Dear Uncle Sam

Dear Uncle Sam

We may now simply be at the stage of imperial narrative control where they can begin openly manufacturing the consent of the public to be lied to for their own good.

— Caitlin Johnstone, “US Officials Admit They’re Literally Just Lying To The Public About Russia”, April 7, 2022

We beg you please to lie to us
The truth is too complex
It makes our stomachs gaseous
And burns our sweaty necks

The lies you tell are simple
Reassuring, calm and clear
They reaffirm our certainty
Of who the heroes are —

They’re us! We’ve always known
We’re never in the wrong
Wherever winds have freely blown
We sing our righteous song:

“Praise be to brave America
The land of spunk and valor
We stand up for the little guy
And make the villains shudder”

That is what we like to hear
Not facts and stark reporting
So sing us loud and sing us clear
Then we can go cavorting

With guilt-free heart and joyous gaze
And synapses a-thrumming,
Now we beseech you Uncle S.
To keep the falsehoods coming

The media will gladly help
They’ve done it through the years
With iffy facts and specious quotes
That echo in our ears

Till they become official truth
Believed by one and all
And though they never happened
They neatly fill the bill

And take their place as history
So easy to ingest
Minus ambiguity
They pass the comfort test

We’re counting on you Uncle Sam
And main stream news as well
To fashion very carefully
The stories that you tell

Of course, they should include a fact
Or maybe even two
To sound as if they might have happ’ed —
The rest is up to you . . .

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s new book is At the Driveway Guitar Sale, from Main Street Rag Publishing. He podcasts poems on aging, memory, and mortality at thirdactpoems.podbean.com and lives in northern California with his wife, Cynthia. Read other articles by Buff.