What can they do
to you? Whatever they want.
They can set you up, they can
bust you, they can break
your fingers, they can
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can’t walk, can’t remember, they can
take your child, wall up
your lover. They can do anything
you can’t blame them
from doing. How can you stop
them? Alone, you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.
But two people fighting
back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file
can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.
Two people can keep each other
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organisation. With six
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds, and hold a fund raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.
It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.
Copyright 2006, Middlemarsh, Inc.
Fat children walk alongside their fat parents on aging sidewalks and God is good. They carry bags, bags of plush bath rugs and limited edition this or that. I have never noticed my feet feeling particularly cold on the bathroom tile, but I have a bath rug. Bags of snacks or knick knacks to place on shelves or tables. Things to hang on the wall. Things to make the day brighter and time go by slower. Things to freeze time; things to hog tie time while it fights and fights. Frames featuring things, illuminated by directional light bulbs. Electricity and air conditioners and fuel efficient hybrid cars, but combustion engines are strong. Jesus loves me, people say. He makes sure our unleaded fuel, made up of 10% ethanol, explodes correctly. I hear it will be 15% ethanol soon. Someone doesn’t like that. Political groups and agendas and money and dirty looks down corridors of people wearing suits. God is good and there are men in suits and in ties and they curl their sharp tongues into strange shapes to sell me things.
I’m having one of those days where I’m in a good mood, I feel balanced, and I’m having only reasonable thoughts; I don’t feel like using, and I feel in control of school and things I need to get done. Everyone needs days like these.
Claim: Grandpa was here.
Support: The mail that I was saving for him is gone.
Warrant: Only Grandpa could have taken the mail.
Claim: All grandpas take naps in the afternoon.
Support: Both my grandpas, and my friend’s two grandpas nap in the afternoon.
Warrant: One may generalize the behavior of all grandpas from that of four.
Claim: Americans are obese because they are eating too much cheese.
Support: Americans are eating more cheese.
Warrant: Since cheese is high in calories, an increase in its consumption explains the cause of increasing obesity in the U.S.
Warrant (often unstated): Only people who believe in God are moral.
Claim: John is immoral.
Support: John does not believe in God.
A. Historical – present event same as past event
Claim: Obama will be president in 2012.
Support: Reagan was elected to a second term after his party experienced major losses in the midterm elections of his first term.
Warrant: Obama and Reagan are similar.
Claim: Alicia should take aspirin for her headache.
Support: When her sister did, her headache went away.
Warrant: Alicia and her sister are so similar that the same medication will work the same way for both of them.
Claim: Taking a train ride relaxes the body.
Support: Being rocked is relaxing.
Warrant: The rocking on a train is similar to being rocked as a baby.
Claim: Male chauvinists are dangerous.
Support: Male chauvinists use violent methods. (by definition)
Warrant: Violent methods are dangerous. (by definition)
Claim: Most people from Boston like to read.
Support: When asked, 8 out of 10 Bostonians said that they would prefer to read rather than work.
Warrant: People who prefer to read rather than work like to read.
(The Seven Logical Proofs (based on a section so-named in Dr. Nancy Wood’s book Perspectives on Argument. Via Dr. Barbara Chiarello, HONR-LA 1302 Politics of Beauty)