Musings While Listening to Kenneth Kirschner's Field Recordings of a Protest Held at the Onset of the War in Iraq

I remember arriving in the terminal, confronted by a crowd so large it teemed like an ocean. My father took my hand, gripped it hard, and we weaved between the bodies like an eel through schools of fish.

The crowd did not dissipate on the sidewalks.  It densified, intensified, and the myriad voices converged into one.  We were not apart from this multitude, but a part of it. We were here to amplify that voice, if only by half a decibel.

I was nine inches shorter, then.  Seventeen years younger.  Among the smallest in the crowd, and possessing the greatest hope.  I had never seen the likes of this before.  I did not have to suspend my disbelief or stretch my imagination to hold faithfully to the dear hope that this would matter; this would make a difference.

An eight-foot-tall lobster, covered head to toe in crimson fuzz, danced through the streets.

Poster board signs shared strong opinions, and adults— more of them than I have ever seen— chanted obscenities in unison, without glancing at me or moving to cover my ears:


At the time, profanity felt powerful.  Perhaps if the Bush administration had actually been a pack of children, as they were alleged to be, they would have been persuaded by our rhetoric. 

I don’t mean to be a pessimist, now, but I have seen a lot since then. 

I have attended other marches, and attempted always to amplify the voices that I believe need to be heard— if only by a meagre microdecibel. 

But I watched Bill Nye Saves The World the other night, and it made me cringe, so I don’t really know what to do, now.