Are You Ready for the Revolution?

For a while in 2001-2, I worked the night shift at a midtown Manhattan corporate gym (cue the shame and self-loathing) at which I met several interesting characters.

One evening, for example, I was wearing a Yankees t-shirt with the name “Justice” emblazoned on the back (for former Yank David Justice), when a woman named Mary — perhaps in her late 60s — asked me if I were a Yankee fan. I told her I was…but my real reason for wearing the shirt was all about the word “justice.” She smiled and declared that justice was a “noble idea.”

This was shortly after 9/11, so I braced myself for the inevitable “we need to show those towel heads some justice.” Instead, Mary told me — albeit in a very low voice — she was going to Washington soon to march against the impending invasion of Iraq.

After this confession, Mary looked genuinely nervous. Had she gone too far in the alleged land of the free? I just smiled and said in my best underground resistance voice: “Don’t worry, I’m with you.”

Mary and I proceeded to talk in depth each time she’d come to work out. The company eventually phased out the gym and let me go but just before so, I saw Mary and complimented her on how hard she was training.

She leaned close to me and whispered: “When the revolution comes, I’ll be ready.”

Which brings me to a good question for 2011: Are you ready for the revolution?

Being a revolutionary needn’t require one to sleep till noon, dress entirely in black, and sport a rail-thin, heroin addict physique. Then again, neither should Michael Moore ever serve as anyone’s role model for healthy rebellion.

If you agree that fitness — both mental and physical — is a crucial component for any serious subversive, read on…

Four Steps to Radical Fitness

1. Condition Your Body

For example, having your arms yanked and bound behind you before being tossed onto a street corner or jammed onto a detention bus can potentially cause damage to the muscles of the shoulder and upper back. To better prepare for this seemingly inevitable scenario, you might wanna seek help from the camel.

2. Free Your Mind

As Ralph Nader sez:

Once we stop growing up corporate and grow up civic, we will be much more focused on nutritious food, rather than junk food; we will be much more inquiring about different kinds of products; we will look at pollution as a form of violence, not just something that is nasty and dirty; we will demand the mechanism so we can control what we own and use these great resources for an enlightened, just, prosperous, happy society where the pursuit of justice is filled with such joy it itself becomes the pursuit of happiness and the pursuit of happiness becomes the pursuit of justice.

3. Green Your Eating Habits

An activist’s eating habits offer the best opportunity to put theory into practice. If you consume a plant-based, whole foods, locally grown diet (organic, if and when possible), you’ve virtually taken yourself out of the equation, re: animal cruelty, environmental devastation, corporate welfare, and a growing health holocaust.

4. Learn How to Defend Yourself and Your Planet

The inherent message being: if we were to appreciate our unbreakable bonds to other humans and the entire natural world, we’d be more likely to act in “self defense” when engaging in green activism. I see it as sort of a literal and metaphorical left hook.

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook. Read other articles by Mickey.

20 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on January 3rd, 2011 at 8:37am #

    As the 112th Congress convenes this week in Washington, Republicans are vowing to attack head-on key Obama administration initiatives, including health care reform and increased regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. aol

    Learn How to Defend Yourself and Your Planet, Free Your Mind because in a few day’s the greatest minds in human history will in a big way send we the people down the drain in not such slow motion. Granted about 10% of the population will eat ok and may have a few perk’s for a few more year’s. So far the decision has been made not to try and in very simple terms that’s not a very good plan. Think of this as kind of a war as we will hear if we look from these so called leaders in a few day’s an intelligent’s level on a scale between 1 and 10 maybe .05 and that’s pushing it am sure.

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.
    It was their final, most essential command.”

  2. bozh said on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:36am #

    yes, even if we remain governmental zeros [hope not forever] we can do a lot to improve own lives and those of the animals.

    food=equals best medicine one cld have. and we have such food!
    let’s get rid of christmas-itis, mother, father and other days
    don’t buy greeting cards! thus save some trees! etcetc. tnx

  3. Don Hawkins said on January 3rd, 2011 at 1:08pm #

    Attack head-on regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. In a few years people will look back on that in wonder am sure then again maybe we will all be getting official broadcast’s and not a lot of wonder.

    It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility. – Rachel Carson

    Now your Wall Street types and the so called leaders lawyer types would read that and never once give a second thought no wonder but in a few more years when the talk to the young will be yes I remember when there were much fish in the ocean and if the truth be known that talk has already started. The have and the have not’s kind of hard to have something when it’s not.

  4. Don Hawkins said on January 3rd, 2011 at 1:32pm #

    What a ‘wonderless’ world it will be again if the truth be known what a wonderless World it is and everyday more wonderless by the second never once wondering what we have lost then again kind of hard to loose something we never gained. The stock market is up about 100 point’s today, wonderless.

  5. Don Hawkins said on January 3rd, 2011 at 1:46pm #

    On second thought wonderlessness is a better word. No such word well there should be as if our so called leaders in all there shapes and sizes can speak in tongues why can’t I make up new words. Where in the constitution does it say we can’t make up a new word or two. Maybe when the House of Representatives began’s anew we will hear a few new words. Don’t hold your breath.

  6. Don Hawkins said on January 3rd, 2011 at 2:15pm #

    House Republicans plan assault on Obamacare…
    Piece by Piece…
    BOEHNER PLANS REPEAL VOTE — IN WEEKS…
    Issa: Obama administration ‘one of most corrupt in modern times’…
    …vows to take on White House over spending…
    New Congress sets its eyes on oversight…
    Republicans may starve financial reform of cash…
    Goolsbee: Failure to Raise Debt Ceiling Would Be ‘Catastrophic’…
    …don’t ‘play chicken’ Drudge report

    Oh well and I do find Catastrophic and don’t ‘play chicken’ somewhat wondrous and not about the debt ceiling. The ceiling is so high now you can see the stars and again maybe the messages we are beaming into space now someday will be seen by other life on what not to do but they would probably already know that. Reason, imagination, focus, knowledge and working together no more on the lines of all of the above.

  7. lichen said on January 3rd, 2011 at 3:54pm #

    Good article. And Don, the house of representatives needs to be dissolved in favor of direct democracy.

  8. Don Hawkins said on January 3rd, 2011 at 4:57pm #

    Direct democracy a big problem we are out of time. It’s kind of a dirty little secret nobody want’s to talk about the end of the human race as we know it and most other life on Earth. Just watched the Premier a women in Queensland Australia and she said the flooding was a one in fifty or hundred year event. I wonder how many people still believe that kind of nonsense. The best minds we have that still care total focus known knowledge maybe direct Democracy will come out of it if we do try so far it’s hard to explain for me what we see and hear but very sure it doesn’t have anything to do with known knowledge and just maybe a soul.

  9. lichen said on January 3rd, 2011 at 7:48pm #

    I’m sure if the direct democracy solution to climate change was followed–i.e. a global people’s referendum on how to proceed (as proposed by Evo Morales of Bolivia,) with one vote for every person (as opposed to the career politicians and their corporate donors deciding) we’d be on a track to containing runaway climate disaster. 2010 is just a very mild preview of the devastation we will face if current ecocidal practices continue.

  10. Deadbeat said on January 3rd, 2011 at 8:17pm #

    It’s rare when I can find a Mickey Z article that I like but this is one I can pretty much agree with.

  11. Don Hawkins said on January 4th, 2011 at 5:23am #

    Sent this to media this morning such as it is…..

    Morning comrades,

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.
    It was their final, most essential command.”

    After the record heat wave this summer, Russia’s weather seems to have acquired a taste for the extreme.
    Forecasters say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years. The change is reportedly connected with the speed of the Gulf Stream, which has shrunk in half in just the last couple of years.
    Polish scientists say that it means the stream will not be able to compensate for the cold from the Arctic winds. According to them, when the stream is completely stopped, a new Ice Age will begin in Europe.
    As for last summer’s heat, the statistical models that meteorologists use to draw up long-term forecasts aren’t able to predict an anomaly like that.” RT new’s

    Not exactly a new ice age as in the summer we will see temperature anomalies on the high side both in the Arctic and the Equator and part’s of Antarctica. Yes clash of the masses air masses and boring this will not be. Think not well…………

    {http://www.uni-koeln.de/math-nat-fak/geomet/meteo/winfos/synNNWWarctis.gif}

    How long great question could depend on just how fast the ice melt’s in summer. The jellyfish don’t mind. Aren’t able to predict an anomaly like that oh heck gave it a try and remember the forest for the trees part. The temperatures into the winter and then this summer here’s a great idea let the Senate and house be in charge of that or we could sub it out to the private sector. Myself at least for now will stay with NASA as two and two for the most part is still four……

    Don

    Then this one; Need more proof?

    {http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png}

    Let’s see how the next few month’s go and so hard to understand. What is with some human’s taking the simple and making it complex? In very simple terms something seems to be winning maybe Huckabee and then we can listen to somebody got the shaft. Daily briefing and the last time I checked the Sun seems to still come up in the East and the Earth is 8,000 years old of course a smart lawyer will say the Earth is 8,000 years old right.

    Don

  12. Don Hawkins said on January 4th, 2011 at 5:43am #

    The indifference of official Poland to climate change is rooted in its leaders’ experience and reinforced by economic interest. A new generation will be needed for a stronger policy to emerge.

    By Krzysztof Bobinski for openDemocracy

    I get it thought control seems to be a lot of that going around and around. It’s a fifty or hundred year event sure it is let’s go sit by the fireplace and have a nice cup of coffee play checkers red or black you can move first.

  13. Don Hawkins said on January 4th, 2011 at 5:50am #

    Climate-change campaigners, and they do exist in Poland, argue that for the country to be involved properly in addressing climate issues it needs to alter the way it looks at itself and the outside world. But that may need a younger generation to come to power, and for these younger people to be free of the complexes and attitudes of their elders. isn

    Attitudes of their elders a few elders not all. To be free of the complexes free at last free at last………………..

  14. Josie Michel-Bruening said on January 4th, 2011 at 7:47am #

    Congratulation, Mickey Z.!!!
    You seem to have stroken the right note within this forum!

  15. Don Hawkins said on January 5th, 2011 at 3:02am #

    It’s January 5, 2011 here in the greatest nation on Earth let the games begin well the show and will it be the greatest show on Earth yes and this show mere illusion. “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” Let’s see Glenn Beck yesterday took his red phone off the hook and is calling for a revolution sort of as he started his show off with look out old boy’s talking of the oil companies they are going to Nationalize you all. Then went into his preacher man act where speaking the truth no not so much kind of right out of the old play book where speaking with forked tongue a must and yes not uncommon not uncommon at all. Then on Hannity the show I mean you can’t make this stuff up a Fox new’s contributor I didn’t get his name was interviewing tea party winners now are so called leaders. It was almost like he was telling them what to think and what did they think not much. Then the best part of the show Hannity started talking about John Boehner and why he was crying the other day. Well he showed the clip where Boehner said the kids when I see them and know they will not be able to have the American dream then cried sort of. These so called leaders seem to use that a lot but what about the kid’s and there kid’s oh and Hannity did bring up that Boehner had to scrub the bar room floors when he was ten. Did he walk to school in the snow barefoot?

    Stanislavski developed a technique he called “the method of physical actions” to solve the dilemma of spontaneity in a created environment (stage or film set). In this technique, the actor would perform a physical motion to create the desired emotional response. For instance, if an actor needed to tear up, he could sigh and hold his head in his hands, a physical action that many who are crying instinctively do. Wiki

    Yes let the show begin as we all go down the drain in not such slow motion.

  16. Don Hawkins said on January 5th, 2011 at 3:37am #

    Just think in a few years we will hear people we have to shoot sulfur into space our atmosphere how fitting on kicking the can down the road. Cover up the problem and the intelligent’s level still stands on a scale between 1 and 10 at about .05 and yes that’s pushing it.

  17. mary said on January 5th, 2011 at 5:04am #

    What is your opinion about the death of the thousands of blackbirds in the US Don? Happening in Sweden now apparently? It is very upsetting to see such beautiful creatures stricken like this.

  18. Don Hawkins said on January 5th, 2011 at 7:22am #

    Stress from watching human’s and now having to live in our environment. Think not watch the opening of the 112 th congress.

  19. Don Hawkins said on January 6th, 2011 at 2:50am #

    Yes sent this one off this morning

    Crackpots living on the streets of New York,

    1:01AM to 3:01AM, Next on the history channel early Thursday, if you miss it tonight or can tevo or DVR it. Not to many are up at that time. It is so informational. Not about 2012 or anything but…more scientific and how people are not open to see it, cognative dillusion? Like your mind can’t accept it. water, fuel, population etc. It’s all those minds giving their assertations. unknown comment

    Today’s world has troubles unique to its time in history, from the global financial crisis to technological meltdowns to full scale, computerized global war. Observing the convergence of such events, contemporary prophets have begun to emerge from obscurity to suggest that these conditions might be signs of the demise of the modern world. These men are historians as well, using all manner of information and patterns from the past to provide context for where we are going. Their predictions interpret the current state of affairs in our world as evidence that the America we know may come to an end. The men proposing these ideas are not crackpots living on the streets of New York; they are intelligent, learned men who come armed with the evidence to back up their claims. History channel

    Crackpots living on the streets of New York no no no more on the lines of the top floor or the 112th congress here in the States is where you will find the crackpot’s. It’s the economy stupid, growth a tad bit more than that. I guess as long as the private sector is in charge of the collapse we should be ok. Now in Australia is the flooding as big as the State of Texas or is that France and Germany? Cognitive delusion just what is that well I watch CNBC a clue. Yes that’s true most of the media seem to have Cognitive delusion it’s just better that way well know your History.

    Don

    “[The skeptic community overwhelmingly embraced what they formerly dismissed as] New Age claptrap … We give up! The nuts were right.”
    Nostradamus

    Water, water, every where,
    Nor any drop to drink.
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1797

    All of the above oh yes the haves and the have not’s. Know your History.

  20. Don Hawkins said on January 6th, 2011 at 5:15am #

    Then this one;

    Before rationalizing our way into delusion,

    Perhaps most importantly, understanding cognitive dissonance theory can help us overcome our own biases and avoid the dangers of rationalization. The motivation to rationalize is quite difficult to escape, even for the authors of the book. We may always be susceptible, but we can protect ourselves by being aware of when we rationalize and stopping the process before it goes too far. It can be difficult and even humiliating to admit error, but a strong commitment to truth can provide the motivation. In the long run, a cultural shift in our attitudes towards mistakes would solve the bulk of the problem. If mistakes were considered normal and admission of error honorable, it would be much easier to admit error from the start, before rationalizing our way into delusion. higher-thought

    American exceptionalism refers to the theory that the United States occupies a special niche among the nations of the world in terms of its national credo, historical evolution, political and religious institutions and unique origins. …

    About 500 years ago hoping not to fall off the edge they found a culture that if the truth be known they should have learned from but that sure didn’t happen and now if we wish to survive need to live in a different way a way we should have been living all along.

    A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

    Heck read that to a policy maker or maybe a hedge fund manager and maybe there head would go into there hands and………………………

    (temperature chart of Arctic here)

    Who’s going to be in the super bowl this year? Before rationalizing our way into delusion, ok let’s keep rolling.

    Don