Prayer for Us
I Have a Dreamexcerpted from PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia
If you've ever been to a poetry slam, you know that sensitive lyrics in praise of love and beauty are rare. Far more common are vehement diatribes that curse injustice and hypocrisy.
I'm not putting that stuff down; I've been known to unload some dark rants myself. But at this perfect moment, the Beauty and Truth Laboratory is more interested in pragmatic idealism. We're thirsty for streams of visionary consciousness, fountains of lustrous truth, and floods of feisty hope.
Therefore, we propose that instead of a poetry slam, you participate in our "I Have a Dream" Slam. To get in the mood, read or listen to the speech that Martin Luther King Jr. made at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963. The text, as well as an MP3 of King giving the speech, is available on the Web.
Maybe King's plea will inspire you to create your own personal "I Have a Dream" manifesto. To be part of the "I Have a Dream" Slam, send your offering to email@example.com or P.O. Box 150628, San Rafael, CA 94915.
Now here's my "I Have a Dream" speech.
I have a dream.
I have a dream that in the New World, there will be a new Bill of Rights. The first amendment will be, "Your daily wage is directly tied to the beauty and truth and love you provide."
I have a dream that in the New World, childbirth will be broadcast in prime time on a major TV network every night.
I have a dream that the New World will have exhilarationists, and they'll vastly outnumber the terrorists. The exhilarationists will be performance artists with a conscience ... charismatic improvisers who love to spring fun surprises. They'll commit unexpected interventions and unscheduled spectacles that delight hordes of strangers.
I have a dream that in the New World, we will add an eleventh commandment to the standard ten: Thou shalt not bore God.
I have a dream of a week-long annual holiday called the Bacchanalia. Work and business will be suspended so that all adults can explore their ripe mojo with frothy erotic experiments. Tenderly orgiastic marathons will rage unabated. Reverential ecstasy and grateful generosity will rule.
I have a dream that when anchormen report tragedies on their nightly TV shows, they'll break down and cry and let their emotions show. No more poker faces.
In the New World, you'll be a fascinating enigma worthy of a best-selling unauthorized biography and I'll be an inscrutable genius whose every move is packed with symbolic meaning -- and vice versa. That will be the law in the New World -- far different from the Old World, where schadenfreude is epidemic and your distinctive flair is supposed to make me feel worshipful or diminished.
I have a dream that in the New World, the word "asshole" will be a term of endearment rather than abuse. Plutocracy will be a felony. April Fool's Day will come once a month. There'll be scientific horoscopes and mystical logic. Every one of us will have at least one imaginary friend. Compassion will be an aphrodisiac.
In the New World, we'll launch an affirmative action program that ultimately makes most of us celebrities. Buddhist real estate developers will build a chain of sacred shopping centers in the heartland. The CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies will be required by law to enjoy once-a-week sessions with Jungian psychotherapists. Pioneers in artificial intelligence research will develop computers that can talk to God.
In the New World, same-sex marriages will be fully sanctioned, of course. But why stop there? We'll also legalize wedding bonds among threesomes, foursomes, fivesomes, and large groups of people who are in love with each other. I have a dream that we will expand the meaning of love beyond anything our ancestors imagined.
In the New World, our children will study singing and dancing and meditation and dream work with as much diligence as they now devote to math and science. They'll learn to see with their own eyes and think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts, studying those subjects as intently as they do spelling and grammar and social studies. Beginning in seventh grade, they'll get lessons in the art of creating successful intimate relationships. And we'll teach them why it's only fair that for the next 3,000 years we use "her" for the generic singular pronoun instead of "him."
I have a dream that we will take everything we need and give everything we have. We'll be both selfish altruists and generous braggarts, Llibertarian socialists and capitalist humanitarians. That'll be the law in the New World -- different from the Old World, where you can blindly serve your own interests or devote yourself to the needs of others, but not both.
I have a dream that in the New World, Oprah Winfrey will buy up all the Pizza Huts on the planet and convert them into a global network of menstrual huts, where for a few days each month, every one of us, men and women alike, can resign from the crazy-making 9–5 -- drop out and slow down, break trance and dive down into eternal time.
We will sleep eight and a half hours every night and practice our lucid dreams ... sing love songs from the future while soaking in long, hot baths ... feast on chocolate as we converse with the little voices in our heads ... research the difference between stupid suffering and wise suffering until we finally get it right . . . wear magic underwear made from eagle feathers, spider webs, and 100-year-old moss . . . and conjure up bigger, better, more original sins and wilder, wetter, more interesting problems.
In the New World, you'll kick your own ass and I'll wash my own brain. I'll be my own parents and you'll be your own wife. And vice versa. That'll be normal in the New World -- different from the Old World, where everyone except me is to blame for my ignorance and you call on everyone except yourself to give you what you need.
I'll push my own buttons and right my own wrongs. You'll wake yourself up and sing your own songs.
I'm the president now . . . and so are you. I am the Supreme Commander of the United Snakes of the Blooming HaHa . . . and so are you. And what we proclaim is that in the New World, we will love our neighbors as ourselves, even if our neighbors are jerks. We will never divide the world into us against them. We will search for the divine spark even in the people we most despise, and we will never dehumanize anyone, even those who dehumanize us.
I have a dream that sooner or later every one of us will become a well-rounded, highly skilled, incredibly rich master of rowdy bliss -- with lots of leisure time and an orgiastic feminist conscience.
To buy PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia, the book from which the above piece is excerpted, go to Amazon or Powells.
© 1995-2013 -- Rob Brezsny. All rights reserved