The notion that the world is
one big Global Village
has appeal to us, folks
who've mostly never lived in a village.
Getting to know something
about everyone on the planet
sounds so connected,
Who could resist?
We forgot about village idiots
and about chronic malcontents
whose stupidity and bad temper
can wreak havoc on our lives.
Worse, we forgot about victims
of injustice, real and imagined
whose resentments simmer and boil
just below the surface of village life.
And worst of all, we forgot that our Global Village
was a stepchild of technology
not the flowering of community
A place where guns and bombs
and hijacked planes
can be weapons of terror
wielded by the wounded,
who make it their life's work to
immolate innocents at will
in numbers beyond comprehension.
Misery has always loved company.
It used to be that the miserable
had only each other's company.
Now, in our cozy Global Village,
the forlorn and the rejected
the isolate and the fanatic
see the happy, chosen peoples
at close range
Even if only on TV, radio, or Internet,
like targets in a shooting gallery
or in a video game of doom.
Some of them take aim,
and the rest is history.
Professor and Chair of the Dept of
Justice, Law and Society, at
American University. He will be opening JusticePoetry.com later
American Weekly (Nov, 2001)
(c) 2001 Robert Johnson
Other poems by Robert Johnson:
"It Takes A
Child" and "Nine One One"
and "Living Free Is the Best Revenge"
published collection of poems, Poetic
Justice is now available.
Many sample poems, contents and ordering information are available
in this Adobe .pdf file (92k).
Poetic Justice: Reflections on the Big House, the Death House
& the American Way of Justice