Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Do Something Rhetoric

This is a theme I have heard repeated over and over at those of us who don't want to waste time and energy on a failing system "do something!" "Why don't you do something about it if you feel that way?"

Blink. Double Blink.

Because 5 years, 2000+ blog posts, being regularly screamed at, insulted, and basically abused by people on both the right and the left, plus the years of volunteerism, the protests, the protest medic-ing (yep, I'm the girl who knows how to wash tear gas out of your eyes) is nothing. Nothing if I am not contributing to the system in the only kyriarchy approved way, through little scraps of paper marked with a "choice" about who controls us. To them I have done nothing.

And I remember being the asshole who yelled at Nader voters in 2000 (I apologized during the primaries) and being the asshole who had "no respect for someone who wouldn't do their democratic duty". (I apologize now).

What I know now is that choosing not to participate in a corrupt system is much more work than "doing something". That the amount of energy required to pull back the rhetoric curtains and critically view the system is immense, and it is "doing something" to expose it. That if I were to shut up, vote blue or red, keep my thoughts to myself and do as I am supposed to do, I would personally fare better is something I have thought about. I might even be employable if I could tow the line. But I can't.

In the same way I can't shoplift, even though I can see that it would be better for me and my family if I could just pocket what we need instead of paying for it. I can't suck it up and pretend that the system just needs the proper tweaking from the right guys to make it work. It needs to be smashed and rebuilt.

I am doing something, with words like a hammer I am trying to chip away at this little corner of the system.

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