There are many ways of being,
In the circle we call life.
A wise man seeks an answer,
Burns his candle through the night.
It’s time to burn some candles through the night, America. It’s time to light them across this land of broken dreams, dead end roads, moral cowardice and shame. It’s time for candlelight vigils in remembrance of what America used to be, in remembrance of the principles we’ve abandoned, in remembrance of the idealism we left behind so long ago. It’s time to light every candle we have in the hope that we can somehow find our way home again through the darkness.
I’m not going to proclaim that I deplore violence, uttering empty words in the night isn’t going to get us home again. There is no wisdom in deploring violence, any fool can do that. But there is wisdom in condemning the media system that incites it, there is wisdom in condemning the injustice that causes it, there is wisdom in rejecting the culture that glorifies it, there is wisdom in resisting the economic system that profits from it, there is wisdom in opposing the political system that runs it up the flagpole, calls it national security, and expects every Muslim in the Middle East to salute it.
Every fool in Washington with a flag pin on his suit and a corporate check in his pocket is issuing statements and making speeches deploring the violence in Arizona. But it’s just posturing, they’re exploiting it for their political benefit just like they exploit everything else for their political benefit. Police state power will be expanded, civil liberties will be even more restricted, political dissent will be criminalized and the tragedy in Tucson will be the pretext for it.
If the politicians in Washington actually deplored violence they would have indicted the war criminals who unleashed it on Iraq, they would have prosecuted CIA torturers, they would have defunded the war machine and brought our soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan. They would have severed diplomatic relations with Israel for its brutal attacks on Palestinians, their Predator drones wouldn’t be bombing villages in Pakistan, they wouldn’t be targeting Wikileaks for destruction and Bradley Manning wouldn’t be in solitary confinement.
This circle we call life has been broken, it’s been shattered because of the deceit and corruption in Washington and the insatiable greed of Wall Street. The death toll in Arizona is a footnote compared to the bloody chapters of war and torture that government of liars has written since 2001, the insanity of the gunman in Tucson pales in comparison to the insanity of the bankers and politicians and propagandists of the corporate media. He killed with a gun, they kill with lies. He’ll go to prison, they’ll go to fundraisers and cocktail parties. They’re as guilty as he is, but that doesn’t matter when the rule of law is gone and power determines who is judged and who isn’t, when hypocrites dictate what can be said and what can’t be said, when the truth is censored and telling it is condemned as radical and inflammatory.
I don’t know if we’ll find our way home, I don’t know if home even exists anymore, but I know we have to keep telling the truth. It’s the only way out of this, it’s the only light we have left, so keep telling it, tell it to fill the darkness of the heavens, tell it to feed the endless yearning of the soul, tell it so it lives within each heart and makes us whole. Let it be heard, make sure it’s heard, tell it to those who need to hear it most, and maybe, just maybe, it will be the fire that frees us and the wings that bring us home.