In lieu of….


In lieu of….
Dedicated to Ten, who loved Rilke and was sickened by our only-the-possible society
by Ox

Already my gaze is on the hill, that sunlit one,
up ahead on the path I’ve scarcely started.
In the same way, what we couldn’t grasp grasps us:
blazingly visible, there in the distance–

and changes us, even if we don’t reach it,
into what we, scarcely sensing it, already are;
a gesture signals, answering our gesture…
But we feel only the opposing wind.

– Words from Rilke (A Walk), 1924, in lieu of reporting the feedback from Susan, Bob, David or many others… who I am still waiting to hear back from on TOSCA… getting tired… forcing myself to work, stay up… in lieu of sleeping.

In lieu of taking action… some write books. Some publish books and articles. Some write articles and speak on the circuit. Others produce seminars or attend conferences, traveling as if there are no environmental considerations to plug into the equation. I know others who march with placards in circles… which reminds me of the Mitch Hedberg joke, “I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.” I’m not against picketing unless it’s done as one’s primary or exclusive means of protest, of trying to bring about change. Those who employ such obsolete means for confronting the powers that be that way are doomed to failure. In lieu of taking action, others sign petitions or checks. Or make or watch a film. Or write or listen to a song. Or laugh watching The Daily Show or one of its first cousins which essentially tell citizens that their activism should begin and end with attention to… their entertainment, getting informed by a politically correct comedian of some… persuasion. In lieu of taking action, many citizens contact their so-called reps in government. Or organize socials in which neighbors talk… like others talk at coffee shops… in lieu of doing something about the crises we face collectively. Something that will create institutional change, what’s needed. Something on a macroscopic plane in the kind of solidarity that’ll make a difference. For more than one day. In a way that will make the powers that be stop playing with their lives.

In lieu of calling a spade a spade we support war criminals, ignore our own violations of international law; so much for what’s called advocacy journalism. In lieu of putting people into office who have our interests at heart, we elect career politicians… with the glad hand help of all media outlets, including 99%+ of so-called alternative channels, stations.

In lieu of embracing a sense of urgency, we move at the pace of an arthritic snail.

In lieu of securing significant reins of power on the gettable gubernatorial level in a given state, we waste many heartbeats in and around elections of the federal level. To the extreme.

In lieu of being involved in the electoral arena following a fresh paradigm, we go about campaigning and recruiting voters, etc. following an obsolete model. The vast majority of those who vote register their vote in lieu of any form of direct action whatsoever.

In lieu of being involved in solidarity, too many succumb to apathy, resignation, cynicism, ignorance and atomization. I should add habit here. And irrelevant (for society) self-satisfaction which takes place in what I call little corners.

What we can’t grasp grasps us. That is true, particularly for some who feel the pull of vision that seems to call from a distance. Yes, I will be changed, even if I don’t realize that vision. But I want to spotlight a very important point here in concluding. That is, that that underlined line above is not to say it’s sufficient to simply fight the good fight, okay to only battle and be content because of one’s position.

In lieu of trying to figure out what I mean here, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to telephone me and let me elaborate on that point; I’ll provide my number if you email me at

I have been trying to tell others that I feel more than the opposing wind.