Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: I swear, no more sidewalk sermons from Ashenti

“Friends. Friends, friends and countrymen. We need nothing more than friendship, though a lover and southerly tug will help the day go by. We need to make our neighbors friends, and our enemies friends. We need to make everyone who might draw a knife do so only to cut the bread and spread the cheese. They must laugh at our table. They must think we're funny, and smart in our own ways, and enviable in other ways, and helpful above all, and below nothing. They must have this slight sense of liking us, this little amiability that will shame them should they ever think of pulling the knife for anything else. I've heard a prayer going around, about everyone falling in love with their rivals. I say rising into friendship is better than falling into love for the sake of peace and harmony, for there's more politics in love. Friendship removes the contract from a handshake and the target from a joke. It disarms even as it defines and fulfills – defines you, fulfills the terms that define you, creating a big, black outline around what you ought to be and think you are. Friends, friends and countrymen, make your countrymen friends, and make friends of your friends. Take stock of those you eat with and remind yourself of why they are at the lunch table, and strengthen this fraternal adoration. Keep them close even as you strive to make more of them. And make many more of them, friends. Make nationality irrelevant. Share bread, share butter, share their bizarre delicacies until they’re no longer bizarre. Make the aliens friends. Be the stranger upon whose kindness all can rely and only two things can result: either all the good people will be abused, die out and the world will get what it deserves; or we'll give the world what we think it deserves. Justice will be done, by just us.”

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