Make Sure To Wake Me When The Revolution Begins

I’m expanding on an idea from Darkblack.


The Revolution will not start from the top, and work its way down. Nor will it be sparked by the Rhetorical Masturbation of men in Pin Striped Suits who put the “Status” in Status Quo.

And the Revolution will not stem from the pulpits of Moralistic Pontificators Preaching, “My shit don’t stink,” and “Shangri-La is just around the corner.”

You will not see The Revolution’s reflection in the Lily White faces Crowding our College Campuses with their Lollipop Dreams of a Bourgeois Utopia.

The Revolution doesn’t wear sweater vests or drink Merlot with its friends.

The Revolution isn’t Nice, or Clean, or Pretty, and will leave a Mess on your new Steve Madden’s no matter how careful you are.

And The Revolution doesn’t Wear Deodorant or Gap jeans, and it doesn’t drive Volvos, or hang out in Coffee Shops talking about “The Man.”

The Revolution doesn’t read Sartre or Marx, and The Revolution doesn’t have High Speed Internet Access or a Savings Account.

The Revolution doesn’t smoke Camel Lights or Weed purchased from the Doctor who lives next door.

The Revolution doesn’t come gift wrapped or with a money back guarantee. And it doesn’t come in an envelope accompanied by a $25 check from Aunt Betty.

The Revolution doesn’t pat itself on the back for helping the “Little Man.”

It is the “Little Man.”

And The Revolution isn’t “Open Minded,” it is Honed, Focused, and Oblivious to any, and all Obstructions. It’s not drawn up by College Kids sitting in their apartments Chiefing Spliffs, and Jacking Off to pictures of their Long Lost Love.

The Revolution is often Brutal, and Bloody leaving a trail of Dead in its wake, and it doesn’t give a fuck Who Your Daddy is or if you have a Master’s Degree from “State U.”

No, Revolution is not a class, and it cannot be learned.

The Revolution, when it comes, must come from the bottom rising like a Volcano, and then, and only then…

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil Scott Heron



~ by fairlane on February 23, 2008.

21 Responses to “Make Sure To Wake Me When The Revolution Begins”

  1. Are you sure about the Revolution not wearing deodorant?

  2. All the rest is cool, but I have to say that if the Revolution is tall yet years a size 6 or so, it may HAVE to wear Gap jeans because it might not be able to find other jeans to fit and some days a Revolution just feels like wearing some nice comfy jeans, you know? But if the Revolution is a smart shopper, it can catch those jeans on sale, I’m thinking.

    Seriously, good post.

  3. can the revolution wait till they crown the next American Idol?

  4. That was a very good riff on Gil Scott Heron whose original is hardly dated. I posted the lyrics to a fellow blogger on Feb. 8th.

    I did run across a couple of articles today of related interest. The first was this and whether you like Obama or not the implication is chilling but you can draw your own conclusions. Extra strange this occurred in Dallas.

    The other one you may have seen since it’s an Alternet article with a lead quote from John F. Kennedy “Those who make peaceful evolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable”

  5. ps: I read Darkblack’s post and enjoyed it too.

  6. Cowboy- Have you ever smelled Revolution?

    I’m sure.

    Scarlet- You’re tall as well? We’ll be like Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich (Although I think I’m a tad bit taller than Denny).

    I swear you get better by the minute.

    DCap- Sure, whatever you need brother.

    Susan- Yeah, I saw that first one. Pretty fucked up. I read he had to ask for Secret Service protection sooner than any other presidential candidate in history. Even sooner than Jesse Jackson.

    The second I’ll check out tomorrow. I’m up too late as it is.

  7. We’ve certainly been down this road before, Fairlane. I would really suggest the Gumdrop-eaters read something about the French Revolution and its aftermath. And something about John Brown. And something about the Mexican Revolution. And something about the Russian Revolution. These dolts need some fucking perspective in a hurry.

  8. Does the Revolution come like a thief in the night? Get your affairs in order because the revolution looks like the anarchist’s version of the rapture.

    I am thinking the revolution looks like food shortages and disease and world calamities due to global climate changes. Either that or World War III, where the rest of the world unites in an assault on the US.

  9. “it dosnt wear deoderant or gap jeans”….thats classic, gues it wil b only a few of us ready when it begins

  10. I’m not as tall as Elizabeth, so we’re good. Besides, I think they’re cute together, Denny and Elizabeth. Love that red hair!

  11. K Man– Many of Obama’s supporters are young, and the young, as we know, romanticize (Not that I’ve given up on romance).

    Revolutions are often terrible, and there is no such thing as a “bloodless coup.” The powers that be are not simply going to roll over. Even “Pacifist” movements, such as Gandhi’s, were met with violence, and many people died.

    I also think people, as you mentioned, don’t spend much time thinking about the aftermath. Let’s say Obama wins, and within a week we all get a rainbow in the mail. There are millions of people in this country who hate Obama because he’s- a democrat, black, or both, and they don’t want rainbows (at least not his version of rainbows).

    Those people are not going anywhere, and they’re not simply going to let him “Change the world” without putting up one hell of a fight.

    That’s why “Shangri-La” is impossible. All it takes is one person to fuck up the program, “Hey, I don’t like this.”

    There goes Utopia.

    What do you do with those who don’t want to drink the Kool-Aid?

    Lock them away, marginalize them, Kill Them?

    There’s a reason our Forefathers made this a Federal Republic, and that was to prevent “Tyranny by the Majority.”

    I, myself, am not hip to the idea of “Utopia” because Utopia always ends in Tyranny.

    Freida– It may very well take a calamity for a us to change our direction, but in your scenarios, it would be too late.

    We are quite domesticated, and I don’t think most Americans have the stomach for “Revolution.”

    They want an MTV version of revolution. One day everyone listens to the radio, and the next we’re all watching The Buggles.

    Raw– I have a pair of jeans from Old Navy (The poor people’s Gap).

    Maybe I’m not ready either.

    – I’ve dated several women who were 3-4 inches taller than me (One was a runway model, 5’11”).

    Keeps one on their toes.

    So, when are you packing up the Jedi, and moving to Louisville?

  12. I’m sure the revolution doesn’t smell all that nice, but I plan on wearing a whiff of pretty. You know, for scoring with the commie pinko babes. Not all of us have the aphrodisiac of being a future emperor.

    And wouldn’t Utopia be goddamn boring? Imagine happy fun candy all the time. Fuck, I wouldn’t have written a single thing in my entire life. Blech.

  13. Gil Scott Heron. Wowsers! Great stuff! Good post.

  14. No shit, Fairlane, but what you’re writing about in your follow-up comment is straight out of John Stuart Mill which I’m sure you are well aware of. Obama is polling so well with the “younger, better-educated voters,” right? So, LIKE haven’t the memebers of the Rainbow Collective just gotten through reading Mill and histories of the various revolutionary movements, successful and unsuccessful?

    I like Gil Scott-Heron, too.

  15. Randal– Utopia, Heaven, Nirvana, all that “Bliss” bullshit sounds not only boring, but completely fucking insane.

    “Hey Joe, how are you today?”

    “Why, I’m fucking fantabulous there Frank, how about you?”

    “Me? Well, I just had everything I wanted for the 10,000th consecutive day, and I must admit, I’m about to go fucking insane. Can’t you curse at me or sleep with my wife? Something? Please, dear God PLEASE!??!??!??”

    Utopian ideas are a way of trying to conquer human nature on a societal level.


    okjimm– Thanks.

    Do you have a blog? If so, give us the link.

    KMan– When I was in college I was very much into Marx. I read hundreds, and hundreds of pages of his writings.

    I thought it sounded “Awesome” to live in a world where everyone got along, and where we were all “Actualized,” then I got older.

    Utopia now seems like another annoyance. I like my life, for the most part, and I’m not real interested in changing it too much.

    Not to mention, I understand now that Utopia always leads to Oppression, and I don’t care for Oppression.

    Utopia is either inspired by the Evil or the Romanticism of the Young, who are then manipulated by the Evil.

    I hate to sound paternal because I’m not really that old, but there’s no doubt it appeals to the Romantic Nature in Young people who don’t have as much perspective, and who don’t really think things through all the way.

    I completely understand, and don’t judge them at all. I think in many ways it’s natural. But when someone gets into their mid to late 30’s, and is still talking about Utopia, that’s when I get nervous.

    They know better.

    I probably just lost a couple of readers, but oh well.

  16. I’m with ya there fairlane. A revolution where every one gets together to smoke pot and engage in some free love (with deodorant) sounds great – but death and stuff, well not so much.

    But I’m going to be raptured any day now, so I don’t have to worry about it anyway. 😉

  17. My great-great Uncle fought in the big one in Roosha, boy. You know what I wrote that got me kick off Blue Gal. To be a successful revolutionary you have to be willing to kill a child or a police officer in cold blood and be willing to die at the drop of a hat. You figure any Gumdrop-eaters fit that description?

    Utopia to me is taking 2/1 on an even-money proposition. You can keep your revolution.

  18. RE: when? I was thinking when I become Empress, but then I thought we should keep our options open. I mean, if you’re Emperor of the World, you can live pretty much anywhere, right?

  19. ah what an interesting post as usual…a friend pointed out to me , the fact that …anarchy is already here, we had a coup in 2000 and the utopia is not the outcome..its fascism ..surprize we have a lawless excutive branch, a patriot act, suspension of habeas corpus. I am learning everyday – that in order to have change , the grassroots must do what it is DOING NOW – move the dem party yeah the corrupt shitty dem party towards the left, and low and behold its starting to work ..yeppers. change will not be abrupt. It will evolve. And due to our constitution it will not be a third party that does this. It will be brought about by our dedicated participation in moving the powers that be, towards where We insist they go. A short list

    Restore the constitution
    Restore the Bill of rights
    Seperate and codify further the seperation of Church and State

    all else will follow, with our movement , local work,

    and above all, stay reality based..for me i plan to vote strategically – not with my emotions.
    Nader getting in this race – has me furious at the moment..see the vid at my place.. Take it spread it around..and yeah i lose a few buds over this be it..but we have come to far , for this deluded monkey wrencher to put McPain in office.

    sorry this comment is so long – i cannot seem to help myself

  20. ProudProgressive: You know I’m the worst when it comes to long comments. It’s because while I’m fluent in Spanish, blogging is my only opportunity to have this level of discourse in English which is my first language after all.

    Of course, living in Panama, it’s easy for me to write that I don’t care about McKinney or Nader and that I like that they bring up INCONVENIENT issues. It may be EASY for me to write this but that doesn’t make it less true. You wanted mutton dressed up as lamb and you’ve got him. I can’t say that you weren’t warned over and over again. So, it really is too bad if discriminating palates prefer the lamb of McKinney and Nader to the mutton of Obama. I don’t want McCain elected either. Look, I’ve got business interests in South America and what happens when McCain takes a run at Venezuela? Poof! My holdings lose at least half their value. There were choices out there. Kucinich. Edwards. Dodd. Richardson. Even Clinton dropped the bellicosity: 60 days means 60 days. My god, even Ron Paul gave you an out. Do you think that McKinney and Nader are in this thing because of Clinton? If you do, you better drink 40 oz of reality real fast.

    I still call the race pick ’em between Clinton and Obama but let’s say that the press is right and Obama’s the nuts to win it. He’d better cut the shit and lick the knife, my friend.

    If he doesn’t come up with some concrete plans that all of us progressives can LIKE not just TOLERATE, 2000’s going to look like a picnic.

  21. What’s this guy talking about. The Revolution will be televised. It will be on one of those grainy, taped shows broadcast on your cable provider’s public access station at 3AM.

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