concerned us, we were slipped in. We have leveled
Of Europe, that were the powers of the world, into rub-
ble and dependence. We have won two wars and a
third is coming.
This one–will not be so easy. We were at ease while the
powers of the world were split into factions: we've
We have enjoyed fine dreams; we have dreamed of unify-
ing the world; we are unifying it–against us.
Two wars, and they breed a third. Now guard the beaches,
watch the north, trust not the dawns. Probe every
Build power. Fortress America may yet for a long time
stand, between the east and the west, like By-
–As for me: laugh at me. I agree with you. It is a fool-
ish business to see the future and screech at it.
One should watch and not speak. And patriotism has run
the world through so many blood-lakes: and we
always fall in.
- Robinson Jeffers, "So Many Blood-Lakes" (written 5/12/1944)
* * *
It is foolish business to give a fuck. It is foolish to stand against tides, to spit into the wind, to see the future and screech at it. Very foolish. Better to get out of the way. To get along, to get the corner office, to acquire all the debt you can so you can be a bigger slave than your neighbor. It is foolish to think gun laws will be changed in this quickly dying nation. It is foolish to think we will ever be rid of the poison of money buying elections, installing puppets and continually eroding what was once a fine idea of liberty and justice for all. It is over. 355 mass shooting so far this year. The mayor of Chicago sandbags a murder and will suffer no consequence. The House and Senate will, for the 65th time pass a bill dismantling the healthcare law that has protected millions for destitution for the kabuki show of it. Lies will sputter out of the mouths of the men and women seeking to become President and no one will call them on it, no one will hold them to task for inciting hatred, violence, for spreading dis-information. The nation they seek to rule is a rubble of factions turned against each other. No common cause. No civility. Just the brutality of social media and the echo chambers they engender, the violence they engender.
It is foolish to give a fuck.
But someone has to, and who better than the fucked, the outsiders, the ones struggling for a foothold? Who better than the poets and writers and artists and activists who are so fucking broke they have no skin in the economics of it but only will themselves to be heard, to create, to stand against the tide of barbarism and infantile patriotism? Who better to remind us of beauty? Who better to define what the fight is really about: freedom from the crushing powers of normative society, institutional ignorance and the feral stupidity of those who presume to govern. There is a truism: the best men never run for President - too many compromises to get there. So that means the best men and women are here, among us, beside us, our cohort, our family.
It may even be you.
* * *
Our fine dreams are gone. The illusion of our hegemony abroad, our righteousness at home has been shown for what it is: a means of control and compliance and shrugging our shoulders at another mass murder and going only so far as to scream into the wind of social media and feel we have done enough to voice our opinion, but never, ever take up the cause and push back against this tide by voting the pricks out of office, by organizing together to silence the lies being fed to us.
We live in an unmasked world. Be glad for it. The illusion kept you small, kept you in place, made you feel you weren't enough. You can now see that isn't true, and if you can see that you are now obliged to act, to pull together the best in yourself and find a brother or sister to stand with, shoulder to shoulder, and together say: "Not in our name. Not a bit of your lies" Live so the very fact of your existence is an act of subversion, of revolution, of freedom from these tides that seek only to drown us in another blood-lake.
* * *
I fear the world my children are heir to. I worry that I have not done enough, done my best to make it a less shitty place. There is no courage that can be taught. It is a stubborn well in each of us that rises when pushed too far and you have to decide if you can ignore its message, or if you will risk something to heed it.
It is time to rise up.
There are no more excuses.