Sunday, December 31, 2017

#Resistance is just the start!

As 2017 shudders to a stop, and 2018 starts to wind up, we've grown tired of putting out trumpster fires. Resisting is not enough. What are we for? That's the question we have to answer each and every day from now on. What's our vision and what are we doing to attain it? If we end up ridding ourselves of #45 through impeachment, only to inherit Pence as #46, things might stop getting worse, but they won't necessarily get better.

Several years ago we discovered a fantastic cd by Ani Di Franco and Utah Phillips, The Past Didn't Go Anywhere. It has, among others, a wonderful song, Which Side Are You On?, originally written by Florence Reece. We were reminded of that yesterday as we noticed this picture in our Twitter timeline. (We failed to notice who we should credit.)

shop local photo

Think about that the next time you're tempted to save 32 cents online or at a big box. It's not just voting that's political, everything we do has politics wrapped around it or embedded in it. James Howard Kunstler tried to educate us about that when he wrote The Long Emergency. Years ago, we were taught that "The best way to predict the future is to create it." As you prepare to celebrate New Year's Eve and the start of a Happy New Year!, think about what kind of future you want to create for all of us and our children. If you're having trouble picturing it, read the sign in the picture again, please. Read about Utah Phillips, read Kunstler, Wendell Berry. Ask a child what they hope for and dream of. That's as good a place to start as any.

Enjoy 2018. Make all of it be a Happy New Year, whether it wants to or not!

Let America Be America Again

Langston Hughes, 1902 - 1967

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? 
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.