Omigod! I am having such fun reading about the Anonymous protests around the world yesterday. I especially loved the reports about the London protests.
I especially love this image
This is both what I love and hate about Anarchists. They know how to have such a good time when they protest, and they bring such freshness to the entire discourse. And ... sadly, it is hard to sustain this kind of energy over the long term. I sincerely hope I am wrong.
It is just really hard to keep taking it to the streets. At some point, you have to have another strategy. Right now they are good looking, funny, good natured and more importantly ... not taken seriously. I hope to never see a Guy Fawkes mask drenched in blood ... or any of these good natured, smart and funny people in jail.
May their joyous spirits and deep intellect be heard, appreciated and welcomed. And may the gods of old protect their bodies, minds and hearts. From my mouth to the goddess' ears .... ashe!
On another note, I had another chance to be an urban avenger last night. It has been years since I was able to chase down a man abusing a woman. But last night, I did my current version of heroism.
I heard a woman screaming on my block, I rushed to the door to see her being beaten on a porch almost directly across the street. I stepped onto my porch and bellowed, "I AM CALLING THE POLICE, I AM CALLING THE POLICE, I AM CALLING THE POLICE" at the top of my lungs.
If you know anything about me, you KNOW how loud that had to have been. I then promptly ... called the police. Saying it three times meant it would get through to him that he not only was in trouble, but he had a witness unafraid to let him know who and where I was. The violence deescalated almost immediately. And the cops showed up in less than 2 minutes.
Later a fire engine came and the techs went inside the house with emergency medical supplies. Later the police walked out with the man in cuffs. All in all, a successful intervention.
I am feeling pretty good about myself at the moment.
Maybe I can't go and bust some heads, but I can yell and I can call for help. Yay ME!!
This sermon topic was requested by the UU church in Cumberland MD and I delivered it on April 23, 2006. The original title was Enacting Radical Change: Personal, Political, Global
What is radical change and how do we bring it about?
As some of you may know, I am a writer. And as I sat on Friday looking out at the rain and gloom, I begin thinking about how hard it was to get motivated at times. As I sat, facing the blank page, in the midst of a cloudy and rainy day, I asked myself, “How do you get motivated in the face of such a landscape?”
And I then realized that this is exactly the outlook many of us face as Americans and as inhabitants of this planet. How in the world do we get motivated to act during a time when everything seems so gloomy and so desperate? When for many of us our every effort seems so small and ineffectual. And every previous seeming victory is now called into question.
Radical change? Hell at this point, I’d guess that many of us would be happy with a sliver of change in the right direction. Or maybe I should say left direction.
I wrote in a frequently forwarded post after the last election, that
“ …if we cannot rely on the "youth vote and the disenfranchised single-female vote and the "Daily Show" vote and the Eminem vote and the celebrity vote and the humanitarian vote and the antiwar vote and the gay vote and the pro-choice vote and the Howard Stern vote and the immigrant vote" to turn an election, what the hell else can we do except re-look at everything again.”
And re-looking at it all again is ultimately what this sermon is about. How do we enact change? Not just at the political level, but also at the personal and the global level?
Okay, confession time -- It has taken me thirty years to finally concede that yes, political change is important. I was skeptical as a black nationalist, and later as a Marxist, with how so many people kept trying to use the American political system to create real change. It still bothers me.
But I now can say unequivocally that, yes, political change is important. However, you cannot rely solely on political change. That was and is the folly of so many movements for social, economic and racial justice. We have to change so much more than the politics; we have to change the symbols, the myths, the language, the art, the music, etc. We have to change the very soul of our culture. And to change or rather to work on the soul of a culture is by definition, a radical act.
We have confused ourselves by relying on our own faulty memories. We think, for example, that women won the right to vote via an amendment to the constitution or that slavery was abolished due to government proclamation. We think the Voting Rights act or the Civil Rights Act or Title Nine or Roe v Wade were the harbingers of major cultural shifts. We think we lost the ERA. We are mistaken.
Al Fatiha - Arlington Unitarian Universalist Church - Bet Mishpachah -
Church of the Pilgrims - Dignity DC - DC Radical Faeries -
Evangelical Anglican Church in America - Faith Temple -
First Congregational United Church of Christ - Lincoln Temple United
Church of Christ - Lutherans Concerned - Metropolitan Community Church DC –
Religion and Faith Program of HRC - Rock Spring United Church of
Christ -Soka Gakkai International USA/DC - Unity Fellowship