Fake resistance, real resistance and a question

You have, of course, read the “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” Op Ed in the New York Times. The writer assures us s/he is working diligently to protect us all from a volatile and incompetent administration . . . even as they work just as diligently to advance that administration’s policy priorities.

In order to continue that good work, they must of course remain anonymous.

Last night, Eric and I went to Barbès in Park Slope. (This may strike you as a non sequitur, but bear with me.) It’s one of our favorite places to listen to music, and we were looking forward to hearing a program devoted to Kurt Weill, sung by a woman who was a rising pop star in the former East Germany in the 1960s. A rising star, that is, until she publicly denounced the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia – which led to her arrest, a prison sentence, three years hard labor, and exile.

Waiting for the set to start, we struck up a conversation with the older man next to us. He was Czech-born, now living in France, in Brooklyn visiting relatives. Although his family had already left Czechoslovakia by 1968, he happened to be back in the country that summer and lived through the invasion. He’d come to Barbès for the music, of course, but also to personally thank the singer for the stand she’d taken fifty years ago, the courage she showed, and the sacrifice she made. It still meant something to him that a 20-year-old with a platform but no real power spoke up for his native country.

After the set, I lingered at the door to watch him approach her, this question running through my mind:

Fifty years from now, do you suppose anyone will approach Anonymous (someone with both a platform and real power) to thank them for their “resistance”?

Somehow, I doubt it.

. . . 

(By the way, the singer – Sanda Weigl – will be in residence at Barbès for the month of October, performing every Saturday at 6 pm.)

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