Friday, January 20, 2017

No Gods, No Masters. Just Snowflakes.

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.

No gods, no masters; no saviors and no saints.

If we are to take away one lesson from the disastrously criminal enterprise that was November 8th, it is this.

There is no one to save us. We must save ourselves.

I have never understood the white American obsession with saviors. American politics is a politics of cultism, and so is most of its society. Perhaps part of it is the collective insecurity of a still-young national culture, but that's not enough to explain it; part of it, I have absolutely no doubt, is the illegitimacy of its founding, upon the twin exterminationist evils of genocide and slavery. And yes, its founding was illegitimate. That's neither debatable nor disputable. If you refuse to acknowledge it, well, as the younger generation says, that's a you problem, but it's not mine, and it's not history's nor reality's.

But there is something in the white cultural zeitgeist that demands a "leader" to follow, a "hero," a "god." You see it in politics, yes, and in the failed campaigns and the successful ones, too, and in those that were simply stolen outright, as is the case now. But you see it in people's everyday interactions, in their small social groups, in their virtual communities where they've never met the persons they've appointed the local deity (and who is usually far too eager to accept the deification and then demand lockstep deference). Yes, liberals, progressives. It's also not up for debate or dispute.

Did you know that in some of our cultures, our Native cultures, that is, wanting to be a "leader" marks you automatically, by definition, as unqualified for the role? I'm not talking about the false modesty that pretends not to want it. I'm saying, flat-out, that if you want it, even if you try to hide that fact, you'll be deemed unqualified. In some of our cultures, people are not supposed to accept public honors, either. Honor dances, public celebrations, even for elders: Forbidden. Oh, people can and do accept them, but it leaves a mark, and not in a good way.

We know better than to trust those who want power. What they really want is authority. That's as true in informal social groupings as it is for the [alleged] man who would be king president [and who has failed at all of it, but has been installed illegitimately nonetheless].

We know that there is no savior save ourselves.

I've been seeing a lot lately about snowflakes. The entire metaphor is bullshit; it completely misunderstands the nature of snow, flakes and otherwise. It's always said sneeringly, to denote someone who thinks s/he is so special as to deserve preferential treatment, and/or a pass on the rules of courtesy, civility, and community that hold the world together.

Now, there are plenty of people like that. Hell, pretty much all of D.C. tonight. But snowflakes they are not.

Yes, supposedly, every single snowflake is absolutely unique; they say that there are no two exactly alike. But every single snowflake, singly, is useless: It melts, dissipates; if it manages to stick around, it's small enough to be virtually imperceptible . . . and therefore, utterly ineffectual.

But when they band together?

They can be unstoppable. Immovable. The blizzard that brings the world to a halt; the banks and drifts that bury structures; the avalanche that destroys in the blink of an eye.

We have to be the blizzard now, the banks and drifts. We have to be the avalanche. But we don't do that by searching for a savior. We do it by finding the next person, rolling up our sleeves and linking arms to form an unbreakable bond and an impassable barrier, and DOING THE WORK.

No gods, no masters; no saviors and no saints. Just snowflakes.

All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

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