Know Your Enemy

OK, this isn’t a Daily Post prompt…my wife suggested I listen to one of my favorite songs and come up with a blog post based on that.

So, my blog post is based on Green Day’s “Know Your Enemy”.

Do you know the enemy? Do you know your enemy?

Who IS your enemy? Is it the cop trying to contain a protest? Or is it the billionaire lobbyist forcing that cop out onto the streets to contain you?

Sometimes I fear we’ve become so inundated with the teachings of Gandhi, John Lennon and Martin Luther King that we no longer know how to construct a violent protest.

Don’t get me wrong: non-violence has shown its worth in dealing with civilized oppressors like the United Kingdom of the 1940s or the United States of the 1960s. But is it enough to overcome the Trumps of the world? What if Mahatma Gandhi had been facing not the British Empire but Nazi Germany during his protests?

I know people like to quote him: “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

The first problem with this is that there’s no evidence that Gandhi ever said it. Check Snopes. This attribution actually started with Donald Trump!

The second problem is: how does this quote fit in a world in which they don’t just laugh at you, they claim you are being paid by George Soros to protest? In other words, how does your protest work in a world in which it isn’t taken seriously?

To use another quote from Green Day: “Another protestor has crossed the line, to find the money’s on the other side”?

What do you do when it’s not an INDIVIDUAL you’re protesting, but it’s the entire SYSTEM which that individual represents? How do you protest the SYSTEM?

Will signs and marching do it? I don’t think so. These people only understand one thing, and that is power. “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” That’s from Frederick Douglass, and is a real quote. It finishes by saying, “It never did and it never will.”

So, since Trump was inaugurated, we’ve had the Women’s March on Washington, the Scientist’s March on Washington, and others. What effect have these marches had? I would argue they have done nothing other than make the marchers feel good about themselves for “doing something” about the Trump administration.

I freely admit I have not been a part of any of these marches, but you tell me: What’s different because of these marches? How has the Trump administration or their lackeys in Congress taken note of these marches? What’s different? What good have these marches accomplished?

I would argue that they have accomplished nothing. What we really need is a million people with pitchforks and torches along the National Mall. People ready to be arrested, people ready to do whatever is necessary to take back our government. Now, that! That would get something accomplished. It would scare the shit out of the cops, that’s for sure. With luck, it might scare the shit out of the people actually in power. Don’t think a million is enough? I agree with you. What about ten million? I’m in Oregon, so I can’t exactly make a trip to DC, but I could sure do the state Capitol in Salem, if I thought that marching and holding a sign was going to make a difference. If it’s a new Battle in Seattle that’s about to happen, I’m down.

I’m not arguing for anyone to hurt cops, or to destroy property, but at some point we have to get past the point of just having a march for a march’s sake. The enemy no longer takes us seriously, and they don’t care if we’re marching. We have to make them care again.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. =)

The A-List

For today’s WordPress “everyday inspiration” assignment, I’m supposed to make a list, so here goes nothing: my five current favorite songs. The links will open a new tab to the video on YouTube for each song.

  1. “Royals” by Lorde
  2. “Pompeii” by Bastille
  3. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii
  4. “Know Your Enemy” by Green Day
  5. “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons

I know they’re all older songs, but I never listen to the radio. We use Pandora pretty regularly, but they seldom play anything brand-new on the channels we listen to. But anyway, if you wonder what I’m listening to when I’m typing away on this blog, those five songs are a good start. I lost access to my main iTunes account about five years ago when my life fell apart, but I’ve slowly been building up a new account, and I have 260 songs on my main playlist. I mostly listen to a smaller playlist of my real favorites, though.

Music is therapy for me. I will get on to a new song and just listen to it over and over. I will listen while I read the lyrics off the Web until I know the words by heart. Lyrics are very important to me–if a song doesn’t have something to say, I don’t care to listen. I’m getting too old to listen to bubblegum pop anyway.

Speaking of therapy, I went to a group therapy session yesterday. It’s a weekly men’s group that my psych prescriber has been nagging me to go to. I’m not much of a group therapy person, but I surprised myself yesterday. They went around the table sharing how their week had gone, and when they got to me (last, thankfully) I actually shared. I told an abbreviated version of how I got diagnosed bipolar and everything that’s happened since, ending with the invisible motorcycle cop who bagged me for a ticket on Tuesday. I wouldn’t say I really connected with anybody in particular, but they seemed to welcome me into the group after I shared my story. I’ll probably go back next week. I have a lot of social anxiety, and I’m uncomfortable around strangers, but overall it wasn’t too bad for me this time.

I see the GOP is gearing up to try to repeal Obamacare again, and they may succeed this time, at least in the House. It will be interesting to see what the Senate does, though. I’m not sure the bastards can pull it off, but I’m sure they’ll keep trying. God forbid that people should have access to affordable health insurance. Makes me sick. If I didn’t have a felony on my record, my wife and I would be moving to Canada. The U.S. seems to be going straight to hell in a handbasket. The rot and corruption run so deep, I swear we’re going to need a new Constitution just to fix all this shit. At the very least we need an amendment that says corporations aren’t people and can’t lobby or donate to our politicians. These goddam billionaires trying to run everything need to be put in check, too. Sigh. I’m tired of beating my head against this problem. I’m with Bernie Sanders, we need a political revolution to fix all the shit that’s going wrong with our government.

I’m particularly worried about the Republicans taking over the government because my wife and I live by the government’s good graces. We have federally subsidized housing, SSI, Medicaid, food stamps, and heating assistance in the winter. We are basically the kind of people Republicans hate. But by God, I paid my fair share of taxes throughout my adult life while I was working. If I can’t count on some help in hard times, what the fuck good is the government anyway? It’s past time we busted out the torches and pitchforks and put a stop to all this corruption. But people are so busy just trying to survive, who has the time, energy and money to take on the government?

Sigh. Better not thought about. It just makes me worry.

What else? I’m drawing a blank. Feel free to comment with your favorite song–I’m always on the lookout for new music!

Thanks for reading. =)