by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
March 6, 2003
IF PROTESTING DOESN'T WORK, THEN PARTY
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- O.K., you've sent your plastic baggies of white rice to the President of the United States, marched in freezing weather several times for peace, gotten into the habit of reading the on-line international papers to glean some real news, listened to poetry being read up the yin-yang, given money to MoveOn - and it still hasn't made a damn bit of difference.
You sit there scratching your head and wondering why America has gone crazy. We were attacked by a man named Osama bin Laden and a loosely-knit band of American-hating terrorists called al-Qaida, but we're gearing up for a major war against an American-hating dictator in Iraq named Saddam Hussein who we already beat 12 years ago.
Even Saddam is scratching his head and saying "Why me?" As he pointed out to Dan Rather a few weeks ago, al-Qaida hates him almost as much as they hate America.
We're alienating most of our friends and allies abroad, tearing up every protective treaty with our signature on it, and squandering all our good will on this war with Iraq, while at the same time we're turning a blind eye to a real lunatic in North Korea who has nuclear weapons and nothing to lose by using them. We stand there and do nothing while he's trying to decide whether to bomb Seoul, Tokyo or Los Angeles.
At home, we're squandering the country's vast financial resources on this crazy war and tax cuts for the rich while we have no money to run our schools and educate our children. Meanwhile, the government is hell-bent on giving away our only remaining safety nets, Medicare and Social Security, to the two institutions least deserving of our trust and respect - the HMOs and the stock market.
And worst of all, nothing we say or do can stop the madness. Not even putting tens of millions of protesting people in the streets in over 600 cities around the world on the same day can make a dent in this insanity.
What can we do besides despair? Well, I recently found a one-word answer: party!
I'm not trivializing the pain, terror, horror and destruction that America will soon wreak on the civilized world, but we really need to do something in order to stay sane. And Mark Morford of the San Francisco Chronicle has found the perfect answer to the right-wing lunatics who have hijacked our country.
"Here is what conservatives hate the most: the idea that you really can, and do, make a difference," Morford wrote in a free-wheeling style. "That you, hopefully working to align yourself with something deeper and more informed and perhaps not exactly Christian, or corporate, not exactly lockstep mainstream flag-waving God-fearing asexual consumer drone, you can affect the world, directly, right now, in ways you might not even realize, in ways that make them tremble and wince, in how much you laugh and love and eat and sleep and screw and breathe and in how deeply you penetrate into the soul's raise d'etre... . They really hate that."
According to Morford, who titled his piece "Hippie Crap Saves the World," the more we choose life, the more we create art, the more we love one another, the more orgasms we have, the more we refuse to inject "deliberate doses of bitter bile straight into the cultural bloodstream," the more hope is there that we might be able to save the world.
"The world consists of energy, billions of swirling masses of it contained in living vessels -- that's you -- and aimed out to the world, often radiating at random, intermingling, interacting, often uncontrolled and unaware, an enormous dizzying gorgeous complex kaleidoscopic organism of human interaction and interplay," Morford wrote. "We are abuzz. We are electric. We posses actual psychic and electromagnetic force. Duh. It's a fact."
Negative energy begets negative energy - and you have only to watch television news or read about the Bush Administration to know that for certain - while positive energy begets positive energy.
"Notions of peace, individual thought, reason, simple acts of attuned mindfulness, of buying products and foods that sustain the planet, of making really good messy enthusiastic generous love, of regular laughter in the face of scowling Ashcroft or Cheney's corporate henchmen, of reading deeply and recalling wisdom people like the Dalai Lama talk about all the time - these things literally up your anima's vibration, add positive energy back in, turn the collective volume back up," Morford wrote.
"Mystics and healers and sages and scientists and philosophers across the spiritual spectrum have know it for millennia: more advanced and enlightened souls - and cultures - vibrate at a higher level, a more bright and rigorous pitch," he says. "It's true. Bliss and joy and notions of peace and healing and laughter and personal choice, these things crank up the vibe. War and angst and fear and self-fulfilling prophecies of war and preemptive strikes and Jenna Bush, these things slam it down."
At a time when decent people around the world are in true despair over our hijacked democracy, I agree with Morford that the best thing we can do is "pump up the vibration" and have a great big rocking happy loving time.
They really hate that.
Joyce Marcel is a free-lance journalist who writes about culture, politics, economics and travel.