Resistance is the secret of joy.
When I was a kid, my mom would take us on long road trips. These were the days before carseats and airbags, cell phones, radar detectors, or even mandatory seatbelts. I’d lay in my raggedy ann sleeping bag across the backseat, my sister would stretch out next to me across the floorboard and we’d fall asleep hot and sweaty with headlights flashing by, bumping down the highway. Sometimes we’d stop at a motel but other times my mom would just drive through the night until we got where we were headed. She had a portable CB radio that she’d connect to the cigarette lighter, and she’d listen to that to get news about traffic, accidents, the whereabouts of cops, and I guess, for entertainment. She got it from my grandfather, who was a hotshot pilot and a union man. The truck drivers were almost always male and I got to hear lots of colorful talk between the “10-4 good buddy”s and “breaker 1-9″s. My mom would fall in with a convoy of trucks so we could hear the same folks conversating for hours, and she’d often join in. I think her handle was “Fly Girl”.
I realized recently that my first idea of a culture of resistance, the idea that people outside the law could band together and fight back, came from these truck drivers sharing information with each other about the location of smokeys–police, of course. They’d be able to drive as fast as they wanted until someone would announce “bear at the 325” and everyone would slow down and sail past the cop, then speed up a few miles later, neat and easy. It must have clicked with me as a kid, because I never bought into the idea that the rules made sense just because.
How did you first learn about resistance? Have any stories? Did you have a parent go on strike? Fight a battle at school? Tell your tale in the comments, and maybe we can share our stories of resistance with the next generation…