Our Bloc Party: No Snow Job

NOTE TO KIMMEL PEOPLE WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN GIVEN THIS LINK ACCIDENTALLY: I believe you were supposed to be directed to http://oxtogrind.org/archive/532 (”Kimmel Guv Syndrome”), certainly NOT this article. Go away! Shoo!

Our Bloc Party
In anticipation of an “impossible” endorsement (et plus) from Arundhati Roy
by The Ox

“Every death even the cruellest death
drowns in the total indifference of Nature
Nature herself would watch unmoved
if we destroyed the entire human race….” — Sade in Peter Weiss’ The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of The Marquis de Sade (aka Marat/Sade)

“Against Nature’s silence I use action
In the vast indifference I invent a meaning
I don’t watch unmoved I intervene…
turn [myself] inside out….” — Marat in Weiss’ Marat/Sade

When I was near the end of my second year of teaching college kids at Rutgers University in 1966, one night outside of the Martin Beck Theatre in New York City… I waited by a stage door for Glenda Jackson to emerge from her dressing room. I was in love with her portrayal of Charlotte Corday in Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade, and trembling — I was only 23 — I knew that I was in love with her.

“Miss Jackson?”

She stopped completely, and gave me her full attention. Those were the days before fear came first.

“I loved your performance. [Pause.] I’d love to take you out some night after the show for a drink… or dinner… or both.”

“Write to me at the theatre.”

When she responded to my missive addressed to the Royal Shakespeare Company, she said something like this in her letter to me: “My husband and I would be delighted to meet you for a drink some afternoon before the show.”

They were very sweet to me. And the rendezvous culminated in my meeting Patrick McGee — one of Samuel Beckett’s very favorite actors (playing Sade) — and receiving a promise that Glenda and Ian Richardson (Marat) would visit my students in Newark, New Jersey the following week… for an unprecedented three hour Q&A plus.

Who doesn’t love love? [Doesn't love what comes of love.]

All of that was impossible. But I was there, I breathed the air, touched them… smile with them now.

Yes, it was no more impossible than Peter Weiss’ writing of his magnificent play. No more impossible than the music by Richard Peaslee. Or the serendipity of an ignorant kid from the Seth Boyden Housing Projects on Frelinghuysen Avenue growing up to be at the Martin Beck that way then… at that moment, those moments.

And it is no different now with Our Bloc Party, our (forever) unregistered union of souls who will take over the State of California in 2010 (as per http://oxtogrind.org/archive/350) so help me God. It is no more impossible to accomplish that feat than it was for the Peter Brooks’ Royal Shakespeare Company to create such other worldly magic on the boards.

Glenda is now a Labour MP in Britain, has been for quite some time. I love her in a different way now. Patrick is dead, and so are Peter Weiss and Ian. Peter Brooks is about four years older than me which would make him about seventy… closer than ever to death… like me… like you.

As MP, Glenda stood up to Blair on several significant counts. I have an obligation to her. I have an obligation to Peter Weiss. To George Jackson. And Leonard. To Howard Zinn. To Mickey Z. To Michael Parenti. To Bill Blum. To Cynthia McKinney. To Noam Chomsky. To Jennifer Loewenstein. To Derrick Jensen. To the salmon. The Narmada. To the fire in my veins and our groundwater. To Nature… to God Almighty. As if we can separate any of this. This… YOU… them… all of IT is why we are alive.

And while we are alive nothing is impossible. DON’T DETER ME WITH YOUR REASONS!

Some people say that TOSCA is impossible. That enough people won’t write in the name of our candidate for Governor. That we can’t create a watershed in history with a zero budget. But they miss the point with that angle of vision. Totally. Such souls invoke the name of Don Quixote (to deter) without a clue about the truth, beauty or efficacy of Cervantes.

Hey, the French Revolution didn’t have a budget! And what we’re in the process of doing doesn’t require a red cent [Forgive the pun!]. Just because we’re forging ahead non-violently and legally doesn’t mean we can’t turn the necessary trick, make our mark of the moment.

For WHAT’S IMPOSSIBLE is that any candidate from either of the two major parties will be worth our heartbeats. One cannot expect appropriate guidance, inspiration, action… anything important from those gangsters from Hell. AND it is equally impossible for any of the “other parties” to win or plant significant enough seeds in time.

On the other hand, it IS very possible for Our Bloc Party/TOSCA effort to garner enough votes to secure the Sacred Seat in Sacramento.

You do not know what is possible. And if you don’t believe me on that count – really believe me — just read what Philip Larkin read to me shortly before his death:

Philip Larkin - First Sight

Lambs that learn to walk in snow
When their bleating clouds the air
Meet a vast unwelcome, know
Nothing but a sunless glare.
Newly stumbling to and fro
All they find, outside the fold,
Is a wretched width of cold.

As they wait beside the ewe,
Her fleeces wetly caked, there lies
Hidden round them, waiting too,
Earth’s immeasureable surprise.
They could not grasp it if they knew,
What so soon will wake and grow
Utterly unlike the snow.

With Our Bloc Party we will help all the little lambs — remind ourselves — who we are, and we will change the world, save the world from people who don’t know… who think there is always and only snow.

Richard can be reached at headburg@yahoo.com… if you hurry up, and turn yourself inside out.

P.S. It was impossible for Charlotte to stab Marat, to get to him. But we all know that she would have done it if she had had to knock not three times, but forty thousand times. For serious activists, citizens… it is no longer impossible to go beyond restricting ourselves to publishing, pleading, and putting ourselves in prisons. Repeating ourselves ad infinitum. And we don’t even have to descend into the sewers like Marat… like a rat on the run. We can actually have fun with TOSCA. Discover Spring in the snow.