By Count Grackula
Artwork by Cut n’ Waste
Even as adversaries, we must hear each other out in order to hold each other accountable.
Why are we watching the news, keeping up with the news? Only to enforce the fancy—probably a necessary lie—that these are crucial times, and we are in on them…New diseases, shifts in power, floods! Can the news from dynastic Egypt have been any different?
- Annie Dillard, *For the Time Being*
In a room that’s echoing and boiling over with the hubbub of many ongoing, disparate conversations, one way to be heard is to whisper.
Or you can try this: Clap once if you can hear my voice.
I’m serious — clap once if you can hear my voice.
I don’t care if you’re one of those people who reads quietly to themselves or if you’re one of those endearing weirdos who quietly reads text out loud under their breath or if you’re one of those awesome co-pilots who helps keep the driver awake through sheer anger as you read out loud the text of every passing billboard — clap once if you can hear my voice.
Just one clap is fine, (I mean once for each time you read that). If you didn’t do it the first time, start over. Or just start here: clap once if you can hear my voice.
My yoga teacher sometimes has us clap a few times in unison. She says it stimulates all the marma points. I’m not sure how to spell (or even pronounce) “marma points,” but it sounds nice, and at this point, I’m willing to try anything.
So clap once if you can hear my voice, because I have something very important I need to say:
I HEAR YOU.
It’s scary out there.
You don’t know who or what to believe.
Or you DO know who or what to believe, but not enough people believe you.
Shit’s fucked up.
You don’t know what to do…but you do need everyone to do whatever you’re doing (which may be “nothing”…or “something”…or something in between). You need everyone to do more of whatever they’re doing or not doing, and dig in for the long haul (possibly “to get things back a-chugging” back to “normal” or to “a new normal”).
You’re worried about money.
You’re worried about your health.
You’re worried about the health of the economy.
And from where is the Fed getting $2 trillion, anyway? Are they just printing money to give away to their corporate homies while us taxpayers get stuck holding the bill…again? Won’t that just render the dollar worthless?
Your [spouse/kid/parent/cousin/neighbor/fellow food shopper/President/fellow human/Governor] is grinding your last gear before you snap.
You’re about to snap. It’s taking everything you’ve got just not to snap.
You just wish somebody’d listen.
You think it’s those crazy conspiracy theorists.
You wonder why THEY can’t just see THE TRUTH.
You think maybe if you’d just YELL loud enough…THE TRUTH could get “out there.”
Or maybe this world is large enough for multiple truths.
Maybe THE TRUTH looks different from different perspectives (HTURT EHT por ejemplo)…
Maybe we’re all a little bit right.
Maybe what’s “right” changes, like all things change.
I don’t know.
I hear a lot of things. From you. And from me.
There’s not too many things I know for sure, but one thing I know for sure (for sure) is that we are all in this together.
We need all the allies.
We need each other — unequivocally — we need each other, even if only as adversaries to hold one another accountable as we continue to disagree until the days we die. We need each other.
And even to hold one another accountable, we must first hear each other. We must know each other’s dreams and ambitions — our ambitions for ourselves, for the people we are striving to be, for the world we want to build as we necessarily share it, together, in our limited time together. Even as adversaries, we must hear each other out in order to hold each other accountable to our own highest ideals.
Even if we want to “win” THE ARGUMENT, we have to hear each other out in order to present our own truths and counter-arguments in a proper rebuttal.
But I think that if we were to hear each other out, we might recognize that so many of our needs, hopes, and ambitions are the same — are aligned — at their most basic levels: food, shelter, clothing, community, security for our loved ones…with a generous helping of love smothering it all and garnished with a bit of laughter.
And first and foremost, I’m hearing that we want to be heard.
So I want to tell you that I hear you.
5G is some scary shit, man. I don’t want the government knowing where I am, with whom, at all times. Fuck that noise!
This pandemic is some fucked up shit.
The Chinese Communist Party is shady.
Trump is shady. Biden is shady. The GOP is shady. The DNC is shady.
So many workers are sacrificing so much — oftentimes for very little money and inadequate protection — while other workers are going crazy in standby mode. They’re itching to build so bad that they’re willing to tear it all down!
The floor is lava.
Cops are scary.
Cops are scared.
Cops are scarred.
We are all scarred.
If you lose your job, you lose your insurance…and so does your whole family.
People are depending on you.
Nobody is listening.
There’s nobody to talk to.
Shit’s fucked up.
You don’t know what to do.
Maybe try whispering? I’m at a loss, too, but sometimes that works in a room with an echoing cacophony. Sometimes.
If that doesn’t work — clap one time if you can hear my voice.