Daily Archives: December 27, 2005

They Own the Judges

They Own the Judges

Like several other early works from my ‘suitcase of songs’ this song bears sign of neither my discerning and subtle sociopolitical analysis — nor my often arch sense of humor. Making it, more or less, a screed. A rant. Not even a proper diatribe.

Back in ’75 or ’76 when I wrote this, I knew it wasn’t exactly a sophisticated, subtle rendering. It was not long after Gerald Ford took over the presidency from the disgraced Richard Nixon, immediately granting Nixon a pardon for any crimes he might have committed, no matter how grievous, even though Nixon hadn’t even been formally charged with any of the numerous violations of law that forced his resignation. Clearly, the fix was in, and the “loyal opposition” was busy toadying up to the powers that so evidently still were.

Now, I really was a political (and economic) naif back then — and was held that way, in part, by my own cynicism.

Today, as a businessman and longtime politics junky (other folks watch football), I have a considerably deeper understanding of how things really work. It has made me — in some ways — a bit more hopeful, and considerably more practical.

And the way I see it, I should end up more or less in the political center, on average.

I’m a firm believer in small government, fiscal responsibility, environmental responsibility, free, fair markets, clean government, and a strong and effective defense. Defense, mind you… I’ve always thought the US should be working to defend itself rather than embarking on foreign military misadventures in what are usually vainglorious attempts to “extend American power.”

Me, I think “empire” is geopoliticalese for “jumping the shark.”

I would think that those seemingly quite (small-c) conservative values should put me more or less in the center of the political spectrum — yet I find myself, along with a sizable, sometimes near-majority, number of my fellow US Americans, increasingly marginalized by both of the two major parties, whose policies increasingly flaunt the core values of a lot of responsible, thinking US citizens.

Yes, there are alternatives — but they are not moderate alternatives. They are, in some fundamental ways, more extreme. It’s not that I don’t have deep sympathies with, say, the Greens or agreement with a number of Libertarian principles.

But, if the US political system were truly responsive to the will of the governed, a mainstream, middle-of-the-road guy like me ought to find some sort of agreement with one or both of the “mainstream” parties. Instead of finding them to be closet brownshirts and neo-Know Nothings on the one hand and spineless, hypocritical toadies on the other.

You know, not to put too fine a point on my political malaise.

Oh… WTF… let’s dedicate this one to the one person majority on the Supreme Court that aborted the 2000 presidential election.

They Own the Judges

they own the judges
they own the congress
they own the papers
and the magazines

they own the cops
they own the armies and
they think that they own
you and me

they own the doctors
they get rich from our suffering
they own the churches
and the sinners inside

they own the colleges
the print-outs of knowledge
they own and use history
to their own ends

they own the farms
they own the farmers
they own the factories
and the workers lives

they own the gangsters
and they run the wores
they own Vegas
and the gamblers trapped inside

they move in the shadows
of presidents and corporations
the means of production
in a handful of hands

you can’t live without money
they enslave us with wages
they pull the strings
that make you and me dance

(C)1976, TK Major


Without a Thought of You

Without a Thought of You



You wouldn’t know it to look at me, now, but I used to run with the art damage crowd.

I wasn’t doing my grocery shopping around gallery opening calendars, like some of my friends whose periodic white wine, cheese and cracker binges showed up like tree rings as striations on unpainted fingernails — but I did my share of gallery crawls and loft parties, nonetheless.

My friends had by and large decided that they were hip and anything they did was, therefore, glamorous — and they were great guides through the urban cultural jungle, pulling me aside to whisper about this artist or that critic lurking in some alcove or doorway or backgrounding me on the current scandals and gossip.

Of course, ultimately, there is the art. But the great thing about a mediocre opening or a show filled with pretentious, metooist claptrap was that it left more time for serious — sometimes vengefully serious — drinking. Show me bad art, will you? Your cheap chablis will feel my wrath, gallery swine!

[And let me here apologize to all you gallery owners I helped run out of business back in the ’80s and early ’90s. Yes. You were right, I was a deadbeat. I never bought a damn thing.]

If you hang out on that scene long enough, sooner or later you’ll see a few earnest, hardworking artists who somehow got swept up in the action. You’d think they’d know better.

One supposes it’s usually the allure of cute or sexy or dramatic girls or young men, timelessly in black, who stare into the artist’s eyes and tell them they’re, you know, deep. No matter how deep you actually are, that stuff can turn you around for a minute or two.

Without a Thought of You

To think that I once
felt sorry for you
it’s all that i can
bring my puny brain to do

you must think me quite naive
and don’t think I ain’t gonna leave
I just want you to know
what you put me through:

I won’t ever have a dream
without knowning it won’t come true
I won’t ever think of lonely
without a thought of you

Fallin’ for you
was a stretch for me
all your arty friends,
important people to bleed

as every artists knows
every show that
opens must close
you can put it in 30 pt type
in my review:

I won’t ever think of lonely
without a thought of you
i won’t ever have a dream
without knowning it won’t come true

I won’t ever think
without knowing it’s
really never

I won’t ever think of lonely
without a thought of you

(C)1995, TK Major

[A note on the photo at the top of this post: Stumped for an image for this song, with about half the post written, I decided to take my tiny digital cam out for a walk. This image came straight out of the camera, with no mods except resizing to fit this space. I’d actually been trying to shoot clouds in the puddle, was settling for palm trees, and didn’t realize my own reflection had snuck into a corner of the snap.]