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Showing posts from May 22, 2022

to make the stone stony

  “The lizards told me that there was a legend among the stones that God wanted once to become a stone, in order to save them from their rigidity. An old lizard opined, however, that this stony incarnation would only happen after God had incarnated himself in all the species of animals and plants and redeemed them. Only a few stones have feelings, and they only breathe out in moonlight. But these few stones who have a feeling for their circumstances are horribly miserable. The trees are much better, they can cry. The animals, though, are the best of all, because they can speak, each after its own kind, and human beings are the best at it. Once when the whole world is saved, all other created things will be able to speak, as in the primitive times that the poets sing.” Heinrich Heine’s legend of the stones, as recounted by the lizards, comes in his travel book about the city of Lucca in Italy. It rather violates the convention of those travel books that concentrate on the sights, as e

Power to the powerless?

  I read something by Sherrilyn Ifill - who I respect -in which she emphasizes that those who say we can do nothing are wrong, and that we have the power to mobilize. Meaning, to vote. I respect the idea, but I want to ask about that power. I want to ask: what power? I think we had that power after Red Lake, we had that power after Sandy Hook, we had that power after Newtown, we had that power after Virginia Tech... so why was the power massively unused? These statements about "our" power become, after a while, disincentives, if all that supposed "power" ends up in the hands of representatives of our will who really do nothing, except ask every election year for donations and votes. The power that Dr. King had, which had to be exercized for a decade, was not in votes, but in civil disobedience and organizing to defy the powers that be. We have definitely lost that - what, after all, would happen to our credit rating? We are powerlessly powerful. The most powerful ar