Wednesday Vignette – baited

“If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

This past weekend, we had a gathering of sorts, here in Portland. Some rightwing organization from our neighboring suburb across the river, had organized a rally here, in downtown. This group has a history of organizing alt-right rallies in order to provoke an antifascist response from more left leaning activist groups. Think about that. They organize in order to provoke a response. And every time, it seems, its opponents take the bait with eagerness and fervor. I realize some are just in it for a good kerfuffle and some drama, but still, however well intended – it makes me question the intelligence of the counter faction. Just imagine… what if they had their rally, and NOBODY with any dissenting views – AT ALL – showed up. They would likely shout their slogans and wave their posters for a couple of hours and then disband and go back from whence they came. Instead of making headlines in newspapers the world over, their shindig might get a mention in the local rag – if that. Instead, time and time again, with the zealous help of their opposing counterparts, they accomplish their mission, and get the massive amount of attention, exposure, and publicity they crave for their warped world view.

Don’t get me wrong – I am NOT a proponent of looking the other way and letting them be. There is a lot of truth to what Edmund Burke said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” These people NEED to be acknowledged, resisted, and counteracted. I’m just questioning the validity in meeting them at their level. Invariably, it turns into a shouting match, or worse. What if instead, anyone and everyone who disagrees with their agenda, would put words into action, and volunteer a few hours in an organization of their choice? There are plenty of worthy organizations that aim to help one or more of the fascists’ target groups. Imagine showing up at their doors during the day of the rally, and offer time, skills, and/or resources, while being very vocal and explicit about the specific reason they choose to give – to karmically counteract the intentions of a protest they disagree with? Don’t know about you, but I think that would be so much more effective than the usual turn of events. If we all put our might where it would do good, and this unsolicited, collective outpouring of good would seep into places where it’s needed the most. Meanwhile, in the forest, a tree falls… and nobody is there to hear it. Wouldn’t that be glorious?

Bees on Innula


About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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12 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – baited

  1. bergstromskan says:

    Wonderful Anna, I shared it on my FB

  2. Tina says:

    Love you flowers-n-bees shot, as well as your logic!

  3. Peter Herpst says:

    This makes so much sense. Does either group think that, by showing up and shouting, they’ll change hearts and minds? I like your idea very much. “Suppose they gave a war [rally] and nobody came?”
    My WV is here:

    • annamadeit says:

      It just astounds me! It should be a no-brainer, especially when the organizing groups explicitly say that they are going to continue organizing rallies until they are allowed to state their views without being pummeled by “liberals”. Leave them alone for one rally, and you never have to deal with them again. Makes perfect sense to me too. There are better ways to show dissent.

  4. Unfortunately I suspect there are people on both the right and left who enjoy the confrontation and the spotlight. Yikes, that sounds like I’m trending towards #45’s despicable statement about both sides being to blame for the events in Charlottesville. I am not!

    Anyway, here’s my WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      I agree. That’s what I meant by saying that some do it for the drama and the kerfuffle. So in that sense – for as much as it pains me to say so – Twittler might have had a point, even if the way it was presented made him look like he refused to take a stand against the initial provocateurs.

  5. Kris P says:

    I like the way you think! I voiced a similar position to friends about #45’s election campaign rallies. He bashes the “lame-stream” press and buffoons in the audience join in the abuse. What if the press (with the exception of Fox News of course) started boycotting these events, or setting up a camera feed with no real journalists present? The mainstream press could still fulfill their obligation to report with simple announcements stating “The President held another of his rallies in XXX. He repeated his usual statements about immigrants, Clinton, witch hunts, and the mainstream press.” I wonder how long it’d be before the numbers attending these events dwindled? And might #45 have a serious attack of apoplexy over the failure of his bully tactics to deliver the constant attention he so desperately wants?

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh Kris, wouldn’t that be great?!? I would love to see that… I was almost giddy last night watching the events in Ohio, even though the results still aren’t conclusive. This is a HUGELY impactful development in a very red area. Hang in there, sister – November is only a few months away! Fingers crossed across the board…

  6. tonytomeo says:

    In modern times, after the historical and painfully slow processes of learning that burning witches and lynching negroes is probably not a good idea, hate groups are now targeting homeless people. In our community, we established a very minor counter group that has never needed to resort to the vicious bickering that they hate groups use. The funny thing is that the local hate groups, which claims to represent ‘everyone’ in the community, has less than half the followers that our group has, even though we represent less than one percent of the population.

  7. hb says:

    A day of service to respond to provocateurs is a wise and wonderful idea.

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