Wielding Books &

Looks We Won’t Surrender                                                             by Katherine Bascom

Photo: Marta Pisarczyk

The drink bites my tongue. I drop my bottom lip and breathe fire. I usually don’t drink on Tuesdays, but the heart healthy reputation of once-daily red wine eases my mind. I drink a tall glass and think in the present.

Distance from past actions is usually necessary for meaningful perspective, but these days we’re caught in the Moment of Now. The ubiquitous presence of tele-communication charges us with a disorienting spectacle of instant input. To combat this, let’s move out of the muck and find clearer waters.

First off, to transcribe the present feels impossible, especially in a state of mind that is erupting with information. This feeling of eruption occurring out of the sheer magnitude of the world. Out of a feeling of place-lessness within the world. Out of the necessity to provoke ideals and the idealists who dream them. I wrestle with Einstein’s words to our generation: the world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation.

I’m playing with incite and insight. Insight inciting involvement. Engagement, Excitement, and Involvement with the often-overwhelming issues confronting our local communities and the wider world. Why the uppercase on Engagement, Excitement, and Involvement? They are our new professors. They deserve capitalization; that is, they deserve to be made the most of, and through them we will profit in an entirely different way than in the currently prescribed study of contemporary consumerism.

The synonyms for idealistic are romantic and optimist, which has me thinking it’s the best belief one could conjure: positive, adventurous, involving love. I hope the cultural restlessness of our generation will respond to something so authentic like the ‘Tarnac 9’ idealists, arrested in 2008 by French Anti-Terrorism Police and prosecuted under little more than their alleged authorship of a book, ‘The Coming Insurrection.’ Whoever did write the book call themselves the Invisible Committee, and they’re shouting out, ‘There’s no ideal form of action. What’s essential is that action assume a certain form, that it give rise to a form instead of having one imposed on it.’
Yes, solidarity must exist more deeply. Communicate, mobilize, make connections. Among many exclamations, the Invisible Committee explicates occupying empty houses and loving one another madly.

I suggest putting this on your syllabus. Those new professors had it on their recommended reading a long time back.


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