At the end of “Revolution 9,” the experimental sound collage that is the penultimate track in the Beatles’ white album, a crowd is chanting “Hold that line! Hold that line!” in what is obviously a sports event of some kind. There’s a flurry of sound, followed by a chant of “Block that kick! Block that kick!” Clearly the opponent has scored a goal or a touchdown, and now the imperative is to prevent the extra point.
We live in an era where it seems the line is not holding. Fact-checkers deny the facts. One might say 2 + 2 = 4 on social media, only to have your post masked by a note that says, “Context missing” or “This post contains misinformation.”
I remember being amused at stories from old Soviet Russia, where political dissidents were taken to mental institutions and official pronouncements assured citizens that what was happening before their very eyes was not really happening.
It’s not amusing anymore. Freedom is redefined as slavery, everlasting war is called peace, and ignorance is proclaimed to be strength. Orwell is revealed as a prophetic voice in the wilderness, and some animals are more equal than others.
I assert the right to say 2 + 2 is 4.
May we always strive to encourage those who are holding the line and, should the line not hold, to block the kick and prevent further damage.