Saturday, November 24, 2012
Haiku Monday: RESIST
One, an elderly gent who didn't look like he'd ever flown on an airplane (but at least had the good sense to know that when you step out in public, you put on your very best suit and NOT a pair of flip flops and pajama pants) couldn't quite figure out what it was he was supposed to do in that machine. What? Put my hands in the air? Like a criminal? Did I do something WRONG? At least they didn't make him take off his shoes, poor man.
Certainly, the herd mentality in humans is nothing new. A good deal of it is evolutionary—we survived because like bands stuck to like bands—and a good deal of it has become part of the fiber of our social make up. We all want to feel like we belong, that we're part of a family of like-minded individuals. It makes us feel less . . . exposed. Less isolated. But it's one thing when the herd dictates, say, fashions in food and clothing. It's quite another when it extends to dangerous ideas and mob rule.
My mother told me once—only once—about the day the Nazis took the Jews from her village. The people who ran their shops. The mothers with whom they gossiped over the fence. The kids who played with their kids. Everyone knew why their friends and neighbors were being taken and where they were going. And no one did a goddamn thing about it. Don't think it couldn't happen again, were mom's last words on the subject.
Obviously, my mother forgot about our relatively recent Holiday in Cambodia and the seemingly endless crop of one South American military junta after the other. And she didn't live long enough to watch the Twin Towers come down on morning television or read about the tragedy of Darfur.
With few exceptions, it seems, history tells us that resistance is futile and that even the most unspeakable horrors are bearable if we're all in it together. Just shut your mouth and keep looking down.
Or, am I wrong and simply paranoid? Are we less easily herded today and more capable of putting a foot down and resisting whatever it is that makes a voice inside us shout out: No, this is not right? Is there something, for instance, up with which you will not put—even if it means danger for you and your family?
Let me know, in a haiku of 5-7-5, seasonal reference not necessary. And if you want to deal with the theme in terms of a physical and not psychological or political force, that's fine too. Submit as many as you like, but I'll judge only two. And give everyone an extra day, to boot. Post here and/or on your site up until midnight PST on Tuesday, November 27th. I'll pick a winner by the end of the week.