This image pictures what I feel like inside my head today. It's a feeling I've had before and each time it was significant. This is how I felt after witnessing a national news event and seeing the next day all the corporate press reported the same account of something that was quite different from what they witnessed. All of them, NYT, DCPost, AP, Time, Newsweek, the ones I saw. Johnson had told them at a press conference before the 1968 march on DC over Vietnam what to report. They all obeyed. Except the reporter from the Village Voice, an independent NY paper, and writer Norman Mailer. Mailer told it all as it happened in his book, Armies Of The Night, even Johnson's press conference. I also saw that the demonstration itself was as fraudulent as the reporting of it. By 2nd day at home I had sworn off any political activity, vowed to myself I will never participate in anything political. Except to vote. I knew our vote counts for nothing, but I wanted to keep on voting as an act of protest, to say I want democracy. A statistic. Half the voting age population.
Now, I am telling you I am done with politics altogether. I used to think liberal and conservative, democrat and republican, left and right, and American rights I was taught in school, like basic rights, were important. Can't think like that any more. It's just something to talk about. I'm against it. I'm for it. It hadn't oughta be like that. Like Hillary Clinton said, "You've got to get with the system and you'll be all right." I heard her say that on the news to somebody when she was running for president. Buy the American Dream you have to be asleep to see, watch more tv, shop more, believe the unbelievable and you're gonna be all right, a certified nonsuspect. I'll pay no more attention to politics. The one rule I will follow: don't believe anything any politician says. I tend not to anyway, but still some slip through I think might be believable. They are not.
I know it's pointless to protest, though I have to give it to the people who protested the prison in Grayson on the New River destroying natural scenery and property values, not to mention ethics. They won. I'd been asked to participate and answered with lines from the Rolling Stones, "Think I'll go down to the demonstration / get my fair share of abuse." I wasn't interested in giving myself over to riot control cops to help them keep in practice beating people the law doesn't allow to fight back. I'm not offering myself to a bunch of thugs in uniform to punch, kick, beat with a stick and arrest, charged with resisting arrest for saying, "What'd I do?" We see on tv news what they do to demonstrators. They put incognito cops in among the demonstrators to stir up trouble and provoke cops to attack them. Looks good on the news. Keeping homeland insurgency down. It's getting mighty weird, mighty weird, and especially weird because irreversible. Like Huey Long of Louisiana said, when fascism comes to America it will be called anti-fascism.
I'm seriously questioning whether I want to vote again or not. All my voting life I've known it mattered not at all how or that I voted. Johnson was the first president I voted for. Was I ever fooled! The supremes shut down democracy formally the day they gave the election of double-aught to the losers. In my own calendar of significant dates in American history, that one marked the end of democracy. From then on, after seeing it demonstrated for all the world to see, I don't even think of our government in terms of a democracy any more. In fact, I'm wondering if it ever has been in my lifetime. I like to tell myself voting is important on the local level. If we didn't vote on the local level, the elected jobs would be filled by relatives of Mr Small Town Hot Dog who tells everybody what to do. They'd be driving BMWs and living in gated country clubs. The Old South had a lot of that. Heretofore, I've voted as a kind of protest, saying I want democracy. By now I see how lame that is. There won't be any democracy in my lifetime. I'm not going to worry my head over it any more. I can't see myself participating in election fraud in future. I can see it could be my civic-minded duty if we were in a democracy, but we're not, so it's not my duty.
This is my good-bye to political thinking, paying attention to politicians state and national. Locally, I can see the importance of voting and local people running for office, but state and national where the politicians are part of the political machine taking orders from the top and ignoring us at the bottom, that I can't support. We don't have enough money for them. They are, after all, Americans. Money is their only purpose. I tend to think there is a lot more to living on earth than having money as a goal, a reason, a motivation. I'm talking about power money, not working man money needing to keep afloat. I like to think I believe our relationships with one another are most important. It's something I saw in Jr that I admired so much I wanted to adopt it in my life. Jr treated everyone right. Not because it was morality and not because he was supposed to. It made sense to him as the best way to live. Treat everybody right and they treat you right. That's how you have a peaceful and a good life. Nothing but good vibes going out and good vibes coming in. Instead of identifying with the political world in my mind, I want more to identify with the people around me, the people I live among, the people I know, my friends, the mountains.
It's getting to where I don't want to know about anything beyond Whitehead. I don't like to cross the county line except knowing I'll be back home to sleep in my own bed. I feel a bit anxious outside the county, like I have felt on the highway passing the sign that marks the Mason-Dixon Line. A cold shudder south to north. North to south a relaxation around the heart. I like what Brother Dave Gardner said, You don't never see nobody a-retirin to the North. I'm glad to see that the rest of my life will be lived without having opinions about politics. I'll pay attention to history to keep abreast of the erosion of our rights so I don't be getting arrested for committing some right I don't have any more, like ordering a book by internet from a place called Suppressed Books. Is that not making a target of myself? It would be a shame if I'd ordered Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, the Italian socialist, arrested because Collodi is on the no-fly list, even though he's dead. Only the Disney version allowed. You have the right to remain....