Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lilly Wachowski: Refuse Fascism, at the Ballot Box and in the Street
Video below
by Lilly Wachowski
2020-11-02

This article shared 4583 times since Mon Nov 2, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In a rare, public and political statement, filmmaker Lilly Wachowski (co-creator of The Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta, Sense8) published this personal essay on the literary website, LitHub.com, calling on people to "Refuse Fascism, at the Ballot Box and in the Street."

My Grams was one of those people I loved to make laugh. She was a mighty woman who left an indelible mark on the women in my family. Myself included. I think of her when I fold a fitted sheet or make "Gramma eggs," our family's name for "egg in a basket." Her atoms can be felt in every one of my and my sister's films and was a huge inspiration for the Oracle in the Matrix trilogy. At the very end of her life, one of the things she said that carries wistful weight in our family's lore was, she wasn't afraid of dying, she just wanted to know the rest of the story, to know what was going to happen.

As we approach the crucible that is the 2020 election, this moment of our potential unmaking, I am at a loss when presented with the idea of what happens if Trump denies the will of the people and refuses to honor a peaceful transfer of power.

And then what happens?

That is the question that leaves me tossing and turning in bed at the darkest hours of the morning, my brain in free fall reaching out for purchase, grasping. The strange event horizon of this post-election moment in its unknowableness is unsettling.

When I was a kid playing D&D with my pals, there would be some crucial moment in the story of the game where we'd all start chanting, "And then what happens?! And then what happens?!" It was a joke we repeated based on some newly initiated player who didn't understand the idea that role playing requires participation in the story, but would only ask Lana (the GM) what happened next. We always took the joke to absurdist conclusions. "And then what happens? You get hungry. And then what happens? You collapse from starvation. And then what happens? You die. And then what happens? You decompose and become a skeleton. And then what happens? A pack of wild dogs divvy up your bones and bury them. And then what happens? Dung beetles eat your bones…." Hilarious stuff at the time.

We played endlessly. It was a game that would hone my imagination to create and understand hypothetical situations and how to navigate through them. It helped my young mind in the creation of my own sense of self and my moral universe. It offered a salve to my gender dysphoria with the opportunity to disappear and inhabit other worlds, other bodies, bodies that more closely aligned to the one I yearned to be.

The ability to answer the question "And then what happens," has served me immeasurably in my career as a filmmaker. To make a film is an impossibly ponderous endeavor, from its inception and ideation, to story, to script, to production, to post production; a film is a flowchart of seemingly infinite variety of decisions. And right now, days before the election, the question nags ominously.

Over the last months, that sense of uncertainty, that hole in our story, had me scouring the abyssal of the internet, ultimately turning to the hard answers offered time and again by sites like Truthout, Gaslit Nation, The Indivisible Project, Stand Up America, and Refuse Fascism. These are folks who have been ringing this alarm for the past four years and succinctly put all of my anger, fear and anxiety into words on the desperate looming cataclysm we face.

How many more fucking bodies have to pile up?

The urgency of Refuse Fascism though, is that we cannot wait until after the election. That we have to mobilize now, to take to the streets now, to pre-empt the rolling fascist coup that is taking place NOW. Definitely exercise your right to vote but they posit that this regime will likely have to be forced out under the weight of mass-nonviolent protest in the streets. And though this premise is full of the promise of direct action which I like, I still find my mind wanting, grasping.

And then what happens?

If there isn't some kind of Frank Capra ending to this nightmare, if there isn't an overwhelming electoral landslide of the decent, what do we do?

What happens when Trump disputes a close election, then tries to legitimize his coup via his illegitimately packed courts and corrupt DOJ? The evidence is that he's already doing it.

My pal Aleksander Hemon has written extensively about this, drawing parallels to his experiences in Bosnia, prognosticating about the impending doom we are all facing. Doom is a specialty of his.

"The moment when we cannot in any way connect what is taking place and what we know, is a traumatic one, because the solidity of reality—the belief that its continuity cannot be altered—catastrophically falters."

This knocks the wind from me. Because the "solidity of reality" is that I can't see through the murk of this situation that doesn't end in violence.

Violence. It is the GOP's go-to. The one substantive piece of their political platform.

And while the Democratic party's habitual calls for bipartisanship make them accomplices in Republican crimes, violence is the core value of the GOP. The violence of 220,00 dead Americans and counting. The violence of exposing voters to grueling lines in this pandemic. The violence of their economic sanctions against their own populace, sadistically starving those with the least. The violence of their gun-crazy militias and white supremacist thuggery of the fraternal order of police. The violence against immigrants and the xenophobic politicizing of our border. The violence against Black and Brown lives facing more brutality and criminalization on top of a racist carceral state and for-profit industrial prison complex. The violence against my queer and trans brothers, sisters and siblings.

How many more fucking bodies have to pile up?

The truth is, if Trump "wins" this election, I am having a difficult time imagining I am not going to be one of those bodies. This does not make me special. By the inauguration the number of Covid deaths will likely double. "Rounding the corner" to half a million dead Americans. It is a staggering number. A crime against humanity. And is indicative that one way or another the violence of the GOP is going to come for us all.

But it doesn't have to be this way. The dung beetles don't have to eat our bones, not if we rise up and participate in this moment. By freeing our radical imaginations we can create that Capra-esque ending for ourselves. The movements around the world have shown us the way. Black Lives Matter has shown us the way. The courageous citizens that are hurling themselves into the ballot blockades have shown us the way. We must come together and end this fanatically violent regime that imperils our lives and the Earth itself. We are the writers of this story and we get to decide how it's going to end.

So get out there and vote with all your fucking might, rabidly protect your ballot with everything you got and I'll see you in the streets.

The world will be watching to see what happens next.

Wachowski recently recorded herself reading A Pledge to the People of the World: In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

Watch below as Lilly Wachowski reads A Pledge to the People of the World: In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America

She has joined dozens of other prominent figures including Cornel West, Naomi Shihab Nye, Chuck D, Alyssa Milano, Noam Chomsky, Zoe Lister-Jones, Lalah Hathaway, Arturo O'Farrill, Jodie Sweetin and more, in pledging "To stop a regime that imperils the people of the world and the earth itself." The Pledge reads, "We will take to the streets, day after day, and call forth others. We Demand Trump/Pence Out Now! We will not stop until they're gone."

The Pledge was initiated by RefuseFascism.org and co-written by Andy Zee, co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org, and Coco Das, of the Refuse Fascism Editorial Board.

"Election Day is upon us. Trump ramps up his threats that there will not be a peaceful transfer of power, but rather a theft of the election. Fascist mobs are mobilizing to violently enforce this. Tens of millions of people are flooding to the polls to defeat Trump and they are filled with both hope and dread. The stakes could not be higher, and people feel it. The struggle for the future is on: Will it be Fascist, Or, Will We Act?"

"Whatever happens on November 3," said Das, "there has to be a clear pole speaking to the desire of millions and the interests of humanity — a call to the conscience of millions, focused on the single demand: Trump/Pence OUTNOW!"

Lilly Wachowski is a trans woman, filmmaker who has collaborated on a myriad of moving picture cinematics including the Matrix Trilogy, V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, Sense8, and Work in Progress. She is a board member of Brave Space Alliance and co-signer of A Pledge to the People of the World: In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

Coco Das is a writer, co-author of the Refuse Fascism Pledge to the People of the World; on the RefuseFascism.org Editorial Board.

Andy Zee is co-author of the Refuse Fascism Pledge to the People of the World; on the RefuseFascism.org Editorial Board; Host, The RNL — Revolution, Nothing Less — Show; and Spokesperson for Revolution Books.





This article shared 4583 times since Mon Nov 2, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

U.S. House passes resolution urging Griner's release
2022-06-26
The U.S. House passed a bipartisan resolution calling on the Russian government to immediately release WNBA star Brittney Griner, CNN reported. "Not a day goes by that we aren't thinking of Brittney and working to get ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS Ald. Pat Dowell talks congressional run, Brittney Griner, LGBTQs
2022-06-26
At the beginning of this year, Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush (D-1st District) announced that he was retiring from federal office. Almost immediately, several people announced their intentions to succeed him. (The total number is now at ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Biden's proposal, VP Harris, Elizabeth Taylor, outbreak, candidates
2022-06-26
Lambda Legal issued a press release lauding the Biden administration for issuing proposed regulations that will help protect LGBTQI+ youth against unlawful discrimination. The proposed rules, issued by the U.S. ...


Gay News

WORLD Japanese ruling, Pride events, Colombia election, Boris Johnson
2022-06-26
A Japanese court ruled that the country's ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, and rejected demands for compensation by three couples who said their right to free union and equality has been violated, ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS Judicial candidate Brad Trowbridge on a repeat run, objectivity, Kyle Rittenhouse
2022-06-25
If Brad Trowbridge's face looks familiar from Windy City Times' election-related articles, that would make sense. The openly gay attorney has run in local judicial races three times, narrowly losing in 2020. Trowbridge recently talked with ...


Gay News

How Coming Out in the 1970s Helped Me Make Brave, Life-changing Decisions
2022-06-25
By Edith Forbes, author of Tracking A Shadow: My Lived Experiment With MS - As a child growing up in Wyoming in the 1960's, I did not know any actual person who was gay. I knew exactly one fact about gay people, a fact universally accepted but never talked about: Gay people were strange. Even ...


Gay News

Maggie Trevor among latest group of Victory Fund-endorsed candidates
2022-06-25
Cook County Board of Commissioners candidate Maggie Trevor is included in the most recent group of political incumbents and candidates with the backing of LGBTQ Victory Fund. LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed 23 more out LGBTQ candidates, ...


Gay News

Preckwinkle unveils preliminary budget forecast for fiscal year 2023
2022-06-25
-- From a press release - (COOK COUNTY, IL) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today released the preliminary forecast for the County's Fiscal Year 2023 showing a projected gap of $18.2 million. This represents the County's smallest budget gap sinc ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2022 Activist Rick Garcia talks about MWRD race
2022-06-24
Longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist Rick Garcia is among those who entered the June 28 primary to win a seat on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's (MWRD) board of commissioners. Longtime Commissioner Debra Shore, who is a lesbian, ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker expands state license plate options to include Chicago Sky, Red Stars and Fire
2022-06-24
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker signed HB4434 into law today, expanding the options of professional sports team license plates Illinoisans can choose from at the Secretary of State. The change, which adds the Chicago Fire, the ...


Gay News

Illinois' Kwame Raoul joins VP Harris, other attorneys general to discuss reproductive rights
2022-06-24
-- From a press release - Washington — Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined Vice President Kamala Harris as well as Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and California Chief Deputy Attorney General Venus Johnson for a roundtable discussion ...


Gay News

Controversial pastor Rev. James Meeks announces retirement
2022-06-20
Salem Baptist Church Senior Pastor Rev. James Meeks announced he is retiring next January. The church has more than 9,000 members, according to its website. The vision statement is that Salem is "a multi-generational church focused ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS Guide to the LGBTQ+s
2022-06-19
This year's primary elections—taking place Tuesday, June 28, although people can vote now—will feature many openly LGBTQ+ candidates throughout Illinois. (However, one notable name will be missing as longtime state ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Sec. of state; Palm Center; judicial nominees; Detroit bar
2022-06-19
Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a roundtable with six LGBTQI reporters at the State Department, according to The Washington Blade. It was the first time a secretary of state sat down with a group of ...


Gay News

VIEWS The gay general at Valley Forge
2022-06-18
Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben was born on Sept. 17, 1730, in Magdeburg, Germany. Son of a military father, Friedrich joined the Prussian army— considered the most advanced professional army in Europe at the ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.