My all-time favorite question is, "But IOZ, what should we do?!" It smells of distant gunsmoke, of dewy ladies fainting, of tobacco and thin gentlemen officers in gaudy epaulettes. My all-time favorite reply to this serve and my subsequent volley game came from the keyboard of your friend and mine, La_Rana, in the dialogic style of the Greek:
"Its a failure"That about sums it up, doesn't it? But.
"We agree. Now how do we fix it?"
"We can't fix it"
"But thats not a solution!"
"The solution is dissolution"
"Oh, well that sounds pretty. How does it work?"
"It involves subtly dismantling everything you take for granted"
It occurs to me that much of the political evil in the world is enabled by the persistent belief that doing something is necessarily better than doing nothing, and, paradoxically, that doing nothing is not doing something. That's a first principle. Abstention is sometimes honorable. Sometimes, on the forced march, the most radical act possible is to sit down in the snow until the rifle cracks the side of your skull, until they drag you to your feet and force you onward. Have you changed anything? Good god, man, who cares? You don't have to be Spartacus to remind yourself that you're not a slave.
All the dramatic metaphorizing aside, the constant demands for Action, for a Plan, for a collective Purpose--these are invariably made by people whose heads are still cobwebbed with cant. Useless though they are, the self-satisfied perseverations of the soi-disant progressive community appeal to this type simply because they carry the illusion of change: new names, new polls, new H.R. Such-and-Such to pray for passage, new FISA bills to filibuster, la, dee, da. When I wanted to learn yoga, my guru told me that I had to learn how to breath first, and goddamn if he wouldn't let me climb into a downward-facing dog or even stretch to touch my toes until I did.