A Poetic Homage To The Leak

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Commentator Andrei Codrescu uses his poetic skills to ponder who are our friends and who are our enemies — and the deceit that cloaks all those relationships.


We live in an era of near-constant revelation, in which secrets last only until the next expose. So commentator Andrei Codrescu believes it's time to pay poetic homage to the leak.

ANDREI CODRESCU: In a world of enemies, real or imaginary, in a world of friends, real or imaginary, the serious people, real or imaginary, tell everyone how to tell foes from friends.

If they harm you, they are an enemy. If they hug you, they are a friend. But in the real world, enemies hug you, and friends harm you. It's all in the WikiLeaks. You can look it up.

And if what they leak be real or imaginary, no media, real or imaginary, can be certain. But if you tell a friend that he's imaginary, he'll take offense and become an enemy. And if you tell a foe that he's real, he will believe you. Maybe he'll even pretend to be your friend, but secretly, he'll become a greater enemy, and he won't care who leaks it.

And this is why, say the serious people, there are always more foes than friends and that we must always be more serious.

The machinery of progress is neither real nor imaginary. It runs only on the energy of enemies, not on the lazy pace of friends. And when progress runs straight to war, the serious people, real or imaginary, turn to the media and shout: Where were you when we didn't need you?

But I'm not serious. I'm a poet. I think that foes are imaginary. I believe in nonviolence, like Gandhi, who is to India what Sam Walton is to Wal-Mart: once real but now imaginary.

SIEGEL: Andrei Codrescu lives in the Ozarks, or so we're told.

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