Since the dreaded Super Bowl is over, its time to get your political seriousness back on!
For the record, I have never seen so many Tweets over somebody giving the middle-finger on live TV; there were probably more Tweets about that than about the entire war in Afghanistan.
I once told the story on this blog (or touched on it briefly), of the time I was shaken very hard by a bigshot leftist.
If you are up-to-date on your true-crime scandals, you have likely heard of the death of Yeardley Love, University of Virginia lacrosse player, who was shaken so hard by her ex-boyfriend/defendant, that her head hit the wall. (First-degree murder?) The trial of the accused, George Huguely, starts today.
As the young feminists say, this story has triggered and upset me, as I consider the fact that the only unpleasant repercussions I had from my shaking episode was a terrible headache, neck and shoulder pain. It could have been far worse, I realize now.
And what were the repercussions for the important lefty honcho who shook me in front of 5 witnesses? Nothing. Not a goddamn thing. I now realize I could have had him arrested for assault, but who thought of such things in those days? Cops were widely regarded as "the enemy". It would never have occurred to me, and so it didn't.
The fact that men "shake" women, as you would discipline a naughty child, is something that has greatly bothered me ever since. It's one of those things that simply doesn't happen in reverse: women do not "shake some sense" into grown men, or at least, I never heard of anyone doing that, never read about it, never seen it in movies or on television. As I increase my participation on various blogs that deal with men's gender issues, I am highly skeptical when they tell us men are raped and harmed by women, just as often as women are raped and harmed by men (some even claim MORE often). Although I am sympathetic to the male dilemma (as I have tagged it), we just don't hear about male lacrosse players shaken so hard by their girlfriends, that their heads hit the wall and they die. (Such a story almost sounds laughable, doesn't it?)
And how exactly would one prove that a male was raped by a female, unless some object was used? Vaginal bruising and tearing are one form of evidence for rape of women, but is there an equivalent for males?
I am open-minded enough to listen, but I remain skeptical that gender-violence goes both ways as often as the Men's Rights contingent insists that it does.
Where are the dead male lacrosse players?
Further, I think many women could tell a story similar to mine--random violence (or threats of violence) from men (not necessarily domestic violence).
Can most men tell similar stories about women?
I don't know any who can.
Chris Hedges, whom I usually respect, has written a rather hysterical piece titled, THE CANCER OF OCCUPY. (Cancer? Really? Somebody has not read Illness as Metaphor by Susan Sontag, and has not learned of the inappropriateness of the term.) Hedges' piece reads exactly the way so many alarmist anti-war movement screeds once did, back in the day--particularly concerning the Yippies: THE ANARCHISTS ARE INVADING, AIYEEEEE!
First, like the poor, the anarchists we always have with us. Deal.
Second, the Malcolm X/Martin Luther King dichotomy stands. The radicals make the liberals look reasonable. You're welcome, Chris! Take the position of the reasonable liberal and SHUT UP. The radicals are helping us. Only scared liberals afraid of not staying in charge, could fail to see it this way. Hedges announces:
Because Black Bloc anarchists do not believe in organization, indeed oppose all organized movements, they ensure their own powerlessness.Is 'Anonymous' powerless? Like, when they brought down PayPal? Bullshit. They have power that can't be quantified, can't be controlled, and that is what the Hedges-types (whom I usually respect, as I said) do not understand.
Occupy is about the 99% and unfortunately, the 99% (includes even Republicans) are not going to agree on What Is To Be Done. Further, everybody in the 99% seems to have an opinion, even people who haven't actually spent lots of time Occupying. Although Hedges distinguished himself by getting arrested in front of Goldman Sachs, Occupier John Penley comments on Facebook:
I am tired of these intellectuals getting more fame and money writing about and attempting to direct the movement. By the way Chris... The Zapatistas wear masks and carry guns. I have spent a lot of time in Chiapas and much of the material aid and physical support for the Zapatistas came from black bloc types and I am sure they would not be happy about Hedges speaking for them like I am not sure why he feels he can speak from his high profile position so much about what the Occupy movement should or is doing.The so-called "split" in Occupy, between pacifists and direct-actions protesters, mirrors every other political group I have ever been involved in. This is an old split, it is PRIMAL. Some people always want to chant and pray and sit, and some people always want to throw rocks. There are always ill-mannered punks who invade the porn store and trash it (I helped do this once, after solemnly promising I would not join the breakaway-faction that ran in to trash the mafia-owned business that specialized in violent "beaver loops") ... and some want to inflict even more damage and/or openly confront (and fight with) police.
What they do, you do not have to do.
What they do, is NOT ABOUT you, unless you choose (as I did, during the aforementioned 'Take Back the Night' march/demonstration) to jump ship and join the anarchists. The nice N.O.W. ladies did not approve of us young ruffians running in there and ripping up rape-pin-ups, and that is exactly why we didn't tell them what we were planning to do. They had a march-permit and were terribly well-behaved--and could therefore honestly claim to law enforcement that they had no clue a bunch of punk-rock-witches would suddenly break away and run inside the porn store, shrieking like Furies (that's what we were going for, anyway). As a result, we protected the march from possible arrests, AND we managed to inflict the damage.
But you know, you should not PLAY at rabble-rousing. If you give a bang-up speech saying 'women take back the night!'--do not be surprised when someone actually does.
When you say "We are the 99%--hoo ha!"--do not be surprised when the actual 99% shows up. Like, ALL of them; bikers, ex-cons, angry veterans, etc... and they may not have your peacenik, lets-get-in-a-circle-and-chant-OM values. Are you ready for that?
If not, Occupy is not for you. Because it really is about the 99%, that isn't just empty propaganda. Be prepared when the 99% really does show up... and they are, like the rest of us, extremely pissed off.
They may not show their anger in the nicey-nice way that you have come to expect.
If you missed my non-interview of Noam Chomsky, it is here.
Also recommended: 29 days on Drugs – Day 2: The President’s Pot Problem. The best analysis I have read, of why Obama seems so terrified to discuss freeing the weed.
Mentioned in the post is The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, a book about the drug war (and its focus on minorities), which I will certainly be reading and discussing on my radio show.
Caution: bluegrass ahead! This lovely, traditional old song is apparently now in the public domain; author unknown. The first line of the song is today's blog post title. (What would I do without WPCI?)
Take me back to the Sweet Sunny South - Jerry Garcia and David Grisman