Howard Zinn: 1922–2010
I can't think of what I can say. It feels like such a beat-down time. Another nasty, beat-down time. And here's this guy who talked to the people about the People. Except here he is cuz he died, and he's gone, right along with another wave of hopes.
It doesn't honor his memory to be glum, yeah, I know. I know. It would honor his memory to stand up. It would honor his memory to resist. The everyday resistance was what he showed us is heroic.
It seems there's a recent film in which celebrities read from A People's History.
What's common to all of them is the spirit of resistance to illegitimate authority.
Democracy is in dissent. Democracy is in resistance.
Democracy doesn't come from the top; it comes from the bottom.
I used to think when I was a kid that I wanted revolution. Then I got older and realized I didn't want blood in the streets. I wanted violence, and war, and the other, less obvious kinds of violence---economic violence, the violences of oppressions, the violence of hopelessness---I wanted them to go away without bloody revolution. Now I know they don't go away even with the most successful of those uprisings, however bloody.
Yet without uprisings such as Howard Zinn showed us, despite the unpopularity in the mainstream of making heroes of revolutionaries, things would be worse. Things could be much worse. Things have been much worse.
Another fleeting hope I had was that the generation after mine, with its energy, was joining with older stalwart risers up, with that surprise WTO protesting in particular, and big things were coming, people taking power. During Bush II I used to say maybe they'd made a mistake, and, in the widening gap between the rich and the rest of us (not counting the bought-off minorly affluent), they'd left too many of us with too little to lose. They were maybe leaving too many of us on the other side, for there are always more of us than there are of them, and we might be being pushed far enough to fight back. But even that I couldn't imagine.
I suppose the key is that, though the major movements look so grand (and go so well with the swelling music) when we look back at them years down the road, while they're going on they're messy, uncertain, failure- and hopelessness-ridden mires. I think Brother Howard would say so. I think Brother Howard did say so. I think tonight that's what I'll take from my memory of him.
An old one and a new one:
The segment from that last interview called "Zinn: Bailout is trickle-down theory magnified" is good, too, and speaks of the great unspoken-of power $tructure that's what was so horrible about that court decision last week (I'll say this much--- it was good to see Obama knock that travesty tonight, right in front of the nine of 'em in their robes.), but this one's a better one to go out on here.
"How do we get there? We get there by somebody starting it off.... In other words, we need direct action."
I'll read obits tomorrow.