One of the better things about Portland's city council is that anyone—even you!—can show up and speak their mind to the commissioners for three minutes at the beginning of every meeting. Recently, the highly recognizable Michael Krupp has been showing up regularly to council, using his three minutes to deliver intense messages in speech that resembles polemical prose poems.


Today's poem got a round of hearty applause from the social justice and homeless advocates who packed the council chambers. And for good reason: It uses an allegorical Star Trek bar scene to describe race in America. At least I think it does. Here's my transcription of Krupp's three-minute oration; I think I missed a couple words at the beginning:

This is based on a social construct built on a nonexistent number zero, that diabolically opposes the flow and direction of our lives, a sordid invisible dam to humanity that sucks the life energy from the living for us to better feed and maintain the plans of water. We strangle business for hydroelectric power. We strangle people for the power of empire. All of science is based on the sacred mathematics. Two thousand years ago, the men of the Gupta Empire proposed the zero. Bad idea. My prealgebra teacher said the number one divided by the zero equaled [unintelligible]. In simple terms, from zero, you cannot reach one. Yet we are taught that it is the same mathematical distance from zero to one as from one to two. Apparently science is fiction. The terrestrial dam erected by the war god is Wall Street, to which human and natural resources are traded to just extract money. This must be undone. Tear down that wall, Mr. President, tear down that Wall Street. Two brief facts: Human is spelled "hueman" to include all the beautiful colors of our people, in particular black, which is the only optically pure color, whereas white is a mix of all the other colors. Apparently, we are the mud race. Or mother is our creator, our father will not interfere in her world, he can only love her and we through her are the children who must come to aide of our mothers. White today is the bar in Star Trek, the Next episode with Picard, warlike Klingons, growling over chops and worms while Venutians sing at the next table. Everyone eats, no fighting. Never a monopoly, how it's seen as statisically the bank rollers want. Hm. We now leave the Lucifery that blows the streets to Hell, to the Rape-publicans and the Demon-crats. We are now the people's peace party of Portland, Oregon. P3PO. A sort of golden Trojan robot that will bring honesty to city hall and beyond. It is from Portland that the new Crusade will never get a chance to begin.