Via Fire and Force: Pushing Envelopes

fire fighters

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — Act I, Scene v, Hamlet

I remember very clearly how when Sylvie and I were organizing a major event designed to bring together community members and folks from all over the world in 2004 to address our collective crises at the time, one potential participant screamed at me, “If you’re inviting police to your event, I’m not showing up.”

Well, a lot positive has come from such an attitude over the years, yes? No.

I’m going to organize a Fire and Force Party in California. The name has a ring to it, yes? It would be intended to blend members of fire departments and police departments throughout the state — and their loved ones, and general supporters — into a powerful political entity.

I know that law enforcement officers and firefighters — within each of their private realms — differ on many issues. But that’s not germane for my purposes, not relevant respecting the Collective Good, which both entities exist to honor. In fact, that’s one of the major mistakes that all third parties nationwide make these days, putting together platforms for people to advocate.

Dividing citizens on this or that matter should not be the primary focus of any third party. The main focus must be to call a shovel a shovel, the one that’s being used to bury us with collectively. And part of that clarity must include acknowledging that our two main political parties are taking us over the precipice, preventing our children from inheriting a world worth living in.

I’m not interested here in delineating all the variables which are contributing to our collective downfall, demise. Rather, I want to surprise readers with a fresh idea, stirring up the creative juices of one and all, including those members of my local fire department and police department who I intend to share this article with this morning. Or tomorrow… if I’m fortunate enough to have it posted by then.

For when this piece is published, it can serve as a point of departure for leisurely discussion respecting our collective crises. And THAT is worth the world to me, having had such enormous difficulty over the last fourteen years attempting to simply get people off of their treadmills long enough to enter into an in-depth exchange… ranging from all the issues which are dear to my heart to every single issue which torments or troubles those I engage with.

That’s about as ambitious anyone can be now, getting folks to slow down and invest in authentic interaction which is being replaced these days by meaningless exchanges from a distance by people on the run.

No one knows what might come from the bonding I seek, the respectful discussion I aim for with others, whether or not we’re on the same page regarding this and that. This and that, in fact, can be considered a serious distraction these days from what’s necessary to be done.

That is, looking into the eyes of another as if we are all One.

Sometimes, perhaps, to achieve that admirable goal, it is necessary to embrace the fire of personal passion and force others — nonviolently, of course, respectfully — to get off of their treadmills. Push others’ envelopes.

Marcel Duchamp Oxman can be reached at [email protected]. He — with colleagues — has a “game plan” for movement in solidarity in California, one which he hopes will send positive ripples nationwide, eventually impacting on others worldwide. He’s worked on it for many years, but he’s not attached to it. Rather, he is attached to securing the kind of leisurely interaction touched upon above. For a discussion of viable options. Fresh options. Everything, he believes, must begin on such a note… with respect for ALL others, and faith in something much grander and glorious than all the purely secular efforts being made worldwide right now. He plans to bond with firefighters and police officers, for starters, by volunteering to help with mundane matters they must address daily. 


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