“In that difference lies the racism implicit in the abortion/slavery analogy Santorum employs and Klein defends. The analogy necessarily holds that the enslaved were the equivalent of embryos—helpless, voiceless beings in need of saviors. In this view of American history, the…
It seemed to Myop as she skipped lightly from hen house to pigpen to smokehouse that the days had never been as beautiful as these. The air held a keenness that made her nose twitch. The harvesting of the corn and cotton, peanuts and squash, made each day a golden surprise that caused excited…
For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself. From within, I couldn’t decide what to do. Unable to see, I heard my name being called. Then I walked outside.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.
“When all the rivers and valleys and forests and hills of the world have been priced, packaged, bar-coded and stacked in the local supermarket, when all the hay and coal and earth and wood and water has been turned to gold, what then shall we do with all the gold? Make nuclear bombs to obliterate what’s left of the ravaged landscapes and the notional nations in our ruined world?”—~Arundhati Roy, “The Reincarnation of Rumpelstiltskin,” (2000)
The Reincarnation of Rumpelstiltskin -- Arundhati Roy
Published on Monday, November 27, 2000 by Outlook IndiaPower Politics by Arundhati Roy Remember him? The gnome who could turn straw into gold? Well he’s back now, but you wouldn’t recognize him. To begin with, he’s not an individual gnome anymore. I’m not sure how best to describe him. Let’s just say he’s metamorphosed into an accretion, a cabal, an assemblage, a malevolent, incorporeal, transnational multi-gnome. Rumpelstiltskin is a notion (gnotion), a piece of deviant, insidious, white logic that will eventually self-annihilate. But for now he’s more than okay. He’s cock of the walk. King of All That Really Counts (Cash). He’s decimated the competition, killed all the other kings, the other kinds of kings. He’s persuaded us that he’s all we have left. Our only salvation.
What kind of potentate is Rumpelstiltskin? Powerful, pitiless and armed to the teeth. He’s a kind of king the world has never known before. His realm is raw capital, his conquests emerging markets, his prayers profits, his borders limitless, his weapons nuclear. To even try and imagine him, to hold the whole of him in your field of vision, is to situate yourself at the very edge of sanity, to offer yourself up for ridicule. King Rumpel reveals only part of himself at a time. He has a bank-account heart. He has television eyes and a newspaper nose in which you see only what he wants you to see and read only what he wants you to read. (See what I mean about the edge of sanity?) There’s more: a Surround Sound stereo mouth which amplifies his voice and filters out the sound of the rest of the world so that you can’t hear it even when it’s shouting (or starving, or dying) and King Rumpel is only whispering, rolling his r’s in his North American way. Listen carefully, this is most of the rest of his story. (It hasn’t ended yet, but it will. It must.) It ranges across seas and continents, sometimes majestic and universal, sometimes confining and local. Now and then I’ll peg it down with disparate bits of history and geography that could mar the gentle art of storytelling. So please bear with me….