blue-flag-thumb2_50x50Our side's flag is a thin, airlight blue, drifting almost unseen against the sky. Our military march is a meadowlark's song among the dandelions. --Ken Kesey, The Real War


Putting Muscle Behind Your Militancy | Mickey Z.

Photo credit: Mickey Z.Photo credit: Mickey Z.

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust

“Are you tired of sand being kicked in your face? I promise you new muscles in days!”

- Charles Atlas

Fitness -- both mental and physical -- is a crucial component for any serious subversive. If you think smashing capitalism is hard, try doing it with clogged arteries or carpal tunnel syndrome.

It's revolutionary to take responsibility for your own health.
It's revolutionary to reject the standard American (global?) diet.
It's revolutionary to reject the prevailing attitude that with age comes weakness.
It's revolutionary to have more energy than your enemies.
It’s revolutionary to keep activists active…

Walk This Way
Any dissident worth her or his non-sweatshop sneakers knows all about the destructive automobile culture. So, if you don’t want any part of the internal combustion engine while Corporate America wages war to keep the world safe for petroleum, walk. Walk for exercise. Walk as transportation. Walk during those all-day marches. Walk.

2 Wheels, Not 4
The bicycle is one of humanity’s greatest inventions. Cycling not only gets you from point A to point B without needing a car or SUV... it’ll also condition your lungs, your legs, and your soul. Put a new spin on your revolution.

I Think, Ergo
Those manifestoes don’t write themselves... but what about all that time spent in front of your laptop? Eye strain is one concern and then there’s the wear and tear on your wrists and forearms (also a problem for those in the drum circle). Don’t forget to get up, rest your eyes, and stretch.

Militant Muscularity
Holding up signs and placards during protests and demonstrations can put undue stress on your shoulders. In an ironic twist, the exercise that might help you keep that slogan held high and proud is typically called a “military press.” I say we rename it the “militant press.”

Gut Check
When a cop whips out his baton, you can be certain it’s not because he’s happy to see you. Anyone who’s ever had their midsection jabbed with such a weapon can appreciate the value of strong abdominal muscles.

Pre-Arrest Posing?
Having your arms yanked and bound behind you before being jammed onto a bus can cause damage to the muscles of the shoulder and upper back. To better prepare for this seemingly inevitable scenario, you might wanna seek help from the camel.

Get Vocal
If you’ve ever screamed “The whole world is watching” for hours on end, I don’t have to tell you what that does to your vocal cords. Fortunately, soothing relief is available without becoming a lab subject for a pharmaceutical conglomerate.

The Plant-Based Life
An activist's eating habits offer the best opportunity to put theory into practice. If you consume a plant-based, whole foods, locally grown diet (organic, whenever possible), you've begun taking yourself out of the equation, re: animal cruelty, environmental devastation, corporate welfare, and a growing health holocaust.

As Ralph Nader sez: "Once we stop growing up corporate and grow up civic, we will be much more focused on nutritious food, rather than junk food; we will be much more inquiring about different kinds of products; we will look at pollution as a form of violence, not just something that is nasty and dirty; we will demand the mechanism so we can control what we own and use these great resources for an enlightened, just, prosperous, happy society where the pursuit of justice is filled with such joy it itself becomes the pursuit of happiness and the pursuit of happiness becomes the pursuit of justice."

Occupy Self-Defense
If we were to appreciate our unbreakable bonds to other humans and the entire natural world, we'd be more likely to act in "self defense" when engaging in green activism. I see it as sort of a literal and metaphorical Left hook.

Get Uncomfortable
Working in so many gyms for so many years has afforded me the unique opportunity to observe the peculiar workout rituals of homo sapiens. It's not unusual to witness individuals employ the same archaic routine -- day in and day out, for years -- without creating positive change.

With that in mind, I proffer the words of the late WBAI-FM host, John Harris: "If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. If you don’t like what you're getting, you gotta change what you're doing."

Note: Come see Mickey Z. in person on Jan. 27 in NYC at Occupy the Climate: Hurricane Sandy, Eco-Activism, & the Vegan Option

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

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