Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thomas Paine's Nightmare

A close up of a disaster in progress
"These are the times that try men's souls. That the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, sink from the service of their country...." Words said by Thomas Paine. One of the greatest orators of his time, Thomas Paine was quite revolutionary for a revolutionary. During an era where people relied on religion out of fear, he questioned God. In a time when women were regarded as simple breeding machines, he addressed them in his speeches. When the forefathers wanted freedom despite owning slaves, he chastised them. Then he continued his mission to the French Revolution where he served in their government despite knowing no French. Sure, he was declared an enemy of the Republic later. But yes, he was an activist. As a matter of fact rumor has it that the Constitution was ghost written by Tommy Paine.

So on the Fourth of July my friend Kelly and I decided to protest. It was a last minute thing really. Our friend Vips was just as surprised as we were. In our fury, we wanted to stop illegal search and seizure. We wanted to yell and scream about how the Fourth Amendment was being broken and abused. Our friend Vips however, was protesting the protest. He said this was a surprise to him and he was hungry. So he wanted to eat. Kelly was more fired up than I was. And then Vips argued that he was really hungry. So I proposed we would protest and then eat. We agreed it was a good idea.
Tommy Paine's soul has been tried and he is slitting his wrists in the afterlife

We took a train to Union Square. When we got there the protest had already left. The march went down to Wall Street. How had we missed everyone? Kelly was misinformed and said it had started two hours earlier. So we went to search for the march. We walked along and saw no one. Desperate to get her point across, Kelly held her sign. We went to find a bus and found none. Kelly then went on a rant about Bloomberg cutting the buses. Vips, tired and hungry, decided he was taking matters into his own hands. That is when he hailed a cab and off to Foley Square we went.

Our cab driver decided to take the long way. Partly out of stupidity and partly out of construction. Vips questioned his driving and Kelly began to yell at the cab driver. I told her to save her energy for the protest.

When we got to Foley Square the protest had ended. However some people had left their signs. Kelly suggested we continued protesting. At this point I was so over it. Vips was way over it. Kelly said there were two of us into it, and I was like, "Yeah, one and a half." That is when Kelly decided to smoke a cigarette and had me hold her sign for five minutes. I was like, WTF! It's your sign. Don't have me do your protest. And then she took her sign back. I picked up a leftover sign and we stood there for a few minutes. Instead of being angry, the cops laughed. Then Vips, thinking this was so funny, took our photos.

We then decided to screw the protest and party.

In 1774, the minutemen who had no experience and lots of heart took on the British army. Yes, they were massacred and had no idea what they were doing but knew they were mad as hell. Kelly's sign asked, "Are you a true liberal. Do you like liberty or tyranny? And all these years later, America still doesn't know what it is doing. If Thomas Paine could have seen us he would have rolled around in his grave. However, his grave was moved and his bones were lost so that adds more insult to injury. I think when he wrote Common Sense Thomas Paine saw a utopia. Instead, what he got were two crazy women who were yelling and screaming and ended up missing the protest.

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot, will in crisis, sink from the service of their country...."

All dressed up and no protest to go to

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center

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