Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Privilege of Being Listened to, revisited


I occasionally send people, who have shared their business cards, emails with links to blog posts about critical events in my own life (like the William and Mary Expulsion in 1961, and the “online reputation” fiasco when I was substitute teaching in northern Virginia, particularly at West Potomac High School, in 2005), as well as Amazon links for my books and Facebook and Twitter direct links, and cell phone.

I certainly realize there is a lot of detail buried in a few of these life history incidents that people ordinarily don’t have to time to parse.  To me they seem like mysteries with deception (foreshadowing the 2016 election) and enough nuance to make independent movie plots.  And then I am disappointed that I don’t get more reaction.

Part of the issue is that while these events were bizarre and traumatic  for me at the time and do sound like movie scripts, they don’t seem as “bad” (in the “lifelong process piece” sense) as what has happened to a lot of other people, especially LGBT.  I wasn’t thrown out of home and didn’t wind up in the streets hustling. 

True, I don’t see the world through identity politics, or the filter of some people being marginalized merely for belonging to a maligned group (as in Gode Davis’s unfinished symphony, “American Lynching”). I see history in terms of individual people being challenged in era-specific ways because of external challenges to their families and communities and countries, history that today’s younger generations has often forgotten.  In fact, today’s activists would often prefer that these older points never be brought up again, because they give potential fuel to enemies at a certain existential level.
  
So, I stay on my own path, not joining in other more conventional activism and particularly “resistance”.  So opposition to the current “regime” seems to get all the weaker. You wonder how Putin and company get away with it.  I didn’t see this underground attack on “elitism” coming. 

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