Cartooning Like You Mean It

Cartooning, Teaching & Living – by Tom Hart

Archive for March 2006

Oppression, and not knowing a damn thing

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Is there any greater song than Cutis Mayfield’s NO THING ON ME? Why am I so moved by these songs of empowerment? Why is a white guy raised in suburbia sitting warm in his NY apartment that he owns – why is he so moved by stories, songs, etc about freeing ourselves from oppression? My wife and others might bring up past lives, or karma, and say that we came in this way. My life this time around is to see oppression from this side, from the outside, but still to see it.

But I don’t buy it. What am I really doing for others? Am I really working to free anyone? Am I serving in any way towards the goal of loosing people of their chains?

And what assumptions are we making when we talk about oppression? We make the assumption that one of the ultimate values of a person should be their ability to become the best they can be. (Or something like that.) Are those the right assumptions? I think they are, yeah. In America, they are. Anywhere. Ultimately, the social and violent forces that keep people from their innate instincts towards family, and self-development are those that have to be stopped, investigated, thwarted.

But maybe not- maybe the drive to steal from one’s brother is just as innate an instinct. Maybe there is no self-development innate inside of us- no chrysalis waiting to be formed. Maybe most of us are just here to get to the end and that’s it.

To get to that end safely- that should be the goals of those moved to thwart oppression. That’s all most people want. To live their lives with some sort of security.

What are our lives? What are our oppressors? Are we really oppressed by advertisers? NO. But by the companies behind them, yes. Their stranglehold on the American economy, yes. But who cares if there are 6 million nike ads everywhere? I couldn’t give a crap. But that this country’s resources are funneled, engineered to go to the top, where people run military companies and through taxes and manipulation, continue to funnel the resources of this country into their hands. Through our sweat and energy.

“I’m so glad I’ve got my own, so glad that I can see. My life’s a natural high. The man can put no thing on me. ”

He’s probably more right than I am. What action do we need to take? Find your joy and watch oppressors fall away? Sign petitions in the day and party at night? Aim our crosshairs on specific players? What the fuck do I know?!!!!!

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Written by hutchowen

March 3, 2006 at 6:13 pm

Posted in From Tom