal will simply decay

 

over time once he perishes from his stab wound if

that laceration is a lethal one and not just an injury

that will spurt blood all over his eminence’s

 

handsome red ecclesiastical robes and throb like

a mouthful of infected rotting teeth for droves of

dolorous days and numerous nightmarish nights

 

and lead him to cry out at the top of his

First Minister’s lungs I was wrong!

To get one’s point across the sword,

 

which can cut you to the quick

and leave you dead or real sick, is

far superior to any writing instrument.

The Election is “Rigged”

November 5, 2016

Donald Trump is right the election is rigged. But he is wrong in the direction of the rigging. It is rigged against Hillary Clinton and here are the “riggers”:

The first one is the “liberal mainstream media” that for the first sixteen months of his run gave Donald Trump a pass while he spun obvious and bold-faced lies that they didn’t call him on because those lies created conflict, which was good for TV and news ratings.

The second one is the Russians, who hacked Democratic Party emails to help swing the election for Trump.

The third “rigger” is FBI director James Comey, who in July stated there was not enough evidence in Hillary Clinton’s email to prosecute her on, but slammed her anyway, and has now, against the advice of the Department of Justice, intruded in the election by informing Congress that the FBI has found evidence that may or may not be significant.

Hillary may lose the election because of the “rigged campaign” against her and if she does I’m pretty sure that unlike her Republican rival, for the good of country, she will make a concession speech and not keep the nation in suspense.

National Poetry Month

April 4, 2016

I offer the following poem to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of National Poetry Month.

After Billy Collins

by Martin H. Levinson

Kudos to those

heroically manning

the ramparts of

accessible verse,

for clarity is courage

and efforts to convey

lyric thought with

coherent invention

and sharp intention

is a godsend, like

Billy Collins who says

poetry fills him with joy,

leading him to rise like

a feather in the wind,

and poetry fills him with

sorrow, leading him to

sink like a chain flung

from a bridge, and the

trouble with poetry is

it encourages the writing

of more poetry, which

is a problem I

can relate to.

 

Rally Round the Flag

February 17, 2016

 

Rally Round the Flag

by Martin H. Levinson

 

Let’s rally round the flag blowing larger than life

bigger than death in oil-engorged blood-swelled

desert climes far from the malls and stalls of

suburban America where teenagers worry about

dimples and pimples, Facebook and texts.

 

I’ll charter a bus from World War II to put us in a

patriotic, V for victory, we’re-all-in-this-together

frame of mind and we can croon America the Beautiful,

the Star Spangled Banner and Ninety-nine Bottles of

Beer on the Wall as we go hell-bent for leather down a

 

pothole, out of control, no goal highway littered with

wreckage from Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan—

brutal futile feuds that looked aces at the start but

turned into fold ‘em don’t hold ‘em and let’s not

embolden the rest of the world from messing with us.

 

Don’t forget to wear your John Wayne Life is Tough,

Tougher if You’re Stupid T-shirt and your Love It or

Leave It baseball cap with the map of the USA sewn in

three-D Day-Glo way to go my country right or wrong

to the demonstration. And don’t forget war is hellacious but

 

goodness gracious it makes for dynamic discussions

‘round the water cooler and gives something to think

about besides a lousy economy, global warming, and

tales told by two-faced politicians full of sound and fury

signifying zilch.

Do No Harm

January 22, 2016

Another poem to ponder:

Do No Harm                          By Martin H. Levinson

so said Hippocrates of Cos,

“As to diseases, make a habit of

two things—to help, or at least

to do no harm.”

 

Nowadays

there is no single oath

all physicians take upon

entering practice.

 

Similarly

there is no single oath

all humans take when

starting relationships,

 

and that is a shame

because the world would

be a far better place

if we all vowed to

do no harm to friends, family

strangers, acquaintances, pets,

and other life forms, the rest

is just commentary.