RESISTANCE IS MANDATORY…

August 29th, 2013

Sherry Chandler reminded me this morning of the power of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath:

The man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was a part of the monster, a robot in the seat. The thunder of the cylinders sounded through the country, became one with the air and the earth, so that earth and air muttered in sympathetic vibration. The driver could not control it—straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the cat’, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractors, the monster that sent the tractor out, had somehow got into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him—goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the land as it smelled; his feet did not stamp the clods or feel the warmth and power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals.

As Sherry notes, the writing here could have been written by Wendell Berry, but in my mind I see a Borg-assimilated Berry reciting the infamous resistance is futile.

Only we, through the choices we make, the words we use, can put the lie to that assertion.

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