Have We Done Enough Nothing Yet?

16 11 2007

Officially, it is unsafe to help the birds and clean up the oil on the crude-besotted coast of San Francisco Bay.  Officially, you should leave your hillside home to burn and let the experts take care of it.  And if there are no experts in sight and your house is burning and your shores are coated with black death and a wild bird is struggling to stay above the surf, well, remember to stick to safer activities like driving at 80 mph in the carbon car and shopping in the city where homicides are only at X many this year compared to last. 

Yes, and we all know what good hands our national security is in, and how safe the geoglobal political politics are making us everyday in every way.  Not to mention what’s going to happen around here when The Levy breaks, The Big One hits, and millions of people go crazy on each other for things like food and water.  I’m so freaken safe-feeling right now, I could swallow a sword. 

Why is it in a so-called participatory democracy that the official line is “do nothing?”  Haven’t we done enough nothing yet??  Haven’t we let them rip up the trolley lines and turn our cities around, to be built for cars instead of people?  Haven’t we let them string us along on this toxic death road long enough? 

We who live in our dream houses have let the fire’s fuel build up too much.  This land wants to burn.  The chaparral needsto burn to complete its cycle.  We told it, don’t burn:  It’s much safer to do nothing.  But oh, you cannot tell the chaparral that.  It may listen for a while, but we all know that when it does finally, inevitably go up, it’s much worse.  Even the chaparral won’t survive that inferno. 

So goes democracy’s story.  The powerful say “be still,” but enough fuel builds in the frustrated human heart to blow us all away in a beat. Justice and greater equality aren’t nice ideas to be set up in gilded frame in the back of some museum.  The human race can’t build a future on corrupt privilege for the few and massive injustice for the rest – we have to keep those relics in the rear view mirror if we plan to survive any significant length of time.

Today, deadly oil mars San Francisco waters, a bay of such peculiar natural security that the sea’s storms can’t penetrate.  All the unseen animals seeking refuge beneath its surface, a wilderness that humanity spoils everyday, in little ways and now in a big one.  It is too ugly to face, and yet I must see my own complicity in this pure evil unleashed on the voiceless innocent.  I too haven’t done nearly enough, have left too much to the experts.  Swept up in short-sighted survival agendas, living in not exactly a dream house but certainly not a reality house, either.

But fortunately (and unlike official spokespeople), fire doesn’t mince words.  So sometimes it becomes blessedly obvious that the only right course of action is to turn on the hose and stop your house from burning down.  Of course, in matters like fire and oil and democracy, time is of the essence.  Wait long enough, and the inferno isn’t safe for any living thing.  

What democracy and life require now is a low, hot fire burning under the proverbial asses of our politicians, figuratively speaking, so let’s all use a little bit of the overabundant fuel in our hearts to call and call and call, and vote, and talk to others voters, and get involved and get engaged, and do something! 

Don’t leave self-government to the experts, because that has proven the least safe course of them all.

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One response

16 11 2007
bridson

I’m afraid we’re in for considerable social dysfunction because the media is not out campaigning for a clean environment. Despite all the warnings no one is cutting back on their remorseless production of anything

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