Claire Saponia: The pacifist Pacifist
I don’t want to fight this because
fighting this is also war.
So what is the peaceful pacifist
supposed to do? Equanimously
sit cross-legged, eyes closed and
lightly smiling at atrocity and its
allies? Do I let enemies maul each
other and then me, should I
accidentally get in the way? Do I
love them, all the same, sit tight,
ommm and hope for the best?
I have no special reason to get
hysterical. We live sufficiently apart
for me to delete you from my wad
of preoccupations. I simply have to
sell off the TV, carefully avoiding a
morning tendency towards BBC
online, Radio Four, Guardian-Buxton
Spring deals at WH Smiths – in all
national railway stations – and a
history of serious guilt complexes. I
could start eating animals again,
maybe even on a daily basis. I could
take up judo or kung fu in the name of
self-defence, christen the world a dojo.
My dojo. I could build a cyclone B
plant for fun and tell all the journals
I no longer read: this is how it’s done.
I could write about these adventures
and invent some others, like the one
where I met Gandhi and we secretly
took Elevenses in his back garden.
And then I became him.
And we copied ourselves into myriad
Gandhis because the elevenses we
took were actually aphrodisiacs and
love got all randy on an empty stomach.
How different it would have been had
love multiplied relative to us.
– – – –
a break from respite
just as long as both
sides bleed; hostages
of mind and body,
hijackers of mind
no new ideas are required.
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