Anarchism: Your mother may be the best anarchist (and mother) in the world, but sometimes her teachings get amusingly lost in translation…
Although my mother, Randi (51) claims to be a “reformed anarchist,” she has taken her beliefs and defiantly instilled them in my younger siblings and I. My mother handed me the book In Defense of Anarchism when I was in seventh grade. Included in the book were her own opinions scrawled in the margins.
After thoroughly reading the book, I came to understand that authority sucks. This notion came back to bite me in the ass when I told my school’s principal that he had no business giving me detention for getting into a fist fight with a boy in my grade. If I remember correctly, I put my feet up on his desk and said something along the lines of “Dr. Cobb, you can’t give me detention, I think we both know that we’re on the same level here. Not teacher to student, but person talking to person.” This earned me a very nice Saturday detention.
It really is a different world when the first CD you get as a present is “No Future U.K.?” by the Sex Pistols, or your mom insists you do your fourth grade book report on Emma Goldman’s autobiography. While being raised this way does offer some perspective on the world, there are a few things that might have been lost in translation from mother to daughter.
First off, when Mama Bear hands you a pamphlet entitled FREE that bluntly states everything should not have a price, she IS NOT encouraging your budding kleptomania.
When you come home crying from dance lessons and Mother Dearest tells you it isn’t your fault because the teacher is an idiot, this IS NOT an invitation to tell your tap teacher to shove it. This will only get you in trouble.
When Mommy tells you stories about how she “fought the man” and didn’t conform to her schools dress code and wore pants… then fought a boy who called her a few rude words… be aware that this has no underlying message. She really wasn’t telling you to sucker punch the asshole in your grade when he said you looked like a man.
Okay, maybe she did mean that – after all, she did tell you the story after the whole incident.
Yes, there probably is a lot lost in translation from generation to generation, but hey – that’s life. These little mess-ups will provide to be amusing life stories later on.
The message is that even though my mother raised me and my two younger siblings in such a strange manner, that doesn’t make her any less of the greatest mother one could ask for.
So what if mama has some strange opinions? So what if she organized a walk out protest on the Vietnam War when she was in school? This doesn’t make her any less of a mother, or any less of a total badass.
My father, on the other hand, is a communist.
Emma Goldman was a kickass anarchist who played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. It is a mystery to us why she still has not been made a Mookychick Icon of the Week.