Pretty Words and the Same-O-Same-O – Is “This” the New Era of Activism? by Sibel Edmonds

by Sibel Edmonds
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
originally published by Boiling Frogs Post 27 August, 2010
5 September, 2010

So I haven’t been writing; pouring out pages and pages of words; analyzing a bit of a sick foreign policy issue here and a handful of plentiful corruption stories there, or marveling at the rapid uncontested descent toward the ever-approaching ‘police state,’…

I am going to blame it partly on a hectic life in the fast lane, but only ‘partly.’ Here is the major reason for the absence of my ‘many-word’ postings:

I am tired; so very tired. I am tired of reading and listening to all these nicely written, well-argued, soundly reasoned, and sadly, factual words written and spoken by good natured preppy boys and girls. There are so many scandals, too may wrongs, and lots to fight. Unfortunately we still don’t have the majority, as is almost always the case whenever and wherever things get to be so wrong and awful; our good ole notion of the ‘irate minority.’ Yet, we this ‘irate minority’ is a decent size. The problem is, at least to me, that almost the entire membership of our current irate minority has assumed one title, and one title only: educators. Activism has been narrowed and reduced to one line of activity – producing words: writing-blogs, alternative means of communication, and, talking. Words, words, many words; pretty words, good words, big words, intellectually enriched words, academically induced words, mumbo words, jumbo words…words words everywhere.

They are all talking, writing; some are busy talking and writing simultaneously. There seems to be not enough words, or enough time to use all the needed words to cover the obscene cost of  our wars (cost in lives, cost to taxpayers, cost to morale, cost to our standing around the world, cost to…), to cover the assault on our civil liberties (from enhanced pat down of our crotches by TSA to the illegal monitoring of our every form of communication…), to cover the violations of human rights (from torture to illegal detentions to assassination squads…), to cover the daily corruption scandals (from our multi-billion-dollar private war industry to our very own elected officials)…

You may say ‘but that’s a good thing. We need to educate and inform more people in order to change the sorry state of things…’ You’d be right, except for this major reality factor: all these pretty words are written for and or spoken to the same audience circle – which includes the same large irate minority who happen to spend all their time writing and speaking them.  And, that my friend, is why we are where we are. Well, at least in my opinion.

To bring about needed change(s) we need Agents of Change. You see, it is plural: Agents. Of course we need the educators: writers, speakers, reporters/journalists…We also need organizers. We need leaders. We need participant funders. We need uniters- sure, I made up this word, but it makes sense: we need people who are good at uniting the decent. Without people fulfilling these roles, we’ll be stuck here, in this exact same situation, or most likely even worse.

Okay, back to me being tired; make it exhausted. I am surrounded with good friends and acquaintances who have been talking and writing, and of course, reading and listening to other comrade talkers and writers. Most of them are great people, and I like them. A few of them are less likable due to their own doings – disposition-intellectual snubs – but nonetheless, they mostly make sense in their writing-talking presentations. So I’ve been reading their work, one after another, and, I’ve been listening to them. I find many of their analyses, whether on civil liberties or foreign policy or whatever, to be sound, right on target, or at least interesting and worth considering. But every time I am exposed to their audience-readers, I keep seeing the same people: the already-knowledgeable vigilant small group of sods – which includes colleagues who also write-speak similar words. And, that circle of audience ain’t growing. Neither is the dynamic moving towards, getting translated to any action, or anything even resembling any action. And, we are where we are; in a place worse than it was a year ago, and far worse than where it was three years before that.

Hmmmmm. I still have plenty to say on this subject, but doing that means more words, and that my friend, is going to totally defeat the purpose of this ‘side note.’ Will the cure for my current revolt against and exhaustion of words be by throwing myself into another round of word-swamp, or, by turning the word faucet off, except for a drip here or there? I guess time will tell.


Tom Engelhardt on The American Way of War, interviewed by Peter B. Collins and Sibel Edmonds

When Will We Finally Get It? by Jason Marks

Chris Hedges: Moral Courage + NH Peace Action’s Will Hopkins Responds to Chris Hedges

The Revolution We Need… The Leadership We Have

3 thoughts on “Pretty Words and the Same-O-Same-O – Is “This” the New Era of Activism? by Sibel Edmonds

  1. I too , Sibel, am frustrated. So much so that it is lowering my immune system lately. I write columns on this site and on my own blog on open

    To me, words are great but…… if only even 5 % of us would stand at the offices of our congress people ( even local offices ) and stand on street corners of our towns, even once a week , to protest the obscene military spending and phony wars etc…. Just this one issue …… these hypocrites in office would respond!

    Sad how the public only ‘ vents ‘ behind closed doors etc.

  2. Well written nevertheless. Expect nothing less from a trilingualist. Exhausted is the least of your problems, gurl, no small planes for you!

  3. It’s like a creative writing department. They teach writing and talk about it or write about writing, but don’t actually produce much that is publishable, though they do have great parties.

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