Staying Home

I am one of “those people”. You know the people I mean. The gutless wonders who stay hidden behind the safety of their monitors and keyboards, the lazy sloths who prefer to lament the loss of liberty from the comfort of home rather than step out in the open to make their voices heard. I am one of “those people” who never accepts the invitation to show up.

There are a lot of us out here. We watch and wait in wonder, never understanding why our countrymen are not out in the streets marching against all that is corrupt and wrong in government. I applauded the youth involved in the Arab Spring and the Brazilians for protesting against frivolous government expenditures. I watched Malala Yousafzai deliver a passionate and courageous speech at the United Nations and I was struck by her ferocious refusal to relinquish her beliefs. I know why I am an armchair protester. I am fearful.

I’ve been cognizant of my deficiencies for a few years. We have worked so hard for the little bit that we have that I am afraid if I add my voice to public dissent, and protest in broad daylight where I will be seen, I will jeopardize our livelihood, and with it the livelihoods of the people who are working with us, relying on us for a paycheck and the meager shelter and sustenance it supports. Better men, than I, are equally fearful.

Marty Kaplan discussed the alarming trend of media distraction on Moyers & Company. David Gregory revealed himself to be nothing more than a mouthpiece for GE’s corporate personhood when he suggested that Glenn Greenwald was somehow complicit in alleged criminal behavior in the Edward Snowden revelations.

Our local early morning news has a multi-demonination faith segment each day. This morning the message was for support of the working poor, the parents who are working several minimum wage jobs trying to support their families. I know “those people” too. They are the people who live in my community. They’re working to the point of exhaustion so they can’t show up. It’s up to me and maybe it’s up to you too.
The only thing I have to lose is self-respect.

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About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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13 Responses to Staying Home

  1. I used to show up places. But now I am old. I need to hang around in case people go on my lawn. It’s a dirty job… but…

    • elroyjones says:

      I feel like I have put my time in, that now maybe the generation following mine should show up instead…except they seem to have been brainwashed into believing that they are not required to participate or they don’t have time or they just don’t care. I’m going to have to show up or shut up and you know I’ll never be able to shut up.

  2. Peggy says:

    You take things on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes it’s better to help one person fully than to try to represent a large group’s needs. The woman you helped last week was a real person in need and you helped her. That IS showing up.

    • elroyjones says:

      I was buoyed by the people who were out in support of the Martin family after the verdict came in. I hope those same people will work to restore the provisions of the Voting Rights Act. I have to find a way to participate that is effective. It’s good to help people individually but it is also necessary to voice discontent so that others who may not have been paying attention will take notice. Writing to the papers, while cathartic is equal to this venue where the readers are already aware.
      I talked with a woman, who is a new employee at an international chain grocery store, yesterday. She was happy as a clam to be employed and told me blithely that no one is full time but benefits are available for those workers who wish to purchase them separately. This where our world is going, happy to be working for a pittance and no benefits. The middle class has lowered its expectations and is working for less than subsistence wages.

      • Peggy says:

        “The pen is mightier than the sword.” (Seriously, why would I bother trying to come up with something that someone else said so much better? I’m nothing but a book on quotes.) That’s your forte and you’re good at it. I thought the Martin family and their lawyer were the epitomy of grace. Good for them. And, yes, it is an employer’s market right now. I went raspberry picking last night. The young woman closing up the farm stand graduated from Cornell with a degree in biology and government. She’s working at a farm stand. She didn’t seem too concerned about it. She was living in a house out in the orchards with a bunch of other “interns.” They seemed happy as clams with their dogs running around, wearning granny dresses, etc. One was trying to figure out how to play “Fortunate Son” on his guitar. Maybe we’ve regressed to the 60s again and we can start all over.

  3. John says:

    I think it depends on where you live … the youth of our area show up for lots of things…. so, lumping them together is unfair … I think big city youth are much more aware and participatory than the youth in small, and rural places.

    As for David Gregory … he’s never been anything more than a mouthpiece.

    • elroyjones says:

      I imagined that young people somewhere were making their presence known, otherwise who were those people in Occupy? The youth I see are busy emulating celebrity, dining on lobster tails and champagne, hoping to rub elbows with the 1% they are indentured to. As you know, I live in close proximity to several affluent seasonal communities, where “cottages” are routinely larger than the permanent homes of the year round residents. I agree that small town youth are more apt to limit their outlook to what is in their immediate line of vision. It is, nonetheless, discouraging.

  4. epiwah says:

    I will not volunteer to stand in front of anyone with a weapon (I don’t care what side they claim to be on) unless I get to bring one too. Since we aren’t playing fair I will not be playing – call me a realist.

  5. segmation says:

    I look at things and I am so happy I live here in the US. Thanks for this awesome blog!

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