Voices from the Edge on 03/28/13
"We are not worth more. They are not less" This is the mantra of S. Brian Wilson and the theme that runs throughout his compelling psychohistorical memoir. Wilson's story begins in small-town, rural America, where he grew up as a "Commie-hating,baseball-loving Baptist." moves though life-changing experiences in Viet Nam, Nicaragua, and elsewhere, and culminates with his commitment to a localized, sustainable lifestyle. In telling his story, Wilson provides numerous examples of the types of personal, risk-taking, nonviolent actions he and others have taken in attempts to educate and affect political change, tax refusal-which requires simplification of one's lifestyle; fasting-done publicly in strategic political and therapeutic spiritual contexts; and obstruction tactics-strategically placing one's body in the way of "business as usual". It was such actions that thrust Brian Wilson into the public eye in the mid-"80s, first as a participant in a high-profile, water-only "Veterans Fast for Life" against the Contra war being waged by his government in Nicaragua. Then, on a fateful day in September 1987, the world watched in horror as Wilson was run over by a U.S. government munitions train during a nonviolent blocking action in which he expected to be removed from the tracks and arrested. Losing his legs only strengthened Wilson's identify with millions of unnamed victims of U.S. policy around the world. He provides details of his travels to countries in Latin American and the Middle East and bears witness to the harm done to poor people as well as to the environment by the steamroller of U.S. imperialism. These heart-rending accounts offered side by side with inspirational stories of nonviolent struggle and the survival of resilient communities.
Blood on the Tracks, The life & Times of S. Brian Wilson continues his effort to educate the public about the diabolical nature of U.S. imperialism while striving to "walk his talk".