brown brick wall

The Unwilling Political Activist, the Burden of Conscience and The Rock Star

Bloody Roger Waters. I try very hard not to think about anything political. I do my best to drift through life not worrying about the Big Picture, and things that I have no hope of influencing or changing. However, Rog’s very political show, This Is Not A Drill, has left me thinking about politics and the state of the world around me. I don’t have that luxury – my own personal, individual Armageddon and the injustices around my legal situation take up all my energy. I don’t have much left to spare for anything else. Thanks to The Rog, the Big Guy, the politico supreme of rock and roll, political thoughts have been buzzing around my brain like an angry bee. The only way past that irritating realization that I can’t just ignore the rest of the world around me, and the injustices and pain, is to summon up some energy I do not have, and examine just where I stand. I’m not happy about it. I mean, I read the writing on the wall, I open the curtain, I listen to the news, and I tut and get infuriated like any other intelligent person. I just leave it there. My own damn wall needs to be in place if I have a hope of keeping up the good fight of staying free and with my child. Roger didn’t just break down his own wall, he took a few swipes at mine too.

I used to insist that I did not have a political bone in my body. I didn’t have time to worry about things I had no hope of influencing. I thought of the process of democracy as a sham, used to placate us little people, fool us into believing that the Powers That Be actually listened to us, that they did what we wanted, as our representatives. I still do. We have a cursory democracy, the illusion of shared representative political power. Since I neither wanted to participate in that horror show that is political life, nor was I able to.

All things considering, everything went pear shaped for me pretty early. Though a few (male) politicians can insist they did not inhale or that the coke was weak and mostly icing sugar, whatever other excuses for any humanity that might show through their political exterior they might make, it was going to be impossible for me to take part in any kind of political endeavor. Not only did I hate society, I was pretty much outside it from the get go. No, my old habits and escape hatches were not going to allow me to have any kind of public life. As a result I took the dim view of politics that it was all a sham anyway, and besides, I was not the right kind of beyond reproach human that could survive an election process. Can you imagine! “The Candidate has an active heroin addiction! She is a whore!” Er. Mmmmm. Well. Yes, but you see, I also know what life is having experienced the worst of it, and all, and perhaps then I might have a modicum of compassion and understanding as a result.

I held onto my apolitical stance doggedly throughout the years. I might have occasionally sworn at a newspaper, curse at the TV and mock one of those political social climbing bastards, but I was secure in the fact that I did not live in a democracy, that my voice was never going to matter, and that there was nothing I could ever do to influence the society which I was shut out of. Of course, I then left for Japan, where I was a legal resident but not able to vote. That was no big loss, Japan only ever elects one party, a soft conservative bunch who preserve the harmony of society but stifles change. Democracy is only an illusion, the mirage of choice and the ability to influence things that matter to us all and policy that affects everyone. Let’s face it, us little people can’t even stop these men taking the world to war over and over again, robbing people of peace, family members and the ability to live life. We are all dragged into the sins and evil of the Powers That Be, the men that run the world. I have no political say in the USA, and to be frank, it would not make a difference if I did.

My vote would be meaningless even if I was allowed one. Besides who on earth would I vote for? I could not vote Republican, because, well, I am not a total cunt. I want gay marriage, a non christian led society, reproductive rights, and compassion towards others. I also could not vote Democrat because I believe firmly that government does not have a place inserting itself into the daily lives of people. I am a libertarian, a humanitarian and an anti capitalist. Capitalism is the cause of suffering. The money hoarders who collect more and more, while there is plenty to go around if we shared equally, are to blame for the deaths and war and inequality. In short, I am politically homeless. Even if I had a vote and a voice, I have no horse to back in any political race.

I truly believe most of the problem with leaders is that they are the kind of person that desperately wants power. I think we should find the most intelligent people in the country that when asked if they would ever want to be President, reply in the negative. We want those who would detest political service, who have no interest in it. The last person in the world who should be running anything is someone for whom power is attractive and desirable…just don’t look at me. I would be miserable. Laissez faire, do what thou wilt is the whole of the law, and all that jazz is more my style. Besides, I have a longing for some law and order, some peace and quiet, for the few not to be able to disrupt it all for the many, and I fear I would be someone I would end up hating. An old clean junkie is one of the world’s most intolerant creatures. I know that bullshit and I won’t put up with it. I also strongly believe in safe supply, safe use centers and not criminalizing addiction. Remove the need to buy illegally, control the supply and then you control the problem. But I digress. Therein lies the problem…I do actually give a shit.

I care about Mahsa Amini being beaten to death for not wearing her hijab tightly enough for the misogynistic torturers in Iran. I care about the two Iranian lesbians, Zahra Seddiqi Hamedani, 31, and Elham Choubdar, 24 who have been sentenced to death by Iran for homosexuality.

I care about the fact that black lives matter and yet black Americans are still living in fear of their lives from an institutionally racist system. I care about reproductive rights. I care about the fact we are closer to nuclear war now than at any other time since WW2. I care about the people suffering in the Ukraine, and the peole suffering all over the world over useless wars that do nothing but make misery and meat out of human beings. “They are gonna send you back to mother in a cardboard box” Waters sang in Run like Hell. Which is exactly what happened to Roger’s family when his father was killed in WW2.

I care that Big Brother is indeed watching us, and Orwell is being used as a textbook and set of guidelines by politicians, instead of a warning call as what not to do. I care about the people left to rot on the street.

I care about the families in ICE custody, still not released or treated with kindness even under Biden. I care about the fact that the average person in the USA, including myself, has no access to medical care.

I care about you, damnit, even though I do not know you. I care about the world and the mess we are in and the mess I am in. I care about the fact that women are still the second sex, and we are still being murdered and beaten, and treated with contempt by society, our basic rights under siege. I care about the other Hague mothers who are suffering and separated from their children, or even jailed for the crime of running away from their abusive husbands. I care so much it hurts.

So there we have the problem. I care, but I cannot do anything about any of it. I can’t go to Iran and rescue Zahra or Elham. I cannot free political prisoners. I cannot make the world any more equitable. I cannot stop a nuclear war. I cannot go out there into the ‘Loin and direct people to shelter and pragmatic drug addiction services that do not exist. I am hopeless and helpless. All I can do is write, and sound the alarm bells and raise my skinny fists into the air and say “not in my fucking name you don’t!”

I tend to keep quiet (I can hear my friends laughing at that one. Quiet is generally not a label they attach to me. Nor is restrained) out of sheer fear of being censured or putting myself in danger. I cannot afford to take too many risks. I live a life on the edge of disaster and have done for many years. The toll on me has been immense. I am illegal. I am fleeing extreme international domestic violence, and the injustices of the Hague Convention on Parental Child Abduction. I am physically in a lot of pain a lot of the time, and absolutely exhausted beyond belief. I am also a scrapper and a fighter, and know that it is all hands to the deck time. I will do what I can do and speak up, speak loud, pitch more political pieces to publications and have my say.

Roger won me over. Even if I don’t agree with him on some points (For a start, Taiwan has NEVER been a part of China, between 45 and 49 it was occupied, but so was fucking France for a couple of years and we don’t just give them to Germany, do we Roger…and the Chinese torture their own people, especially their Islamic Uyghurs, and anyone who opposes them politically) but we do agree on a whole lot more. I do agree with the fact that he never stopped fighting for what he believed in. OK. I’m angry now. Just angry enough to rouse myself up out of my apolitical comfort and put the Powers That Be within my political sights. Politics is an ugly business. No one can survive in it for long, ask Hunter S Thompson, but even me, on the brink of a nuclear confrontation with Russia has to pull out my critic’s pen and with a heavy heart and a long sigh, tear down my fucking wall.

Tear Down The Wall

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