GETTING ALL MY FACTS ON FACEBOOK

This post was inspired by Johnathan Mahler’s New York Times Sunday Magazine (1/1/2017) article “Search Party”

GETTING ALL MY FACTS ON FACEBOOK
(To the tune of “There’s a Small Hotel,” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart)

Trolling from some news
That will serve my views
Getting all my facts on Facebook.

Whey check for a source?
Trust that site? Of course!
I’m getting all my facts on Facebook.

What is true or untrue is
No longer consequential
Tweets are instrumental
Presidential.

No one wants the facts
Lies are what attracts
Likes and followers on Facebook

Post a made-up rumor
To create abject confusion
Give truth a contusion
Spread delusion.

Truth’s now pliable
What’s undeniable?
Reality’s a cake
With fake news quick to bake
When getting all my facts on Facebook.

© 2017 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

THIS SEASON NEAR THE END OF YEAR

THIS SEASON NEAR THE END OF YEAR
(An original poem)

This season near the end of year
Should ring in joy instead of fear
Should sing with music velvet clear
And not the cries of pain we hear

Should fill our hearts with hopeful cheer
Should bring the dreams we’ve dreamed right near
Should towards a better future steer
Instead of drifting who knows where

Yet through these storms we persevere
And cling to those we hold so dear
A toast to life, to all down here
On this small world, on this New Year

© 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

WHO’LL HEAR THE LOVE SONGS?

Weekdays I usually walk in the park before work.  I don’t wear headphones or carry a smart phone as many there do.  Instead I tune into the music of the morning – the symphony of birds singing playful songs, the sun throwing shadows ahead of me, an honest rustle of trees moved by the start of another breezy autumn day.  Part of life’s beauty missed by those engrossed with technology.

WHO’LL HEAR THE LOVE SONGS?
(To the tune of, “Everybody’s out of Town,” by Burt Bacharach & Hal David, recorded by B. J. Thomas)

Who’ll hear the melodies?
Birds chirping love songs in the trees?
You’ve got your Bluetooth gadget in your ear.
Seems, everybody’s in the cloud.
No one’s, living in the Here-and-Now.

Who’ll watch the show at night?
Stars making magic with their light?
Try wishing on a star with your I-Pad.
Seems, everybody’s in the cloud.
No one’s, living in the Here-and-Now

Everyone these days, is so distracted
off in their own zone.
People bunk into me with their heads down.
Stuck in their I-Phone.

Somewhere a,
kid’s crying for his mom.
Logged onto Facebook, she won’t come.
Life slipping by, completely unnoticed.
Seems, everybody’s in the cloud.
No one’s, living in the Here-and-Now.

Who’ll see the magic? Who’ll hear the love songs?
When, everybody’s in the cloud.
No one’s, living in the Here-and-Now.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

CIVILIZED WAR: A POEM

CIVILIZED WAR: A POEM  

We’ve not become so civilized as to end war:
But we’ve become too civilized to win war.
We decry the necessary brutality that war summons
taking pains to avert another Dresden,
While our enemies lop off heads;
and, laugh at our Geneva Convention vanity,
from urban redoubts behind civilian kryptonite.

They are not hypocrites like us,
who pretend that war has rules,
lest we not feel good about ourselves.
Perhaps it is that the wars we have
chosen to fight of late, are not of survival.
Perhaps they have been mechanisms
of greed to oil the economic wheels.

Perhaps we would recover the strength of will
to see war clearly, if the threat were existential.
Perhaps we would then deploy at war
the fullest, most brutal measure of our power
adhering only to the one honest rule of war,
should we be dragged into its madness –
that immoral slaughterhouse –
“Win by whatever device necessary.”

Knowing that afterwards, it is the victors
who will order rules, the vanquished
will be charged to have violated.

© 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

POEM: A QUANTITATIVE LIFE

A Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Paula Marantz Cohen, “We Are All Quants Now,” (9/13/14) related this story. A 7-year-old girl was working on a drawing.  “That’s good work,” her babysitter encouragingly said. “Are you proud of it?”  The girl responded, “I’m not sure.  I’ll bring it to school and see how many ‘likes’ I get.”

 POEM: A QUANTITATIVE LIFE

We no longer measure qualitatively, nay.
How do we measure value today?

Life is measured by how much we own
and not by how much we’ve grown.

Art is measured by how much is paid
and not by the beauty conveyed.

Books are measured by how well fame sells
and not by what truths the story tells.

Music is measured by the downloaded plays
and not by the lilt of a haunting phrase.

And self-worth is measured by the “Likes” I receive
and not by how I, my own self, do perceive.

Yet adding up all we can own and can count
However large the number or great the amount.

We end up with nothing of value to share.
Of meaningfulness these days
the shelves are quite bare.

Our values are vicarious
made to dive or spike
by those who do or do not
click on the “Like.”

© 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

WHO’LL HEAR THE LOVE SONGS?

WHO’LL HEAR THE LOVE SONGS?
(To tune of “Everybody’s Out of Town,” by Burt Bacharach & Hal David)

Who’ll hear the melodies?
Birds chirping love songs in the trees?
You’ve got your Bluetooth gadget in your ear.
Seems like, everybody’s in the cloud.
No one, living in the Here-and-Now.

Who’ll watch the show each night?
Stars making magic with their light?
Try wishing on a star with your I-Pad.
Seems like, everybody’s in the cloud.
No one, living in the Here-and-Now.

Everyone these days, is so distracted
Into their own zone.
People bunk into me with their heads down
Stuck in their I-Phone.

Somewhere a,
Kid’s crying for his mom.
Logged onto Facebook, she don’t come.
Life slipping by, completely unnoticed.
Seems like, everybody’s in the cloud.
No one, living in the Here-and-Now.

Who’ll see the magic?
Who’ll hear the love songs?
When, everybody’s in the cloud.
And no one’s, living in the Here-and-Now.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire

All rights reserved

ETERNAL NOTES FOR ALICE

This post is not a parody song lyric but is an original poem dedicated to the memory of Alice Herz-Sommer who passed away on Sunday, February 23, 2014.   She was 110 years old having been born on  November 1903.  A Czech pianist and music teacher, she had been deported from Prague along with her husband and son to the concentration camp at Theresienstadt and later to the death camp, Auschwitz..  At Theresienstadt, she participated in staged concerts the Germans allowed to be put on as part of a strategy to deceived the Red Cross and West about conditions in the camps.  She and her son were liberated by the Russians in 1945.  I wrote this poem after a Miami Herald article in 2010 reported her to have said the music of Chopin saved her life.  A documentary film about her life, “The Lady in Number 6; Music Saved My Life,” has been nominated for an academy award.

ETERNAL NOTES FOR ALICE

My fingers seem ignorant of the pain
Dancing over the notes
The lovely notes of
Chopin’s etudes

Did he know they would keep me alive?
Did he foresee the need to ward off the dread?
No, he could not have
His soul was pure

They were not, and
Did not feel the tie
Of beauty to life
Of that I am sure

They broke my bones
Trying to humiliate me
With fear from the stench
Of the dead

And they would have succeeded
But for the notes
Eternal notes
They could not burn from my head

© 2010 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

SELFIE

“Selfie” was named word of the year for 2013.  A “Selfie” is a self-portrait usually taken with a phone camera.  But, the phenomenon more broadly describes an age of self-absorption.  Our lives have always been our own play to produce.  But now we seek to publish our productions without the editor’s hand to scratch out those mundane or maudlin details that lack drama and bore the reader to tears.  We simply think too much about ourselves and lack the discretion to keep our thoughts private. Technology helps us to put off the real world.  In the recently release film “Her” a man actually falls in love with his smartphone’s talking operating system who has a name, Samantha. “Hello, I’m here,” says the smartphone.  Of course, I might fall in love with Scarlett Johansson’s sultry voice. But, essentially, we have an example of fantasy that at its core is isolationist. I can engage in mythical sex with a bodiless machine and who needs other people?  Sounds like a perfect way for the human race to fall to the bottom of Darwin’s evolutionary tree.

SELFIE
(To tune of “Alfie,” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David from the 1966 film of the same name)

What have you become, Selfie?
Are you too much involved with yourself?
Look what you’ve become, Tally up the sum, Selfie?
You’re alone on your own private shelf
Are your happy there? Can’t help

Wondering aloud, Selfie.
Are you proud of the person you are?
Posing for a shot, give it all you’ve got, Selfie.
Facebook shines on you and you’re a star.

A heart grown bare.
One not even aware Selfie.
There’s people near
People who need other people
Loving people.

Love is meant for two, Selfie.
To love yourself and no one else, Selfie.
That’s not true love, but something else.
That’s narcissism, Selfie.

Put your phone down and just look around
There’s a world to be found, Selfie.
Oh Selfie!

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved.