GRANTED, it's difficult to interest people in the corrupt and grubby little world of literature against the Two-Minute Hate Orwellian Noise Campaign of the ongoing health care media show. In one corner, smooth-sounding Benevolent Big Brother Barack Obama. In the other, clinically insane drama queen Glenn Beck.
What's really happening is a war between media giants; GE/NBC/MSNBC and the Democratic Party their handpuppet versus Murdoch/News Corp/Fox and the Republican Party their handpuppet. It's a power struggle over spoils; a war over WHO is going to control the Machinery of Monopoly. On the fundamental questions there's little difference between the two camps. Okay, Republicans are Hard Imperialists and Democrats are Soft Imperialists, but NAFTA, WTO, and the Afghanistan bombing continue.
This is similar to the last days of the Roman Republic, when the political competition was between competing plutocrats, Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus, over WHO would control Rome's power and wealth. Real reform could never happen, because the Reformers would have to reform themselves.
I find it amusing to hear talk of a "government option," as if the government were independent, when it's owned and controlled by one gang or another of corporate plutocrats. This was proven over the past year when the corporate banking world turned the Treasury piggy bank upside down and emptied it into their own pockets.
WHAT ABOUT PEN?
Actually, the Establishment power structure DOES still care, for whatever bizarre reason, about literature. This is proven by the appointment of one of their best, most loyal soldiers, one Steven L. Isenberg, as Exec Director of the PEN organization, which Once Upon a Time was run by writers themselves.
Can PEN allow real writer dissent against our nation's Power Structure when it IS (part of) the U.S. Power Structure?
(That Mr. Isenberg resembles an old Roman plutocrat adds to the amusement.)