I came downstairs last night for a warm cup of milk to help ease my agitation. Before returning to bed I glanced at the clock on the radio 2:22. What might the meaning of 222 be if no clocks existed at all? What makes this moment special in the mechanistic construct of 222? Sleepily, I wonder, would I stop breathing if there were no 222? The answer is, of course not, 222 is not my flesh nor blood, nor the sustenance of my life. It is merely a construct. I am reassured as I climb the stairs and roll back into bed mulling over the tragedy of patriarchy and its quest for survival of the fittest and how the metaphor of the Anthropocene succumbs to the destruction of the world. There is no Anthropocene in my mind. It is not all humans that have done this thing. As Utah Phillips would say, “The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.”
I have been following the events at Standing Rock closely; it draws me more passionately than the essayist pondering Anthropocene whose book sits dog-eared and bookmarked on my desk taunting my brain for an assignment not done. As classmates, friends, sons of friends, daughters of friends, and new friends tell us what is going on at the camp. Rubber bullets, sound cannons, medics shot in the back, horses shot, over two hundred pipeline leaks this year alone, but these are not the droids you are looking for, move along, move along, the clock says 2:22, we’ve got a schedule to meet. They call them protestors, though that is not how they are self-identified.
To be a protestor, means you are arguing against something that someone is doing. It frames the power in the hands of something you are against or resisting. One cannot be a protestor unless they are protesting against something. Their very existence depends upon the other calling all the shots, desecrating sacred grounds, pushing toward a poisonous end. This is NOT something you protest. To call it protest is an absurdity, to call it protest suggests there is something inherently reasonable in the building the pipeline, something beyond numerical values of 222 bank loans due, perhaps, money to be made on faulty infrastructure and technology for killing the world some more?
Now a protector, as are the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, they exist on their own accord. Water is Life and they shall protect life, whether the black snake pipeline exists or not. To protect life holds the power of definition in the being and is not determined nor sanctioned by the nature of that which chooses to destroy life. I have been a protector. I am a protector. I shall be a protector. These states of being stand alone in their framing. They are not dependent on the horrific other to exist at all, for protector is a nurturer, a caretaker, of life. Finally Amnesty International is alerted, the UN, too is coming, peacemaker constructs to be sure. Perhaps all will awaken. 222 does not exist. There is no reason for HRC to consider the safety of the workers building the black snake of death. The peaceful Water Protectors are praying. Praying! As the mercenaries from two foreign wars rip down their sweat lodge and shove their faces in the dirt, dogs biting, infiltrators screaming violence. Even as the Protectors are stripped naked and left in jail cells, even as numbers are written on arms and they are shoved in dog cages, Protectors cannot be humiliated because they are not protestors dependent upon your 222 constructs. How can you not know Water is Life?
By 5:35 a.m. my thoughts drift to Universal income vs equal pay. If there was such thing as equal pay there would be a universal income because then mothers would be paid for bringing forth life and not the doctors who extract babies as a product in an industrialized model. If there was such a thing as equal pay to a job well done, the extraction of profits, and dividends, and rents and royalties, would disappear because money is a construct that enables the few to do no job at all, as they suck the lifeblood of the living world. Is it any wonder that zombies and vampires abound in the dominant patriarchal culture? I would prefer a world where those who are killing the world have had the emperor’s new clothes revealed for all to see. If we are to interrupt the construct of the Anthropocene, if we are to protect the only home we have, these men of DAPL need to be contained and their sickness healed. Water is life. There is no life without it.