Hannah Arendt watched Eichmann at his trial
And she, among the most brilliant of her generation,
Sat through the days, studying his face,
And she found
More precisely she found
She called “The Banality of Evil”.
It doesn’t seem possible.
I could imagine
The trial of some functionary,
Some Nazi file clerk,
Even a guard:
“Just following orders”.
Yet she saw a small man.
Perhaps she got it wrong.
Maybe all men are pretty much the same size.
It is their deeds that make them
So the evildoers on those planes
Were small, pathetic, banal.
But the firemen and police running up the towers,
They loom large, even heroic.
And today we must all be big,
Find it in ourselves.
We all drew a lot in life,
Butcher, baker, produce vendor.
So we go to a convention
Do a business review,
Shake some hands,
Walk the show,
Have some dinners,
Hear a speech.
It’s a good week, an important one.
But not sufficient.
Not in these times.
There will be over 10,000 of us in Anaheim,
And every year we change the world of produce.
This year five digits’ worth of thoughtful voters.
That number might just change the world.
by Jim Prevor