No more excuses: Get mad and get busy for May Day 2012

“I don’t have time. It won’t make any difference. What would my family/boss/co-workers/neighbors think?”

It’s always easy to talk ourselves out of taking action. But if you’re willing for just one day to stop talking yourself out of doing anything about the problems afflicting us all, including you, then this Tuesday, May 1st is the day.

May Day, born in Chicago in 1886 during the push for an 8-hour workday, has become an international holiday honoring workers. This year, the Occupy movement is suggesting and orchestrating protests ranging from quiet, individual acts to mass demonstrations.

So Tuesday, May 1st is when to do it. Here’s how: Get mad.

It shouldn’t be hard. All of us in the 99 percent have been screwed over one way or another, and often more than one way. Anger is the best means of overcoming inertia or hopelessness, which probably is why so many authorities constantly caution us against the “dangers” of anger.

From best-selling authors to preachers in pulpits, those who claim to know what’s best for us warn that anger will hurt us. We must move on, leave it behind, forgive and forget or risk the terrible consequences of a supposedly corrosive, self-destroying emotion.

Even assuming all of these people are well-meaning and sincere, the advice is misguided. In fact, it’s baloney.

Anger is the bedrock of a so-called bad attitude. And throughout human history, people with so-called bad attitudes have propelled some of the biggest advances in society by defying authority and protesting injustice.

Anger surfaces at the moment delusion dies, helping clear the fog of lies, half-truths, wishful thinking, propaganda, denial and conventional wisdom to reveal stark reality.

Anger is the fuel that propels people to act, and to persist in spite of obstacles ranging from ridicule to death threats.

What caused slaves to run away or revolt, women to protest, workers to organize? They were monumentally pissed off and tired of not doing anything about it.

Anger is not to be confused with rage, bitterness or hatred. As energy, it is best used when cool and harnessed to a thoughtful plan of action, instead of letting it drive you to lash out in a heated reaction of the moment.

So get mad and don’t let anyone try to talk you out of your anger. Plan how you want to act on it.

You might be surprised, afterward, by how much better you feel. Isn’t that reason enough?

Here’s a link to suggestions on how to spend your May Day 2012: http://www.occupytogether.org/

If fundamentalist culture warriors won…

How would life in this country change if religious fundamentalists managed to “take it back?” A few predictions:

 The nation would be christened the United States of Christian America.

 Independence Day would be replaced by a day commemorating our rebirth as God’s favorite country.

 The Constitution would be discarded, the Supreme Court abolished and the Bible enshrined as the law of the land.

 Under “Stand Your Ground for The Unborn” laws, women could legally shoot their doctors dead for mentioning the health hazards of unlimited pregnancies.

 Due to the impending Apocalypse and Rapture, the Environmental Protection Agency would be abolished as irrelevant.

 The Department of Christian Education would forbid lessons on sex, evolution and environmental science while requiring curriculum on abstinence, Genesis (either version) and humanity’s right to use the planet however it wants right up to the End Times.

 An “infidel brain drain” of academics, researchers, scientists, executives and artists to other countries would leave us dependent on people with degrees in Bible studies.

 To meet a Christian Communications Commission (CCC) mandate to uphold the sanctity of traditional marriage and families, broadcasters would present endless reruns of “Father Knows Best” and “Cheaper by the Dozen.”

 All forms of commerce, business and entertainment except for religious broadcasts and reruns of “Father Knows Best” or “Cheaper by the Dozen” would cease from midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday.

 Facebook’s biggest growth in pages would be for prayer circles. Popular phone apps would include “Ultimate Heretic Hunters” and “Born-Again Birthday Cupcakes.”

 Contraceptives would be illegal. Abortionists and homosexuals who failed to heed loving Christian appeals to renounce their sinful ways could be executed.

 The “War on Porn” would beget a black market in banned books, DVDs and contraceptives, which would beget billionaire crime bosses.

 Christmas ornaments failing to meet the “Jesus is the reason for the season” standard would be banned.

 Halloween would be marked by prayer vigils and re-enactments of the Salem witch trials.

 Prisons would be turned into Christian re-education centers and executions (by hanging or stoning) would be public.

 Adults who failed to reproduce would pay deadbeat taxes as noncontributing members of society.

 In addition, single females 18 years or older would pay a spinster tax until they entered holy matrimony.

 Applications for jobs, college, passports, drivers licenses, marriage licenses, mortgages, leases, credit, loans, government benefits, guns and library cards would require checking one of the following boxes: “Born again,” “Christian,” or “Heretic.”

 Checking “Heretic” or failing to check any box would be grounds for denial of the application.

 Rates of depression, domestic violence, suicide, alcoholism and drug addiction would skyrocket, while funding for any form of treatment except prayer would disappear. 

 Our borders would be closed to any immigrants who didn’t swear they had accepted Jesus as their personal savior. The Department of Holy Land Security would deport alien heretics.

 Mexico and Canada would plead for help in coping with millions of illegal immigrants seeking asylum from oppression in God’s favorite country.

Icky Ricky and Which Mitt: A tale of two roosters

Once upon a time, a rooster named Which Mitt decided he would be a better barnyard leader than the Big Owl.

 But Icky Ricky, another rooster, also wanted to be the one in charge.

 They began crowing, loudly and nonstop, to see who had the scariest stories about each other and about Big Owl.

 “Which Mitt isn’t rooster enough to beat Big Owl,” screeched Icky Ricky. “And if Big Owl isn’t knocked off his perch soon, he’ll force every animal to eat broccoli! And he’ll let birds mate with bees! And then he’ll let them kill their offspring!”

 “I’m more rooster than Icky Ricky. My hens have the fanciest nesting boxes in the chicken house,” crowed Which Mitt. “We need to stop wasting feed and vet care on animals who don’t have enough to eat and a warm place to sleep, because if they don’t already have them they probably don’t deserve them.”

 Many of the animals believed the scary stories about Big Owl, but some were a little scared of Icky Ricky too, and a lot of them didn’t trust Which Mitt. They began braying, bleating and yowling: “Oh, what will we do? Who will save us from Big Owl?”

 They finally decided they were more alarmed by Icky Ricky than suspicious of Which Mitt. After that, all the roosters’ scare stories were about Big Owl, and they got scarier and scarier.

 “Big Owl is trying to brainwash your young! He’ll enslave us all!”

 Big Owl won again, mostly because he hadn’t done anything as scary as Which Mitt claimed. Life in the barnyard went on.

 A few of the animals still feared Big Owl, but the ones with bigger brains got tired of hearing the same old stories crowed at them.  

 Some of them began to wonder whether they’d been afraid of the wrong animals. And when the roosters crowed, nobody listened anymore.