Waking up on a Saturday morning I did what any self respecting person would do: turn on the lights and start reading "Dimes worth of Difference", the new collectoin of essays by Counterpunch authors.
In Alexander Cockburn's article about the Clinton economy the statistic that 30 million people in the U.S. are food distressed, meaning that they don't know where their next meal is coming from.
For those of you not keeping up 30 million is over ten percent of the U.S. population. That's not 30 million people who're poor that's 30 million people who don't know where their next meal is coming from.
I think about a person I knew who used to say she was poor because she didn't have a car and didn't have a computer, yet was enrolled in a graduate program and had a nice alternative job.
That has to be one of the biggest lies of certain sections of the radical young community in the Pacific Northwest.
There are 30 million people who don't know where their next meal is coming from; the least you could do is not pretend that your faux poverty actually counts for the same as theirs.
And this is just the tip: there're people who'll dig into food banks up here who have no economic distress whatsoever but simply want to slack. Casual references to 'how poor I am' are made by people dressed up in privilieged indie-rock styles.
It's fuckin' disgusting.
If you want to be a slacker or a drop out and not have a job, be my guest, but nowhere in the description of what that involves does it say that you have to complain about 'poverty' while real poor peole are wondering where they'll get their next meal in massive numbers.
Oh, in there's an essay in "Dimes worth of Difference" by Brandy Baker about the feminist movement and the democrats which has the line "Do you remember in the 1970s when women were talking about ERA, equal distribution of housework and childcare? You do? Good, because I damn sure don't--seeing how I was born in the mid-'70s."
Right on sister.
"You've got to go down to Mississippi, you've got to go there by yourself, ain't nobody here, can go there for you, you've got to go there by yourself"....
A song lyric that people today should remember, 'cause maybe if more people took seriously the idea of creating social change we'd see mass movements like in the '60s that we could be proud of.
But instead we have a collective nostalgia monkey on our backs. People, people who I have no respect for, comb their hair in a certain way, buy vintage designer public assistance style glasses and expect the world to come knocking at their door...These losers aside, the best way to capture history is to make history and the best way to make history is to do the hardwork that it takes to build something comparable to the sixties and seventies in every sense of the term.
If you want it, do it.
But it has to be genuine. You can't comb your hair like Abbey Hofman's and expect to be a radical leader (like I've actually seen a person in a certain Southern state which was home to many Populists do), either.
Genuine-ness promotes genuine-ness...