By sidestepping more touchy topics every day
Even as the words were coming out of my mouth, I realized how close I was to detonating something that couldn’t be un-detonated. But there they were. It should have been totally innocuous but somehow talking about Roger Waters has become yet another lightning rod.
“Oh, yeah, the one that got kicked out of Poland for his political views.”
Unless I’m missing something here, I believe Roger’s “political views” which he is loudly stating — as he has always done, bless him — remain Stop The War NOW.
I’m learning the hard way that when I say this country (meaning the USA) needs to stop moving the world closer and closer to possible nuclear annihilation by blatantly funding a proxy war with Russia a shocking number of people I know and love seem to hear me saying that I support Putin.
The world has turned upside down.
People I’ve been in close relationships with for years, sometimes decades are now supporting war and even the FBI!
I stepped back from the edge of what I know will result in a big fat ol’ disagreement. After all, when this friend and many others fume about the failed real estate developer and how I must vote blue or else he’ll destroy democracy I quietly remind myself exactly what I'm dealing with here. These are people who are so successfully propagandized that they don’t realize that the government of this country hasn’t been a democracy for a long time.
And here’s the danger with a population that’s been so thoroughly pickled in a Super-Hero Movie version of reality— we’re the Good Guys in case you were wondering —they think we can simply vote the Bad Guys out.
Once our Good Guy is in office, peace and prosperity will prevail. Climate change legislation will pass, gas prices will come down, gay and trans people will be warmly welcomed into homes, schools, and workplaces everywhere, and there will be big bowls of free candy on every store counter for the kiddos.
You’re right, Roger, this is not a drill. But you’d never know it by the way most of the people in the “West” are behaving.
I'm grateful for people like Roger Waters, Dr. Cornel West, Edward Snowden, and Chris Hedges to name only a few of the determined truth-tellers out there. And, of course, the most powerful anti-war voice to be silenced so far by the military/industrial complex running things is that of Julian Assange.
While I'm prepared to speak up here and let the fun begin, I won't push things when it comes to talking about certain subjects in certain company. Call it people pleasing. Call it cowardice. Call it anything you like and you’re probably right but for now, I’m learning to sidestep the more obvious landmines.
I had lunch with a very close friend recently. He’s been away a lot lately and we hadn’t talked much in months. At some point in the conversation, he launched into a glowing cascade of praise of my writing. He talked about how much he looks forward to everything I write and that he’s continually astonished at my output as well as the range of things I write about.
“Of course, some of what you write I vehemently disagree with.”
He left it at that and so did I.
I don’t care if my friends disagree with my opinions as long as they keep reading the work. However, the reality is that some don’t. One of my oldest friends has stopped reading my stories and let her Medium membership lapse (behind-the-scenes peek: she’s the one who said that about Poland and Roger Waters). We still meet almost every week and when we meet we don’t talk about a number of things.
Like the war in Ukraine.
Much as I want to raise my voice against the appalling slaughter of Ukrainians and Russians in the interests of the United States maintaining its global hegemony, welp, sorry Europe. I got nothing.
As in there is nothing I can say to change the minds of the people here who fervently believe that the war is solely the result of one looney-tunes ex-KGB monster who is determined to take over Europe. I'm not ready to burn down long-standing friendships over something that won't be aided in any way by my losing friends.
So, yeah, I guess I’ll write about the construction over by the Harlem Meer.
Or something. Something I can talk about with friends.