Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Call To the Wild


Remember I mentioned the other day that my teacher/mentor/friend got in some "trouble" when she mistakenly sent around the infamous Palin banned book list. She apologized, but she also asked—as I have—why are we fussing about these trivial things instead of focusing on what has happened to our country and our environment? So what if one of us misspeaks or mistakenly passes on false information every once in a while? Weigh this against the scandals, lies, and crimes of this administration and it pales! We need to get some perspective.

Anyway, the email was from Vicki Noble and she has given me permission to excerpt it. She believes, as I do, that we have got to walk our talk and to speak out, speak out, speak out. Let's shake it up. Let's take back our world. Answer the call. Don't worry about exactly what you need to do. Just answer the call. Dance it. Shake it free. Answer the call. And do it with splendor! (Remember: subdue the demons with splendor!)

Well, read what Vicki says about all this. Profound. Funny. Magical.

"There is a scene in the wildly popular musical movie, Mamma Mia, where Merle Streep as Donna (a former rock star from the 1970s) suddenly REMEMBERS her younger, wilder days as a female rock star and leader of an all-girl band from the 1970s (thanks to the loving ministrations of her two old friends who remind her, hilariously, that "growing up" may indeed be a false path). First jumping on the bed, then flying through space (like a Tibetan Buddhist Dakini), she triumphantly leads a serpentine line of women out of the hotel, through the town, and down to the ocean in the classic manner of the famous Maenads ("mad women" or "wild women") of ancient Greece. The Greek women (just as they did in classical times) leave off their jobs, their burdens, their husbands and fathers, their kitchens and aprons, as they are joyously, ineluctably drawn to join the collective of irrepressible dancing women in their spontaneous and glorious state of wild abandon and ecstasy. (All this takes place to the fabulous Abba tune of "Dancing Queen," as the local men, incidentally, cheer them on.)

"It is this Dionysian state of wild abandon and spontaneous joy that I believe we must somehow reawaken in order to beat the McCain-Palin ticket, which is based on the repressive and traditional values that we already once overthrew during the genuine revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Sisters, don't you remember? We went wild. Like the ancient Greek Maenads (or the Indian Yoginis and Tibetan Dakinis, for that matter), we cut loose. We left our husbands, threw off our repressive jobs, our bogus traditional values and conditioned knee-jerk responses. We left the churches and synagogues in droves, we left behind the corporate tracking system and the academic elitism that supported it. We opted out in favor of freedom, liberation, and authenticity. It was a magical, thrilling, and transformative revolution in which, collectively, we took back the night, owned our own bodies, and awakened to our unique human potential.

"Then came the backlash. Reagan. Nixon. Pornography. Violence against women. And now we have Sarah Palin as a pseudo-feminist poser who is supposed to frighten us into submission, because she is a woman, and into NOT voting for the Democratic ticket in this urgent bipolar election. This apparent dilemma is so absurd that I can only imagine laughing a great HA of liberation, in the tradition of the Tibetan Black Dakini (whose name, Throma, translates as 'angry woman') and hitting the streets—in groups of wildly dancing women. Laughing, singing, and joyously taking back our revolution. We have got to unify against these posers (and the media who blindly support them) and beat them back into their little dark corner. Sarah Palin is nothing more than a 'tool in the hands of the boys,' as Robin Morgan would have said in the 1970s, or a 'fembot' in the language of philosopher Mary Daly in the 1980s.

"To all the women (and a couple of men) who were upset and responded to my email message by telling me I was careless, reminding me how carefully we need to 'fact check,' and how important it is for Progressives to stay on point, I say—what good has it done the progressive movement to be right? To be correct? To behave itself? To articulate the issues? Our efforts to deal
with issues and be serious, undeceitful, and non-conflictual—where has it gotten us? I'm just not convinced it is the only correct path at this moment in time. The Republicans avoid issues and go for symbols and emotional buzzwords—and the public, I'm sorry to say, responds positively.

"What would happen if we cut loose and became ourselves? What if we took a stance that looked more like The Daily Show (Comedy Central), what if we were to laugh out loud at the absurdities and mock the players, rocking out—instead of trying to stay all buttoned up and proper? I think we've sold out our 'shakti' (natural female power) in our efforts to tow the line. The revolutionary movements of the 1960s and 1970s weren't based on being square—they emerged out of a volcanic explosion of spontaneous life-force energy and creative self-expression. There are more single mothers and gay people now than every before (at least out of the closet). The feminist movement was based on sexual liberation and self-affirmation, NOT as Palin would have it, abstinence-only birth control, pregnant teenagers, and enslavement to the narrow and un-holy values of the Christian Right.

"Let's encourage people to vote for Obama because he's got JUICE and because he's our elected choice and we need to unify, and not for any other 'more important' reasons. Let's bring energy back into the political discourse and make our votes count. (Women once, recently, suffered and almost died for the right to vote.) Vote NO against McCain-Palin, because they SUCK, and they LIE, and they represent everything that denies and suppresses any possibility of true American democracy. I don't want to live in a world devoid of joy, which is the world they devoutly support.

"I'm so sorry for any offence taken by recipients of my messages, I mean no harm. I just can't see going on in the normal polite way, which will surely cost us the election. Change or die, that's the call. Let's come together, make alliances, practice solidarity. Vote for life. Organize for change. Break free. Do something radical or unexpected. Fight to win!

"In loving solidarity and sisterhood, Vicki Noble"

Yes, yes, yes!

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All work copyright © Kim Antieau 2008-.