Monday, November 30, 2009

A poem called "Short People" by one Jennifer L. Knox

When Emperor Hirohito told the Japanese people it was time to surrender, he never used the word surrender. Instead, he talked about how everyone had done their best, tried so hard, etc. His speech was broadcast over loudspeakers hung outside on electrical poles. People had never heard Hirohito’s voice before—they thought the Emperor was God. He spoke in the highest level of formality—using words so antiquated, ordinary people couldn’t understand a thing he was saying. So imagine: suddenly, one day, a disembodied voice we think is God’s starts talking to people in the streets in booming Shakespeare-speak. “What the heck’s God saying?” the people ask. A man wearing big glasses translates: “He’s saying we all did a really great job…” he pauses, furrows his brow, “but I think He wants us to give up.” This is what most of Randy Newman’s songs are about.
Via the Awl.

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