Chapter 2: On Danger
Beware, for we’re approaching minefields (No I mean it. Literally).
You’d think you pretty much have everybody’s approach to danger, or even understanding of the concept. Danger: 1. Exposure or vulnerability to harm or risk. 2. A source or an instance of risk or peril, as in, the basic neanderthalian reflex that doesn’t go further than: Oh Lordy, Big Saber-Toothed Tiger charging me, run my good man run!
You might. The Revolutionary, however, doesn’t exactly see it that way. You will soon come to realise that the Revolutionary seems to have another dictionnary than the lovely Petit Larousse you were provided with when you were twelve, which sometimes makes communication, nevermind agreeing on the meaning of terms, as easy as making Che Guevara work at the World Bank.
Take Danger for example. You’d think danger is a pretty consensual notion wouldn’t you? Well guess what?? It’s NOT (mad hysterical cackle, for justification of hysteria, kindly do not see Freud (that liar), but below)
Indeed, you’d think that visiting conflict ridden areas (while the conflict is ongoing, complete with bombings, and rocket launchings and sniper shootings of all sorts) might just be a teeny tiny, well, risky, thing to do one might say. Dangerous, someone else might add. Pretty damn unconscious, a grumpier soul would argue.
The Revolutionary will have his bags packed in no times, a glimmer of excitment (or madness, all depends from which angle you’re taking it) shining in his eyes, his visa stamped on his passport and his Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution safely tucked under his arm (let’s not push it and forget the basics now shall we?), while you’ll be looking at him gawping, your mind unable to fathom the fact that yes, he’s going, no it’s not dangerous, do not worry. He will therefore take his bags and go, full of courage and determination, eager to talk to people on the ground, to support them, to learn from them, to exchange with them, and really, who cares about a tiny little shrapnel? Pah! it was only a Leg anyway, really who needs it? Don’t be so bourgeois.
You see, the Revolutionary really doesn’t have the same image of danger as you. However, it is worth noting that the Revolutionary has a double standard and will not let you accompany him, ”because for you it’s dangerous” sign that he either thinks he’s God (and let us not fool ourselves, the Revolutionary hardly believes in God, People’s Opium, Conservatism and all that) or that he does have some sort of a common sense of danger, only that he doesn’t think it applies to him in any way. The Revolutionary will even try to protect you by distance by not telling you things. Note: I never said lie. I say “not tell you”,which entiles a silence during which your heart will skip several beats (that can’t be good screams to hypochondriac in me), only for him to finally answer your 235 messages by “All is Well! Sorry! Was in Demo”. To which you’ll either feel you want to severe his head with a rusty axe, or cry of relief that’s he’s not injured or dead or has been arrested and is currently detained in communicado or tortured or all of the above or even be a little jealous that, you know, you after kinda wanted to be at the demo too (because his passion is starting to rub off on you, as said previously and of course never a good thing).
In the end, the things you might feel the most are pride and inspiration, because after all, isn’t it thanks to revolutionaries that we have a glimmer of hope of a better world?