Follow the Soapbox
 
Mickey Z. -- World News Trust--Jan. 21, 2015

“If [someone] says something bad about my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s to be expected.”

- Pope Francis

I grew up in Astoria, Queens, NYC... long before it became a trendy, increasingly gentrified hipster enclave. Part of my provincial, pre-Internet, pre-cable TV upbringing involved being schooled in the patriarchal ways of the streets. You learned the rules or forever remained on the fringes of the dominant crowd.

For example: No self-respecting male lets anyone insult his mother. (Hey, I warned you this was patriarchal.)

You might be hanging with your crew when you ask your friend Tommy, “Who was that I saw you with last night?” And Tommy -- feeling buzzed or playful or just in the mood to instigate -- might reply: “Johnny’s mother.”

Nervous laughter. Johnny’s head spins around. Tommy makes nice. “Just fucking with you, man. No offense.”

Johnny’s not having any of it. “That ain’t cool,” he says, trying to save face.

The group smells blood. Johnny is simmering. Tommy is enjoying the attention. You decide to kick things up a notch or three by looking right at Johnny as you add: “Oh shit! Your mother!”

That’s when the crew gets to find out if Johnny is “man” enough to stand up and defend his mother’s “honor.”

You might be wondering why I’m sharing such a pathetic example of macho posturing. Well, believe it or not, there might be something of value to learn from this behavior.

Imagine I tell you in front of all your activist friends: “Every 24 hours, between 150 and 200 plant and animal species go extinct.”

The room gets quiet, except for some nervous laughter.

Then: “About 93 percent of the large fish in the ocean are already gone.”

Disbelief. Jaws hang open. The group senses a confrontation brewing.

Next: “Roughly 78 percent of old growth forests are already gone and we lose 200,000 acres of rain forest per day.”

The group smells blood. A few whispers and nudges and knowing glances are exchanged.

Then I go for the kill: “Today and every day, without any serious resistance, 13 million tons of toxic chemicals are released across the globe.”

That’s it! Now, someone has to scream: “Oh shit! Your mother!”

The only question left is whether or not anyone is human enough to stand up and defend their mother earth’s honor. Who knows, maybe the pontiff will take the first swing?

#shifthappens

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recentlyOccupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.

©WorldNewsTrust.com -- Share and re-post this story. Please include this copyright notice and a link to World News Trust.

Street Smarts, Ecocide, and the Pope’s Mother by Mickey Z. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at http://worldnewstrust.com/street-smarts-ecocide-and-the-pope-s-mother-mickey-z.



 


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