Midnight’s Broken Toll

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At midnight on Christmas Eve, bells will ring across America to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  But for Americans of compassion who try to stand up for justice as he did, there’s not much to celebrate.  For us, those bells will not be ringing in celebration, they’ll be tolling in grief for a land broken by deceit and hypocrisy, lost in the darkness of Christianist hate, and shamed by the mendacity, corruption, and betrayal of warmongering politicians.    

During his life of activism and compassion, Jesus of Nazareth lived among the poor and the powerless. Because the ancient world was so much more primitive and unenlightened than our highly civilized modern world, he lived in a land that was seething with political and religious turmoil, mired in chronic poverty, plagued by political corruption, occupied by foreign soldiers, and ruled by an arrogant, lying, incompetent puppet king with a 25 percent job approval rating.  

For advocating justice and speaking truth to power, Jesus of Nazareth was slandered, arrested, tortured, and executed.  Since his death 2,000 years ago, other activists have known they would suffer the same fate if they dared speak truth to power.  But they spoke truth to power anyway.  In every era of humanity’s long and bloody history, in every land where oppression crushed the human spirit and fear silenced entire societies, a few brave souls managed to overcome their fear and summoned the courage to take a stand, alone if necessary, for human dignity and freedom.

Human dignity and freedom are worth taking a stand for.  Every time.      

Has the midnight broken tolling ended?  Not yet.  The tolling goes on and the walls are still tightening. But that hypnotic splattered mist the corporate media calls journalism can no longer conceal the fascism pervading our “government”.  Our ordeal began seven broken Christmases ago, when an Angel of the Lord allegedly appeared unto Antonin Scalia as he tended his investments by night, and said, “Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy!  For unto you is reborn this day in the city of Crawford, a Savior who shall smite the Babylonians and confront the evildoers.  Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling cash and lying in a stupor.  Work out the details.”      

Since then, we’ve had to endure a long midnight of despair, haunted by the sound of funeral bells that never stop tolling.  Despite our efforts, those bells are still tolling in grief for the victims of injustice. They’re still tolling for the rebels in Chechnya . . . for the raked victims of globalization . . . for the luckless, abandoned, forsaken of New Orleans.  They’re still tolling for the searching whistleblowers on their speechless, seeking trail . . . for lonesome gay and lesbian lovers with too personal a tale . . . for each unharmful gentle soul locked in a Burmese jail. They’re still tolling for tasered peace advocates whose strength is not to fight . . . for all the Iraqi refugees on their unarmed road of flight . . . for each and every underdog soldier in the East Timor night.  

They’re still tolling for Darfur outcasts, burning constantly at stake . . . for aching PTSD victims, whose wounds cannot be nursed . . . for the countless, confused, accused, misused strung out ones and worse . . . for every sobbing victim in the whole wide universe.

Not much has changed in thousands of years.  Oppression is still oppression.  Tyranny is still tyranny. Wars of conquest are still wars of conquest.  The victims just have different names.  

Hi, poor and powerless of the MMCXXXIXth generation since cash and war were invented!

Meet the new boss:

Bush Fascism

Same as the old boss:


And the one before that:


Yes, Virginia.  Power corrupts, and don’t fucking forget it.  

I don’t know if Jesus of Nazareth was/is the Son of God or not.  But he was the greatest advocate for peace who ever lived.  I’m not a prophet, I’m just a little drummer boy on a blog, but I know what fate awaits the world if we don’t eradicate militarism before it eradicates us.  I’m just trying to do my part to help win this global struggle for peace and justice.

So . . . if it’s OK with the Kos Kops, I’d like to play my drum for the Prince of Peace and his friends, the poor and the powerless.

I’ll drum my heart out for them.

On our progressive blogs, on op-ed pages, from the first page to the last page of my novel about all this broken midnight tolling we’ve had to listen to, and in Minneapolis, when that Repug Cult of Praetorian Guards gathers to nominate their next Caligula.

I’ll play my drum for the Prince of Peace on the White House lawn if necessary.  

Memo to the NSA: I’m an American.  That White House lawn is OUR lawn and I’ll play my drum there if I damn well feel like it.  If you’re reading this, feast your beady fascist eyes on something else, you’re not welcome here.  If you and your fellow degenerates at the National Judas Agency actually wanted to detect threats to America, YOU’D BE SPYING ON THE WHITE HOUSE.

Americans have finally seen enough.

Vengeace is mine, saith the American people.

The inhabitants of Incumbency D.C. will be fortunate if that Gomorrah of obscenity they call a government isn’t turned into a Pillar of Salt on Election Day 2008.  

Next Christmas, may we all see:  

peace on earth


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    • pfiore8 on December 22, 2007 at 04:49

    i’m thinking maybe we should change that speak truth to power paradigm…

    i’m thinking it’s time we start demanding those in power speak the truth to us…

    neil diamond huh? corny, and yet something about that voice i’ve always liked

    a big smooch to you rusty… for your talent and the way you loose it on the world

  1. favorite newsreaders so you’ll be able to read great essays like this even when you are away from the site.

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  2. Loved this Rusty.  Really, I’m all choked up.  The drummer boy – that got my little grinch heart growing a couple sizes bigger tonight.  This is a great essay.  So glad you are here on DD.  I always appreciate some righteous snark.   Peace bro!    

  3. In my day we called it trashing the bank.

  4. This is so strong and gentle and touching and wonderful.  I love this peace (sic).  Thank you for writing it.  

    • RiaD on December 22, 2007 at 13:56

    this season & every season!

    I’m drumming too, on the off beat…

    thank you rusty…You’re the Best!

  5. Peace is such a nice sounding word, isn’t?  There would be peace if only we could rid ourselves of despots and their underlings in this world.

    Maybe with global warming looming over us and the imminence of it’s threat to the universe, countries could become like-minded and focus attention on efforts to reduce global warming and, thereby, collectively, create a more harmonious global community.  But, I’m dreaming.  

    So long as there is hunger, there probably will not be peace, though.  The hungry become prey and fodder of the depraved and powerful.

    But we HOPE always, nonetheless, for PEACE!


    Come January, I’ll be waiting to see you on the White House lawn — OUR LAWN — drumming your heart out!!!!

  6. bekejel

  7. My own little 4 lbs of unconditional love. And her name is “Pax.”

  8. IMHO, he was trying to send a message in his refusal to be involved in political affairs, a message which world leaders ignore and as a result, they have caused untold misery.

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