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I can't do it. - Elf M. Sternberg
I can't do it.
To my dearest daughters,

I tried. We all did. I don't know when you'll read this or if you'll even understand it when you do, but accept that we tried. We played the game according to the rules, and really, if we are honest with ourselves, we must believe that the other guys did as well.

I hope everything is okay where you are. I don't know if you'll be dating a man or a woman when you read this, but I hope wherever you are it's not a felony to be in love in the privacy of your own home. I hope that you have access to birth control. I hope that, if you need them, you can find social services that don't demand you pray to a god you don't believe in before you can receive help. I hope that you can buy a book without wondering if some government database somewhere has flagged you as a troublemaker. I hope you can listen to music at home and wherever you work without having to pay for it twice. I hope you can say what you want in your own blog without being afraid.

I hope that the taxes you're paying to cover the debts my generation accrued aren't so burdensome. I hope you can afford fresh fruits and vegetables even so. I hope there's more than one brand available in your neighborhood. I hope you have access to health care and insurance where you work.

Every nation has its day and then the curtains begin to drop. In 2004, we elected the stagehand with the drawstring. The slow, inevitable slide into national extinction began on my watch. The flame of liberty guttered before my eyes.

I hope someday, you'll forgive us all for not doing more.

Current Mood: despairing but still shrill
Current Music: The Secret Machines, Nowhere Again

6 comments or Leave a comment
From: technoshaman Date: November 3rd, 2004 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)
A wise man once said, we must all hang together, or we shall all hang separately. There are too many of us here with too much keeping us here to just pick up and leave. And I think we're far too smart to just sit there like deer in headlights.

Let's give it a few days, think, and see what we come up with. More on this later...
kakoukorakos From: kakoukorakos Date: November 3rd, 2004 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Surely you've seen the, ummm, "motivational" poster that's a drawing of a frog in a heron's beak, reaching around to try to choke the bird, with the motto "Never Give Up!"?

It's not over yet. We need to take this as a wakeup call. The hangman is soon going to start making his rounds, first the gay, then the abortionist, then the atheist, the infidel, who will be next? I may have a fool's hope here, but I'm going to do more than just vote in at least the next two elections. I think it's also time for a civil disobedience backlash against the so-called Patriotism and "war on terror".
casualprofessor From: casualprofessor Date: November 3rd, 2004 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Found a link to the picture you mention.

I understand your impulse to do something, but where do you live? Oregon? I live in New Jersey. With the electoral college framework, it's difficult to see the point of grass roots disobedience in a state that fell the way you want it.
en_ki From: en_ki Date: November 3rd, 2004 11:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Money crosses state borders just fine. And if it's important enough, you can move.
casualprofessor From: casualprofessor Date: November 3rd, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
And my money did cross the state borders this election, and will in the future....

You're half-right: one can move, but not if it means tearing apart the life you've built. For many reasons (employment, financial, family), my spouse and I feel that we must remain in the NY/NJ area. To move to effect change in an area, we would have to move FAR and we would lose a lot of our lives.

And maybe I can effect change through the academic institution at which I work... But it's in an urban Democratic city, and maybe the students have self-selected themselves to be open to their experiences, in which case I'm preaching to the converted.

It's not all that easy to find a way to make civil disobedience here: one possibility is an income tax revolt.

There are options; please don't think I'm whining "there's nothing I can do". My point is that all activities must be balanced by intention, cost, and effectiveness; otherwise, you're pissing into the wind.
kakoukorakos From: kakoukorakos Date: November 3rd, 2004 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I live in Colorado. I'm not happy with the way the state fell, so there is something I can do for next time. I'm thinking about becoming active in politics at least on a local level, whether behind the scenes or as a candidate for public office. And of course getting in on more constructive social activism (which is along the lines of the civil disobedience I envision). Though I'm not really sure how to disrupt the red herring known as the "war on terror". We all know it's actually a war on free thinking and individualism, but it'll be hard to open up the eyes of the masses who think to oppose the Patriot Act is to be unpatriotic.

I think there's also keeping active in a campaign so the candidate of your choice won't have to make as much effort in your area and could concentrate on the so-called "swing states".
6 comments or Leave a comment