[Editor's Note: Exene Cervenka is a writer, visual artist and punk rock pioneer. The OC transplant is the lead singer for X, the Knitters and Original Sinners. Her column, Exene Says…, is her space to basically just write what's on her mind, everything from crazy life stories to political theories and observations about what's going on in this fucked up world of ours. To contact her, send all messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Political upheaval is always just around the corner. Witness the sudden flood of scandal coming ashore at the White House over the Tea Party's tax returns. People will be fired, relieved of duty or exiled to desk jobs, but generally, these “public servants” resurface in other positions of privilege. They rarely have to answer for what they've done. Even when they are caught red-handed violating the law, they get away with it.
Nothing changes, right? Business as usual, right? Yes, that's right. Political revolution is always a phantasm, a mirage. Taxpayer-funded, corporate government controls the false, fear-based hologram we know as reality.
Financially, we are slaves. Legally, we have little power. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights have been eaten by worms in the basement of the Library of Congress while we played video games, watched TV, texted, Facebooked and emailed each other about nothing, really.
The same interests that control politics, government, finances, weather, food supplies, natural resources, etc., control the culture through a small consortium. There are six companies that control most of the media in the U.S.
But unlike our jobs, our taxes, our civic and legal obligations as citizens, this false, corporate, soulless American Culture is one thing from which we can all walk away. We do not have to shop at Walmart, Target, Staples, Best Buy or Home Depot. We do not have to buy products that are hecho en Chino or follow the antics of Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Disney, reality-TV contestants or anything else. We do not have to buy worthless junk that is mass-produced by slave labor. Our culture is the one area in which we still have a choice.
Go see local music; support your artistic friends. And do it with guts! Buy or build what you like, what you desire, what you feel, what you hear calling to you. Start a business because no one else is brave enough to give it a go. We all fail sometimes, even though we try hard not to. Just the act of going into battle is already a victory.
This is the time to be supportive of ourselves, one another and our communities. The powerful are now even looking for the change in your couch; don't give it to them. Most of all, stop giving them your minds, your hearts and your souls!