Had a mellow Saturday. Stayed away from the news for a day, for a change. Gave myself a break. Re-read an old book, an even older play; my old journal from my undergrad days, the days before blogs, full of memories and old letters pressed between its pages filled with sketches and bad poetry and the musings of my twentysomething self.
It was a good day. A day to re-connect with old thoughts, old ideals, old friends.
It took me back to Reagan’s second term. A time that seemed so dire at the time, yet now seems almost quaint in comparison to the troubles we currently face. Or perhaps things were just as dire then, but memory has softened them.
No, actually, I think they are far more dire now.
This madness of indifference, cynicism perhaps, seems to have infected so many it has become pandemic, impossible to stamp out. People think, “I am only one person, and one person cannot change the world,” and go on about their business, leaving only a few to try, so little changes.
I don’t think all have given up all hope of change. Perhaps this helps account for the Obama phenomenon. People see him as representing change, a new direction. Because change is something we desperately need.
Yet I find myself wondering this past week, after his reversal on the FISA matter, when he joined his Senate colleagues in their betrayal of the people and the constitution, will he really change all that much if we don’t force the change to happen?
We voted for change two years ago, and where has that gotten us so far?
We are still fighting an unwinnable conflict in a hostile land to protect the interests of Halliburton and Exxon-Mobil. Still killing. Still torturing prisoners and logic as we try to justify that which cannot be justified under any rational understanding of how the world should be.
Still sliding down a slippery slope toward a de facto dictatorship, an increasingly authoritarian society, run for the benefit of large corporations and the already sickeningly wealthy, with a president who ignores the laws of congress, the rulings of the highest court, and the will of the people while smirking for the cameras and mangling his prepared words beyond all recognition.
And we continue to think, “I am only one person, and one person cannot change the world.”
Can you have a revolution with just one soldier, one rebel fighting for the cause?
Can one person be a revolution, freeing one’s mind so that one can perhaps help others free their own, until revolution spreads like a virus, a contagion of freedom?
But I bet it would be really fun to try.