Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Dec 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

No Means No

Lisa_JensenWomen who take self-defense classes are always coached to fight back. Whether it’s a potential date rape situation with someone you know, or an unexpected assault from a stranger, any time an aggressive male presumes to put himself in a position of power, your best defense is to refuse to lie down and take it. Your life may depend on it.

It’s a prosecutable assault case as long as it can be established that you were dragged into the encounter against your will. So the first order of business in self-defense is a strong, clear “No.” If that “no” is not respected, the aggressor can expect a fight.

Back in the Reagan administration, the “N” word was invoked as a weapon with which a younger generation of warriors was supposed to fight back in the so-called war on drugs. If anyone tried to bully them into a toke, a tab, a hit, or any other unwanted agenda, kids were advised to “just say no.”

Sure, it’s only a word, but it may be one of the most powerful in the language, any language. Its power is as eternal as the parent-child relationship; chances are the first word any crawling infant actually understands is “no.” Ditto dogs, whether in obedience class or in the act if being chased off the furniture. (Even cats understand the word “no,” they just assume it doesn’t apply to them.) The first thing any pet, any child, any date, or any peer must understand if a relationship is to succeed is this: No means no.

Here in the age of irony, we like to sauce up our simple declarative remarks with a little extra oomph. Nowadays, a parent or colleague or partner attempting to put an emphatic kibosh on some particularly crazy scheme may resort to sarcasm. “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” we deadpan.

For three years now, America has been held hostage to an aggressive male agenda. She was coy about it at first, wasn’t sure if she ought to speak up. His argument seemed so compelling, and she wanted to be a good sport. Besides, these are scary times. Maybe it didn’t seem like such a bad idea to let the big, powerful cowboy have his way with her. If she gave in to him, at least he’d be around to keep her safe from even scarier aggressors with foreign accents and impenetrable motivations. Like many a deceived lover before her, she chose to believe his snaky lies and agreed to stay his course; better the devil you know, as the rationale goes.

But familiarity breeds contempt, and we’ve gotten to know this devil all too well. Last November, America finally woke up from her, long slumbering acquiescence and decided, however belatedly, to stand up for herself. While he was off somewhere beating his war drum, she snuck out the back way to the ballot box and sent a strong, clear message: No. No more lies. No more fruitless aggression. No more dying for no good reason. A newly reorganized House and Senate has put the lonesome cowboy on notice: America won’t lie down and take it any more. She wants out of Iraq.

And how does the great Decider respond? By proposing to feed 21,500 more troops into the gaping maw of Iraq, an additional 21,500 potential lives to throw away for the sake of his sagging, flaccid pride. In yet another unnerving echo of the Vietnam era, Bush, like Nixon before him, doesn’t want to be the one to lose a war. After three years of unalloyed chaos in Iraq, he wants another chance to make his policies work.

Oh, c’mon, Baby, just give me one more chance. What woman hasn’t heard that one before? And even if you take the louse back, how often does the situation ever really improve?

Here’s a news flash, for those of you who came in late: there’s no such thing as winning a war. One government or ideology may be temporarily victorious over another (at least until the next war). But for those who actually fight the damn thing, it’s a no-win situation. It’s devastating for the losers, who mostly end up dead, and thus unable to appreciate the glorious benefits of democratic freedom. And it’s devastating for the winners, many of whom also die, or are otherwise physically, mentally and/or emotionally maimed for life. As  Jean Paul Sartre once wrote, once you hear the details of victory, it’s hard to distinguish it from a defeat.

And yet, we’re warned of dire consequences should the U.S. “fail” in Iraq—like bloody civil war, or the possibility that Iraq will become Command Central for international terrorist activity. Oh, wait, that’s going on in Iraq right now, thanks in no small part to the presence of U.S. troops. Does that mean we’ve already failed? Mr. Bring-it-on can wave around his pop-gun all he likes, but the real fighting men and women deserve to come home now. America wants to get on with her life.

Three years, more than 3,000 American (and countless hundreds of thousands of Iraqi) lives, and unconscionable billions of dollars are more than enough. Why give him a chance to do even more damage? What part of “no” doesn’t he understand?

Send a strong, clear message to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire