Well I’m a truth addict… ahh sh*t i got a head rush.

March 24, 2009

“Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine; I’m on the pavement thinking about the government.” Bob Dylan said that in 1965. The midpoint of an era that shook, like a withdrawn junkie, with political unrest. And to put it lightly, ain’t shit changed — just the names, faces and places….oh yeah, and now we have this thing called the internet. Once upon a time, the markings of a true activist were physical action and the robust will to stand in harm’s way; bottles broken in streets, sit-ins, Molotov cocktails and marches. Today the political landscape has changed. Concurrently, the weapons we use to fight injustice on this terrain have evolved. After all, who wants to sit in a Humvee with paper thin siding when the freedom fighters* come?

For North Americans, Europeans and citizens of other empowered nations (are there any others?), we have our armored Humvee! We may sit safely behind our computer terminals and type “smack” till our fingers swell. So we have a Facebook group and we all agree, with a click, that “we don’t like your injustice, foreign leaders!” However, we’ll still support conglomerates that aid in a quest for your total dominance and suppression — pinky swear! For our fellow citizens in the global community: we insist we feel your pain, even if we don’t know what ten years in Chinese prison (or a secret holding site in Iran) is like. Allow me to readjust my cynicism for a hot second. I’m frustrated.
When do we stop talking and start doing? Others in more oppressive nations do not have the luxury of hiding. Their words are actions; their dissent online is dissent in real life. Its easier to throw words around when they remain, as long smoke in a stiff breeze. What happens when they become the cinder blocks that comprise your new 4’x8′ condo in a desert outpost? We need to help our brothers and sisters with more than just civil debate, we must help them with action. What can we, as the fortunate, do for those without fortune? Here’s an idea: take it back to 1965 and get out in the streets. “God made us number one because he loves us the best; well, he should go bless someone else for a while and give us a rest.” Ben Folds said that. He’s playing in Davis Square tonight; you should probably go watch that because Hossein Derakshan can’t. He’s too busy fighting real oppression with real actions and feeling real consequences for it.

*read “terrorist depending on which side you’re on… you do have a side right?)”

Sam Neill


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