I just finished watching "Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train." I've heard that courage is contagious; if so, Howard Zinn is someone I want to be infected by. This man was not afraid to speak out against injustice though it cost him his job as a professor, and could have cost him his life on multiple occasions--whether protesting racial segragation, the Vietnam war, or the Iraq war. But what I really love about him is that he is so full of life, so joyful really. Zinn takes truth seriously but not himself. He was passionately in love with his wife artist Roz Zinn who encouraged him to keep writing his honest and unpopular books even when he was tempted to quit. I guess I should use the past tense because Zinn recently died in January 2010. But, as my favorite filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky would say, "Death does not exist." Zinn's soul is immortal...
I'm looking forward to reading Zinn's book "Artists in the Times of War."
"TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
— Howard Zinn