Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Wake Up

Every now and then I think about Rage Against the Machine and how a couple of leftists got together and made amazing revolutionary music calling for people to wake up, literally screaming it again and again at the top of their lungs. Or Zack's lungs, at least. One line that rings in my ears a lot is "what do I got to do to wake you up?" They tried for years as a world famous band and still we're where we're at right now. I get frustrated because I, a fairly unknown writer, have so far failed in my vague quest to find just the right words to do that - to wake people up. I wonder how Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello must feel, especially finding that asshole like Paul fuckin' Ryan claim to be fans of your music.

Another song that rings in my ears all the time lately is System of a Down's "Dreaming." The refrain "dreaming of screaming" hits me right in the gut every time. 

I would like to scream. I'd like to tear my own guts out and show it to certain people because maybe then they would actually listen.

Ever think about Thích Quảng Đức, the Buddhist monk who set himself on fire in the middle of an intersection in South Vietnam in the 60s? Do you think that unthinkable action, that ultimate form of protest, made anything change for the better?

I'm struggling with my sense of agency, can you tell?

Do you think anything can really get better at this point? Do the ultra-rich few just have too much power? Is the populace too housebroken? There are plenty of valid reasons to be angry with the people "protesting" for the end of pandemic-related closures of non-essential businesses, but what really disturbs me is all the people demanding to go back to work. People are really out there demanding that the government reinstate a system that will force them to go back to their empty, soulless, underpaid, underappreciated, or in the case of many office jobs entirely pointless but no less soul-sucking jobs. They want to go back to a world where their lives revolve around that shit. 

Housebroken is really an apt term for these people. And it makes me sad. What makes me want to scream is the woman holding up a sign with the slogan from the gates of fucking Auschwitz, "Arbeit macht frei." It means "work will set you free" and it was the slogan of the world's most famous nazi death camp.

Work will set you free. As big of a lie then as it is now.

I was taught that the U.S. government didn't know about the nazi death camps until the end of the war. Also a lie.

I've struggled with feeling like I'm trapped for years now, so I'm pretty used to it, but if I'm honest with myself I think the pandemic has made it worse. I wanted revolution but rioting would be so irresponsible right now, and that thought makes me want to laugh until I suffocate.

They want to reopen America. And so many of us are sitting at home just staring into the future like it's a runaway freight train barreling right at us, and we're stuck in the train tracks. Or maybe tied to them is a better metaphor. Either way, we all know that thousands more people will die from COVID-19 than ever needed to. But it doesn't matter. Republicans will do what they want, and the rest of us will have to live with the consequences. Sometimes this doesn't feel much different from living under a dictatorship, except at least in a dictatorship you don't have people pretending to be on your side screaming at you that you'd better vote a different white conservative rapist in because they think that will make it all better.

Elizabeth Warren's calling Joe Biden's denial of the sexual assault allegation "credible" was devastating. I'll have to deal with those feelings soon.

I'm just trying to go on, hoping for something real to happen. I don't actually want to have to set myself on fire.

How much longer can this go on?

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