The Ant and the Grasshopper
What's Up With The Election?
by Saab Lofton
"The ultimate solution is not with the people on top. The ultimate solution is for people in the streets to create an atmosphere for people on top to be accountable."
--Professor Howard Zinn (1922 - 2010), author of A People's History of the United States
"I've lived long enough to see the future become history, Professor. Empires crumble. There are no exceptions."
--The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The problem with being so damn obscure is that -- even if I had the cure for cancer -- the public won't ever have access to it. I shudder to think of how few people will read this, and as a result, all too many will cower in fear over the recent election: "Oh my God! The Republican Party/Tea Party controls the U.S. Congress! It's the end of the world!" And so on, and so forth, etc. etc. etc. ...
First of all, Democrats and Republicans are virtually identical -- and if there isn't more than enough proof of this (and there IS), Obama's overrated ass authorized an extension of the Patriot Act, which would've expired had that pretty boy not done so ...
... second of all, it doesn't matter who's in power; everything is ultimately under public control, as Richard Nixon learned the hard way ...
"Although publicly I continued to ignore the raging anti-war controversy ... I knew, however, that after all the protests and the Moratorium the nationwide protests of October 1969, American public opinion would be seriously divided by any military escalation of the war."
--The Nixon Memoirs
... speaking of, lest we not forget that the Vietnam Invasion/Occupation was started by a Democrat (JFK) but ended by a Republican (Ford), so again, it doesn't matter which of these twin demons happens to hold the reins.
Before I tell y'all how to get out of this mess, let's recap, shall we? I know full well the extent to which Americans are brainwashed into believing that all it takes to achieve anything in life is to pull yourself up by your bootstraps -- and Lord knows the Tea Party will swear that's how it won -- but that's an absolute LiE. Those Teabaggers are extremely well funded ...
"Who funds the Tea Party? Heading the list is Koch Industries, headed by David and Charles Koch (pronounced Coke), the third-richest people in the United States. From David Koch’s Park Avenue duplex or from his other mansions, he heads up Americans for Prosperity. This group has given more than $198 million to right-wingers in the last 10 years. The Koch brothers are the main funders of the Tea Party ... The Tea Party also gets money from ExxonMobil, Philip Morris, Rupert Murdoch, the Coors family, Mellon-Scaife."
... and their asses are heavily hyped by the corporately-owned MASS media ...
"The regressive bias of the corporate media is starkly revealed by the coverage, and the non-coverage, of the public demonstrations of last month. When a couple of thousand tea-party or gun-rights enthusiasts show up on the Mall in Washington, or across the Potomac in Virginia, the mainstream media is there to cover them en masse. But when up to ten thousand protesters gather on Wall Street, or fifty thousand jam downtown Los Angeles to protest the Arizona 'show your papers' law, these events might just as well have taken place on the far side of the moon."
... but doN'T fault the left-wing for not telling you this sooner -- we wereN'T allowed to ...
... besides, wasn't it more important to psychotically obsess over LeBron James or Lindsay Lohan ..?
"They bury stories of vital importance while spewing endless hours and column inches at the mind-deadening likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Their excuse is that they 'give the public what it wants' and are 'in business to make a profit.' But the real profit centers of the corporations that own the CM are not in providing news and information. General Electric, Westinghouse, Disney and the other media-financial-industrial behemoths have too much to lose from an accurate reporting of the true news of the world. To protect their core interests, they are bread-and-circus PR/diversion machines, not real news organizations."
... so what now? Well, you people are NOT going to like it, but the answer is the same as it ever was: Perpetual protest, since the price of liberty is E-T-E-R-N-A-L vigilance. The right to vote is a beautiful thing, but that still doesN'T change the FACT that voting encourages laziness amongst Americans; the unspoken consensus seems to be: "I voted so I don't have to care about the world for another couple of years -- let me get back to my 'Reality TV' ..!"
As Henry David Thoreau wrote in his essay, Civil Disobedience (1849), "Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence." This means that the upkeep of a DECENT democracy is twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year (even on holidays, both religious and secular).
That's why I'm still single at forty-plus. My EX once proposed that we find a "happy medium," as she put it. According to her, to ensure that I paid our relationship enough attention, I would only save HALF the planet, which makes less than zero sense. How romantic could a date possibly be if it had to be held in a fallout shelter after a nuclear holocaust because the Peace Movement had been slacking? Talk about some ass backwards priorities!
When it comes to what you as an individual can do, each according to their ability, and even though I've suggested the following in a previous commentary, it's clear that repetition is the key, so ...
1) Benefit concerts are great ways to raise funds for good causes, but there can just as soon be dance contests, fashion shows, athletic competitions, car washes and bake sales. Given how much groups like Amnesty International and A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) need money, have all of the above on a regular basis.
2) Hold what I call Pizza Screenings: Find someplace where you can regularly play left-wing movies (Canadian Bacon, Erin Brockovich, V for Vendetta, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, etc.) for large audiences and provide enough pizza/soda for everyone.
3) PAY kids to read and write book reports based on (G or PG rated) left-wing texts such as Professor Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States ... Sure, it's bribery, but we're competing against video games, here!
4) Dress up like zombies and stagger around military recruiting stations -- remind those recruiters (and potential recruits) that the military-industrial complex traffics in DEATH ... Be sure to frequently moan the word "brains" because military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.
... and these wise words from Professor Noam Chomsky most definitely apply ...
"... every night I get many letters, and after every talk I get many questions from people who say, 'I want to change things. What can I do?' I never hear these questions from peasants in southern Colombia or Kurds in southeastern Turkey under miserable repression or anybody who is suffering. They don't ask what they can do; they tell you what they're doing. Somehow the fact of enormous privilege and freedom carries with it a sense of impotence, which is a strange, but striking, phenomenon. The fact is, we can do just about anything. There is no difficulty, wherever you are, in finding groups that are working hard on things that concern you. But that's not the kind of answer that people want. The answer that they want, I think, in the back of their minds is, what can I do that will be quick and easy and bring about an end to these problems? They remind me of Columbia students whom I used to argue with back in 1968, who literally thought, 'Look, we're sitting in the president's office for a couple of weeks. After that, it's all going to be peace and love.' Or people who say, 'I went to a demonstration, and it's the same as it was before. Fifteen million people marched in the streets on February 15, and the war went on. It's hopeless.' That's not the way things work. If you want to make changes in the world, you're going to have to be there day after day doing the boring, straightforward work of getting a couple of people interested and building a slightly bigger organization and carrying out the next move and suffering frustration and finally getting somewhere. That's how the world changes."
... and I guarantee y'all one thing: Those peasants "under miserable repression" that Prof. Chomsky spoke of have to deal with FAR worse than anything the Tea Party has in store for us. Insofar as that goes, there's been a lot of debate as to whether Teabaggers are white supremacists. Well, they ARE. Anyone who believes in Reaganomics MUST be ...
"Unemployment grew in the Reagan years. In the year 1982, 30 million people were unemployed all or part of the year ... At the end of the eighties, at least a third of African-American families fell below the official poverty level, and black unemployment seemed fixed at two and a half times that of whites, with young blacks out of work at the rate of 30 to 40 percent. The life expectancy of blacks remained at least ten years lower than that of whites. In Detroit, Washington, and Baltimore, the mortality rate for black babies was higher than in Jamaica or Costa Rica."
--A People's History of the United States
... assuming you, dear reader, have made it this far (Americans ain't known for their literacy), I'm sure you've already CONcocted some excuse for not taking me seriously. If so, then you're the reason why this is entitled The Ant and the Grasshopper; after that old fable. While the Grasshopper partied, the ant worked its ass off preparing for winter -- and guess who came knocking on whose door as soon as the first snowflake fell ..?
I remember after Dubya got re-elected how there were a lot of Americans who wanted to (and actually did) defect. Such cowardice disgusts me. Besides, where can you possibly hide where you'll be safe from the most powerful empire in Human history? Stay and fight!
"It ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can GET it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits."