Thursday, January 12, 2017

Why I'm Marching

So I'm going to this Women's March in London a week from Saturday. I knew from the second I heard about it that I would go. Come with me.

I'm feeling bad. In a post-truth world I don't know what to believe.

I don't know if the President Elect is a Russian spy. I don't know where even to get the news: the bias from all angles feels false. Feels hollow. Feelings are where justice comes from, right? Because it goes from a feeling that something is unbearable to a resolution to change it, to action. The big victories for humans - the progression of our virtue and our civilisation - they started in the feeling that I am having now and that you also may be having now especially in light of Brexit and our White Witch Prime Minister, in light of Trump and the Russians, in light of Calais, Aleppo: the world is dark. Curse the darkness or light a candle, that's your only goddamned choice.

The resolution to change anything is a kind of betrayal, even lighting a candle is treason against the darkness. All justice comes from treason though. The Rosa Parks - Vaclev Havel - Antigone kind of justice - it comes from betraying what is there before you today. Perhaps the usefulness of this march is to empower us to begin our long betrayal.

To quote Danny Kaye performing The Maladjusted Jester:

"The first step of all isn't hard to recall for the first step of all is to stand."

I don't think it's enough to march. It's not enough to raise awareness. It's not enough to call attention to the problem. It's not enough to write plays where for a shining moment people are inspired and then they go back to their lives. Even if everyone had that feeling it would still just be a feeling. I mean we have to do something.  Since Danny Kaye is never wrong:  the first step of all is to stand. This march is the first step toward treason.

Since Occupy I have read and thought about what protest should look like now, and I agree with Micah White that really there is no point in going out into the street in terms of influencing people who hold power. But I'm still going. Because first, sometimes it's not rational. And second, Danny Kaye. Sometimes you have to express yourself with your body. These screens aren't doing it for me, and the more we get into this lake of shit that is the situation with Russian hacking, the less I want to engage with social media. Liking something on FB is not the same as using your body to stand.

You know what I do a lot right now? Give my kids foot rubs and hugs. Look them in the eye when they are talking to me. I am making sure I am surrounded by reminders of humanaty, simple human things.

And in that quest for being human, I find an overwhelming desire to heal. Others feel total despair right now, I see us turning thing ocean liner around.  Maybe Micah White is wrong. Maybe taking a stand will make a difference. If not in the world, then in us.

I hope I'm wrong on this one but I find the younger generations overly docile and too deferential to authority. Their parents didn't let them develop their judgment. Generation X  may be the last generation able to do what needs to be done. My generation has the money and longevity now to heal the many wounds of the world. We can get elected, we can organize, yes we can.  The only way to do that is by not demanding justice, but by being powerful enough to implement justice. Win elections. Change governments. Open courts. Pass laws. Take power. Treason.

We think of ourselves as powerless to take on the injustices of our time. Consumerism and unregulated capitalism have captured our imaginations. They have captured all of our time. And then, with respect to activism, everyone is in their own lovely activist ghetto: their church or school. But those aren't working. It's time to imagine the kind of world we want for 2027 and start to make it happen now. By claiming power. It is time for the lawyers and the playwrights and the Christians and the moms, the farmers and the cowmen, the campaigners for peace, the guardians of human rights, the stewards of the earth - to call ourselves all those things and become all those things. It is time to stand.

Come with me.

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