So I’ve spent the last 7 days in Seattle on my honeymoon. Understandably, many things are swirling and mixing around in my heart and mind. For one, I’M MARRIED, and this takes more time to transition than I thought it would. But it is good. I’m also on the hunt for a job. I’ve been waiting tables for the past month or two (something I never thought I’d do again, but something I’m really enjoying) and interviewing for teaching positions among other pursuits. I’ve been offered a couple things, but have yet to accept anything. And, I’m fairly confused.
A FATEFUL BOOKSTORE:
While in Seattle my lovely new bride and I ventured into a radical little bookstore by Pikes Market called Left Bank Books. I’m not using the word “radical” as some of you may wish I would-which would be the Ninja Turtles sense of the word. I actually mean it in the sense that it’s far from a mainstream book store. From what I’ve gathered, it’s actually a collective co-op, rather than a business, mainly distributing counter-cultural material ranging from obscure zines to works by widely acclaimed academics.
As pragmatic a person as I am, I usually have a tendency toward and affinity for radical thought. So I was naturally drawn to the Anarchism section. (funny side note: they had a few signs above that pointed out the obvious contradiction of selling literature that more or less denounces our current system of trading currency for products. The sign noted the distinction between this collectively owned co-op and large chains (the Borders down the street), saying “If you must steal books, steal from a richly stock’d corporate book store”)
I ended up buying an interesting little glossy book titled “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Anarchism But Were Afraid to Ask” which apparently has no author. It’s actually not very well written or thought out. There are a good amount of mistakes in the author’s reasoning as well as his/her spelling and word usage. But it’s still a fun little treat. I also bought “A Peoples History of America” by Howard Zinn and “Chomsky on Anarchism”, which is a collection of essays and interviews from Noam Chomsky regarding Anarchism. And, to round out the revolutionary literature, my wife bought Che Guevara’s “Motorcycle Diaries” which are his own diaries in his own words from that fateful trip around South America.
Interestingly, my basic political views (which are still in flux) tend to align themselves with pieces of anarchism, in the sense that I believe government is inherently evil (I believe many of our founding documents imply this truth, and I also see much evidence of this in scripture). But I differ in that I tend believe government is a necessary evil, because some form of government will always form. I also believe in scripture’s view of authority, such as in Romans 13. I think democracy just happens to be the lesser of all the other evils we’ve come up with-due to it’s check of the people. But of course, this is just in theory.
There’s a t-shirt that has an American flag with a sheep where the stars should be and below reads “The United Sheep of America”. And it’s this fact that kind of erodes the idea of democracy for me. Instead of a system that places the best representatives in power, we’ve got one that tends to put the best manipulators with the richest backers in power-a system that reproduces other so-called democracies and then destroys them or allows them to be destroyed when our system disagrees with the way they vote.
So much for the check of the people…
A LONG-DEAD WISE MAN:
So after swirling in this for a few days, I turned to Ecclesiastes, my solace. In it King Solomon describes nearly everything as useless, and “a chasing after wind”. He says we have a hunger which will never be quenched; we seek to acquire wealth, of which there will never be enough; we seek wisdom which only causes more and more vexation; it is a great and heavy burden God has placed on man, therefore the only thing we can do is enjoy our toil. The fruits of our toil can never be enjoyed, because there will never be an end to acquiring them, and then some day we will die-turning to dust just like the animals. So we must enjoy our work, our food, our drink-enjoy the lot which God has given us. We are but dust, but God is God.
And there comes Hope, my old friend I don’t visit often enough.
So I will continue to ask hard questions, and pray for the strength to receive hard answers. And I will seek to continually depend on the Lord, because I can’t trust in Uncle Sam, nor in my own confounded mind-this I realize more and more each day. In the words of Mr Stephen Colbert: I am America: And so can you!
The Calico Rebellion