BRIDGE TOO FAR
It is a bright new day in Russia, yet the shock and awe that
I felt following your article is still there, like a mushroom
cloud after a nuclear strike, or the silence after a mother
of all bombs has completed its mayhem, the sock in the mouth
following a hangover...
My god, what were you thinking man??? I have written crazy
shit, but there are certain rules, certain lines we mere mortals
are not permitted to cross. The Bishop of Rome is one of them.
Okay, fuck with Gandhi, for example, or Martha Stewart, all
you want, but the big guy in the Vatican is an Untouchable,
especially a mucus-spewing one! You have pushed the nihilistic
envelope over the precipice, my friend. Sartre would smash
your skull without blinking. At least print that shit in a
paper that the public must PAY for! Give them a choice.
The "furry tits of the dead pope" ??? His hamburger-helper
heart? Allusions to baboons and beatles feasting on cranial
tissue?! Dude! Get a grip! Ask a co-worker to shake and slap
you for several straight minutes. You are decimating all of
your past achievements whatever these may have been. Think
about your social security plan, pension, and for-god -sakes
your grandchildren who may or may not need a god father. Dude!
Throw away the Viocodine and cough supressants and just visit
Russia. America ain't working for you!
"Certain rules?" The Pope is more respectable than
Ghandi? "Beatles?" You're a hump, "dude."
You think you know about writing "crazy shit," but
you're afraid to cross "certain lines?" We'll be
coming to Moscow soon-to kick your sorry ass.
Donn Esmonde and the Buffalo News:
Call it YOUR REALITY
It appears that in your exploration of ideas, your exercise
of creative freedom to present a solution to the growing problems
of this area, indicative at every level of our society from
the federal government to the homes of regular hardworking
people, you've become hypnotized by a goat. The Scapegoat.
I suggest you focus and get a good look at type of animal
locked in a staring contest with.
You ask artists to join the reform army. How creative of you
to suggest this! I find it practically inspiring that you
would single out the artists. At no other time in Buffalo,
Erie County's, News York's and America's history do we need
artists more. It is the unbridled, uninhibited artist, the
human with a voice that will have the bravery to suggest,
promote and set off a reality less abusive to its citizenry.
The people of WNY and specifically Buffalo have been abused,
lied to and taken advantage of. Now, they're being tricked
and brainwashed by your corporate sponsored babble. You must
be threatened by artists. Something must have happened. Perhaps,
recently, you were enlightened by a free spirit. Perhaps,
you were forced to access your own Reality and you weren't
so pleased with the self-implication and responsibility it
called for. Perhaps, a song made you cry. Perhaps, a movie
made you laugh. Perhaps, you gave up your own creative dreams
for a more practical corporate sponsored theocratic unchallenged
media mogul, namely the Buffalo News owned by Warren Buffett.
They say, don't bite the hand that feeds you. But to lick
it after it hits you? Be careful where you aim your weapons.
How convenient for you to point fingers at Artists! There
must be a bonus involved or perhaps an unsaid tenure assumed.
Why not state the obvious! It is my suggestion, that in the
mist of your free speech exercise, your myopic vision created
such confusion, you decided to close your eyes all together.
What do you have to say to the militarization of our national,
county and local urban culture? What do you have to say to
the growing number of billboards suggesting we send our young
to fight a rich man's war that is a direct echo of Vietnam?
What do you have to say to Buffalo Public High schools like
Burgard, that fail to have a functional library or even an
open library more than 2 days per week? What do you have to
say to corporate welfare? What do you have to say to the owners
of Bass Pro and Rich Products, neighbors in Florida, not Buffalo.
Are they watching their endangered animal run amuck? I don't
think so. They're feeding a bull bull. We don't need any more
consultants, corporations, sports teams, corporate media sponsorships.
We don't need a talented journalist like you sacrificing his
ART for the machine of war. For the machine of corporations.
For the machine of distraction. While you're suggesting the
artists, the culturals, take this hit, you're simultaneously
suggesting that we pet, feed and praise the same animal, running
in its gerbil wheel providing this spin. It is a spin. The
hand feeding you and feeding the hands carrying the pointing
fingers is the hand of corporations. The hand of corporate
sponsored war. And you speak of sacrifice without even mentioning
the militarized culture and economy we are evolving into unabashed.
would it take to inspire a journalist like yourself, and other
like minded adults to challenge the protocol for change in
WNY. It can no longer be a complaint and point game. Are we
going to spend a decade pointing fingers while we fail to
properly educate our youth and blame the arts? Are we going
to spend another decade pointing fingers while we fail to
provide space for our youth to gather and be creative, an
outlet of the growing human? Are we going to spend another
decade pointing fingers as our children are drafted into a
rich man's corporate sponsored war? And they come home, dead,
uninspired, unwelcome, injured unknowing of ways to deal with
their reality because the arts are gone, because there is
no forum. Just a fishing shop a sports arena and a newspaper.
What a beautiful city! Maybe you should move if not physically,
then spiritually to a place where you can access the reality
we're leaving for the children of Buffalo and Erie County.
That again would call for creativity. Something you suggest
we don't have time or money for. So, again, you're at an impasse,
licking the hand that hits you.
you know and what we all know, is that everyone is feeling
this sacrifice, everyone in Buffalo, WNY. What you know and
what we all know is that no amount of reorganizing the budget
is going to make the people responsible for the mishandling
of funds, accountable. That would be legal. That would involve
criminality. That would involve implication, responsibility
and action. That would be threatening to the powers that be.
That would shake the system and you, Mr. Esmonde are feeding
the system. Change your name to Status Quo.
How convenient for you to forget about the war and the economy
or lack of it inspires! How ruthless, gutless and weak to
conveniently forget the bravery of the poor of our community
I don't care what percentage the property/school taxes are
in regards to the national average. How about accountability
and efficiency concerning the implementation of the budgets
proposed? How about quality versus quantity? Pay attention.
Open your eyes! What do you have to say to Bass Pro? What
do you have to say to Albany about Bass Pro? In my opinion,
you've been sponsored, coerced, and convinced that for some
reason, the creative community is a threat. I suggest you
take a moment to confront the thought processes that led you
to believe that ARTISTS ARE THE PROBLEM. I am here to tell
you in spirit, in word and with force that ARTISTS ARE NOT
Where have you been? What city do you live in? I bet it's
not Buffalo. We are not defined by blizzards, high taxes and
the Bills. We are not defined by you, your newspaper, your
myopia or your fragmented vision.
have a solution, first, take control of your extremities,
your senses and stop and thing. Take control of your arms,
hands, fingers, eyes, ears. Take control of your finger pointing,
scapegoating, complaining. Take control of your voice and
suggest a viable solution. My solution? Thanks for asking.
My solution is to keep creating, commenting, singing, writing
poetry in the midst of a man made wind. I walk against the
culture you promote. I am doing it now. This confrontation
at this moment is a temporary solution and I will create more.
So what is your solution? Your serious, original solution?
I have another solution. Put walk in your talk. Silence will
reign. I suggest, first, that you empty your home of artwork,
throw your favorite CDs in a large blue dumpster and burn
your books. After that, I suggest you write each of your favorite
artists, actors, filmmakers, and singers reprimanding them
for the load of enlightenment, encouragement, imaginative
survival techniques they inspire. If you still feel affected,
healed, empowered by artists, I suggest you go to a hypnotist
and have your childhood, young adulthood, especially your
college memories separated from the art and music around you.
Led Zeppelin, out the door. The Doors, gone. Pink Floyd, gone.
Hip Hop, gone. Every movie, every comedian gone, perhaps drafted
to fight a never-ending war. Every writer, tamed and convinced
by a corporate sponsor, to change his tune, for the good of
war, for the good of corporations, for the good of the goat,
the scapegoat. What's your music really like Don? When you
write for no one, what do the words say? Do the still blame
the artists? Do they supply solutions? Or has it been so long,
you forgot what you sound like? It's time to take your hands
off from over your ears and it's time to see, listen and speak.
Say what you really want. I challenge you. And in the midst
of your freedom of speech, do your best not to be creative,
because we can't afford that. Just the facts. Thanks.
Do you really think anyone is ever going to read your letter?
Look at it, for God's sake! It's so long! We didn't even read
it, and now we're printing it, so 30,000 people in the WNY
area will also have the privelege of not reading it for themselves.
Also, just so you know: when you use lots of exclamation points
and ALL CAPS STATEMENTS to add emphasis, it only hurts everyone's
eyes and makes you sound stupid, which increases the already
overwhelming chances that no one will read your tedious, ranting
screed. By the way, we weren't aware that Led Zeppelin and
Pink Floyd were government-funded entities.