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Towards a Day of Anger: A Poster and Letter of Support for the 4.10 No Nukes Demonstration (illcommonz)

April 6, 2011

This is another translation by Brian Bergstrom of a post from the illcommonz blog. Enjoy!

These emotions of “fright,” of “danger” – these are fundamental sensations indispensable for any organism to survive.   “Fright” concerns one’s own body, “danger” concerns anyone’s body, but both emerge as primal screams.  And so we should never forbid them, never encourage anyone to “refrain” from their expression.  Indeed, none of us are experts in nuclear power.  Or in nuclear energy.  None of us are experts, so all of us are equal, equally amateur.  Amateurs who know that nuclear power is “frightening.”  Amateurs who feel its “danger.”  Amateurs who, insofar as we are amateurs and despite being amateurs, nonetheless have things to say that only amateurs can say, and so we must say them resolutely because we can say them all the better as amateurs, with an amateur’s artlessness, an amateur’s truthfulness.  For our own sake, for everyone’s sake, we must share these sensations, these emotions of “fright,” of “danger.”

And so, in this spirit, I designed a poster for the upcoming demonstration. (I forbid anyone from forbidding the indiscriminate use and dissemination of this image.  The larger jpg for this image can be found here)

Below is my message of support for the No Nukes Demo:

I’ve attended I don’t know how many demonstrations before,

But this one,

This one impacts my integrity, impacts the integrity of us all.

What if I, if we, finding ourselves in this situation,

Still did nothing to stop the advance of nuclear power?

I have no interest in being such a person.

If somewhere, sometime,

The children of those in the affected areas ask,

“During that time, where were you?  What were you doing?”

I want to be the type of person

Who has a proper answer.

I want to be the type of person

Who can stand before these children unembarrassed.

This is what integrity means.

An integrity borne not from being Japanese

But being human.

An integrity I intend to protect

By going to this demonstration, and those afterward,

No matter how many there may be, I’ll go.

signed: illcommonz, modern artist / cultural anthropologist


At the very least, your sensitivity

Blame not the shriveling of your heart
Upon another –
It was you yourself who failed to bring it water.

Blame not your present ill will
Upon your friend –
After all, which of you was it who turned inflexible?

Blame not your irritation
Upon your family –
It was you yourself who made mistakes in everything you did.

Blame not your disillusionment
Upon your surroundings –
The weakness of your will – it was yours all along.

Blame not your problems in their entirety
Upon the age –
The final fleeting flash of your integrity was yours to throw away.

You must protect,
At the very least,
Your sensitivity –

You fool!

—Ibaragi Noriko

We all are “fools” who have allowed the advancement of nuclear energy.  The cries of anger and protest we fools now voice must be directed, naturally, at ourselves as well, and we must face up to this.  But we must also endeavor to find ways around this impasse or we will never progress further.  This is the start of a long, long, long conversation in which we must discuss the proper stance – should we be moving against nuclear power, or beyond it, or toward some other position? – but first, it is imperative we express the “fright” and “danger” we feel.  There we’ll find our starting point.

Posted by: illcommonz | 2011-04-03 14:43

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