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Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason


"We’ve just been over that: strip the event of reason."
As frustrated as she may have been with me, I was doubly flustered and flummoxed that,
once again, I couldn’t crush my reason to clear my view. Gathering what was left of my
composure, I said, "O n a peace march, if the police leave the protesters alone there would be
peace. Right?"
"Yes."
"If they confronted them, they would be doing what?"
"They would be giving away what they’re really like."
"You mean brutal?"
"Brutality is based in fear, so the question is what are those who control the institutions
afraid of—peace?"
I chuckled, thinking her statement was rhetorical.
"I’m asking you a question."
"That would make no sense."
"And yet the evidence is staring you in the face." She resettled in her seat.
I saw that the weather had cleared so I signaled for the bill as Bonnie said, "This is not a
question of metaphysics. It is logic: what we do reveals what we believe, and it will always show
itself when the pressure is on because nothing comes from nothing. This is the average person,"
she said, holding her left palm open at hip level, "and here is normal behavior—the consequence
of their beliefs." She held her right palm open an inch away from her left. "N ow, here are the
average person’s beliefs under pressure, therefore taken to their final manifestation." She raised
her left hand over her head, stretching it as wide as she could reach. "Here is their idea of
normal," she raised her other hand, positioning it in the same manner to the other side, "which
reveals that the underlying nature of normal is traumatic." She lowered her hands. "You are still
under pressure, but in a less pressurized world than the one you left behind, so you stand out
when you let your guard down. In Sweden, you might be hospitalized for trauma. In Lebanon,
you’d be a celebrated comic. In America, you are one of the masses returning from doing your
duty."
"If you put peace under pressure, you’d get what?"
"You’d get creativity you couldn’t begin to imagine, instead of destruction that’s
unimaginable."
"I know we’ve covered this, but most people say pressure is the reason they behave badly?"
"Pressure is the camouflage behind which we give ourselves away; it has nothing to do with
the nature of the act we’re giving away. Pressure is the canary in the coal mine that registers the
toxicity of our beliefs; it does not create the toxin." Looking into my dull expression, she dipped
her head and said, "Let’s try it this way. Recently in Canada, local politicians flexed their power
from the fear of being perceived as weak, which is precisely what they did by ordering the police
to act with force against a peaceful demonstration. What was the nature of their actions?"
"Suppressing freedom?"
Pursing her lips, because I was guessing, she said, "In larger arenas, countries have used
their own military to suppress the public. Is the nature of the act representative of an open, free,
and democratic society?"
"No, but… " I didn’t know what else to say.
"Exactly—but your reasoning is standing in the way of accepting a logical deduction: our
freedoms were usurped. Moved to a larger stage, a coup of the government you thought you had
elected either will, or has already taken place, because…?
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