There was a peace march in downtown Missoula Sunday afternoon. I could see it through the front windows from where I was working. I felt lame for not being a part of it, that for all my bluster about “doing my part” I was just on the sidelines. Same thing today — there is a rally for public lands in Helena two hours away that I’ll miss. I won’t be there and it is the thing I am most concerned about in how it affects my actual day-to-day life and I feel like shit about it. I suppose my “I have to work” excuse is valid, but I still feel like a sellout because, once again, I’m more concerned about a steady paycheck than pursuing something important. But I digress.
During the parade of people passing by the windows I saw several signs that were of an American flag, and in the spaces where the stars and stripes would be, words like “Peace” and “Freedom” and “No Hate” were spelled out. It made me think back to some musclehead I saw in a shop earlier wearing jeans with back pockets covered in bling, sunglasses perched on the back of his head, and a tight t-shirt also sporting a design of an American flag, only his stars and stripes were in the shape of bullets. Contrasting the two scenes made me realize, for the nth time, the gulf between people that I really don’t see any hope of overcoming. There is no idea of America in my mind that begins with bullets. And the people who do see that way don’t understand the values of those of us who put a higher value on life beyond the made-up idea of borders and religion and all that bullshit.
Yet today I am grateful there are people out fighting the good fight in spite of the worthlessness of the rest of us. I’m particularly grateful for the workers in the government agencies who have “gone rogue” to post their truths in the face of this abomination of an administration we find ourselves chained to. I’m happy they are out there in spite of the despair they must feel. I’m happy not everyone has bought into the idea of “do what the boss tells you to and keep your mouth shut.” There was never a man who deserved more sticking it to than this fucking one.