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Today's rhaps is on ... The Revolution that Will Not Be Televised

Reims Cathedral transparent windows after WWII bombings

​“We must not normalize the behavior of the Trump administration!”

I am so tired of guilt-tripping the good and caring US citizens who march in the streets and call their senators when they do not have to work full time to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. These responsible and exhausted US citizens elected representatives to speak for them in DC. Yes, unfortunately they are in a minority. But these are full time US representatives and it is their job to stand up to this corruption every day, all day. Working people can ultimately call a revolution but it is at tremendous cost: their livelihoods and the well being of their families.

I'd like to know what exactly these writers expect everyone to do. Their hearts are in the right place, yes, but we who agree with their words already tirelessly, daily, even hourly point out how abnormal and dangerous are the actions of this brutal administration. Who thinks this is normal? And we've been doing it since the beginning of 2016. Our responses have included colossal crowd demonstrations against Muslim-blocking immigration, anti-woman violence, elementary science-denial, mass gun-murder, and even the most basic voting-while-being-a-citizen and clean-water-drinking rights. Throughout we continued to raise voices and bend knees to honor the slaughtered black motorists and brutally executed children caught holding...toys, phones, whatever.

We have 49 elected senators and 197 elected representatives who do not, I repeat, do not, have to bust their asses every day for food, shelter and healthcare. They make six-figure salaries and are guaranteed six-figure lifetime pensions.

My brothers and I used to ride the tractors in the summers on the farm of our relatives in West Germany. This family belonged to my maternal grandmother’s cousin. We were told not to talk about WWII. Yes, I know, they were considered "complicit" in the horror. My point here is that their guilt and complicity, which will never subside, involved going out to the fields on the tractors every day. Which they were still doing in the 50s and 60s during our summer visits. So they could eat. This is what happens when evil people come to power: they depend on the fact that the masses are too busy feeding themselves to revolt. When the revolutions and wars finally come, it is a life or death proposition. And guess who mostly dies.

When the masses do have enough to eat, then the power game is to make them feel bad about themselves. Pruning and grooming is required, many magazines with endless advertised supplies of inferiority complex products to fill one’s time, what little time exists between trying to wear the right outfits, cook the right food, make an appearance at the right venues, kiss up to the right people, and work out to the right music at the right gym. All deodorized with the latest homo sapien-blocking scent.

This is why the revolution will not be televised. Everyone’s too busy. TV is too busy. Hundreds of channels are pushing the mind-numbing bone-searing business of self-improvement, twenty-four seven. Yes I will write that letter and pose for that photo and go on that protest, but first I need to lose twenty pounds. And dye my hair. And start power heat steam yoga. Then I will look like Emma Thompson and can play the role of a revolutionary. I need to look convincing. Who would listen to me otherwise?

No, the revolution will not be televised. It won’t even get started in the streets this time, much less end up on the evening news. Many people will vote in November and many others will try to vote, but the power-hungry ones will be actively throwing sand in every lever of democratic justice available, to ensure that collective representation does not happen in the US. We are probably lucky to have the 49, and the 197. But they need to stop feeling displaced and dispossessed and discouraged and remember that they still represent the majority of voters out there. And they need to get busy.

17 OCTOBER 2018

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