don kerr

4 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Complacency is the enemy - from Dylan Thomas to Howard Beale and why beBee is a powerful forum for social change

Complacency is the enemy - from Dylan Thomas to Howard Beale and why beBee is a powerful forum for social change

The shocking acceptance of lies.

The embrace of patently false commentary.

The awfulness of bare-faced collusion and rampant self interest.

The get-richer-at-any-cost approach to public policy.

The adoption of pure falsehood as fact.

The polarization of community revolving around haves and have-nots.

The rapid striving of groups to paint others as evil.

The acceptance and normalization of 'the other'.

Assault after assault after assault come raining down every day from every direction.

And, while most of these vile assaults emanate from our 'leaders' we are complicit.

Perhaps we just get tired.

Perhaps we just get fed up with trying to make sense of the nonsensical.

Perhaps we just want to retreat from the battlefield and take shelter, cocooning to avoid the exhausting onslaught.

Therein though lies the danger.

If we become complacent we become collaborators in the affront to decency.

If we abide the bullshit that rains down upon us without comment we are complicit.

I was reminded of all of this just this morning when I read an email from a very good friend. 

The e-mail was addressed to a mutual friend and in it my buddy encouraged the other to sustain his effort to call a spade a spade.

So, my friend, be pissed off. Be angry. Call them on their bullshit in that sophisticated way you have.
Name withheld to protect the innocent!
This set me off.
I felt an immediate need to add my voice to the battle against complacency and blind acceptance.
I recalled two pieces that voice this accountability we have to contribute to the discourse regardless of the disapprobation it might bring.
For your consideration then:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.Dylan Thomas

For the more visual among you, I offer this powerful soliloquy by the fictional Howard Beale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwMVMbmQBug

beBee, with its powerful community of international Bees is fertile ground for engaging in thoughtful and even provocative discourse. It is a forum where we can each of us express our thinking on a broad array of topics and one where we can determinedly agree to disagree.

I encourage any and all Bees to participate in the exchange of perspectives.

In the end, each individual has the right and the responsibility to play a role in the direction of society. 

None of us should feel restrained in doing so - within the limits of good Canadian politesse!

© Copyright 2017, Don Kerr, Don Kerr Writes - All rights reserved.*

don@donkerrwrites.com

https://donkerrwrites.squarespace.com

https://ridingshotgun.squarespace.com

*Well, OK...except for that Dylan Thomas and Howard Beale stuff!
"
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Comments

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #27

The Howard Beale references is interesting because in the movie Network he did get used. At the same time opening the window and screaming out "where as mad as hell and where not going to take it anymore" describes well the actions of voters in America - and that in turn speaks to an utter state of powerlessness of people who know something is awry but who have not been sufficiently educated to know what. In the end Howard Beale helps the ratings of the news company, just as US corporate news media is raking in profits like never before. Yet there is signs that aside from the Comedy Network (which really should not be seen as a proxy for news) there are people who have a voice that transforms channel surfing clicks to decipherable opinion. The idea that we can scream out the world the very BS we see is one that is very endearing but it is no different to knocking out an a-hole with a single clean punch - as a Hollywood movie the script for the underdog come good is a well trodden one. In reality it is as effective as people who copy acts of self-immolation. What may raise consciousness when it is a novelty, makes people disinterested when they see the say same protest over and over and over again. I too love the character of Howard Beale but hold these caveats. I am even more fascinated by the philosophical basis of Andy Kaufman's actions - where the audience themselves become the object, and he was not playing them, he had a philosophical view that was enacted and the humour was personal awareness in a world where awareness can be only skin-deep. http://www.openculture.com/2013/01/a_look_back_at_andy_kaufman_absurd_comic_performance_artist_and_endearing_weirdo.html

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #26

I will begin with this article about “Idiotes” (ΙΔΙΩΤΕΣ) - http://www.historydisclosure.com/what-does-idiot-mean/ Now such a compelling article is bound to be shared, but it only represents one particular viewpoint Now I look at this one that explores a more nuanced view of how Ancient Greeks viewed the word "idiot" https://www.thoughtco.com/were-ancient-greeks-required-to-vote-118831 The difference between the two pieces is the latter has a bibliography. The former uses a picture of three girls on a cell-phone and the relationship of that picture to the short post can draw out inferences. Now layer on top the crazy political and media circus that has got worse each passing decade, it is now far removed from the challenging years of political drama played out in the 60's. The counter-culture movement that effectively responded to that, is now trying to respond to this. Are we children of the 60's counter-culture challenging the existing world that is awash with opinion and noise or we adaptive to the political space of our time and is our politics capable of adapting to the transforming environment taking shape now? Anyone with thinking mind and feeling heart is going to resonate with your poem. Yet I really don't know what I am as a political being, and how that may be different to being a political animal. Your buzz helps me direct my own questions and challenges I seek to learn from. I am living that but still mindful of the awful political environment Americans have voted for.

don kerr

4 years ago #25

#26
Thank you

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

4 years ago #24

Ah, the wrinkled world has turned wild, wobbling and people are either pawns or players. Some are sheer onlookers and some, like comedians, enjoy traversing tragedies. What a woeful world!

don kerr

4 years ago #23

#23
Kevin Pashuk It is comforting that I can always rely upon my Beezer buddies.

don kerr

4 years ago #22

#21
Jim Murray Well thanks for sharing as you were the catalyst for this post.

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #21

I very well couldn't be complacent and NOT share this Don...

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #20

Is there a 'fervent applause' emoji? If so, I would put that here in the comment section.

Jim Murray

4 years ago #19

Thanks my friend. That was brilliant. I will spread this around like honey on burnt toast. We should all rage. Because without it, there is only the darkness that greedy old me spread over the world to hide their wrinkles and their sins.

don kerr

4 years ago #18

#14
Harvey Lloyd Appreciate your well-considered and written comment sir. Thank you.

don kerr

4 years ago #17

#13
Shelley Brown Thanks and BTW: glad to see you activated again here!

don kerr

4 years ago #16

#12
Joel Anderson I'll see you Dylan and raise you one Buffalo Springfield. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5JCrSXkJY

don kerr

4 years ago #15

#8
Paul Walters He's kind of a hero of mine.

don kerr

4 years ago #14

#6
Sara Jacobovici "Just a note to the more "quiet" types. Your choices of how you live your lives, engage and make choices, can be just as strong a voice as any other." Hear, hear!

don kerr

4 years ago #13

#5
No argument here. It is though unfortunate that certain leaders choose to descend into the pits of abusive rhetoric in their attempts to appear 'great'. Witness a certain President's recent address to the Boy Scouts of America!

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #12

The very nature of the post resolves to the fundamental question of self determination within a society or a rules/regulation based society where self determination is focused in a direction through elected officials. Self direction involves evolution of ideas that peculate within the social community. When our constitution is made to evolve with money, social pressure and politics we all lose in the end. Lies, BS and other attributes of a evolving society should correct through action within the community. This does invite some wild west thinking and these action also need to be addressed. The conundrum resides in how much authority do we give the rule makers? The more authority the less direct/indirect self determination we have. Where is that balance? I am in agreement it is time for the majority to speak to our direction within the world and our subsequent survival.

Joel Anderson

4 years ago #11

Bob Dylan Lyrics "The Times They Are A-Changin'" Come gather 'round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone If your time to you Is worth savin' Then you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin'. Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen And keep your eyes wide The chance won't come again And don't speak too soon For the wheel's still in spin And there's no tellin' who That it's namin' For the loser now Will be later to win For the times they are a-changin'. Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled There's a battle outside And it is ragin' It'll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls For the times they are a-changin'. Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land And don't criticize What you can't understand Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command Your old road is Rapidly agin' Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand For the times they are a-changin'. The line it is drawn The curse it is cast The slow one now Will later be fast As the present now Will later be past The order is Rapidly fadin' And the first one now Will later be last For the times they are a-changin'.

Joel Anderson

4 years ago #10

Bob Dylan Lyrics Play "The Times They Are …" on Amazon Music "The Times They Are A-Changin'" Come gather 'round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone If your time to you Is worth savin' Then you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin'. Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen And keep your eyes wide The chance won't come again And don't speak too soon For the wheel's still in spin And there's no tellin' who That it's namin' For the loser now Will be later to win For the times they are a-changin'. Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled There's a battle outside And it is ragin' It'll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls For the times they are a-changin'. Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land And don't criticize What you can't understand Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command Your old road is Rapidly agin' Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand For the times they are a-changin'. The line it is drawn The curse it is cast The slow one now Will later be fast As the present now Will later be past The order is Rapidly fadin' And the first one now Will later be last For the times they are a-changin'.

Joel Anderson

4 years ago #9

https://youtu.be/q_qgVn-Op7Q

Joel Anderson

4 years ago #8

https://youtu.be/q_qgVn-Op7Q

Paul Walters

4 years ago #7

Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr What can one say? Go Howard!!

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #6

Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr writes: "If we become complacent we become collaborators in the affront to decency."

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #5

Bravo Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr!! Here I am feeling so frustrated about being behind in my reading and writing. Scrolling down to try to at least save 'to be read later' buzzes. But I must admit, your buzz called out to pay attention now! I am glad I did. I agree with not only what you say but your great style of communicating this important message and the 2 great examples ( both on my all time favorites list) you provide. Thank you Don. Just a note to the more "quiet" types. Your choices of how you live your lives, engage and make choices, can be just as strong a voice as any other. As long as we don't become complacent. Because: "If we become complacent we become collaborators in the affront to decency."

David B. Grinberg

4 years ago #4

Nice buzz, Don. You make some excellent points. Homogenous thinking (group think) leads to dumbing down the human mind. Moreover, if we all agreed about everything then life would be boring. There's nothing wrong whatsoever with agreeing to disagree in an open social media forum -- just make sure to maintain high standards by disagreeing in a respectful and civil manner to foster the type of constructive discourse which benefits all of us on this platform.

don kerr

4 years ago #3

#1
Thanks Pascal Derrien

don kerr

4 years ago #2

#2
And I admire you for having the fortitude to do that Len Rosen

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #1

a good reminder me thinks . right on the button those two lads Dylan and Tommy :-) ( and Don too :-) )

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