MARVIN IS IN THE HOUSE!
It’s been quite a while since my racist, homophobic, ultra-fascist, Bush-loving neighbor asked me to give you a little truth and wisdom from the pen of someone from the Reality Based Community. The fact that I was out of the country in the Amazon jungle with no access to a phone, the internet or flush toilets for that matter should have nothing to do with it. I got a lot of information via carrier pigeon, courtesy of some of my friends at the Democratic Underground. And let me tell you, I’m glad to be back in Amerika at this moment in time because comrades, the revolution is about to spontaneously combust and the conflagration will consume all who dare stand in the way of truth, justice, and the American dream…at least our definition of what those concepts mean.
First, Chloe is fine and thanks for asking. We spent 6 months following graduation with some of the indigenous tribes in the Amazon rain forest trying to keep them from being exploited by rapacious businessmen and other low life capitalist running dogs. It was a struggle, let me tell you. Not fighting the businessmen but trying to keep the indians in line. For instance, when they should have been teaching their kids how to survive in the rain forest by showing them where the best grubs and insects were hiding in rotten logs, those indian mothers had the gall to send their kids to schools just so they could learn how to read and write. Chloe had a devil of a time patiently explaining to the mothers that their children were better off being ignorant and eating grubs.
I don’t think she ever quite got through to them.
The time spent in the jungle wasn’t a total loss. The natives have this drink they call boogoola. I’m not sure if that’s really the name of the drink or whether the indians were just pulling my leg. They’re kind of funny like that. You should see the crap they were selling to tourists as “authentic” rain forest souvenirs. The trinkets were all made in Kuala Lumpur. I know, I watched them unpacking the crates. And it surprised me that they only wore their native costumes when tourists were around. All the rest of the time, they sorta looked like…well, regular 21st century third world people. You know the look. They wear cast-off NBA and NFL tee shirts and throw away jeans. First time I saw “Property of the New York Jets” on a tee shirt 500 miles from the nearest telephone, I nearly freaked.
Anyway, I don’t know what was in this boogoola and didn’t want to know. I have no clue what they fermented to get the rather strange taste either. All I know is that it packed quite a wallop. And if you drink it when smoking some of the local ditch weed, the effect is positively grand – sort of a cross between XTC and blotter. Once, I woke up 50 feet off the ground in a tree looking right in the face of a monkey. I don’t remember how I got up there or what I was doing with the monkey but I think I had a good time. I wonder if she did?
Anyway, we’re home now and ready to rock and roll. I’m glad they didn’t start the revolution without me. I would have been pissed if I missed the opportunity to put my body on the line for democracy. Like this fella Cary Tennis from Salon says, it’s time to overthrow the oligarchy and practice a little regime change here at home:
I do think this regime’s removal is the most urgent matter before the country today. And I do think that at a certain point the achievement of that goal might take precedence over our personal predilections for writing, teaching and the like. We might be called upon to go on general strike, for instance. We might be called upon to set up camp in the streets for weeks or months, to gather and remain in large public squares as the students in Tiananmen [sic] Square did, and dare government forces to remove us or to slaughter us in the streets.
This is all terrible and rather fantastic to contemplate. But what assurances have we that it is not all quite plausible? Having discarded the principles that Jefferson & Co. espoused, the current regime seems capable of anything. I know that my imagination is a feverish instrument. But are we not living in feverish times, in times of the unthinkable?
This guy rocks. He speaks my language. When I was in school and belonged to an anarchist cell, this is exactly the kind of stuff we were talking about doing. We even tried it once.
It was my junior year and the war in Iraq was really heating up and the Presidential campaign was in full swing when Chloe suggested we follow the example of the Ukrainians and hold a continuous rally until we brought down Bushitler and his evil brain Karl Rove. So we got our anarchist cell involved. We printed up 500 flyers calling on the students at SIU to rally in front of the Administration building for democracy. We thought that if we could get a few thousand people to stand around all day chanting slogans and denouncing Bushco, we could get the press to publicize it. And once it was on TV, we were absolutely convinced that the movement would sweep the country, ending up with millions of us marching to Washington to demand the resignation of everyone in government.
Things didn’t quite work out the way we planned. In fact, it mostly sucked.
First, don’t try something like this in the middle of winter. In the midwest. With a blizzard howling all around you. I mean, I don’t care how committed you are, most people just aren’t willing to freeze to death for democracy. And don’t talk to me about Valley Forge. Those poor deluded fools didn’t know they were fighting to keep the rich Boston merchants and slave-owning Virginia planters in power. And Valley Forge couldn’t have been that bad. I hear they were eating pine needles and tree bark. Sh*t, Chloe makes me eat that crap all the time. How bad could it have been?
Anyway, what with the blizzard and the cold and the fact that the band we hired canceled because they were worried about being electrocuted by playing in the snow, our grand rally for democracy never quite got off the ground. Chloe caught a cold and I nearly got pneumonia.
But this guy Tennis has the right idea about a lot of things. Read what he says about how we on the left have been changing the Constitution right under everyone’s noses for years:
If portions of the Constitution stand in the way of desired policies, rather than trying to change the Constitution, instead find someone with academic credentials to say that the Constitution doesn’t say what it says, to make a halfway plausible, somewhat believable but basically pretend argument that it actually says something entirely different from what it appears to say and what we always thought it said. If the argument is weak, just sing it loud and stick to it! It is, in form at least, an argument! It was written by a law professor!
Actually, he is making the point that this is the way the Bushcos justify torture. But he really reveals how the right has stolen our ideas on how to avoid inconvenient parts of the Constitution, especially when talking about stupid things like freedom of religion or protection of property rights, or even scholarly stuff like enumerated powers. You know, it comes down to this; the Constitution means whatever we on the left say it means and if you don’t like it, eat my shorts. This is the way its been for a long time and I see no reason to change. And if you disagree, we just call you a racist or a bigot, or anti-woman and poof! You’re slimed and you lose whatever moral authority you thought you may have had.
Pretty neat, huh?
Anyway, whenever we’re called on to fill the streets with our bodies, Chloe and I will be there. Of course, if there’s a call for a “General Strike” we don’t have jobs so we couldn’t participate fully. But I’m sure a lot of people would. After all, who wouldn’t want a day off (or two) from work? It would be fun! I guess my only question would be who would call for a General Strike? And do you think people would give the idea the seriousness it so richly deserves or would they laugh whoever proposed it out of the country? I’m really not sure.
Well, I’ve got to run. Chloe likes to go to the public library on Mondays so she can read her Tantric magazines. There’s The American Tantric, Gaia and You, and my favorite, The Single Tantric which always has great pictures that gives Chloe fantastic ideas of what to do the next time we play “slap and tickle.”
Keep the faith, baby!