Oh, for the days when silence was golden!

One of life’s seldom-asked, but very useful questions is, “Why am I here?”

It can be writ large, as “Why are we here”?, an existential question on the meaning of life, pondered by philosophers. It can be asked in a smallest way – when you momentarily get distracted and forget why you’re in the garage, ask yourself, “Why am I here?”, and presto! you remember that you need a pair of pliers.

So, when you are stuck with a couple of hundred people in a sealed metal cylinder traveling hundreds of miles an hour several thousand feet above the surface of the Earth after enduring security searches and long lines, the answer to, “Why am I here?”, is “To get from point A to point B.” It is most definitely NOT “To listen to a ranting lunatic indoctrinate me on Communism.”

Never mind that the ranting lunatic is a Penn State Abington sociology professor, who was interviewed following her release from jail,

Can you comment on your arrest and on the videos of you on the plane that are circulating?
I do have a comment. I know that I expressed an act of civil disobedience. But that act was necessary.

Why so?
I’m very knowledgable about that part of the world. I teach about U.S. imperialism in Latin America. And the U.S. has declared war against Venezuela. That means military aggression. They tried to take out Hugo with a coup, and then they took him out with cancer.

There’s a place and time for civil disobedience. Air travel is not it.

You can read the rest of the interview, but keep in mind that “Silence is golden” for very good reason.

It seems that Prof. Halnon took to heart rules 6 and 8

RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”

Which brings me to Starbuck’s #RaceTogether scheme, whereby baristas will impose upon you a script talk to you about race. But wait! There’s more,

The compendium called “Race Together” is the first installment in a year-long effort designed to stimulate conversation, compassion and positive action regarding race in America.

Apparently the Starbucks people enjoy (rule 6) this sort of thing, and will keep the pressure up (rule 8) for a year.

Their competitors must be delighted,

Silence indeed is golden, and could lead a great marketing strategy.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog. She was going to title this post “Shut the —- up”, but opted for the more genteel “Oh, for the days when silence was golden!”