Other Actions for Practicing Idealists

Other Experiments/Actions We Practicing Idealists Would Like to See...

1. Extending the Vietnam War Memorial to Reflect Vietnamese Losses

Enter onto the territory of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. and erect--to scale--a wall in a color that would be easy to distinguish from the existing wall which would represent Vietnamese deaths in the conflict. When filmed from the air the contrast between US deaths and Vietnamese would not fail to make an impression as the new wall would be roughly 40 times as large as the existing wall.

I assume the appropriate image could be created using Photoshop, though the impact would be much greater to erect an actual physical wall, if only because you would be arrested for trespassing on government property or for some other, more serious crime.

Alternatively, a version of the Moving Vietnam Wall could be built and taken across the US and Vietnam.

I sent this idea to improveverywhere.com but I suspect they considered it unworkable and probably too politically controversial.

2. Suicide Bombing

Enter into discussions with the imams or others who train suicide bombers. Remind them of the power of the image of setting oneself on fire on public opinion, as scenes of self-immolating Buddhist monks had in the 1960s and 1970s protesting against the war in Vietnam. Convince those who train suicide bombers to announce that suicide bombers will henceforth detonate themselves in public places only on the condition that they can be sure that no one other than themselves will be harmed. Imagine the impact of footage of a police officer in Washington D.C. (or Jerusalem, or Moscow, or wherever) running at top speed to get close enough to a suicide bomber so that s/he refuses to blow him/herself up.

3. Dueling with a Psychiatrist

Challenge a psychiatrist or psychotherapist to a duel, the winner of which will be considered the one--the patient or psychiatrist--who convinces the other s/he is insane.

A condition of the duel must be that both the patient and the psychiatrist treat the other as an equal, i.e. each may ask and must answer questions put by the other.

The catch: whoever loses the duel actually wins. If someone can convince you that you are insane and in what way you are insane, you're more than halfway down the road to restoring your sanity.

4. Stockade

Have yourself placed in a stockade in a public place next to a poster containing a list of your peccadilloes, stupid mistakes, sins and other actions you have committed in your life people might judge you for. Then provide passersby with a bucket of tomatoes or eggs which they can throw at you.

This would provide people with the unhindered opportunity to act on their urge to judge others. Ideally, the exercise--or conscious refusal to participate--would get the urge out of people's system and temper their unhealthy interest in learning the lurid, intimate details of the misdeeds of others.