Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism.
- Rosa Luxemburg, "Junius Pamphlet" 1916

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For a few miles, free at last: scenes from Albuquerque Pride, June 11, 2001

Last Saturday I marched in the Pride Parade here in Albuquerque, with some friends. I put together a brief little video montage of the experience. I wanted a record of the day. It felt like a miracle. Or a gift.

This here blog is about the birth of an alien planet known as Earth. It's also about how human beings might live there. The writing here explores the coming of an unearthly climate, the birth of strange new ecologies, and the end of industrial societies. We don't know what the new Earth will look like.

We know much of what we want it to be. We want it to be a place hospitable to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We want the new planet and the human beings woven into its tapestry of life to be at peace.

The industrial era of the last 200 years, for all its horrors, gave the human race its first glimpse of what universal freedom might look like. For the first time, much of the species started to dream of ending oppression based on wealth, race, religion, gender, and, most recently, sexual orientation.

"Oppression" is a word that has lost much of its emotional impact in American culture. It sounds like something an overwrought college professor might say. About something trivial. But oppression still exists: exerting power over others, by force, to make them suffer, or make them weak. Or worse. Anyone who is poor, female, pagan, African-American, or gay knows that oppression isn't only a word. Sometimes it's a hammer to your skull.

It will never be gone from our world, new or old. But old patterns go away. New ways of expressing the collective human psyche evolve. Oppression becomes more than a word, but freedom does, too. Sometimes people find a place where they don't have to be themselves only in the dark.

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