Stop the whining, start the fighting
Driftglass came up with this and it's worth reading....and taking to heart
For myself I am an optimist --
-- it does not seem to be much use being anything else.
This is a quote from Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, who, Lord knows, had many faults, but also knew that confidence (and snark) in the face of a relentless assault is the only way to fight and win.
Who knew that even while his country was being bombed to rubble around him by the most powerful military on the face of the Earth, defeat is merely defeat until you give in, because it's only then you have truly lost.
That while “the pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity”, “the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
This, on the other hand, is “Glum”,
a character from the 1970s animated series, “The Adventures of Gulliver”, who is famous for saying, "We're doomed! We're never gonna make it!"
About. Every. Damned. Thing.
And while there are millions of Liberals who know that adopting a defiant, Fuck You, Churchillian stance is both the best defense and the best offense against the onslaught of the slug people, Glum, it seems, is also a Liberal.
A very special kind of Liberal, and these days he appears to have a LOT of time on his hands.
As a writer I understand why Glum was necessary to the tissue-thin plot of the cartoon, but even as a wee driftglass I wished mightily that the third or fourth time Glum started his predictable, pedantic riffs of inevitable doom that Gary Gulliver would just slathered the little pussy in aspic and let his dog (the loyal Tagg) use him as a chew toy and then bury his carcass in the sand.
Because even then, comprehending why some people get off on preaching pessimism and defeatism from inside the perimeter was simply beyond me.
Like stubbing a cigarette out on a baby, shrugging and saying, "Well, he's gonna hafta learn life ain't fair someday."
Pragmatism? Fine. I’m all about pragmatism. And caution? Definitely. Doctor prescribes lots of caution. And do people get dispirited and just need to vent from time to time? Absolutely.
I get that.
I understand, and have knelt at each of these Stations of the Cross more than once myself.
But I have zero time for people who find endless energy to council me to lay down and die. I have zero time for people who positively dine out on cynicism and hopelessness.
If you're tired and discouraged and need to scream at the Moon, I completely get that. I have quit more than one "Progressive" organization because they were incapable of getting out of the way of their own asses.
But for those one-note-Charlies who consistently advise that All Is Lost -- who knee-jerk yelp "Diebold" at the slightest hint of good news -- seriously, what the fuck is your problem?
Why aren't you following your own advice? Why don't you just wander away and lay down and die? Why aren’t you in a garage somewhere giving a tailpipe a blowjob? Why aren’t you in a basement smoking a 9?
So let me be clear, because in the past there have apparently been a number of people who did not understand me the last eleven times I have said this.
Skepticism is healthy. And when slogging through the bestial world where causes and "isms" intersect with politics, media and fraud, periodic and sincere bouts revulsion with your species/leadership/team is entirely normal.
Also God knows gallows humor is indispensable.
But when I look at authentically great leaders who have hoisted whole nations onto their backs and have overcome genuinely murderous and overwhelming odds to move the world forward, I don't see dewy-eyed dreamers or deluded opium-eaters. I see clear-eyed men and women who were thoughtful, strategic, ruthless and planned for a Long March.
Who did not let one defeat or ten, or a lynch mob break them.
Who told the professional naysayers to join the march or shut up and step aside.
Within living memory, people like these -- All American Moms and Dads -- have put their bodies on the line for the right to vote.
With eyes wide open, grandmothers and grandfathers have died -- probably within a day's drive of wherever you are now -- for the right to merely be treated as human beings, made in every bit as much the image of God as the pious, white cowards who terrorized them.
Children sang this into the teeth of police dogs and into the blasts of fire hoses.
(From Columbia University’s African-American studies page link to Sweet Honey in the Rock’s cover of "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Us Around")
This happened here, in this country, in your lifetime, or your parents'.
The hard work is done. We are not being called to fill up the sky with our rectitude and wonderfulness. We do not need to be King or Gandhi. I can write this and you can read it without the threat of the jackboots kicking in our doors and spiriting us away to gulags in Wyoming.
Can’t you see how incredibly blessed we are?
That finally, for once, the defense of our basic rights at this moment in history does not yet call for us to literally forfeit our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor? The times do not yet require our blood and our bones to stop the GOP machine from immolating the Earth.
But we are, by God, called to at least not punk out on the men and women who made exactly those sacrifices to bequeath us a better world.
We are by God called to not let the liberty they purchased at the ends of gun barrels and ropes gutter out with a whimper that it was all too hard, and besides, Fat Karl fought dirty.
For the sake of simple justice kids no longer have to drive alone and scared shitless into Alabama, Mississippi or some other Jim Crow Valley of Death, praying that the car behind them isn't loaded with shotgun-toting "concerned citizens" who would feel perfectly safe and justified slaughtering fellow Americans with the wrong skin tone, zip code or attitude on the open road. Now -- right now, in 2006 -- reality, causality, the "arc of the moral Universe" and 50 million others just like us are our allies, and the wind is at our backs.
Our job is keep on fighting, to spread the word and to not give up. And that is our job solely because we are fortunate enough to live at a time when our history and our heroes need no more from us than that.
But understand this is the minimum service change we are asked to pay.
It is enough to cover the utility bills on the palace their blood and tears built for us. And it is cheap and lazy and an insult to the giants on whose shoulders we are privileged to stand to offer them any less.
posted by Steve @ 2:58:00 AM