Revolution #235, June 12, 2011
From a Reader:
Taking Revolution to a Leonard Peltier Benefit
I read the back page of the paper at a Leonard Peltier Benefit. You know the one about imagine a new world with a better culture.*
The performer doing the benefit was a transgender person who wrote some great stuff. One cover showed a picture of Mt. Rushmore and was called "American Genocide." The audience was a mix of cultural/revolutionary nationalist, transgendered folks, anarchists and liberals. IE folks that didn't know about the Party or Bob Avakian's new synthesis. Well I got up and read the two paragraphs and there was silence as I read. The whole audience was really into it. When I got done I got a standing ovation. I sat down and the performer for the evening kept saying "Imagine that" as she walked to the keyboard and then sang a song about a soldier who refused to take part in some slaughter of a group of Native Americans but instead organized some soldiers to protect them.
At the break every person was glad I read there. I had some papers to give to some one who didn't show. They flew out of my hands. I made some good connections there. This just shows that you don't have to talk about the paper – just use it wisely – it will speak for itself if you take it out. Wisely.
Now let me add this to it. Just last week I was hosting a poetry reading. When I arrived to set up one of the poets who had been at the Peltier benefit asked me to re-read the Bob Avakian quote. I said sure and asked him would he like to read it – he politely declined. When I got up to do my bit. I read the quote. Once again there was silence. I scanned the audience there were smiles of recognition on all the faces. It was as if little ah ha light bulbs were going on in all the listeners' heads. Once again when I was through I got vigorous applause and a standing ovation. I had no papers, but I did have bookmarks. Everybody took a bookmark. Lesson – I should have been prepared with BAsics and papers.
* The back page poster is available at revcom.us/i/230/230backcover-en.pdf. The quote (BAsics 2:8) reads:
Let's imagine if we had a whole different art and culture. Come on, enough of this "bitches and ho's" and SWAT teams kicking down doors. Enough of this "get low" bullshit. And how come it's always the women that have to get low? We already have a situation where the masses of women and the masses of people are pushed down and held down low enough already. It's time for us to get up and get on up.
Imagine if we had a society where there was culture—yes it was lively and full of creativity and energy and yes rhythm and excitement, but at the same time, instead of degrading people, lifted us up. Imagine if it gave us a vision and a reality of what it means to make a whole different society and a whole different kind of world. Imagine if it laid out the problems for people in making this kind of world and challenged them to take up these problems. Imagine if art and culture too—movies, songs, television, everything—challenged people to think critically, to look at things differently, to see things in a different light, but all pointing toward how can we make a better world.
Imagine if the people who created art and culture were not just a handful of people but all of the masses of people, with all their creative energy unleashed, and the time were made for them to do that, and for them to join with people who are more full-time workers and creators in the realm of art and culture to bring forward something new that would challenge people, that would make them think in different ways, that would make them be able to see things critically and from a different angle, and would help them to be uplifted and help them to see their unity with each other and with people throughout the world in putting an end to all the horrors that we're taught are just the natural order of things. Imagine all that. [back]
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.