DOs and DON’Ts WILLs and WON’Ts

NOTE: Glance at “TORTURED TOSCA TALK” before reading this. This UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT. For the young person who I met outside of Safeway at the signature table yesterday (March 24TH)… please see first. If my blah blah gets too serious for your taste you can always dip into some really bad taste with, making John Brown’s Body into a joke in lieu of doing. Not taught in any U.S. High School: In 1859, John Brown was hanged, with federal complicity, for attempting to do by small-scale violence what Lincoln would do shortly thereafter by large-scale violence — end slavery formally. This angle might be taught here and there where Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is used, BUT the monumental implications, except in the rarest of circumstances, I’m sure, are not touched upon passionately. Why? Might have something to do with the 99% odds that the instructor would be dismissed, or his/her career destroyed.

“That’s not a hairdo, that’s a hair don’t.” — from John Waters’ Shampoo

DOs and DON’Ts WILLs and WON’Ts
When loved ones willing your own destruction won’t do either….
by Dicky

At Paul Robeson’s funeral I overheard Ossie Davis say — drawing on Dylan Thomas — “We embrace a rumpus of shapes, and call it love… for ourselves, for others.” There is a line you do not want to cross. That is the line of feeling no compassion, remaining ignorant of our intimate connection, our inseparability. Acting as if you are in a bag of skin, high hat in hand.

The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

— from Larkin’s The Mower

What is different between me and career politicians? Between me and gangsters? I alone can cry at Miller’s Crossing, I alone quote Larkin and mean it. No, I am not corruptible. [Pause.] And there are others. Do find them, will you? Perhaps you are one. I am not talking here about fighting the good fight to feel better about myself. It is to have a reason for lifting glasses at the end. As in Waking Ned Devine. In solidarity, or not. Having achieved, bereaved. Having believed. Having a life worth living for. For one and all. O bailan todos o no baile nadie. Having at it.


In 2014, we will have twelve unaffiliated, non-politician citizens serving as Governor of California on an equal basis (with one figurehead candidate used for write-in voting purposes) in lieu of having another self-serving careerist at the helm. Prior to talking to me about HOW this will be achieved, please glance at the DOs and DON’Ts below.

1. Don’t give in to apathy, resignation, cynicism or atomization. Do not settle for fighting the good fight without harboring the hope that you can create significant inroads regarding issues which are dear to your heart. But not expecting justice. In any quarter.

2. Don’t be concerned with what you think others may or may not do. This is a BIG ONE. People are routinely prematurely dismissive. Sophomorically so.

3. Do not embrace obsolete models for action as your primary or exclusive means for bringing about change. For examples of obsolete models see the Baker’s Dozen at the very bottom of

4. Do not think you have to be distracted from your present primary priorities.

5. Do not think you have to spend any money.

6. Do not think you have to go to meetings, or spend any time to speak of.

7. Do look at what I have to offer as a supplement to what you are already doing if you are already engaged in something.

8. Do commit to voting in the next gubernatorial election. Do spread the word about TOSCA (and my contact info) at your convenience, in person, primarily with people who love and trust you. Urge them to register. Make sure that you and they keep one another’s current contact information until January 1, 2014.

9. Do let me know if you know of anyone who might want to serve on the TOSCA gubernatorial coalition.

10. Do not spend any heartbeats to speak of thinking or acting vis-a-vis federal level candidates. Do not spend your primary or exclusive electoral activity on local candidates.

11. Do let me know if you hear about any movement in solidarity on a macroscopic level that you think is slated to make a difference in time. Also, let me know if you do not see deadlines looming with regard to several issues, issues which affect you dramatically.

12. Do not expect justice of any kind, from any quarter (including the most personal), whilst you are engaged in the TOSCA project. But DO let me know if you are having trouble surviving, in need.

13. Do not think that members of non-profit organizations cannot — as individual citizens, not representing any particular group — participate in activities related to the electoral arena.

14. Do not retain any faith whatsoever that either of the two mainstream parties or any of the permanently marginalized third parties should get your vote for the 2014 CA gubernatorial contest.

15. Do ask me what the VERY SIMPLE requirements are for running as a write-in candidate.

16. Do ask me HOW it will be possible to recruit enough voters to win.

17. Do ask me how TOSCA plans to deal with electoral fraud.

18. Do ask me how even losing with a million votes will create a watershed in history.

19. Do ask me how TOSCA can deal with the potential of the media to demonize it.

20. Do have me review the ways in which TOSCA will distinguish itself from other CA gubernatorial competition in 2014.

21. Do ask me WHY it doesn’t matter whether or not my personal political preferences are honored by those in the gubernatorial coalition. We can use narchism-by-noam-chomsky as a point of departure for discussion, or not, if it’s too academic; do insist on the most simple, accessible communication for your tastes.

22. Do ask me how the potential for corruption among gubernatorial members will be addressed.

23. Do ask me what role direct action will play whilst TOSCA plays within the electoral arena trying to secure significant reins of power legally and nonviolently.

24. Do ask me what the impact of success will be if achieved on a zero budget.

One traumatic evening James Earl Jones sat through a protest meeting with his father, a gathering which came together to denounce a play that he was starring in, Paul Robeson. Close friends of his, which included the admirable Ossie Davis and the passionate James Baldwin, denigrated the production as defaming the father of Paul Robeson, Jr., who also joined in solidarity against Jones’ professional choice of the moment. It was excruciating for Jones to sit silently through the unwarranted castigation, torture.

“This is a hotbed,” said his dad. “Just keep your seat and hold your tongue. This is something you know too little about.” He had learned his own hard lessons in the 30s and the 50s about the frustrated activist, the feelings of impotence… and worse. [Pause.] They got through the meeting.

When loved ones disappoint, when the closest heartbeats you have bang against the impenetrable walls which seem to separate us all fragilely, we are obliged to be patient, know we are loved, and see beyond. Look forward to apologizing and forgiving ourselves incessantly.

And not really for the purpose of feeling better ourselves. Rather, so that we all can dance on this grave grave grave grave heaven on earth. To cross over.