i wrote the following letter several days after the war began. aside from being irritated with the war itself, i became even more irritated with the reports of various rallies and protests around the world. having purged my opinion with typing, i was placated with the notion that people have the right to do as they wish, especially for noble ideals. however, as time went on and protests continued, my desire to speak became overwhelming. compounded by a sudden lack of discretion and a consuming urge to open my mouth, i decided to send this letter to everyone that i could think of, both local and international. that never happened. in the end, i had reverted right back to my disaffected self and never sent the letter… how like me.
before you become bored or angry and dismiss this, PLEASE read everything. i implore you. i only hope for the same attention, and, indeed, the same courtesy, that you ask of others when you rally on the streets. you and i are, in spirit, on the same side.
i am opposed to the war. who, in their right mind, believes that the loss of innocent lives is justifiable? the pretense that this war has been waged to disarm iraq and “liberate” its people is flimsy and transparent. the u.s. establishment obviously has an ulterior agenda, one that has unapologetically invaded, pillaged, and raped the very world that sustains them. they are committing an international crime. they are undermining the relevancy of the united nations. they are sending our loved ones to fight in the name of avarice. they are hypocrites of unending shame and the war is an operation of a self-serving, inconsiderate, and greedy machine. the world knows. the establishment itself knows. EVERYONE FUCKING KNOWS.
or, perhaps not. maybe, since i haven’t been able to find any sort of media coverage on this whole iraq situation in any newspaper, on any television program, on any radio station, or on any website, you and a mob should inform me by yelling and screaming at me. i’ll definitely be aware then.
but, then again, i wonder, what more are you doing when you stand on a corner with your indignation scrawled in bleeding paint on a piece of dirty cardboard? what more are you doing when you block the streets and prevent mothers and fathers from going home to their children? what more are you doing when you break out in violence and hateful words to demonstrate for PEACE? what more are you doing when you are shoving your opinion down my throat? what more is there to your witty signage that equates the president to a vagina? what more have you done to right the smaller wrongs that contribute to the larger wrongs? what more?
let me ask you, where was your humanitarian helpfulness before someone else told you to take “action?” where was your conviction and your resolve before the tragic day of september 11th? where is your “i’m making a difference” mentality when you walk past the hungry and the homeless everyday? where is your dissident megaphone when you see children, our successors who we teach to walk in our shoes, being taught ignorance and blind hate? where was your honor and your valor when you yourself have helped the u.s. consume and deplete the world’s resources? where is your righteousness when you are a cog in this very machine? where?
mind you, i admire your fire. i admire your proactive measures. i admire your willingness to speak out against unjust dealings. and, most importantly, i admire your actions for your spirit. i rest assured that there are still good people out there. however, i do not admire you or your actions for the futility that i see. the war has already begun. what did your clever slogan do to prevent that first missile from firing? will your paper signs, somehow, all of a sudden, miraculously convince the commander in chief that he’s mistaken? will your synchronized chants of ire halt this war? try and remember, did a sea of painted faces prevent the war in vietnam? please understand that the reason that the civil rights protests were so effective is because they were in the thick of it all. the only way that your marches and your rallies will be felt is if you get on a plane, fly to baghdad, and protest amidst the clouds of soot and the rain of bombs. at the end of your saturday, you just go home to the comfy and cozy world that you have become accustomed to. sure, you may also send out a couple of politically conscious emails, drive less, and make a sour face when someone mentions a freedom fry, but, what has truly changed? your protests and petitions are ineffective. try something different. there are better ways to direct and concentrate your energy than standing around with a bunch of unhygienic art students.
let the world know about atrocities. shout and bang your makeshift drums. but, do it effectively. be productive. roaring with empty rhetoric will only gain you a sore throat. speak with purpose, not showmanship. don’t yell into ears that refuse to hear. realize that if those ears are deaf, the way can be shown by leading the eyes. and, if those eyes are blind, the way can be found by your own hands. is your determination and disgust strong enough to change our political climate? we live in a REPUBLIC, NOT A DEMOCRACY. you vote for someone else to make the decisions that affect you. if you believe that your ideas are better than the established, become the decision maker that you want. if not, make sure that the right people represent you. VOTE WISELY. come on, are you really that surprised we’re at war? we don’t even have the right thinkers with their fingers on the red buttons. men are in power who shouldn’t be. but, did you raise your hand to be the hall monitor? did you raise your hand for the most qualified? were you even in class that day? the electoral college and the debacle that is the florida voting system may have screwed the 2000 presidential election, but votes still count. make sure that we have good candidates to choose from. what did we have from the right and the left? there was a man like dubya, who you wouldn’t trust to proofread your fifth grader’s book report (but who was somehow entrusted with the welfare of our nation). and, then, there was a man like gore, whose self-importance was skewed enough to believe that he had invented the internet. the green party? i was with you on that one, but please. it’s a two party fuck up and the punch line of every joke is a third party.
but, you know, even if we had better leaders, i’d still be skeptical. a revolution only works if the people themselves are willing. you may want to revolt, but will your neighbor? hugging a single tree doesn’t matter when he and his friends have already cut down the forest. and, then, for every single seed that you may plant, two super wal-marts will pop up, two blocks from each other, in its place. it is the way of our society, we of the bling-bling, we of the disposable products, we of the right to happily gorge upon needless things that will choke and kill us. needless to say, we, the people, suck.
still not with me yet? watch some television. instead of living our own lives, sit down with me for a moment and watch others live theirs. though, honestly, the best reality show out there is the local news. if it’s not some hard hitting scoop about what celebrity X wore to function Y, then it’s about the violence being committed to our children, our mothers, our siblings, our families, and our fellow humans. the reason? stupidity. stupidity manifested in guns, in drugs, in rape, in greed, in excess, in religion, in egos, in racism, in sexism, in money, in miscommunication, in thoughtlessness. the best part? they’ll have happened no farther than eight miles from your house. and every other house on this planet. the world will not change until we ALL change FUNDAMENTALLY. we, as biological organisms and animals, are genetically wired for aggression. and, sadly, there will ALWAYS be conflict. there will ALWAYS be violence. there will ALWAYS be unjust acts. until the world realizes that the problem is so much deeper, spawned from the ignorance and the hate that is humanity itself, history will ALWAYS repeat itself. peace on earth will only come about when there is a massive overhaul of the mentalities and motives of our flock.
so, until you and i help make the right changes, FUCK YOUR PROTESTS. don’t ask me to hold a sign for you unless it’s the finger.
sunday, march 23, 2003
1:33 a.m. u.s. eastern time