Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Contest Winner: Ladders and Walls

Bellingham, Washington

The Winner of our First Annual Public Punditry Contest
built a wall with the names, ages, hometowns and dates of death of US soldiers killed so far in Iraq. He sets it up using springclamps and easels at various civic gatherings and functions around Bellingham. Hell of a lot of work, and only going to get harder.

Thousands of us have had this idea of course, but this guy went ahead and did it. Crucial difference, that.

He also does a fair bit of freewayblogging, primarily using stencils and freehand.

His modus operandi is the tried and true "ladder-at-night" technique, putting his blogs fourteen feet off the ground which generally assures their longevity.

In his words:

Have you ever had a dream where you couldn't move fast enough, or couldn’t wake-up? Reasons for what I do are similar. I'm awake and it seems most of America is sleeping. I've been trying to wake as many as I can while the media keeps whispering the same lullabye that everything is fine.

It's not fine for the 3500 moms left with nothing but a flag and the memories of their sons and daughters.

It's not fine for the tens of thousands that have completed their contract of service to the US government only to find their government breaking laws they thought they were fighting to uphold, and through Stop Loss, keeping them fighting in a war based entirely on lies.

It's not fine for our children and grandchildren who’ll be required to repay the 9 trillion dollar debt the criminals in the White House have shared with their wealthy friends. (Increasing by $1.32 billion per day with each citizen’s share at nearly $30,000)

It certainly is not fine for the detainees locked up without any due process.

The list of tragic choices this administration has directed us towards is utterly unbelievable! The direction of environmental leadership, education, energy, and the war is completely catastrophic.... but the most alarming direction is that of the American Citizen! Blinded to what is happening or just plain blinded by self interest in their own greed; as long as the “Stock Market” is up (my 401K is strong and growing), my healthcare is ok, my son/daughter is not in Iraq, my meals are plentiful and affordable, gasoline is cheap enough I can still drive to work, and I can watch American Idol… then I don’t give a crap what happens.

I was quoted a while back on the front page of our local paper, “I am screaming but no one is listening.” During the Viet Nam war there was a family that stood in front of our local Federal Building every Friday protesting the war. With the conclusion of that war they continued to come to the same corner week after week. I might see them one or two times a year but I knew they were there. I counted on them to be my voice against war and other wrongs I knew my government was involved in. I was too busy with my business/family to go stand with them.

Four years ago, as I was going insane with the business of this government, I could stand it no longer. I then remembered that lone voice on a corner and decided, with much fear, to join them. That first Friday there were 40 others already there to welcome me: I’d found my community!

I want my neighbors to know they are not alone. We are a community of voices growing in numbers every day. My scream will be heard! I have a voice.

One of my businesses is buttonmaking. Two of my favorites are quotes:

“Speak your mind even if your voice shakes” -Maggie Kuhn

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” - MLK


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Bellingham. You deserve the accolades.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an incredible effort!

"I'm awake and it seems most of America is sleeping."

I certainly know that feeling...
but I do think that progress is being made, and that we will be out of Iraq quicker than Vietnam (not that that is saying much).

WeezieLou said...

my hat is off to you, FB . and those quotes were wonderful. we do something of a smaller scale at work. quite a few of us leave 'impeach now' flyers in the men's and women's rest rooms. it's small, but it's something

Freewayblogger said...

Thanks Weezielou - but this post was all the work of one man in Bellingham.

I'm afraid I have to take issue with the "it's small but it's something" line of reasoning, on account of the whole point of this endeavour is to get people to stop thinking that way. Flyers in restrooms seems a bit timid, don't you think? Particularly when we're up against a media that pushes the views of the corporate elite to 280 million households a day.

I'm afraid that the left has found itself content to recycle bottles and cans, attend meetings and maybe a protest every once in awhile... and while we're doing that, they're getting ready to nuke Iran.

Anonymous said...

the WORKS done by U all 4 a more PEACE-FULL Earth makes my HEART SOAR with EAGLEs

And want to hold hands, put up more signs, dance with EARTH CITIZENs around OUR planet and SOUND OFF...


And create an Earth Ball Home
2 Live in
A Earth Ball Greenhouse to Eat Out Of... see http://www.EarthBall.org

Later - Peace & Love,
Roger D. EC

peter said...

dear ladders and walls,

well done and well said. we hear you!


peace, peter

PTCruiser said...

Congratulations to Bellingham. Well said.

Anonymous said...

"It's not fine for the 3500 moms left with nothing but a flag and the memories of their sons and daughters."
Fathers grieve for their lost sons as well.
Remember that on Fathers Day and every day.
Don, the 14%er

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Freewayblogger for recognizing the efforts of the amazing individual responsible for this project. I was able to witness this first hand Memorial Day at the Peace Arch park at the US/Canadian border, and then the next day on Western Washington University's campus (as seen in the pictures above). I can tell you that I am not the only one who wept upon witnessing this wall. And how important to show this on a college campus where some students may forget that kids their age are falling every day in this war.

What I want to say, though, is that Bellingham residents are known for speaking out against the war. I would be hard-pressed to find anyone who does not want it all to end. ANYONE, in a town of 70K. We are known for our weekly Friday afternoon protests downtown. We are known for individuals, such as Evan Knappenberger speaking out publicly (www.towerguard.org) about unjust policies like Stop-Loss.

What I want to say is that it's all relative. Don't feel discouraged to "only" leave flyers in public restrooms calling for impeachment. Don't feel like you're not doing enough if you only put one sign up on your local roads. Do it. It all matters. In Bellingham to speak out against the war is preaching to the choir. It is important and I am proud to stand alongside everyone who speaks out. But I've spent time, during this administration, during this war, living in other places enough to know it's much easier to speak your mind in a place where most people feel the same.

Do what you can, then do a little more. Just do something.

-just another dissident in Bellingham

Otto Katz said...

Ok, Scarlet,
I'm back.
This makes me paint again.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

A sign recommended by me would be:

Patty (Our National Hero)
Kill your sister and nephew so the war can end!
We forgive your rapist-murderer activities!
You made rapists and murderers rich!
Please allow our children to live, like yours!