As Radical As Reality: An Interview with Mickey Z By Frank Joseph Smecker

By Frank Joseph Smecker
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
August 17, 2010

Mickey Z is a self-educated writer, activist and lecturer living in New York City. He is the author of nearly ten books, and is probably the only person on the planet to have appeared in both a karate flick with Billy “Tae Bo” Blanks and a political book with Howard Zinn. Aware of today’s mounting environmental, economical and social problems, problems some would say are manifestations of a collapse-in-progress of the traditional institutions, paradigms and behaviors of an unsustainable establishment we’ve known our entire lives, Z channels said awareness into his work, inspiring his readers to do the same. “When exactly does all this goddamned awareness translate into productive action and tangible change?” Z asks. “We’re aware of global warming and its causes, factory farms, war crimes, environmental degradation, political corruption, fixed elections, the health care crisis… We know about it all,” he says. “We talk about it. We write about it. We complain about it. We hold meetings, talks, seminars, and classes about it. We march about it. We make signs about it. Nothing changes.”

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Five Reasons Why Americans Won’t Resist By Mickey Z.

Dandelion Salad

By Mickey Z.
Information Clearing House
March 24, 2009

Protest (American, definitely not a verb): Wait for UFPJ or ANSWER to stage a parade (I mean, demonstration) on a weekend afternoon so no one misses work or school or in any way disrupts the flow of commerce. Don’t make a sign; the organizers will make one for you. March in an orderly fashion, be polite to the occupying army (I mean, cops), and be sure to stay in designated free speech zones. Blame the Republicans. Wear costumes. Make puppets. Exclude anarchists. Hold a candlelight vigil. Sign a petition. Chant. Vote for a Democrat and hope for change. Need I continue?

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Planet of Lost Souls by Mickey Z.

Dandelion Salad

by Mickey Z.
Foreign Policy Journal
January 19, 2009

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:26

I wasn’t supposed to be born. After my mother gave birth to my sister, the doctors told her she’d never have another child. They couldn’t say exactly why (later, she was diagnosed with endometriosis) but they were pretty damn certain…the way doctors tend to be pretty damn certain. Wisely, my mother ignored such white coat condescension and less than two years later, yours truly arrived on the scene. Mom called me her “miracle baby” and I think this played a role in the amazingly close relationship we always had.


Again, so incredibly basic but within that simplicity lies the secret: If we were to look upon all living things as part—along with ourselves—of one collective soul, it becomes impossible to live in denial about war, global poverty and disease, oppression, the destruction of our eco-system, etc. It becomes unbearable to visualize animals in a slaughterhouse, a laboratory, a circus, or a zoo. For anyone dwelling anywhere near the realm of reality, it is downright excruciating to contemplate 80% of the world’s forest and 90% of the large fish in the ocean being gone. If we are indeed “all part of one big soul,” as Tom Joad wonders, how can we not weep uncontrollably when—on this planet of abundant resources—a human being starves to death every two seconds?


via “Planet of Lost Souls” by Mickey Z.

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Chomsky, Zinn, and Obama by Mickey Z.

Dandelion Salad

by Mickey Z.
Foreign Policy Journal
October 24, 2008

“”You don’t stick a knife in a man’s back nine inches, and then pull it out six inches, and say you’re making progress.” — Malcolm X

Another Election Day approaches and I’m reminded of something the late Pakistani dissident, Eqbal Ahmad said about Noam Chomsky in the book, Confronting Empire (2000): “He (Chomsky) has never wavered. He has never fallen into the trap of saying, ‘Clinton will do better.’ Or ‘Nixon was bad but Carter at least had a human rights presidency.’ There is a consistency of substance, of posture, of outlook in his work.”

But along came 2004…when Chomsky said stuff like this: “Anyone who says ‘I don’t care if Bush gets elected’ is basically telling poor and working people in the country, ‘I don’t care if your lives are destroyed’.” And like this: “Despite the limited differences [between Bush and Kerry] both domestically and internationally, there are differences. In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes.”


This strategy of choosing an alleged “lesser evil” because he/she might be influenced by some mythical “popular movement” would be naïve if put forth by a high school student. Professors Chomsky and Zinn know better. If it’s incremental change they want, why not encourage their many readers to vote for Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney? The classic (read: absurd) reply to that question is: “Because Nader or McKinney can’t win.”

Of course they can’t win if everyone who claims to agree with them inexplicably votes for Obama instead. Paging Alice: You’re wanted down the goddamned rabbit hole.


via Chomsky, Zinn, and Obama


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Howard Zinn: Vote for Obama but direct action needed

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Ralph Nader: Cynicism is what the power structure wants us to exude

Change Big Donors Can Believe In By Amy Goodman

Why I’m not voting for Barack Obama by Todd Chretien

Lesser of two evils by Davis Fleetwood

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