Thursday, September 20, 2007

Virtual March for the Jena Six

Today's the day. And what have I got?--No money for plane tickets to attend the real march, and a busted damned digital camera so I can't even show up for the virtual march. Good God, I fail even at internet marching. By next week I'll be expecting a gold star just for sitting upright of my own volition.

This business of writing stuff on the internet being what it is--rushed, spontaneous, unedited--shorthands become customary. Thus we write "the Jena Six," when we mean six specific young men. These are the six students facing criminal charges--originally, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and aggravated battery; later, conspiracy and battery--for giving another student a black eye:

Robert Bailey
Jesse Beard
Mychal Bell
Carwin Jones
Bryant Purvis
Theodore Shaw

It's funny about that black eye business, which of course was just a mite provoked: I got a black eye once, but then, I'm white and so was my attacker. The helpful police recommended I bail my attacker out. Oh, yes. A little (or more accurately a lot of) bruising around one of my eyes wasn't worth ruining someone's life over, was it? And goodness, everyone knows a little time in jail will plumb RUIN one's LIFE. Swelling reduces and bruises fade, but good heavens, jail!

I guess our outrage over the inevitable life-ruination that jail guarantees--guarantees!--is directly proportional to how much we think the lives in question are worth in the first place. If, on the other hand, a life is already deemed ruined from the moment of its conception, well: What's a little jail to that?

And speaking of worth--

--if you took time out of your busy day anytime this year to rail against criticism of a fucking book cover, you have time to post about this.

--if you took time out of your busy day anytime this year to screech about nerds on the internet DOSing and dDosing your feminist website, you have time to post about this.

--if you took time out of your busy day anytime this year to explain why you wear lipstick or suck dick or wax your cooter, you have time to post about this.

So don't cry that you didn't have time today 'cause you're so busy. Just spare everyone the overwhelming stench of horseshit and tell the truth: You don't give a fuck.

Further, it's at least partly due to apathetic non-giving-a-fuck brats like yourself that people who do give a fuck have left Internet Town. If you were aware of this case months ago and you get a good chunk of your news via weblogs, odds are real, real good that you have Sylvia to thank for your awareness of the matter. And for her hard work she got, what? The satisfaction of a job well done, I guess.

What are the young men facing jail time over a black eye going to get? Well, supposedly this is a democracy, so technically that decision is up to us.

Small, big, long, short, simple, elaborate, prosaic or poetic--you can do something. There are petitions. There is contact information. Get as fired up as you do when someone says "I just don't know about this image of a sexified headless torso," or "It ain't real ethical to buy pets from breeders," and figure out something you can do. This is not neurosurgery.


Making Ian Fleming's "M" look like weak tea. Kai, I volunteer to clean your house for the rest of your life for bringing her back.

Brownfemipower and Color of Change for what you can do. (Much love and thanks for the link, BFP.)

More Kai, because you can never have too much. Words that ring and sing in your ears even though you're just sitting there silently reading. I don't know how he accomplishes that, but I imagine it involves more knowledge of physics than I possess.