Sent to DS by the author.
This is a post I wrote on “Thanksgiving Day.” [Before that is this very important reminder that “natural gas fracking” (DRILLING) has already been proven lethally dangerous to all land, air, water, food, and the communities living nearby. So, there is a protest about it on Thursday, December 9th. Info about that is below.]
… “I thought of the blinded, armless, legless soldier in Dalton Trumbo’s novel Johnny Got His Gun, who, lying on his hospital cot, unable to speak or hear, remembers when his hometown gave him a send-off, with speeches about fighting for … liberty and democracy. He finally learns how to communicate, by tapping Morse code letters with his head, and asks the authorities to take him to schoolrooms everywhere, to show the children what war is like. But they do not respond. “In one terrible moment he saw the whole thing,” Trumbo writes. “They wanted only to forget him.”… ” The Ultimate Betrayal by Howard Zinn, The Progressive, March 15, 2004
Pasted to my desk for the past twenty some years is a cool photo, which a friend took of my mouth wide open, when she told me that I do my job of “making trouble for the status quo” really well. Pouring out of the image are these words I found in an article interviewing Paul Simon, when asked about the tension between silence and speaking in his creative process, “And you say, “I have nothing to say” …But the truth is, you always do, and often don’t want to say it. And that’s how you begin. You begin by talking about the subject that you didn’t want to talk about.”
I was going to remain silent about “Thanksgiving Day”…in fact, I was going to take a drive across the border… hang out in Toronto, but as the weather threatened rain and snow and I didn’t want that added stress, I’m here (at least for now) instead, decompressing from my wage-slave job that always ramps up stress at this time of year… But also, because recently a friend said to me, “That’s interesting that you once had more fun on holidays like this; I wonder why that changed?” and I realized that if I really cut to the heart of it, the intention of breaking away from unpleasant contexts is not for the purpose of being alone, but for a path of more meaningful interaction, because just about everything is more meaningful when shared with others, and I know a good number of others who feel as I do on this auspicious “holiday”, and because I want them to know they are not alone, as several articles I’ve read in the past week and a half leading up to today reminded me and others that we are not alone. Additionally, because individual “actions of truth and beauty” are helpful and necessary, they are not sufficient, because it is a host of systemic crimes that find us at this U.S. holiday period on the brink of collapse. And because, as Robert Jensen wrote, in one very powerful, important, and strongly recommended article linked here, I ”…[S]truggle to understand how to live in a culture that cannot tell the truth…” And since revolutionary change is what is needed for systemic change, I am sharing this buffet of articles addressing this need for radical action, because… I think that necessitates cutting the heart OUT of it. Think of it as (just [ice]) desserts!
“I celebrate Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invite everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we have an enormous feast, and then I kill them and take their land.” – Jon Stewart (from Americans Who Tell the Truth) http://americanswhotellthetruth.org/