“You can’t be neutral on a moving train.”
— Howard Zinn
I’ve been websurfing through profiles of people I went to high school with. Though I have changed a lot, people that I thought were cool in high school are still the type of people I want to be friends with. People that were “enh” are still “enh.” Most of the latter now have nice-paying careers working for the man. Or doing something incredibly boring that one would only do to have money. While I’m reaching a place in my life where that sort of thing is more important to me (gee, would be nice to fill some of these cavities before I start to resemble the woman who sleeps at the busstop across from the Amtrak) I still find it unimpressive. I wouldn’t trade places to have that kind of job.
I also noticed that people who have TV, babies or God are only interested in TV, babies and God.
Along the same lines, very few people have any interest in the turmoil that is going on in the world. I’m sure that many are aware and just don’t post about it. This makes me want to be more conscious about posting politics.
Last night I got a phone call from a woman I used to know when I was a teen and she was a child. We’re five years apart. She says that she looks up to me because I went to college and I was involved in politics. She doesn’t know a lot about politics (IE, she didn’t know what fascism is) but she knows enough to be peeved. She said she was confused and I could tell that she was frustrated. I feel like there are many people that would make an impact if only they knew how/what/where to break into it.
This inspires in me a lot of mixed feelings. People are really angered about the paths this administration is taking, even people that live in the suburbs and don’t expose themselves to any kind of news media, let alone non-corporate media. There was a woman on the Diane Rheam Weekend Round-up who was near tears because the president lied about the CIA leak. She said it was getting harder and harder to call this country a democracy. The pundits replied that at least there is transparancy and the people will make change at the ballot box. But I’m with H. D. Thoreau on this one:
“Must we resign our conscious to the legislator? Why has every man a conscious then? We should be men first, and subjects second.”
And that gets right to the heart of it. We know how to vote, but once that’s failed we know not where else to turn. I would go so far as to say that our culture discourages further action.
Ask yourself, what have you done for your country today? And by that I mean, what have you done for the world today? And by that I mean, what have you done for your city today? How are the actions that you take on a daily basis affecting the world at large? Would you even begin to know how to affect the world? Yet you are affecting the world. By choosing not to act, that is impacting history. There are no sidelines, everyone is in the game. I may drop the ball from time to time, but at least I’m out there running.