There’s been a boatload of dissent in the United States this past 12 months, and, ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, states are preparing for more in every capitol across the land. The US Capitol itself is barricaded behind fencing and razor wire.
But in and of itself, “dissent” doesn’t mean what we’ve seen these past months. It just means to disagree.
Back when I was a teenager (50 odd years ago, and, believe me, most of them were odd) I was reading Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and Walden and completely prepared to dissent. Young people were dissenting all over creation in 1968 anyway. Ultimately, I didn’t dissent against the Viet Nam War or racism. They seemed like petty problems compared to the BIG ONE. When I spoke up, it was to dissent from the prevailing opinion that our world is a commodity that exists for the purpose of human exploitation. Of course, when I was a teenager, I was SURE the WHOLE WORLD would suddenly suddenly begin to act responsibly toward our planet because EVERYONE was waiting to hear my opinion.
Serious dissent requires time, thoughtfulness, research, knowledge, the ability to evaluate ideas and facts. The dumbfvcks dissenting from the opinion that Trump lost the election don’t seem to understand that they broke the law or even understand why we have laws, while, at the same time, they scream that they’re protecting our Constitution, aided and abetted by elected officials like Lauren Boebert, who was BARELY elected and is despised by her constituency. She’s not the only monster in the House, but she’s “my” monster.
I believe dissent should be the result of questioning and gathering information; it should be knowledgeable and responsible. It means reading the ENTIRE second amendment not going off half-cocked (ha ha) “They want our guns!!!”
Time taught me that my job is to do my best and hang on until better times. I no longer have the illusion that my little life is going to make big changes in the world, but I don’t think I’ve made it worse. At 69 that seems as worthy a goal as changing the world.
BY STEPHEN CRANE
The Black Riders XVIII
Some little blades of grass
Stood before God.
“What did you do?”
Then all save one of the little blades
Began eagerly to relate
The merits of their lives.
This one stayed a small way behind
Presently God said:
“And what did you do?”
The little blade answered: “Oh, my lord,
“Memory is bitter to me
“For if I did good deeds
“I know not of them.”
Then God in all His splendor
Arose from His throne.
“Oh, best little blade of grass,” He said.