“Revolutions Are No Longer Radical”

An awesome monologue about the coopting of the radical and the spiritual nature of the real revolution. (from HBO’s Euphoria series)

But haven’t you heard, man, revolutions are no longer radical.

There’s so many revolutions that everybody’s a revolutionary. The rich. The poor. The right. The left. The young. The old. The beggars. The bankers. Man, is it beautiful. Huh? Everyone all at once, fighting one revolution after another. I tell ya, I never thought I’d see so many revolutions in my entire life. The revolutions are fought and won so damn fast that the people don’t even have time to implement change, because have you heard? Huh? There’s a new revolution.

I went down to buy me a new pair of kicks at the Nike store the other day. And I look up on the wall, and I see in 20-foot letters, these words, “Our people matter.” And I thought, man, this feels good. Here I am, and my favorite shoe store’s out here saying, “I know you lived a long life. And I know that life ain’t always been easy, but here you are, at 54 years old, my brother, and I want to say I love you.” And I’m like, man. This feels good. And I’m like, thank you, Nike.

And then I pick up a pair of these sneakers and I look at the price tag, and it says $139.99. And I’m, like, I thought Nike loved me. Appreciated me and my life. What happened here?

And I look around the store, and I see a whole bunch of Black people, you know, also feeling good. And I see a whole bunch of white people, too. Also feeling good. Some even, you know, posing. And taking, uh, pictures with the 20-foot letters on the wall.

Straight up. I just had this feeling, and I thought, fuck you, Nike. You don’t give a fuck about anything or anyone. Chinese Muslims are sewing these Kaepernick sneakers for seven cents an hour, and you’re tellin’ me my Black ass matters. Give me a fucking break. If rap music wasn’t mainstream, if Nirvana was still the most popular band in America, they’d be out here saying, “Depression Matters,” because that’s what would move sneakers. Shit. These advertisers. They’re too good.

And they’ve outsmarted us. But at the same time, your generation’s full of some mark-ass bitches, because they’ve tapped into your phones. Yeah, yeah. They’ve read your likes. They’ve predicted your moves, and trapped yo’ asses. You think you out here fighting a revolution, and Bank of America’s on your side? Give me a fucking break.

Because a true revolution has no allies. It’s just that simple. Because a true revolution, not a fast one, not a quick one, not a fashionable one, but a real fucking revolution, is at its core, spiritual. It is a complete decimation of one’s priorities, beliefs, and way of living. And reconstruction in the spirit of …

You have to create a new God. Or gods. Or whatever you can. But it is imperative that you believe in something. Something greater than yourself. All right? And it can’t be the ocean, or your favorite song. And it can’t be the movement, or the people, or the words. You’ve got to believe in the poetry. Because everything else in your life will fail you. Including yourself.

Published by John Halstead

John Halstead is the author of *Another End of the World is Possible*, in which he explores what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed. John is a native of the southern Laurentian bioregion and lives in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. He is a co-founder of 350 Indiana-Calumet, which worked to organize resistance to the fossil fuel industry in the Region. John was the principal facilitator of “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.” He strives to live up to the challenge posed by the Statement through his writing and activism. John has written for numerous online platforms, including Patheos, Huffington Post, PrayWithYourFeet.org, and Gods & Radicals. He is Editor-at-Large of HumanisticPaganism.com. John also facilitates climate grief support groups climate grief support groups affiliated with the Good Grief Network.

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