Jonathan Reed, a twenty-something Atlanta native and a student at Columbia College in Chicago, wrote this palindrome poem, “Lost Generation,” about the future waiting for him and his peers. Reading it from the top down is disheartening; reading it from the bottom up is uplifting!
Reed’s video won second place in AARP’s U@50 video contest. According to contest rules:
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible? To enter the AARP U@50 Challenge, you must be a legal resident of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia 18 years of age or older and have a valid user account with YouTube.
How Can I Enter the Contest? To enter the Contest, create an original video not exceeding two minutes in length that describes how you envision your future and upload it to YouTube website in accordance with these Official Rules. All Video Submissions must be uploaded to YouTube no later than 11:59:59 P.M. (ET) on November 30, 2007.
TEXT FOR “LOST GENERATION” VIDEO
I am part of a lost generation
and I refuse to believe that
I can change the world
I realize this may be a shock but
“Happiness comes from within”
is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy”
So in 30 years I will tell my children
they are not the most important thing in my life
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
is more important than
I tell you this
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
but this will not be true in my era
this is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making
In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this earth
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.
And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it.
Reed was inspired by the Argentinian political ad, “Truth,” which won the Silver Lion in the “Public Awareness Messages” category at the 2006 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
These filmmakers’ ingenious palindromic approach prompted me to include this list of palindromes, which I’ve compiled over the years. If you can add to the list, please let me know!
Naomi, I moan
Live not on evil
Egad, an adage!
Too hot to hoot
Step on no pets
No ‘x’ in ‘Nixon’
Rise to vote, sir!
Party booby trap
Amen, icy cinema
Madam, I’m Adam
Was it a rat I saw?
Do geese see God?
A Toyota’s a Toyota
No lemons, no melon
Lisa Bonet ate no basil
Pull a bat, I hit a ball up
A slut nixes sex in Tulsa
Ah, Satan sees Natasha
Sit on a potato pan, Otis
Able was I, ere I saw Elba
Was it Eliot’s toilet I saw?
Burlap apes use papal rub
Yo, bro! Free beer for boy!
Ten animals I slam in a net
A dog, a panic in a pagoda
Was it a car or a cat I saw?
Lewd did I live, & evil I did dwel
A man, a plan, a canal, Panama
Live time, never even emit evil
Selim’s tired; no wonder, it’s miles
Go hang a salami! I’m a lasagna hog!
Cigar? Toss it in a can. It is so tragic.
Sir, I demand—I am a maid named Iris
I roamed under it as a tired, nude Maori
Doom, royal panic, I mimic in a play or a mood
Flog sad loser Al. Gore, zero, glares, old as golf
I madam, I made radio. So I dared. Am I mad? Am I?
O naughty me, tut! It’s Bush substitute, myth, guano
Doc, note. I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod
To sleep, O ogre! Vile mongrel! Dip, ass, sap! Idler! Gnome! Liver goop! Eel! Sot!
T. Eliot, top bard, notes putrid tang emanating, is sad. Id assign it a name: gnat dirt upset on drab pot toilet
Finally, here is my all-time favorite palindrome:
Straw? No, too stupid a fad. I put soot on warts!
Click here to see all my humorous posts.
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