January 21, 2017
We filmed today. A college friend (thanks, Nick!) generously offered his horse, Zorrie, for a quick shot in Tight Pants – the final piece left in that puzzle. After the shoot, I took a quick ride around on the horse. I think it was technically my first experience on one. It was thrilling and scary and fun. We had lunch afterwards at a diner – my crew ate what looked like incredibly tasty breakfast foods: pancakes, toast, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, home fries, french toast, and milkshakes. I treated myself to a pre-bottled Soylent Nectar. It tastes like Froot Loops. Yum? Yum. Sure.
Moved by events in my country, and disgusted by the threats of violence that our new presidency poses, I’ve begun digging into works related to non-violent resistance. I’ve ordered Gandhi’s Satyagraha and I’ve begun reading correspondence between Leo Tolstoy and Gandhi.
“The punishment of evil doers consists in making them feel ashamed of themselves by doing them a great kindness.” – “A Letter to a Hindu”, Leo Tolstoy
Which sounds lovely, and possibly effective in certain situations, but how do you apply such an idea in the real world? As someone who has rarely been the subject of violence (a cis-gender, relatively masculine, white male, though queer), is proposing non-violence as a solution disrespectful to all those who suffer or have suffered under violence? And what does that even mean, non-violence as a solution? What does that mean?
And as for early 20th century India, the success of the philosophy of non-violence was not merely due to its (possibly) inherent and forceful truth but also due to the extreme popularity of its greatest advocate, Mohandas K. Gandhi. Perhaps, like India in the early 20th century, America (or the entire world?) needs a central figure that is lovable, respectable, intelligent, and galvanizing all at once. But Gandhi never had to deal with the level of transparency that is so unique to 21st century life. I’m not sure if anyone will ever be both nationally or globally lovable and political again (but maybe).
Reading in Beige,
P.S. Metrics, She Wrote