Voices on the Wind Voices of Protest
STORY OF AMERICA 1917 – 2017 – 2117 by Chris Dietz There is a Bisbee story of the greatest kidnapping in American history when about 1200 men were rounded up at gun point and put on cattle cars, destined for NM the violence brought death, the violence brought misery These men were not rugged frontiersmen, who lived off the land as in some pioneer myth many were European immigrants with backgrounds in hard rock mining all were poor illness was rampant, accidents common and their nation failed them failed to protect their most fundamental Constitutional rights they were betrayed We know something about that we know something about poverty & illness & violence too a hundred years ago, a hundred years from now we’re stuck right here in the middle in this moment this is our story too we can’t help but notice that thinking about 1917 we end up thinking about 2017 History seems a living fabric we grab on to for a ride we articulate knowledge of our heritage all the people who’ve come before us each individual human has a story we stand in each other’s shadows all the stories seem to lock together to a common past the shared story is our history we pay the price of progress by acknowledging the sins of the past history is lives, their lives, our lives, lives to come, lives that cannot be denied together, we explore the power of the present -2- Some say that god is the Word made flesh every time we make an utterance, we are creating and our awareness of this 100 year span demands words that cannot be denied where we’ve been, where we are, where we are going now is the time, something needed now because we’ve all been waiting for the other shoe to drop we’ve all been holding our breaths for months now knowing something big was going to happen and this is it—this is what’s going to happen us this is our time to speak We are not allowed to share in the wealth of our nation All we know is what we are forbidden to say all we see is what we are forbidden to see after all this time, after all this imagination after all of art, science, religion we can’t stop the violence humans can’t stop killing each other we can’t stop killing each other for any reason no revelation, no priesthood, no upgrade makes any difference this is what we’ve always known now we must know it out loud, now we must say it out loud human beings can’t stop killing each other so that which must be done is that which must be said We are not allowed to share in the wealth of our nation Why we freaking out Americans, an unhappy people today cause it’s some kind of instinct humans doomed with original sin or is it because our culture demands a negotiation ‘you guys get all the Cheetos you want just don’t say anything about the misery’ -3- about the violence our culture seems to depend on violence We are not allowed to share in the wealth of our nation 1917 – 2017 1917 Law of Exception/Law of Necessity is proclaimed strikers are foreigners strikers are paid for by Germany they’re Reds they’re lazy they don’t look like us 2017 Law of Exception/Law of Necessity is proclaimed ‘bad hombres’ are foreigners they’re being paid for by ISIS they’re Muslims they’re Mexicans they want to get on welfare they don’t look like us FAKE NEWS CONSPIRACY STAGED EVENTS NATIVISM What did the violence of 1917 prove to the world American industrialists would do whatever it took to maintain their power what does the violence of 2017 prove to the world American industrialists will do whatever it takes to maintain their power whatever they can get away with whether 1917, or 2017, or 2117 is this what the next 100 years has in store same o same o peeps in 2117 waking up in the morning, thinking ‘everywhere man is born free and lives in chains’ that’s our legacy, what we’re leaving our descendants -4- there’s behavior that has a future and there’s behavior that doesn’t we must learn to tell the difference violence has to do with power it has to do with fundamental beliefs one rule to rule them all one commandment profit is the measure of right this is lifeboat ethics ‘can’t let some folks on the boat there’s only room for a few’ this is the notion that abundance depends on exclusion This is the myth of individualism individualism is not the same as individuality individualism is the doctrine that the interests of the individual ought to be paramount individuality has to do with character, it has to do with what makes you a distinctive human being for the individualist freedom means— free to ask nothing free to expect nothing free to depend on nothing this is delusional how many of the things around us will continue to exist when we are gone we are born with the help of others we die and others dispose of our remains Martin Buber write, ‘The I only knows its world because there is a you who has consciousness of that world too. The world is given to me because you are also there as one to whom it is given. The world is never given to me alone but always in your company. We are worldless without one another." We are not allowed to share in the wealth of the nation 2017 - sounds like the future same mind set as 1917 same methods, step by ste -5- the how to manual in play how to undermine, manipulate, marginalize, control but, but, but…this is oversimplifying…things have changed we have better teeth things are different today we have cell phones & computers we have same sex marriage & medical MJ mining companies are unionized for the most part now safety features in place, benefits no one imagined in 1917 the wallpapering has changed over the edifice but the violence, the violence goes on today’s dominant ideology—free market fundamentalism is as hostile to liberation struggles as they were 100 years ago the edifice is unshaken We are not allowed to share in the wealth of our nation The edifice stands tall & bloated while we fight amongst ourselves all our sides—good guys, bad guys we’re freaking over sides total chaos we’re fighting over crumbs we say they’re dumb they say we’re socialists we say they’re brain washed they say we’re brain washed precepts & paradigms don’t help we’re fighting over crumbs Everybody’s so busy, so afraid of being thought a loser business researches today say that busyness has replaced leisure as a marker of prestige for Americans they write ‘busyness has become an alternative kind of conspicuous consumption that operates by shifting the focus the preciousness and scarcity of goods to the preciousness and scarcity of individuals’ we’d be fools if we thought that’s all there was -6- We are not able to share in the wealth of our nation Young people come to us with a certain hunger can we satisfy them today with the litany of our failure we have to be willing to learn we have to be open we need to get out of the way of new voices we need to figure how to say it together we can’t just keep steam rolling ahead as though survival were enough we’d be fools not to question We are not allowed to share in our nation’s wealth Protest is when you object to an injustice resist is when you, by your own actions, ensure that the injustice no longer takes place Didn’t we know this was coming we can’t pretend we didn’t see this coming down the pike chickens coming home to roost when RayGun was elected we couldn’t believe it the new guy is not any different really he just openly admits he’s an oligarch but they all were it’s the business model of government, they say all they give us is the choice of quiet desperation Tell me what you know tell me what you see start over again who is this ‘other’ is everything just bullshit what does matter no more TV one liners where’s your courage