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Commentary Last Updated: Apr 29th, 2008 - 00:49:06

Simple steps towards change
By Mickey Z.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Apr 29, 2008, 00:11

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Whenever I write an article or give a talk about the state of global affairs, the first question asked is this: �So, what can/should we do?� My inevitably stammering reply involves a combination of three factors:

  • What we�ve been doing all along is obviously not working

  • We need new ideas, new tactics, and a far greater commitment from everyone

  • I can�t say more because it could be (purposely) misconstrued and that just don�t fly in the land of the free [sic].

Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly frisky, I might quote Walt Whitman: �This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men -- go freely with powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and with the mothers or families -- reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem.�

In an attempt to finally segue from the nebulous to the somewhat tangible, I offer these eight simple Whitmanesque ways everyday Americans can begin to challenge the dominant culture without getting themselves fitted for an orange jumpsuit.

Embrace not the corporate sanctioned standard American diet; go vegan, organic, and local. Be warned: what you own ends up owning you; say no to conspicuous consumption. Opt for two wheels, not four; bid a fond farewell to your internal combustion engine. Under no circumstances should you cast a vote for either a Democrat or a Republican; these are but two wings on one corporate party. Never, ever, ever trust a liberal (on anything). Reject both war and its warriors; offer not your support to those who volunteer to wage war. Reach out for your television remote and boldly press "off" (toss the cell phone, too). Six-point-six billion miracles are more than enough; cease breeding immediately.

(If even 25 percent of Americans made these basic, entirely doable cultural adjustments, it would essentially qualify as a revolution . . . by today's diluted standards.)

Feel free to commence the predictable malice, ridicule, indignation, and mockery . . . but remember: if you're waiting for Barack Obama to provide the "change we can believe in," the joke's on you.

Mickey Z. is the author of the forthcoming novel, CPR for Dummies, and can be found on the Web at

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