Because I can’t shut up about this wonderful production. (And because @pilferingapples is a horrible enabler. :P)
I was watching the Dallas Theatre Centre’s 2014 production of Les Mis again today, and as always crying a lot over how brilliantly Liesl Tommy adapted the musical for the modern day.
The thing about Dallas Les Mis that hits home particularly perfectly for me is that every situation feels real. The abuse of the workers, the lovely ladies, the prisoners, the students, the children – it’s all the same stuff we see on the news. And the characters are all people I’ve seen before.
TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
Okay okay somebody already pointed out the way the chorus from Billy Elliot’s “Once We Were Kings” can go really well with the amis if you take it symbolically but I want to ramble about it anyway:
We walk proudly, and we walk strong
All together we will go as one
The ground is empty and cold as hell
But we all go together when we go.
And they did go proudly, with their jibes at the cannon and their remarks about those who did not join them and their choices to lift up wounded soldiers and their crossed arms as they said “Shoot me”
And they did go strong, with “Long live the future” and leaps into gaps and daring bullet runs
But more importantly, they went as one. Believing in the same future, holding fast to the same hope, fighting by each other’s sides, staying to the bitter end.
The ground that will hold their bodies on the morrow? Those graves are empty now, awaiting their sacrifice, their planted seed. And though they march towards heaven, the way is cold as hell as the warmth of their blood seeps out.
But they all go together when they go. They go enacting the fraternity that they believe will soon permeate the world. Death is lonely, but even the last of them is not alone. The very last act of the revolutionaries is a taking of hands.
We will go down but our heads are proud
We will go down with our voices loud
We will go down, but come again
And we all go together when we go.
They go down with their eyes firmly fixed on the future—staring down guns, gazing up to heaven, smiling at the one who has just proclaimed himself one of them. Their heads are proud, even as they bow in death.
And their voices? Long live the future, long live the Republic, I am one of them. But their voice is something greater than that. It is the voice of the sacrifice itself, and we are still hearing that voice.
We will go down, but come again. Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you, and you will be born again with me. Into the shadow, that is, toward the light. There is eternity in just causes. And the call to death is a call to resurrection.
And we all go together when we go.
My coping mechanisms in a violent world: fuck cis people, lol. everyone on the down with cis bus.
My politics to change that violent world: all the oppressed of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but our chains
These are not incompatible. I think cis people could understand that if they tried. My mechanisms to shield my mental health from being effected too much by transphobia are compatible with my compassion and solidarity for all who experience oppression.
I also see a lot of people who are turning their coping mechanisms into politics, (as liberal identity politics pretty much urges us to do), shaping their queer activism around a hatred of ‘the cishets’, which makes them more likely to support a trans celebrity for president than a ‘cishet’ neighbour struggling with starvation wages and racism.
And it makes me sad. Our anger could be about so much more than individual survival, our anger could unite us. Our anger could break all these systems down.
France and ourselves, the French youth, will never cease the fight against fascism and organisations promoting hatred. Long live France! Long live humanism! Let us always be an example to Europe and a lighthouse of hope to the world.
Liberty, fight with your defenders! May our fading enemies see your triumph and our glory.
Government produces all order.
Under anarchy there is no government.
Therefore anarchy is chaos. Q.E.D.
In Washington there isn’t any plan
With “feeding David” on page sixty-four;
It must be accidental that the milk man
Leaves a bottle at my door.
It must be accidental that the butcher
Has carcasses arriving at his shop
The very place where, when I need some
I accidentally stop.
My life is chaos turned miraculous;
I speak a word and people understand
Although it must be gibberish since words
Are not produced by governmental plan.
Now law and order, on the other hand
The state provides us for the public good;
That’s why there’s instant justice on demand
And safety in every neighborhood.