Tonight when I reached the end of the month’s issue of Adbusters I discovered they had printed the letter I wrote them back in on Oct. 2nd.
If there’s a magazine anywhere with sharper intellectual chops and bigger balls I’d like to see it. Sure, I know it’s just a letter. But just seeing something I wrote show up in a magazine of this caliber is inspiring.
If you’re interested, here’s it is.
I’m always so excited when you show up in my mailbox. Sometimes my heart even beats fast.
Reading you is like listening to a stirring piece of music. As your pages turn I’m inspired to create and work and pursue my dreams. When I’ve turned your last page I often sit down to write. Someday, if I live long enough and the stars align, I’ll be able to exit the corporate rat-race, write full-time, and support my family doing what I love to do. I celebrate you, my paper friend, who comes by mail to visit awhile and offer support.
But I’m stricken also by the crash that comes later, the troughs between the swells of your visits. I watch or read the news and see that the changes that are wrought are often reversed, that transformations in the world at large rarely last, that the losses seem to outweigh the wins. For every corporate defeat there are two corporate success stories. I look down the block at the signs in my neighbors’ yards and I see blue and red, but mainly red. There is no green, no black, no rainbow. I look at myself and see that, despite the strife and struggle in my heart, I live much the same as I always have. I have made few sacrifices.
I live in fearful frustration. I have a child, a partially disabled wife, an elderly mother and an elderly mother-in-law who depend on me to make a good wage and keep our bills paid. When and how am I to protest when, should I be arrested or even captured on T.V., my corporate job would be stripped away? Sometimes I fear that you offer me false hope and I become angry at you. I think at times that you’re a fine one to talk — after all, you’re made out of paper and have nothing to lose. Wouldn’t it be better, I think at these times, to just ignore you and acquiesce? To just watch T.V. and wait for the weekends and party like everybody else who isn’t unemployed. Wouldn’t I be happier?
And then you come in the mail again, and my spirits lift. You do so much for me, I feel guilty for asking, but I have to ask a favor. Could you show me the faces of those like myself who are trapped between the threat of jail and their responsibilities to others? Could you tell the stories of parents and caregivers who long to march and scream, to resist and fight, to yell in the street at the feet of tyrants — the desperate ones who strain to fight but who cannot?