.

Off Switch

My brain hurt every time I thought,
so then I thought “I’d rather not.”
I found the off switch to my brain
and thought, “Why turn it on again?”

Without my brain, but with my heart,
at long last, I felt really smart.
Without the need to think things through,
I always knew just what to do

Since I no longer thought a thing,
I outsourced all my reasoning.
As needs arose, I got my views
from “The most trusted name in news.”

Their journalists knew what was fake,
like Bidens being on the take.
They only broadcast what was true,
like Trump’s attempt to lead a coup.

I learned that truth was relative,
so judgments were insensitive.
They hurt those judged, and led to hate,
which now I could not tolerate.

But somehow some refused to see
truth’s changeless relativity,
and judging them made sense to me
when I thought through things brainlessly.

Still, there were situations when
things were not known by CNN.
That’s when I thought, “I need my brain,”
but couldn’t turn it on again.

And then, quite accidentally,
I somehow jostled my TV.
This mishap turned off CNN
which turned my brain back on again.

I’d been, with just my heart turned on,
a CNN-automaton,
but once I had a working brain,
was fully human once again.

Unfortunately, in my car,
someone had turned on NPR.
Their virus burrowed deep inside,
and now my brain’s completely fried.

.

.

Warren Bonham is a private equity investor who lives in Southlake, Texas.


NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.


CODEC Stories:

36 Responses

    • Warren Bonham

      I’m glad you’ve managed to avoid all attempts at controlling your brain!

      Reply
  1. Cynthia Erlandson

    This is so very clever, Warren — you’ve expressed this truth in a way that reveals it clearly through humor. I laughed out loud while reading it, especially in the last two verses, when you became a “CNN automaton”, and when someone “had turned on NPR” in your car! “Without my brain, but with my heart”; “I outsourced all my reasoning” are some other highly amusing lines. Well done!

    Reply
    • Warren Bonham

      I’ve had more than my fair share of exposure and (so far) managed to maintain brain function. I’m glad the same is true of you.

      Reply
  2. Brian A. Yapko

    This is a great, observant and funny poem, Warren. At what point did adults in the Western world become so derelict in investigating what is really happening that they simply listen to shils? And most seem to like it that way! I must mention that I faithfully peruse CNN’s website every morning — not because I trust this site any more than I trust MSNBC — but because I adhere to sound advice from The Godfather: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

    Reply
    • Warren Bonham

      I wish I knew how and when things started moving in the wrong direction. My recollection of CNN from its early days (despite being founded by Ted Turner) was that it used to be fairly balanced. I like The Godfather reference.

      Reply
  3. Paul A. Freeman

    CNN, BBC, RT and Al-Jazeera give a varied overview of news, the latter really showing what’s going on on the ground in various Arab countries, footage and stories that are essentially self-censored by many Western news channels.

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Yeah — varied just enough to be a fig leaf for the left-liberal groupthink.

      Reply
      • Paul Freeman

        This week RT featured Tucker Carlson claiming to be a journalist, and Alex Jones warbling on about this or that conspiracy theory.

      • Mike Bryant

        Paul, are you really watching RT after the UK government has called down their disinformation? I hope they don’t check your computer history..

      • Paul Freeman

        How paranoid and self censoring you must be, Mike. Er, I watch these news channels on satellite TV. That’s why I’m better informed than those accessing sites like ilovedonaldtrump.com for their ‘news’.

      • Mike Bryant

        Paul, since you are white and male and a teacher and a CNN acolyte, I’m afraid I must discount anything you have to say. By the way, your link is dead.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        When Paul says “better informed” he means more in sync with what left-liberal mainstream media promotes.

  4. Yael

    This poem is a great and fun way to ease into a rainy Monday morning on the farm, thank you very much. It also brought back some memories. I’ve never owned a TV in my entire adult life and I don’t listen to radio, though I catch occasional glimpses through second hand exposure. I once had a good friend who was a true believer and he tuned in to CNN every day. He considered me somewhat of a troglodyte on account of my habits. But his relationship with the MSM didn’t produce good fruit; one day he unloaded a fistful of lead and blew his own brains out. He’s dead of course.

    Reply
    • Mary Gardner

      Yael, please accept my condolences on the loss of your friend. What a sad event.

      Reply
      • Warren Bonham

        I know several CNN- automatons who seem clinically depressed but your story is a very tragic one. It would be hard to be upbeat after listening to what they have to say every day.

      • Yael

        Based on my observations, I believe that the lies which my friend willingly imbibed every day brought him to the sad decision to end his own life.

  5. Norma Pain

    This is hilariously clever and made my rainy Monday morning just perfect. Thank you Warren.

    Reply
  6. Mike Bryant

    Warren, your poetry is always well-constructed and insightful. It just gets better and better.
    CNN is not a journalistic enterprise. CNN is simply a small part of the mainstream media. Everyone knows that Operation Mockingbird is in full force. CNN misreports stories daily and the examples are easily accessible with a simple search. CNN and the rest of the mainstream media have lost so many viewers that they and many other “news” organizations are laying off many thousands of their “journalists.”
    Tucker Carlson reached two hundred million (200,000,000) people with his interview of Putin. He regularly reaches near half of that. His father was a journalist and so is he. Yes, I know that today in order to be considered a journalist you must follow the narrative. Let’s hope Tucker remains above the fray. Even Yahoo News, which no one would accuse of being right wing, hails Carlson as a brave journalist.

    https://news.yahoo.com/tucker-carlson-no-traitor-doing-120058740.html

    As for Alex Jones… he’s made many mistakes but his record of seeing what is happening behind the scenes qualifies him as something of a prophet. His true predictions have been well-documented… including 9/11. Prophets have always been heard… and despised.

    Reply
    • Warren Bonham

      Having the courage to be a true journalist is incredibly difficult. All of them, except for a small number of the emerging independent ones, have bosses who tell them what they’re allowed to report on and what opinions they’re allowed to have. I don’t think anyone at CNN falls into this category.

      Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      The real non-journalist is Chris Wallace of CNN, a third-rate loser who embarrassed himself on air by trying to attack Tucker for doing the Putin interview. His father Mike Wallace (a solid journalist of the old school) is probably turning in his grave when he listens to his son talk.

      Reply
      • Warren Bonham

        I heard his commentary. If he was asking hard questions of anyone who really matters, I might be tempted to listen to his critiques of others but that stopped being the case long ago.

      • Mike Bryant

        Wallace is definitely damaged goods, but what about the Al Jazeera “journalists” that actually took part in the atrocities of October 7? I believe we have witnessed a new low in journalism, not that I think our own woke journalists are far behind. Of course there are those who believe Al Jazeera is worth checking out…

      • Paul A. Freeman

        The incisive ‘journalist’ Tucker Carlson asked Putin no questions about his opposition rival, Alexie Navalny, who later died in a Russian prison and was denigrated for 12 hours after his death before the story left the Russian news cycle.

        Also, with Russia being pro-Palestinian, Tucker ‘Journalist’ Carlson, cravenly asked no questions on the Gaza situation, either. Presumably he was following orders.

        He did ask about one of the incarcerated Americans. Apparently the sycophantic chap hoped to get him freed so he could return to the US of A as a hero. Er, Putin told him to take a hike.

        He did, however, get a 5-star tour of Moscow and the opportunity to praise the Metro to the skies. Meanwhile, Putin dismissed the toothless tiger as a lightweight toady.

  7. Phil S. Rogers

    Right on target and most enjoyable, thank you. I have smiled all day thinking about it. ‘a CNN automaton,’ a great line.

    Reply
    • Warren Bonham

      Their ratings have been suffering for quite a while so it seems like viewers are tired of what they’ve been serving up. Having said that, whoever sets the programming doesn’t seem to have learned their lesson yet.

      Reply
  8. Phil L. Flott

    I was at a party this week-end where I encountered people I thought I knew who opened their mouths only to find out they were CNN-fed. But they seemed not to notice. They seemed to think they were thinking for themselves. I was embarrassed for them. Now I have to discover how to maintain them as friends–when we can barely speak true statements to each other.
    Thank you for “Off Switch”.

    Reply
    • Warren Bonham

      It sounds like you’ve found a way to live in the “echo chamber” without becoming infected yet. I’m not sure why some very smart people are so susceptible.

      Reply
  9. C.B. Anderson

    This poem is a rollicking exposition on what might fairly be called contemporary epistemology. It’s funny because it’s so true. It’s not the living dead we have to fear, but the living brain-dead. It takes great skill and discipline to ignore what’s in front of your eyes, and our Libtards are the consummate experts at it. Have you ever groped in the dark for a light switch? It ain’t easy, but somehow you have come out the other side. To quote La Rochefoucauld, Everybody doubts his memory, but nobody his judgment.

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      Sorry. I misquoted the translation of La Rochefoucauld. It should be, Everybody complains of his memory, but nobody of his judgment.

      Reply
      • Warren Bonham

        Another fantastic quote (I wouldn’t have noticed the mistranslation). I completely agree with the sentiment.

  10. Margaret Coats

    Warren, I’m impressed at the wacky but worthwhile extended narrative–in cute colloquial language, and making good sense all the way through. The prophet Jeremiah says, “No one considers well in his heart,” and this poem took acuity of the brain.

    Reply
  11. Warren Bonham

    I agree that the heart is deceitful above all things. I probably got a little too wacky in the middle but it’s hard to write as if your brain is completely shut down. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.