Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Feeling a surge of rebellion

How do people turn themselves into shots heard round the world?

Yes, Gavrilo Princip literally shot a gun and assassinated the archduke Franz Ferdinand to start World War I. That obviously is the historical example of the shot heard round the world.

First off I suppose you must decide what it is you wish to accomplish? Do you want to fight for the poor, or perhaps a race of people, or victims of a genocide?

What about the Clash? Simonon crushing his bass guitar against a stage in New York on the cover of London Calling has been ingrained into the minds of millions. Something about that image captures a generation of pissed off youths. Joe Strummer had one goal in mind, education. He knew that music reaches an incredibly wide audience of willing listeners. Whether its "Rock the Casbah" in response to the banning of rock music in Iran or "Know you Rights" where the guitar rips a heavy hitting chord accompanying Strummer screaming "This is a public service announcement... with guitars."

According to him, the three rights are as follows
  • The right not to be killed (unless done by a policeman or an aristocrat).
  • The right to food money (provided you are willing to submit to harassment and humiliation).
  • The right to free speech (as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it).
That to me is a shot heard round the world.

What about Maya Angelo and Tupac Shakur? People think they are in two very different classes, but are they? Maya Angelo wrote the poem "Still I Rise" about the unfair nature of stereotyping not only as an African American, but was a woman. She doesn't care what people say or think about her. She just smiles and continues on, cause she knows she isn't just a woman, or an African American, she's an educated African American woman, and I can't think of a more powerful combo. Her ability to let the stupid stuff roll off her shoulders is a trait most people lack I feel. I've included an exert below.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Then you have Tupac Shakur, thug, gangster rapper, and all around criminal. But he was an educated gangster. In "Changes" he pleads that we try to change this hate.

I see no changes all I see is racist faces
Misplaces hate makes disgrace to races
We under I wonder what it takes to make this
One better place, let's erase the waster
Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right
Because both black and white is smokin' crack tonight
And only time we chill is when we kill each other
It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other

Both these people have similar messages. Both of them are fighting for change. They're shooting and hoping that people hear this shot in China, England, Canada, Zimbabwe, and America.

Before I fill more and more pages with examples, I'd like to just make my point. Change comes from people willing to fight, willing to educate, to the point of death. It's hard to fire a shot heard round the world without someone or some ideal dying. This is part of the reason I want to be a teach so much. Actually this is the entire reason I want to be a teacher.

Instead of being the shot, I'd rather turn myself into the gun shooting those shots that echo into the hearts of the world.