Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Between Scylla and Charybdis

Paging Odysseus. Please pick up the white courtesy phone on the mythology concourse.

I forced myself out of a 20 year-long self-imposed political exile in September of this year. I did it because I was crawling out of my skin with anxiety over the coming election. There was no magic to it. It was simple synchronicity. A local county Democratic Club rented the building next door to where I work. As I said, my skin was crawling. I visited. I told them I wanted to help. And I did, but as is no secret here I was not ecstatic over John Kerry. I was reacting. Not always bad, but not necessarily a good either. I was feeling angry and still am about the over the top, in your face, political coup happening in the USA. I answered phones. I talked to hopeful people feeling similarly. I gave out bumper stickers and yard signs and pins. I voted; one of those anarchists that went against her better judgment and cast a ballot. I would not be fibbing if I told you that today I feel a bit of schadenfreude about the results of the national election.

Be that as it is... I'm still angry. I'm still angry and I'm a pacifistic anarchist. It seems to me that I have only a couple of choices before me now. I feel as if I'm sailing between Scylla and Charybdis, or as we in the oh-so-modern West say... between a rock and hard place. I'm angry, and I abhor violence. My higher cerebral cortex is swimming. ;-)

My baby sister suggests song lyrics for me like this:
"Here comes the helicopter -- second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they've murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay

I don't believe in guarded borders and I don't believe in hate
I don't believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation -- or some less humane fate
Cry for guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher...Some son of a bitch would die"

Bruce Cockburn
She and I have a few differences which get "discussed" from time-to-time.

So the task becomes how to channel the angry energy into something that will benefit my life, and, if I'm lucky, the life of others. It's the recognition of my current mental state that is key I think. Consciousness and perception are everything. One of the things I do to get there is read. So I read a bit today on Odysseus, on Homer's "The Odyssey", On Scylla and Charybdis... the rock and a hard place, on the place of anger in direct action. The links are few and electic, to say the least. I'm particularly interested in hearing from you about how you mobilize angry energy to move you.

The links:
Scylla and Charybdis


On Anger and Outrage

When Anger Eclipses Politics

Feminist Anger, Social Rage

Fire away. I can take it. I have Hulkette standing by. ;-)