The load of information we’re exposed to on a daily basis is overwhelming. I can’t tell you how full my brain is, packed tight with facts, concepts, insights, all seeking a file folder. I mentally compartmentalize this collection with some success, but rather than drop the ball I keep scads of files, on paper and on my hard drive.
Taking care of all that information is a full-time job, of course, so I’m constantly behind at disposing of outdated material and cyber-clutter. It dogs me. My 3D self whines and frets about the 4000-plus e-mails (mostly political alerts) in my inbox and the stacks of notes representing “some day” articles, comforting itself that I have at least chronicled my time here; my 5D Self quietly whispers that I AM that chronicle, I should just lean back and enjoy it.
But I can’t help myself. Every day I add to the files, cross-checking to see how my side’s doing. Yes, I have a side. I caucus with the rational, the open-minded and the progressive. No matter where I go or with whom, I am in the process of educating those around me to what’s happening in the world and in their society. It’s a form of self-defense: these people are completely unaware that they contribute to the mental/emotional construct that is our mutual, collective reality. In ways as old as time, then, they know not what they do.
After eight years of Orwellian Bush-speak and four more of truthiness featuring FOX stars like Rove, Hannity and Beck, many of us still have some catching up to do on what is real, what is necessary to promote a productive future rather than perpetuate the illusions of a retreating past. But we can’t just throw facts at our right-leaning brothers and sisters. We have seen that facts themselves seem to settle at the top of conservative thought like an oil-slick on water.
Still, you never know, things feel a bit differently these days, and in this time of internal chaos — with the unaware blindly defending their tribalism but the newly awake searching for options — some stray fact might be the pry-bar that lifts the lid and lets in the light. I salt conversation with my viewpoint, rightly assuming that here in the Pea Patch it is not the one most often heard. I’m pretty deft at reading my audience so as not to rub them the wrong way, but I’m driven to get the information out there. Once you know a thing, you can’t un-know it.
Read that again, it’s our lodestone: once you know a thing, you can’t un-know it. For instance, as a member of the first generation on the pill, I cannot un-know the liberty of contraception. As a woman born into the latter half of the 20th century, I can’t un-know the freedom of choice of sexual partners and practices, or the responsibility of choice to carry a fetus to term. My experience defines me; some of it was naughty, most of it was nice. There were some sorrows, as well, but coming from over thirty years of Course in Miracles consciousness, I’m not given to regret or remorse over apparent errors of the past. In fact, I believe that we can experience a lifetime of glorious mistakes, learning experiences and consciousness-changing events without choosing guilt as a companion, because — so exquisitely true — a child of God needs no defense.
No amount of superstitious shame-speak or guilt-mongering is going to impact my sexual self-definition, then, or encourage me to deny my fellow humans those same freedoms to sexually explore. We were all born with tingly parts, best to figure out what they’re for. But don’t listen to Rick Santorum, because he DOESN’T KNOW. I’m not sure how or when he poisoned his possibility of enjoying a functional life, but he did, and now he wants to poison ours.
And — God/dess bless the stunningly arrogant self-righteousness of the Republican radicals — it now appears that women everywhere have noticed that Mr. Santorum and his fellows don’t consider females’ personal freedom equal to their own. Across the board, and most dramatically in the swing states, women are shifting their allegiance to the Democratic party. With the exception of the stringently religious, women are running from the Calvinism that would take them back into barefoot pregnancy, and rejecting the overt sexism of the radical-right.
That’s our template for reform. We have talked so often about the political being personal. When it comes to your vagina or mine, when it impacts our daughters’ lives and futures, we’ll gather to make something happen. We have become capable of home-grown activism in these last years; we’ve organized on-line and gathered thousands of signatures — even hundreds of thousands — in hours. When our sensibility is outraged and our numbers grow impressive enough, we are able to crack what used to be insurmountable walls of resistance. During the Bush reign, before the economy went south, petition-signing had little impact and many of us grew weary with it; it’s a different story today. These days, corporations are concerned about profit while the public has discovered the power of the purse and a growing sense of outrage at having been played for far too long.
Boycott is the word of the day! We saw what happened to Rush Limbaugh, for instance, and you will be pleased to learn that he continues to lose sponsors, who now consider him too radical for their purposes. And look at pink slime: raw beef hips, lips and leftovers, pressure cooked and given an ammonia bath. Of the four plants that produced the grisly stuff, three have shut down due to public outcry, and one has gone bankrupt. Schools have made the filler optional and fast food joints have run from it in droves, lest the bad press impact their sales. That’s happened in a matter of weeks.
Here’s another example. Shortly after Trayvon Martin’s killing highlighted the Stand Your Ground laws, the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) came under scrutiny. The organization, reportedly designed to “promote the principles of federalism,” is supported by tons of big business — the Koch brothers, the Coors and Scaife families, Exxon Mobil, Bayer, Reynolds, Wal-Mart and 300 other active corporations along with fundamentalist names you’d recognize like Dobson, Huckabee and Schlafly — promoting state legislation that favors corporate interest. Besides promoting the NRA’s Stand Your Ground law in Florida, ALEC is behind the punitive immigration law in Arizona and the push to disenfranchise minority voters with Voter ID bills in various states. People United for the American Way and the Color of Change groups went after ALEC, and just this week, because of public outcry, Coke, Pepsi and Kraft Foods have all withdrawn their support.
I wonder, is this what the Republicans mean when they talk about “the market correcting itself?” (OK, I’m a snot, but a snot ready to boycott companies that would take advantage of us all in the name of profit and ideology.)
Here’s one close to my heart. Every spring, baby seals are born to be clubbed to death by the Canadian fishing industry. Sign the Humane Society’s pledge to boycott Canadian seafood, here. And I can’t even begin to discuss the killing of dolphins in The Cove; thanks to Ellen deGeneris for giving this issue a good airing recently, exposing the cruelty of the Japanese fishing industry. Sad to report, deep Naval sonar here in our own nation killed sixty or more dolphins this week. So much to do, isn’t there?
This headline caught my eye yesterday: Sparrows Tweet Louder To Be Heard In Noisy Cities. A group of researchers who were studying the rise in urban noise in San Francisco’s Presidio district over the last thirty-five years found that little white-crowned sparrows, which could no longer be heard over the growing noise of cars, air conditioners, and leaf blowers, had learned to sing louder. Not only that, they scrapped their old song because the range was inadequate for the level of noise pollution, developing a newer, higher pitch with fewer notes that soon spread across the city. Their new song is now known among those who chart these things as the “San Francisco dialect.” These tiny little citizens learned to adapt, to recreate. To evolve.
It’s our turn now. The very lack of money that has driven our insecurity has passed through the placenta of big business to increase corporate sensitivity to the consumer. All the signs tell us that we can take advantage of this vulnerabiity to design a new song, use our voices to protest what we can no longer tolerate, and shape its change. The talking heads will continue to do what they’ve always done, despite us — pollute the airwaves with their projections of the ways things are, have to be — but those of us who want to restore this nation must talk louder, using our wallets and our numbers and our passion for heartfelt change. We have the wind at our back, now we need to develop a new dialect.
It’s Resurrection Sunday tomorrow. Easter, or if you prefer, Eostre. It’s spring, with all its hope and renewal and enthusiasm, a time to “make a joyful noise, all ye lands.” And when it comes to recreating a fair playing field, a compassionate business model and a government in service to the commonwealth for our struggling nation, sing louder, won’t you? The whole world is waiting to hear our new song!