A full-page ad taken out in the January 25th San Francisco Bay Guardian announces…yet another rally –two upcoming, in fact!– designed to bring down Bush. For January 31st, the organizers ask citizens to “Bring the Noise and Drown Out Bush’s Lies.” For February 4th, they will apparently take their “demand” to the White House, chanting “Bush Lied. Bush Spied. Bush Step Down.”

They’ve gotten the imprimaturs of everyone from Asner to Zinn, including Harry and Harold (Belafonte and Pinter), Kozol, Lapham, Penn, the Ss (Sarandon, Serra, Sharpton, Sheehan, Sheen and Studs), the White Vs (Vidal and Vonnegut), the Black Ws (Alice Walker, Maxine Waters and Cornell West), among many others. And they’ve even managed to put Jane Fonda on the same stage as Michael Eric Dyson.

Do any of my readers have a clue as to what kind of energy and resources it takes to organize such events? Too much, I can tell you, unless the payoff is slated to be huge. Or the seeds sown unprecedented. Neither of which applies to the above.

What they are guaranteed to accomplish, however, is Another Monumental Distraction from the challenge we all face. The typical person attending such rallies does not have the wherewithal to take part AND to contribute to taking apart Our Enemy. The hard work of meeting face to face with one another to hammer out some new approach for the emergencies that face us, then, is never given breathing room.

And speaking of breathing, I am obliged to point out that the organizers’ mantra, “The State of the Union is a State of Emergency,” does not embrace environmental concerns directly. Nay, as usual, the anti-Bush forces give the impression that if the current Commander-in-Chief does his version of the Lyndon B. resignation…all will be on the way to…improving. Hey, wrong! And I’m not just talking about the air we breathe here. Or the other aspects of our fast-declining environment that a change of administration will not fix sufficiently. In time. There’s the horror in the wings in the form of all those Democrats…and their policies on all fronts.

The failure of such luminaries to see through the well-established failure of such enterprises –with respect to having a real, lasting impact on those issues which they hold dear– is not just disheartening. It’s absolutely several steps down…when one factors in any sense of urgency about “The State of the Union.”

Bush will NOT step down as a result of their efforts. And even if I’m wrong, he’ll be replaced by someone else who serves the interests of those who are the real (ongoing) enemies of the protesters. Obviously. Or as the kids are wont to say these days: “Duh.”

But readers will not take my words to heart. Nay, they will say, “Hey, Howard Zinn knows better than Oxzzz what is worth the heartbeats.” Yes, The Ox is a newcomer in these here parts by any standard. Certainly Harold Pinter has been around the block on enough authentic jaunts to legitimately jeer what the complaining, naive, failed playwright from Newark has to say about the way in which everyone and his Left Uncle is going about things. No. Fifty million Frenchmen are marching to the beat of a beat-up drummer in this instance. The spine of the so-called Movement is now clearly sclerotic.

Even millions upon millions showing up will only echo the (for)now historic February 15th demo of years past, be historic, nothing more, albeit hysterical to some. Dumb, nothing to show. Another museum piece sans semen.

My Ox-ray vision begs the reader to march the other way on January 31st and February 4th. Another way. With vision.

Richard Oxman,, welcomes responses from readers. And he BEGS online editors to post this item, seeing how the exclusion of such sentiments only reinforces the momentum criticized above.