would YOU kill an
                          innocent person?

Think Peace
yesterday | today tomorrow

September 17, 02001

think peace

we need a new symbol

No pro sports. Stock market closed. No airlines disturbed the sky. Did anybody miss these things?

People, all of a sudden, had time to think. Scary. They came out of their homes, their cozy consumer hidey holes, to light candles and be in each other's presence. Wordless. Nothing to do but feel and reflect, free of PINs, passwords, and fear of debt.

This was the revolution.

The Plutocracy scrambled, seeking the best way to ensure its wealth. Missile defense? Troop mobilization? Increase surveillance powers of police? The problem is not security leaks, but greed. The mayor of New York City encourages people to get over their grief: "If you would like to go out and spend money, I encourage that. It's always a good thing." Vice President Cheney seconds the opinion and Greenspan lowers interest rates again, a desperate bid to maintain the illusion. The brokers cross their fingers--"We're not on the brink!"

They're hosing the dust off the neoclassical columns of the Stock Exchange. It must look good for re-opening today. The dust is an unwelcome reminder that empires crumble. Clean up the facade—hey, presto!, business as usual. In the newspaper I am reading, someone's written WHITEWASH over the picture, THE REAL CRIME IS CAPITAL.

The New York Times and CBS poll 959 people, then print the conclusion for all of America: "A majority support military action even if thousands of innocent civilians abroad could be killed." Have we learned our lesson? As few as 480 people--the minimum to be most of 959--becomes the "majority," and so mass media does its part to sow the seeds of war sentiment. So subtle they make you think you thought it yourself, united in deadly opinion. Color photos of the flag on all the front pages.

In a bar last Friday, I saw a flier calling on us to unite as fellow Americans. I crossed out that last word and pencilled in "Humans." That read a lot better. There's more future in it.