Article Overview:   Do we invite the Beast of Terror when we do not honor our right to dissent?   Do we have a right to dissent without first giving tribute to all the Sentinels of Vigilance who paved the path to that right with their blood?   Find out in this Ode To The Children of Dissent.


Wednesday--July 2, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 658
Ode To The Children Of Dissent--Honoring the Right To Dissent
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

  GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--July 2, 2003-- Last night I sat in a room packed with people who raged at the ugliness of America.   They were the Children of Dissent, Children without honor or respect for what paved the path to their Right to Dissent

Blindly, I attended  a Rant Off last night

      I went with my wife blindly thinking the session was a general "rant," a place where one might humorously let off steam before a microphone about the fifty-nine stairs one had to climb each day to get to his apartment, or about the gravity challenged people who walk slowly on the sidewalks eating Twinkies as you try to pass the mass of flesh to catch your Subway.
     Prior to leaving, I listed a variety of ills worthy of rants, such as the disappearing hair on my legs due to high blood pressure, a sure sign of the loss of my masculinity, and the fact that fat cells cling to me with a death grip, refusing to shed themselves unless I exercise and diet judiciously.
     Oh, I had a list of "raves" and "rages," waiting to be rained upon the heads of hungry listeners.

The Rant Off was held at the KGB Bar in the East Village



   The event was held at the KGB, a famous bar in the East Village noted for its Soviet decor that includes statues of Stalin and Lenin and hammer and sickle flags denoting the "old Russia" during the Cold War.    The bar previously served as the home for the Ukrainian Communist Party's U.S. headquarters



The KGB served as the home for the Ukrainian Communist Party's U.S. headquarters

      The KGB is located on 4th Street, just a couple of blocks from where we live, one can climb a steep set of stairs to enter the tightly packed room where literary agents hang out and would-be Muscovites gather to pretend they are part of revolutionary thinking.
      While my wife claims, and I'm sure she did, she read to me the fact the "rage" was hosted by the Patriot Act Free Zone group, I paid no heed that the billed "Second Annual Rantathon" might be a political dissenters group.
       The ad in the Time Out Magazine that lists events in New York City suggested that for $1 a minute one could rant about Martha Stewart, the endless rain and so on, to the Patriot Act.   So I armed myself with many ranting bullets and clutched my $3 for three minutes of steam-letting.
       Upon arrival we were the first there.   We took a seat in the corner and I reluctantly noted the room was empty.   I wanted to rant, but not to an empty room.
       As the clock grew close to 7p.m., when the rant was supposed to start, a flood of people poured in, ultimately jamming the room.  The hosts of the rantoff set up what looked like a shredding machine, adjusted the microphone and started to sign up ranters.
       The people cramming into the room were mostly young, eager-faced twenty and thirty-year old New Yorkers, casually dressed, bubbling with enthusiasm.
       A gong sounded the onset of the rant.
       The host took the microphone and explained how terrible America was.   He began to ravage the Administration and how it sought to destroy the rights of the people, holding up a Patriot Act Free Zone flyer and offering anyone in the audience the right to shred the U.S. Constitution for a mere $5.
       I bit my tongue.

The crowd applauded and cheered the shredding of the Constitution

      There was great cheering and clapping as the first to deface the Constitution stumbled over the people sitting on the floor because all the seats were taken and presented his $5 while a copy of the Constitution was fed into the shredding machine at the table next to me.   I watched the whole of the paper divide into parts as the shredder's teeth carved it.  I thought I could see the blood of all those who had given their lives for it, but it was just my restrained anger playing tricks.
       It is my job to face the Beast of Terror--especially that one who lives inside me.    That means I force myself to listen and try to learn from those I vehemently oppose, for I will not grow if I do not open both my Conservative eyes to the Liberal flaming Leftists who close their eyes to any and all that is good about America in their attempt to stir the flames of revolt.
      I understand the importance of propaganda, and that one must turn black all the white of any target to make it so ugly none of the good of it can shine through and possibly spoil the hatred and anger necessary to overthrow that which is the target of propaganda.

Hitler was a master at propagandizing

      Hitler was the best at this, for he enflamed his targets so well the stench of their burning bodies became perfume to those who bought his vision.
      I also took into consideration my environs.  After all, I was in the KGB.  I was back in Russia in the "old days."  The fact the host threw about the word "comrades" and joked and laughed as he pointed to the pile of Constitutions ready to be shredded as part of a fund raiser, was not out of order. 
     I was out of place.
     But I clutched my seat and looked for the good in what I considered the bad.
     As a man, a father, a combat veteran, an advocate of Freedom and Liberty as I understand it, it pains me to see anyone deface America without giving her due respect first.
      I know America would not be the great nation it is without dissent, and that dissent is the touchstone of democracy's evolution.   I also know that to find all the faults in something without paying respect to the virtues is a violation of the laws of nature, for nothing is pure good or pure bad.  Everything is degrees, a balance between the positive and negative.
      I tried to find the good in the group.
      It wasn't easy as the rants began.
      They were destructive and insidious.   I spent my time looking at the faces of the young people, gloriously drinking their beer and cheering whenever there was slam at America, a biting comment by the ranter about one of America's defects.
      I saw the people as children, unschooled in the art of respect, seeking to define themselves as righteous advocates for the weak, marginalized, disenfranchised.   They were, of course, weekend "comrades."  They all had clean hands, washed faces, and prior to coming to the KGB, most of them were suckling the teats of capitalism, and enjoying the fruits of freedoms unknown in history and the world.
      But they gave no honor to their dissent.

The group gave no honor to their dissent

     Not one comment was issued while I was there regarding the great glory of a nation that allows dissent.   They portrayed the Patriot Act as the brown shirts of Hitler, and laughing, jeering, cheered when another offered up $5 to shred yet another Constitution.
      I waited as long as I could before I got up and left.   It was hard leaving, for the bodies were sitting cross-legged on the floor and I had to step cautiously, assuring my 6-4, 275-pound frame did not squash any of them, even though in the back of my mind there was that thought.
      I made a bee-line for the men's room almost needing to gag.  My wife waited outside the crowded doorway and struck up a conversation with a man waiting for a play to begin downstairs.   He wanted to know what was going on inside, and if it was a bunch of communists attacking America.  "Don't they know they live in the greatest country in the world," he exclaimed, and made his way down the stairs. My wife shared with me the most meaningful and right words of the night.
       When I came home I began to think about the event.    I started seeing the young people's faces replaying in my mind.  They were soaking up the bile from the podium, their ears cocked, their eyes wide.
        How easy, I thought, for them to be denied their true rights.  How easy for someone to sweep them into a world of vitriolic hatred toward their country through the insidious ploy of a rantoff.   Little did they know that each time they cheered the shredding of the Constitution they defaced the virtue of their nation, they defecated on its legacy.
        Dissent from a Vigilance view is not about dishonoring a nation seeking to improve the lot of all its members and the world.    There is not one dissenter who can justly say that America, despite its flaws, has progressed toward a richer, freer life for all.   Our poverty stricken populaces earn incomes exceeding $12,000 annually, a far cry from those whose annual incomes are $500.   Eating out of an American garbage can is a gourmet meal to someone starving in another land.

 The Children of Dissent's One-Eyed Army

        The right of any citizen to rise up in business, politics is limited only by his or her vision.  Vietnamese immigrants now hold key political positions in Congress and Senate seats--far from the villages of the land we set out to free and failed to do.  But they will.
          It was hard for me to listen for the good in the cries of the banshees from Hell.    I saw only the face of the Beast of Terror shrouding the speakers, taking their bodies and twisting their host's tongues to spew out venom with no antidote.
         So, when I came home, I wrote the following Ode To The Children of Dissent.   It's only purpose is to suggest that Dissent without Honor is Desecration.

Ode To The Children of Dissent
Father Vigilance

Oh my Children of Dissent, I bid you greetings of Vigilance
And…sadly shed upon your torn, tattered souls, tears of Sorrow.
You come here to deface your nation; to shred its Constitution in glee,
Neglecting  honor upon your ancestor’s bones that set your rages free.

Oh, Children of Dissent, my ancient soul aches in witness to your frivolity,
Your sophomoric stupidity yields the stench of generational disrespect.
I hear the moaning, wailing of your mother’s mother’s mother’s worn womb,
Who, under the wings of Liberty, delivered rather than aborted you the Right to Dissent.

You honor not your Mother’s Mother’s Mother’s Mother gift of Freedom as you rage.
You micturate, not genuflect, upon the alter you so freely bash.
Instead of Honor, you spew odious venom; your words aborting Freedom’s fetus.
You pretend Liberty’s Honor never existed, that its present state is malformed.

Oh, my Children of Dissent, I do not disparage your Right to Rage.
Liberty’s Children inherit the maternal right to refute, but not with only one lonely eye.
You act Honorless, voiding all traces of what's Good and Just as you paint Liberty black.
I abhor not your Dissent, but your blindness not to honor the Right to Dissent.

You are young, and in that youth, foolish, of that is without doubt, my Children of Dissent.
For if you were of Age, aware of all the buckets of blood spilled so your tongues could wag,
You would halt and kneel between Free Breaths to tribute the Liberty of your Dissent.
But…I cry…you are deaf and blind to that which gives you breath.

You, Children of  Dishonoring Dissent, turn your backs upon your birth mother.
You refuse to flip the coin of Right & Wrong, to recognize there is Good in Bad.
You see only Bad in Good, so you shred the Constitution and spit on the flag.
 I pray you do not die in your rut, blind to Liberty’s sunshine, as is your present lot.

But I am not here to dig your graves deeper.
That, you do each time you rail against your country and shred its fabric with a laugh.
I come as a Grandfather of Vigilance, to plead you  pry open the blind eye of Honor.
And see what the Beast of Terror hides from view—your duty to Respect Dissent.

Dissent against your country, its leaders, your Constitution is not a crime.
But void of Honor, it is a horrid waste, a vile corruption of the legacy of your land.
As you protest your country's defects, its enemies slip under your children's beds,
They come to spread the hate you fertilize upon your seeds, to turn them to weeds. 

You see, my Children, one-eyed Dissent is about ripping out the viscera of your nation,
You proclaim it cancerous, malignant to all who salute its flag or bear its arms.
The Beast of Dissent sirens you to stomp on all the Virtues of Liberty,
You ape the Beast, bilious utterances gagging all, for you proceed without thanksgiving

Neglecting Honor means only the Beast of Terror has swallowed you into his gut.
You are his child, digested by his bile, vomiting his Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
You speak nothing Good about your nation; you honor it not in your desecrating diatribes.
The Beast has blinded your eyes, has sunk his fangs in your sorrowful souls.

You believe that by spewing the Beast's Breath you grow strong among weeds.
How sad is that untruth, for as you chop at the legs of Liberty and Freedom, you diminish.
America, the country you hail as the harbinger of Capitalism, Greed, of Corruptness,
Is only what its Children think of it.

You, my Children of Dissent, think only of its ills.
You, my Children of Dissent, refuse to salute its values or virtues or symbols.
You, my Children of Dissent, set fire to its foundations as one might a plagued body.
You, my Children of Dissent, whisper to your children:  “America is ugly.”

What Courage, Conviction or Right Actions for future generations comes from bile?
I witness only Fear, Intimidation and Complacency as the afterbirth of Dissent.
This Dissent I speak of is not the Right to object, to oppose, to fight against injustice.
I speak of Dissent Without Respect, without honor given prior to conflagration.

Oh, yes, I forget the sophomoric stupidity that cries:  “I have a right to Dissent.”
And yes, my Children, that is true, but not without the duty first to offer respect.
It is in this void between the Respect to Dissent and the Dissent that man vs. boy exist.
The man stands proud and salutes, then Dissents; the boy refuses to honor the right.

That’s why when you shred the Constitution for a five-dollar fund-raising fee,
I wonder what difference there is between you and a sitting President fund-raising.
At least the President salutes the flag before collecting the money.
You jackal-laugh and cheer as you shred Democracy, but still take the money.

I sat and watched you, my Children of Dissent, jeer and filet your nation.
The marrow in my bones ossified.
I thought of what your children must think of you who deface your nation’s might,
And whether they weep for you silently in the darkness of the night.

Your Rights to Dissent are chiseled in that document you gloatingly shred.
But you do not honor that Right when you push the button to destroy it.
You cheer as demons perched on the rings of Hell, looking only downward.
You laud not the document’s magnificence or glory…how sad…how sad.

I warn you, Children of Dissent, be wary of the Beast of Terror’s claws.
He hunkers in your shadow, stalking you as a pederast does a helpless child
He knows your gullible ignorance, your blind eye, is his greatest ally.
He savors your refusal to Respect the Right to Dissent that will lead you to his lair.

So as the Father of Vigilance, I offer you this one small tidbit of advice:
Honor all that you Dissent before you flog and masticate it as corrupt.
Genuflect not to what is, but to what can be, and what once was.
Salute the future, fly the flag of Hope and then…and then…Dissent.

There is no Dishonor in giving Honor to the land on which you stand.
There is no Disgrace in saluting the Graceful Principles of Liberty.
There is no weakening of one Rights to protest what can be better.
But there is blindness when you don’t Respect Dissent.

Hate, by its nature, gestates when one refuses to see the Other Side.
One cannot see what one does not honor.
When you shredded your Constitution, I waited for your genuflect.
It never came, but your hatred washed me in its thick dying blood.

Awaken, Children of Dissent.
Open the blind eye to the Honor of Dissent.
Offer your honor before you desecrate so your ancestor’s tears can dry.
Stand Vigilant in your Dissent so the Beast of Terror cannot gloat.

author:  Cliff McKenzie, editor

July 1--The Supreme Court's Beast of Terror Needs A Talking To!

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