Monday, November 25, 2013

Imagery of Escape and Protest

I just listened to one of my favorite protest songs, "Marat/Sade," sung by Judy Collins. It was not really written as a protest song at all, but ended up as one when its words began to resound with people angry at the state of things in the USA who wished to draw the parallel between conditions in France in 1789 and conditions in the USA in the 1960's, and then again in the 2000's.

In the 1960's, I was already aware of the gap between people who earned living wages and people who didn't or who didn't have jobs. Now, in the 2000's, the gap is between billionaires/multi multi millionaires and everyone else.

But the person I always identified with the words of Marat/Sade was my grandfather, who kept working at his Socialist paper but was then notified that goons were after him and that he had to get out of town (c. 1919). Many of his buddies were not as lucky and were deported.

So the imagery of escape in FatLand comes straight from my own family history.

My grandfather went south and worked on different newspapers there. He returned in four years, when the worst of the Palmer raids had already been conducted and the far right was now focusing on Immigration acts which would limit the numbers of people from Southern and Eastern Europe who would be allowed to come to the USA.

When we write and speak and organize people who do not buy into the "Thin = Healthy" dictum of the Diet/Health/Pharma complex, we are as dangerous to the established order as my grandfather was during World War I.

And as he did, we will go on doing exactly that - writing and speaking and organizing.

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