September 25, 2007

I'd hammer in the morning all over this land...

Upon this rock I build my house.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970 and the junior high school I was attending at the time decided to participate and do something to commemorate the occasion. Three of the most radical individuals on campus were selected to design and construct a concrete slab marker that would serve two purposes. The first purpose was to provide a mud free short cut for students as they traveled from the art department into the main building of the campus. The second purpose was to leave a memorial to future generations of our participation in the first ever Earth Day. Bob Jackson, Bob Ritchie and I began working on the project about a month before the big celebration.

The slab was a triangle shaped marker with the words End Pollution written in blue tiles across the longest of the three sides. A series of structures with smoke stacks spewed pollution into the air. It represented our vision of the corporate lack of concern with the greater world around it and the threat we considered selfish greed to be to the future of humanity. It represented the one great threat to planetary survival we hoped would be under control by the time we reached adulthood and inherited the world.

Thirty-seven years have passed since the day we put that marker into the ground. In that time I have walked in Washington D.C. to protest war, have marched on the campus of Kent State University to protest an out of control government opening fire upon its own children to silence criticism of its activities and I have walked to support civil rights for all of our citizenry on an equal basis. Every step of the journey as I spoke about my beliefs and what I felt was good for the overall welfare of the people I was looked at by the grownups around me and told, “Wait until you get a few years on you and then you’ll change your naïve point of view. Wait until you have a family of your own and then you’ll see the value of the Republican way.”

It always struck me as incredulous that the supposedly mature grownups around me believed that as I aged I would come to realize the wisdom of self interest as opposed to that of caring for the welfare of all men. For all the flag waving, preaching of family values and non-stop bible thumping of the Republican Party I have yet to hear any Republican leader ever run a campaign based on the human rights record of the Republican Party. NEVER! It has always been the platform of the G.O.P. to proclaim that only they are capable of leading the country in times of war, only they are good for the economy and only they are follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in a proper manner.

For thirty-seven years I have been told how someday I would mature into an individual who would swallow the lie of the Republican way and realize the value of putting my own welfare above that of the people around me. I am proud to report that as usual the Republican Party is wrong.

Weathered, rough around the edges and lined with age,
but it still remains true to it's message.

Thirty-seven years later I am now fifty-three years of age with a family of my own. I still believe that whatever is good for the greater number of my fellow beings at any given time is greater than the right of any one individual’s right to profit at the expense of the rest of us. Caring and sharing with our fellow man is superior to exploiting and cashing in on our fellow man. I still believe that walking into the future with as many of my fellow man in stride beside me as educated and enlightened beings is superior to any amount of riches I could accrue by exploiting everyone around me for personal profit.

Thirty-seven years ago I wrote it in stone. I stated who I thought had the greatest power to destroy the planet and the inhabitants who depend upon it for life itself. Yesterday I went to see if the message was still there. It was. Not only was the original message there but surrounding it were markers left by other young radicals who obviously agreed with the simple message left by three students thirty-seven years ago. It made me feel like I’d reached an awful lot of people with what I really want to say. The evil is in selfishness. When all that is cared for is immediate profit at the expense of the long term welfare of our fellow beings we can be sure we are living in an unhealthy environment.

Where will the millions of lead contaminated toys wind up buried? Who will pay the price as these toys degrade and enter our water supplies? How many children will take sick from chewing on toys purchased in garage sales and dollar stores never even knowing they were eating poison? For thirty-seven years I have watched as my country fell into an unhealthy and potentially fatal state of disease. As flags have waved and bibles have thumped like war drums about the dangers of homosexuality to our children I have continued speaking about what I believe is a far greater threat to their survival.

If you visit Van Buren Junior High School in Kettering, Ohio you will find a warning written in stone thirty-seven years ago. I stood upon that message as a young man and I still stand upon it today. Corporate America is killing us for the sake of a handful of silver. Their greed is the single greatest threat to the future of our planet and the beings that inhabit it. In thirty-seven years I’ve seen more actual damage done in the world by the corporate entity than the savage homosexual horde that somehow never materialized.

Where once only bare earth lay, a garden now grows.

Yesterday I saw trees, fountains and plants of a wide variety surrounding a weathered stone slab showing the wear and tear of the many years it has seen pass over it. It reminded me of myself and the weathered lines upon my own face and the toll the many years have taken upon my aging body. I saw a glimmer of hope. I saw voices added to my own and a message being picked up by others and carried into a future I hope and pray will indeed be there for my own son.

It is not homosexuals we have to fear. It is not stem cell research we must be on guard against. What we must protect ourselves against are those who wave a flag in our faces as they hide behind a veil of lies killing our children and our environment in the name of profit. These evil men and women are the true danger to the future of our sons and daughters, our country and the planet on which we live. I said it thirty-seven years ago and I’ll repeat it again today; save our planet and save our children from the poison being pumped into our planet by the greed of the corporate machine. Start caring about your fellow beings. Without them you are diminished.

I had a wonderful birthday by the way. My family and my friends let me know how much I am loved and respected by them for who I am and what I do. I am blessed to be surrounded by good people both in the real world and here in the blogosphere.

My only purpose in these last couple of posts is to reflect upon my life and the events I have witnessed with my own eyes. I am not targeting individuals but rather organizations and I urge no one to take my comments personally, while at the same time urging everyone to take my words personally and think about what is happening in our world today.


Blogger Paul F. said...

These last couple posts, eh Dirk? Pulling a Houdini on us like Dan, huh?

Well, I do respect what you have to say, that's for sure. I like to look at both sides, it's quite interesting and nowforsomethingdifferent.blogspot.com is an interesting one if you want to peer into the mind of a right winger. You'll see how futile it would be to try to even get through to these people. It's fascinating stuff.

It's good to kow that there are still people from back then that still hold on to that truth that you found about the planet and humanity. I think it all died with John Lennon in 1980. We just sleep walked through the 80's and the Reagan years while the government went ultra-conservative. I don't know where it all went wrong. If you pinpoint it exactly, I think the pendulum started going to the right in 1972 and I think it is just starting to go left again.

September 25, 2007 8:35 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

You should go on the radio Dirk.

Maybe get your own show on Blogtalkradio.com. It's free!

September 26, 2007 2:24 PM  
Blogger The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

It is so frustratng to see what happened to so many of our comrades from back then. The seventies get blamed for the "me generation" and everyone seems to forget the larger concern for the well-being of others that was so prevalent back then. When I get depressed I watch the film Flashback. (Of course it could make one more depressed since it predicts that the 90s will make the 60s look like the 50s - but perhaps the 00s will do this instead. Surely it is time for people to come to their senses (again.) If you haven't seen the film, check it out.

October 06, 2007 9:51 AM  

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