Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Jul 01st
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

 

I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’