Protesting in Paradise

Friday, July 25, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

They are out with their signs today.  Big poster-board signs protesting one or both sides of this seemingly intractable conflict in the Middle East.  Some of the signs are new, using recent language like "war crimes" ripped from the headlines and onto the corner of Amity and Main St.  Others are used to the point of yellowing, a testament both to the length of Middle East conflict and this person's unwavering protest over how it's been handled.  And no, I'm not even going to dip a toe into the vast ocean of real problems going on over there.  This is about the individuals holding the signs, those people walking around with their heads held so high that to the rest of us they just appear to be a gathering of up-raised chins.  And that's kinda what they are.

They weren't out on that corner protesting yesterday.   Not on that intersection or any other around town.  And you would think that with the recent escalation in the use of force abroad, there would have been even more angry voices yesterday, publicly denouncing Israeli or Hamas's violent actions.  Probably both.
But it was super hot yesterday.  So humid and sticky that after I took the dogs for a walk and I had to change my underpants (no, I didn't poop in them).  Truly unpleasant.  Though one might understandably argue that the current high heat index seems rather benign when you consider the conditions of the citizens you are purporting to give a voice to.  I mean, I would expect people who believe deeply in this cause to be out there hitting the pavement with all the cardboard and Sharpie markers they can find.
Protestin ain't easy...

In Amherst, however, protesting is a "weather dependent" activity.  Activism requires mild temperatures and a cool breeze.  Nothing says, "It's time to remind the world about humanitarian atrocities" like a clear sky on an unusually cool summer afternoon.

You see, rain washes the moral imperative away.  Something about the prospect of getting a sunburn and mosquito bites makes the picture of what those poor innocents living in active fear of getting bombed just a little less inhumane by comparison.  I mean, at least they get to stay inside a bomb shelter where it's nice and cool.
Ready for anything

They piss me off is what I'm saying.  Their righteous anger reeks of religious bias and convenient scheduling. "Honk if you support a Palestinian state!" may as well say, "Honk if you support noise pollution." Signs decrying "Peace for Israelis" could say "Save the Forest, Make More Signs!" They are shouting to hear their voices echo from the mountaintop; To bask in the rays of their reflected righteousness . . .

. . . which is why they can only be out there when it's sunny.

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