the theme music for HBO’s Succession

has “cemented its status in sonic TV history”
according to an article in Vulture
I can testify to its weird zen chime/
orchestral combination, but the show,
a more fictional portrayal of Fox News
than The Loudest Voice on Showtime

and therefore subject to the usual
right-wing blather about persecution
from liberal elites also has good writing –
“syphilis is the MySpace of STDs,”
for example, or a conference presentation
called “The Qualities of Inequality”

for the 1% of the 1%, or “you should try
swallowing something,” a witty reminder
of a difficult biological feat detailed
in the season’s first year, all of which
were probably inspired by Frank Rich,
one of the executive producers

(a sexual harassment complaint broken
by New York magazine on a cellphone) –
and great characters, especially “Shiv,”
the supremely sassy Murdoch daughter,
who’s doubled as campaign advisor
for a lefty presidential candidate

but who might succeed her father,
unless betrayed, which happens often
(Brian Cox a good deal crazier
than Russell Crowe’s Roger Ailes) –
her two brothers are good too,
the compulsive drug addict, who

would have noticed that homonym
and won an Emmy for it and
the bratty young Trumpian punk,
working within the system
or blowing it all up on a whim –
did people ever debate using

pop culture in poems? Probably,
but while migrants are caged
at the border, the earth floods and burns,
a president is impeached
and people we love die or suffer
unaccountably it’s amazing that

even under the rule of machines
and reduced to a data stream
(Vox acquires New York Media, now
owns Vulture and New York magazine)
we can still sometimes summon
a faint, endlessly conflicted smile

***

Photo by Burak K from Pexels