The girl in the photo above has just had her parents shot to death at a security checkpoint after their car failed to stop. If you want to shed a few tears, the whole sad story is here. Remember this girl when you see King George partying at one of the nine inaugural balls today.
I’m not entirely sure what to do with myself today. I thought of wearing black, out of mourning for my country, but I did that for a week following the election, and seemed redundant. Instead I’m wearing green, because I feel slightly sick to my stomach. Initially, I intended to go on strike today. Stay at home and not turn on the TV, maybe create some art. I’ve too much to do at work, however, so I came in. As I see it, my work here managing servers in some small way benefits the legions of patients who come here seeking solace, some of them strikingly similar to that little girl in the photo above. They take priority to my own personal pity party. The next four years will happen regardless of what I do today.
The one small protest I’ve decided is worthwhile is to not contribute to the economy for a day. For this day, I will not spend a penny, nor use services that bring profit to others. (I realize that using Internet access to post this could constitute using a for-profit service, but Blogger is free, and I’m using my company’s Internet access, for which they pay a flat rate.) I made my own coffee this morning, brought leftovers for lunch, and I filled a bottle with my own purified water at home. I put gas in the car yesterday, so I will not visit a service station and show my support for Shrub by consuming oil. I deliberately left all of the change out of my pockets so I will not be tempted to purchase anything from a vending machine. My cell phone (a pay-as-you-go model) is turned off today. (Actually, the battery is dead, which is a good discouragement.)
For today, my iTunes playlist is locked on “Rock Against Bush” (which I stole off the Internet, BTW), and I turned off sharing on all other playlists so anyone in the office accessing my iTunes share will only be able to get “Rock Against Bush”. If I get the urge to watch a movie later tonight, I have a couple of unwatched Netflix DVDs, so no trips to the video store. Will the economy notice my absence? Hardly. But I’ll feel better about myself with the knowledge that my miniscule economic protest symbolized a refusal to support the twit we’ve been stuck with.
Be strong. The next four years is going to pass for better or for worse, and the best we can do is ride it out. It’s dangerous times, and the popular revolutions of old will not work they way they once did. We need to come up with our own revolutions, new ways of thinking for these new times. Copy music. Copy movies. Remix, rematch, release. Create art and place it in public. Operate a pirate radio station from your car. Hold a public handfasting ceremony. Place your personal stamp on society. The one thing that cannot be squelched or legislated away is you, and you and I will not be hidden away.
I end with some words to inspire your own inner revolution.
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
– Martin Luther King Jr, Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
“What am I in the eyes of most people–a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person–somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then–even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart.”
“Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock in a thunderstorm.”
–Robert Louis Stevenson