Saturday, November 18, 2006

Just Thinking....

Sometimes I wonder what I can or should be doing to walk the talk, put my money where my mouth is, make the world a better place, etc etc etc. OK--there'll be no political or religious lecture here. I know better: the last time I touched the subject, the response was very quiet. But, folks, really, the world could use a hand. My hand. And your hand. At least occasionally.

So in that spirit, begging your indulgence, here's an excerpt from The Low Road by Marge Piercy. It's self explanatory:

Two people can keep each other sane, can give support, conviction,love, massage, hope, sex. Three people are a delegation,a committee, a wedge. With four you can play bridge and start an organization. With six you can rent a whole house, eat pie for dinner with no seconds, and hold a fund raising party. A dozen make a demonstration. A hundred fill a hall. A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter; ten thousand, power and your own paper; a hundred thousand, your own media; ten million, your own country. It goes on one at a time. It starts when you care to act. It starts when you do it again, after they said no, it starts when you say
We and know who you mean, and each day, you mean one more.



  1. I am trying to respond thoughfully but I stopped at two especially when it ended with the word sex. I don't see any reason to go beyond two.

  2. ces, push on for me, would you?


  3. Push is a good word.

    Okay, I should stop being irreverent but this is one of the rare nights that I want to go to bed to sleep. My body needs sleep after being sleep deprived from my on-page-on-call-on-reply shift. So tomorrow perhaps I will have a thoughful response. Goodnight my dear blogger friend and roommate at No.11 Blogworld Road.

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  5. Hello again KJ. I am refreshed and hopefully be more serious this time.I wonder if this Marge Piercy has been to the Philippines? As many people know, the Philippines was ruled by a dictator whom Jimmy Carter supported and called a "soft dictator" and then engineered an $88 million World Bank loan to Marcos to increase military aid to him by 300% while Marcos violated every human rights. The Filipino people, a tolerant, forgiving people often did not like America's interventions but under martial law, only the bravest martyrs were bold to lead the people. Martyrs indeed for they were assassinated, killed in broad daylight, jailed in stockades and raped. The dictatorship lasted for years until the Filipino people finally had enough, poured out into the streets, led by the Catholic church to demand that the dictator step down. This was the first People Power Revolution. It was invented by the Filipino people who used cell phones to send text messages to their friends to converge in EDSA Bloulevard. Not a shot was fired. The dictator stepped down and fled to Hawaii. It goes to show how much a united people can do without violence and without war. However, the effort was long ago started by one or two individuals, students from the University of The Philippines; by Benigno Aquino, murdered in broad daylight; by student leaders who were either murdered or disappeared. There were others to follow and soon many more joined them. They were martyrs. A country needs to have their own native martyrs. A people need to be able to govern themselves, but they need to know what they want. No other country can set the goals for another country for it is doomed to fail. Countries like the Philippines and later Poland demonstrated what people power can achieve. Yes, it starts with one, two, three... from within.

  6. Great quote, KJ! I did a project with the girls this holiday of putting together shoebox-sized containers of toys and toiletries for kids in places that really need some love and t.l.c. this holiday. It was amazing to see how Charlotte swept through the toy section of a store, with eyes only for giving to another little girl. How she picked the toothpaste with the most fun character on it, etc. It meant so much to me ... and those are the kinds of work I see this quote meaning ... work of love, peace, and fellowship. My mother-in-law has a great quote from Alice Walker up in her work room that says something like war isn't dramatic enough to make any change ... only love is that dramatic. xo

  7. Wow!
    Powerful quote. Really emboldens the idea that we have the control.
    Perhaps we do, but nowadays, who know!

  8. Hey, we're getting an education about Ces here, in more ways than one! And KJ's the enabler.

    KJ, that's a great, empowering quote...and I think Ces's history on Ferdinand Marcos brings it to life.

    The fact his arse and his wife's shoes were able to head off to Hawaii says just as much about the U.S. as it does about anything else.

    Not to diminish the context of the post, but I did kinda laugh at "I don't see any reason to go beyond two."

  9. wow, ces, this is an incredible story. thank you for writing it.

    ww: you can appreciate ces' unique-in-all-the-world humor only if you embrace the larger point :)

    melissa/leo: let's not give up!

  10. Actually WW the USA which was under Reagan at that time sent George Schultz to the Philippines to convince Marcos that his time was up and that resisting the people would bring bloodshed. In essence the USA gave him a "get out of jail card" and its goal was to help prevent a civil war.

  11. This is such a powerful quote. I see little expressions of this everyday -- from a fellow driver giving way to another to a policeman actually giving a ticket instead of accepting a bribe. It's a long journey but there is always the hope that we get there.

  12. KJ (Ces):

    I don't know that I missed the larger point but if I did, I'm not sure what I missed.

    I was responding to what unified people can do -- everything from have sex to topple a dictator.



    I wasn't trying to say it was a bad thing to get Marcos out, obviously...I was trying to make the point that the U.S. gave the guy a free ticket to Hawaii when he should have been banished to the North Pole.

    But I guess whatever works...

  13. WW: I don't know what larger point KJ is referring to either but she is very acedemic in terms of behavioral analysis. I need to ask her the same question.

    Unity is a very nice concept from 2 to millions. :-)

    Oh I agree with you on the banishment. In fact some people did not really believe that he needed to be banished. There were talks about letting him stand on top of a fire anthill and so on but Filipinos are very forgiving and quite religious. They just wanted to start anew. Besides he was sickly and it was punishment enough for a Filipino to be isolated and for a megalomaniac to spend the rest of his life without a country even though he was in paradise.

  14. There are a lot of Dictators living in luxurious exiles around the globe and most of them were spoonfed funds from one superpower or another.
    We humans have an insatiable appetite for despots..they always seem to control nearly a quarter of the 200 or so countries on Earth..that rate is probably much higher if you include the democratically elected despots who are currently siphoning billions of dollars from their people into their bank accounts.
    Since our present day laissez faire system of international diplomacy forces our leaders to choose the lesser of two evils and everything is dictated by the 'The enemy of my Enemy is my Friend' program we will always have these lunatics running around with their thugs stealing UN food and moolah!
    I am reminded of the US forces being unable to shoot Solomolian thugs from doing those very things to the starving people..unless the thugs actually fired upon them first...and we all know how well Somaolia turned out...and Darfur..and infinitum..I would love to organise a secret group of 'fixers' who restored stolen treasuries and facilitated mysterious demises for all dictators in power and in exile!

    ...sorry...switchin' to decaf!