Oh, for the days when silence was golden!

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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 NOTTo 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!”

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!”