Making mole pits of mine mountains

Harry Drabik

Ah, popularity, what a tiresome thing that is to keep up with! However, as the name says, it is ever a popular choice, costs to be dratted, ignored, or (best of class) left to be paid by others. As news and commentary has fallen to the pull of popular (mass) sales appeal it’s become more of an accessory intended to grab attention. Attention getting means looking good and appearing worthy. And I must say that sometimes the lipstick is artfully applied to the cardboard cut-out. Well done it may be, but informative or worth the bother is another matter. Do you wonder at the selling of so much sizzle without a scrap of steak in sight? To me selling spaghetti aroma or wok scents does not make for a sit down, tuck in meal.

Writing the above I wonder (as a writer might of whether or not the audience is engaged and how) how many try to wedge those words into some socio political scape or other. Is it left or right or radical or anarchist? Actually, I try not to be political. I much prefer being annoying, a risk any educator (the model I often follow) must take unless they view learning as sweetener on an already near-perfect puff pastry.

Yum! The public may continue feasting on sweet popularity. I have no control nor any desire to lean readers left, right, or center. What and how readers think and feel is their business. My aim: point at the difference between showmanship and reportage. I hear reports and at the end of the hype don’t know more than I did before. Nor do the showman reporters make much effort to acknowledge more to an event than immediate usefulness to the advertiser for viewer attention.

We’ve heard the term insurrection used in “meaningful” ways. Ever hear it defined? Have you looked it up? I can’t pin it down for you, but can point at a few examples. Shortly prior to the Civil War John Brown led an insurrection at the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal where he hoped to raise an arm a larger revolt against slavery. Brown wanted a new government but not enough people (including slaves he hoped to free) rose up and the attempt at substitute government failed.

Following the Civil War another (more complex) insurrection called the Fenian movement formed in Ireland, the US, and Canada. Its aim was to replace British rule in Canada to establish an Irish state. A number of raids and rally points attempted to establish a starting point for a substitute government. These failed.

We have some heavy work trying to define insurrection or revolt based on the examples I gave and the current situation. Fenians and abolitionists don’t have common cause so we can put that aside. Does the act have to last a certain length of time or carry an armed military component? Is it necessary a new, substitute, or autonomous government be announced by new leaders? The US Government executed John Brown, so should the same apply today? When it comes to specifics things get tricky. Are Brown and Trump seditionists in the same sense and way? What role does active leadership play? I sure don’t know, but as he have relatively few US examples to draw on I’d wonder at a distinction excluding as insurrection a recently proclaimed independent state on the West Coast. I don’t care to tackle it, so how would any of you decide the magnitude of insurrection between Browns’ uprising in Harper’s Ferry, the CHOP zones in Portland and Portland, and the events of 01/06? Whatever basis you use I’ll wager heavily none of the wide eye commentators will help; but to be forgiven because they’re busy attracting viewers with new news.

I suspect it’s sadly the case that popularity (ah, we’re back to that are we) of opinion gets too much play. But consider it this way. Popularity is like sandpaper seeking to smooth off all the bumps, spots, and signs of individual character. It’s an irony that contemporary society is more OK with nonconformist appearance than with thought. Might even seem to an uninitiated such as me that the less conventional the exterior the more conformist the content. This is how one looks to be seen as properly different. See, that’s no easier to sort through than what makes for an insurrection, and again I’m no help because each citizen in a democracy has to sort through things on their own, unless, that is they are independently voicing their objections and etc. by supporting the dogma of a well-defined group. Actual “independent” thought or belief is not all that common. Neither the left nor right’s conformity welcomes objections. I might then be worth asking questions both sides find annoyingly off message.

If the U.S. is systemically flawed is it possible people seeking to get in will contribute or add to the existing flaws? Are arrivals fleeing supremacist states or are they attracted to one? Seems a worthwhile question.

Settling grievances was the goal of many in the Reich who felt they’d been betrayed, stabbed in the back by WWI. Likewise, outside the Reich many felt German reparations necessary. Retribution fueled both sides of the conflict. National Socialism (NAZI) wanted justice. Fascists (Italian Socialism) wanted their empire (stolen by Britain) returned. Soviets (communist form of socialism) wanted to expand the empire denied them by western capitalism. Passion for expansion, reparation, etc. formed the walls of WWII built on the foundation of WWI. What construction might today’s passions build?

It can be hard to grasp why big business capitalists cooperated with National Socialism and survive to today (IG Farben, Siemens, Porsche). This might be better seen as a difference between capitalism and business. Capitalists assume some risk. Business doesn’t like risk. It prefers the profits from stability and certainty of government regulation. Profitability and government protection appeal to some even today

Unless some belief, politic, ethnicity, or affiliation is universal the best we can hope for is a good faith effort to work together. Of course, some group can try imposing its views on others to see how that goes this time.