Rewind Mental Evolution, Hard Core by Asia Kindred Moore
In the year of our (war)lord, 2006, apathy and fear are the true killers. How is it that turning a blind eye is easier than being enlightened with the truth? I can tell you, we won’t last too long not giving a shit like we do.
Do you really not care, or are you afraid of getting stuck in the unavoidable confrontation? I’d love to hear your opinion, lay it on me, even if it fuels the subconscious war that everyone wages with everyone else, all these rivaling opinions, conflicting “facts”. ANYTHING is better than the boredom of apathy or the numbness of fear.
This whole Middle East fit, nobody even talks about it intelligently. That whole deal has become such a complicated mess that people don’t know what to think about it anymore, or who to blame, let alone what to do. Not having a fucking clue about what to do gives you a rational excuse for being apathetic I suppose, but it’s still lame.
I reside in the Bermuda Triangulated drudge of the 45th parallel. You’d never know that anything is happening anywhere outside of where you are right now—and there’s certainly not much happening here. But of course, this is probably true for everyone everywhere. You get so caught up in the repetitive flow of things as they are that whatever else is happening seems fictional, a bad dream or fairy tale going on somewhere else. But these crimes of war are not fictions.
In a cold month of this last school year, I attended a peace rally observing the 2000th American soldier killed in Iraq. My contribution to the event was a magnificent sign painted on a converted packing blanket that read, “Warring for Peace is like Fucking for Virginity”. With the help of 3 other people I held this up for view to the passing public. A week later, a cop came to my school and tried to charge me with graffiti, showing me a picture taken of me at the rally with my sign, and another picture of a spray painted wall with the exact same wording. Never mind the invasion of my Constitutional right to freely express myself without having police take pictures of me that they later wave in my face as if I’m a criminal for having done it in the first place. Never mind that the saying is very well known. Never mind that the officer had no evidence whatsoever linking me to the graffitied wall. What right did he have to come into my school, pull me out of class and hit me with such accusations? For the record, I’ve never once tagged in my life, yet here he comes with no evidence, no proof, into my school, making the big waves. He was on a fishing trip, baiting me with fear. This cop wasn’t pushing a graffiti investigation, he was pushing censorship, and he chose to do it with a captive audience provided by the teens of my school. If he could make me afraid to express myself in public places, then “they” win, fear wins, apathy wins, and the crazy shit that the warlords of Washington DC dream up can continue without anybody doing anything about it. What’s more obscene? A few words on a blanket held up in peaceful Salem, or “smart bombs” that kill thousands of innocent civilians?
What’s going to happen when we’re all censored, all dulled down to minimum opinion, with a minimal cause? That’s when we lose our right to free expression and thought. And wouldn’t it be convenient for the government that we do it to ourselves through apathy and fear? It saves them the trouble of having to come into our schools and homes, wherever they find us, telling us that we’re having illegal thoughts.
What’s the antidote? What’s the solution? Proving ourselves by our activism or living in fear and making small talk?
Here’s what I think. If we’re not comfortable showing up and voicing our opinions when there’s no evidence to prosecute us with, then where will be our courage to take the hits when the warlords of Washington have passed laws making what we think and do truly illegal?
Apathy and fear are only slowing down the revolution. To those of us who do care, face it down early.
Asia Kindred Moore lives in Salem, Oregon, where she works as a barista at the Coffee House Cafe downtown. Asia can be reached at [email protected].