the israelis started bombing again, first 6 dead, then 21 dead, 23 more, lately it’s over 100 killed— a quarter of them children. 400 tons of bombs. it goes on.
jay asked, “what is to be done?”
obviously an important question, a good and useful question. not that we should only be reactive, but that some issues should have been acted on before they got to this point. probably, the question itself recognizes, in the asking of it, our position of relative weakness, by which i mean isolation.
I said, “at the very least, talk one on one.”
i know some are thinking that their previous condition, their difficulties and defeats make it impossible for them to act. “i can’t even deal with my own problems, let alone somebody else’s,” someone said when i suggested they try to get out and do something.
but not to act on an issue like this, or on similar pressing issues, is to acquiesce to our own isolation, to reinforce our past difficulties and defeats represented by that isolation.
so the first thing is, to talk one on one.
and the second is, why are you not part of some group or organization that will help you, stand up for you, fight for you?
the top 1% owns 35% of wealth in this country, the top 20% owns 89% of it, and they are using it against the rest of us. enforcing our alienation and isolation. IT IS THE FORCE OF CAPITAL oppressing people. 80% of americans, that’s us, own 11% of the wealth of the country. those proportions correspond to political power: who bribes congress to pass laws protecting them and dunning others, who hires lawyers to protect them and attack others, who hires supreme court justices, whose rights and property do the police protect and whose rights and property do police disregard and confiscate? who sits in first class with direct access to the life boats when the ship goes down? who waits in long lines their whole lives and then misses the boat entirely?
your social and political isolation, your difficulties and defeats (you should know) are directly related to their victories and money. where did your money go, and the money for your kids’ education, for housing, infrastructure, for culture and the environment? and what’re you gonna do about it?
what organizations have you been a member of? which unions or political groups?
would you rather spend time and money on a movie, on popcorn, on beer, than in defense of your own rights, your own best chance?
did you chew on doubts and shame, in isolation?
are you counting on some spiritual cupcake to make you feel all better (while 2.5 millions are imprisoned, others are bombed, and the horizon above certain lives—perhaps your own—is nullified)?
did you waste time on worry and disembodied existential dread and feel shitty about yourself? you know this is why the suicide rate is twice the murder rate (that nobody talks about).
700,000 iraqis slaughtered, 3 trillions of dollars trucked out by the jet load, like it was garbage for the land fill (but it didn’t go to a land fill)—you know (even if you only suspect it)—these wars are on you.
this oppression is on you. there will be even more oppression and waste in your children’s lives because of it.
i remember R., who was such a busybody. she was always in community business, always talking. she talked about working for the wounded knee legal defense committee and attacks by the government on indian leadership, she organized events with women of all red nations and when she was in in the city, away from the reservation, she made a nuisance of herself, endlessly bothering the administration at her kids’ schools to try to fix problems at the schools. she lost a ten year knock down drag out fight with breast cancer.
don’t just cop an attitude and toss out a few phrases to make it sparkly like some poets.
don’t just wear earphones to shut it out, or go to the gym and sweat it out.
look at the groups and organizations or organize your own.
start by talking one on one.