08 Feb 11 Ways To Deflate Voldemort
Not long ago, my teenaged twins and I did a catch up marathon and watched all of the last few Harry Potter movies. In the final part of that amazing series, Dumbledore was driven out of Hogwarts (killed), Voldemort’s faithful had formed a cabal of pure evil that began to exert control over the good wizards and stamp out their ability to do magic, and Harry Potter had fallen under deep suspicion—along with his friends.
Does this sound maybe a little bit familiar?
I was driving somewhere this morning after dropping my daughter off at school and started thinking about what I can possibly do to make a difference in the current situation here at Hogwarts.
If you’re at all like me, you may feel distressed and unsure about what to DO right now.
I began composing this post in my head while I sipped coffee.
Not entirely sure how to be crystal clear about the points I wanted to make, I decided to keep it all in the creative crockpot until it had cooked more thoroughly.
As fortune would have it, my friend Wendie Green (AKA Wendie Gone Feral) posted the following perfect list of instructions on Facebook:
1. Don’t use his name;
2. Remember this is a regime and he’s not acting alone;
3. Do not argue with those who support him–it doesn’t work;
4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state;
5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;
6. No more helpless/hopeless talk;
7. Support artists and the arts;
8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;
9. Take care of yourselves; and
Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, “When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”
When you post or talk about him, don’t assign his actions to him, assign them to “The Republican Administration,” or “The Republicans.” This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don’t like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.
The point John Lennon makes is so critical. Humor.
Remember the little boy who laughed out loud when the emperor paraded down the boulevard wearing only imaginary clothes?
“Hehehe, the Emperor is naked!” shouted the little boy. All the extremely serious (and afraid) adults around him were horrified. But he just kept laughing and pointing. Before long others joined him. The fear (and the Emperor’s power) evaporated.
Laughter is the equivalent of Dorothy tossing a pail of water on the Wicked Witch of the West.
Laughter is the great antidote for stupidity, self importance, and other forms of arrogance. Yes, we live in serious times, but it’s important to remember that joy is power.
I wrote this a few days ago
Yes it is
It’s time to get serious about joy
Time to get ruthless about cutting what’s stupid and dead from our lives
So what’s real and green and alive
For the winter of our discontent
To wake up slowly
Stretch and shake itself
With yawning, happy
Yes it is
To light a match
Some kind of flame
And take back life
From what’s not living.
I am reminded that when I give my attention to something or someone, I am giving them my energy. Energy is power.
The way to deflate Voldemort—the way to take away his power—is to focus attention away from him entirely. No, I’m not suggesting that you or I ignore current events. I am saying that we can create our own current events. Every shred of attention or energy I give to “Voldemort” subtracts from what I can use for my own creations.
What do you want to create?
Feel free to tell me about that in the comments section below
Jacob Nordby is an award winning novelist, essayist, and podcast host. He is the author of the new release, Blessed Are the Weird – A Manifesto for Creatives. He leads a worldwide conversation on social media via his Facebook author page and Blessed Are the Weird community page. He is the founder and teacher of the Creative UnBootcamp online course for writers (and those who want to be), and founder of the indie press Manifesto Publishing House.