Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:55 AM
marmar (63,412 posts)
Chris Hedges: A Time for ‘Sublime Madness’
A Time for ‘Sublime Madness’
Posted on Jan 20, 2013
By Chris Hedges
The planet we have assaulted will convulse with fury. The senseless greed of limitless capitalist expansion will implode the global economy. The decimation of civil liberties, carried out in the name of fighting terror, will shackle us to an interconnected security and surveillance state that stretches from Moscow to Istanbul to New York. To endure what lies ahead we will have to harness the human imagination. It was the human imagination that permitted African-Americans during slavery and the Jim Crow era to transcend their physical condition. It was the human imagination that sustained Sitting Bull and Black Elk as their land was seized and their cultures were broken. And it was the human imagination that allowed the survivors in the Nazi death camps to retain the power of the sacred.
It is the imagination that makes possible transcendence. Chants, work songs, spirituals, the blues, poetry, dance and art converged under slavery to nourish and sustain this imagination. These were the forces that, as Ralph Ellison wrote, “we had in place of freedom.” The oppressed would be the first—for they know their fate—to admit that on a rational level such a notion is absurd, but they also know that it is only through the imagination that they survive. Jewish inmates in Auschwitz reportedly put God on trial for the Holocaust and then condemned God to death. A rabbi stood after the verdict to lead the evening prayers.
African-Americans and Native Americans, for centuries, had little control over their destinies. Forces of bigotry and violence kept them subjugated by whites. Suffering, for the oppressed, was tangible. Death was a constant companion. And it was only their imagination, as William Faulkner noted at the end of “The Sound and the Fury,” that permitted them—unlike the novel’s white Compson family—to “endure.”
The theologian James H. Cone captures this in his masterpiece “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.” Cone says that for oppressed blacks the cross was a “paradoxical religious symbol because it inverts the world’s value system with the news that hope comes by way of defeat, that suffering and death do not have the last word, that the last shall be first and the first last.” .................(more)
The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_time_for_sublime_madness_20130120/
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." -- Nelson Mandela
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Response to marmar (Original post)
Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:29 PM
Howler (3,884 posts)
LOVE this quote!!!
"Ralph Ellison wrote, “we had in place of freedom.” The oppressed would be the first—for they know their fate—to admit that on a rational level such a notion is absurd, but they also know that it is only through the imagination that they survive. Jewish inmates in Auschwitz reportedly put God on trial for the Holocaust and then condemned God to death. A rabbi stood after the verdict to lead the evening prayers."
Now that is a AMAZING way to empower the victims in the death camp and give them all a voice! OMG!!! I wish transcripts survived of these trials of god. From the Prosecutor's voice convincing the jury of the guilt of god to the defense attorneys defense of god. I wonder if they called witnesses. OMG!!!! Someone needs to write a book of such a trial!! I would most definitely read it! Bet they would even make a movie too. Bet it would also be picketed by the narrow minded who have NEVER suffered the pain and indignities of the prisoners in the WW2 death camps, slavery.
Cheshire Cat: Those who say there's nothing like a nice cup of tea for calming the nerves never had *real* tea. It's like a syringe of adrenaline straight to the heart!"