Monday, January 16, 2006

Falstaffian Nye

Joseph S Nye is the Dean of the Kennedy school of government at Harvard University. He was chair of the National Intelligence Council and assistant secretary of defence in the Clinton administration.

Oxford University Press published his book ‘The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go it Alone’ in 2002. Like just about everything published in the wake of 9/11 it takes its terms of reference from that event. It charts American military and economic superiority and it documents the likely challengers: China, Japan, India, Russia and the EU.

Its main thread is that of ‘soft power’ the cultural and mnemonic indicators that keep America in everyone’s lives. In a similar manner to Chomsky, he speaks about the rise of Non Government Organisations, trans-national companies (some 60% of which are based in the US) and the role of the Internet as an information filter. He fears that the worse outcome would be for America to become isolationist again.

The US's ‘soft power’ (freedom of speech, Hollywood, freedom of information and entrenched democracy) are the key points for its continued success in the 21st century.

So what’s so good about Fridays
said the heckler in the head
I’ll indulge that argument
founded in belief
now that it’s on my mind
with my heart just a beat behind
its the crossover from the week to the strong
getting a feeling for where you belong
Friday is the escape hatch
the finger on the latch
gripped for a brief change

Ah said the brainroom brawler
what if you get everything you want
make every moment soar
in constant accelerating roar
the need underpinning it all
would disappear to never-never-fear
wouldn’t you be happy in all ways
yes I say agreeing but unconvinced
but I’d still want my Fridays

my beliefs unbonded and restless
if change is everywhere will I get sick of it?
interrupted once more the conscious critic
Never! you shoot free from time
cannon off the universe
21 gun simultaneous salutes
question all your trivial pursuits

ever so addicted to change
not addiction but profound desire
crooned the mindtown crier
and from the desperate speaker
signals are weaker

Can I move on from now?
Truly, slick soul replies
ask me how

show me the one line you know

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