Digital picture of a 1990 dream by Chris Wayan.
I dreamed I went to Baker Beach, a nude beach here in San Francisco. On the sand, I met a family of crudely-drawn cartoon centaurs. They were wobbly, oscillating sloppily from equine to human, but always serene. Happy, unlike humans sunning all around them, who were carefully buffed--and tense.
The Wobblies were the first attempt at building a worldwide union. I think their official name was the Industrial Workers of the World, the IWW, but everyone including themselves called them the Wobblies. Explicit socialists who hoped to overthrow the capitalists in their heartland, the Wobblies terrified the American government for a decade or more; they persecuted, beat, and jailed organizers in one of the most brutal anti-union campaigns ever--and in the US there's stiff competition for that prize.
Of course there's a simpler revolutionary campaign that's still around, that could legitimately be called Wobbly: the Zen teaching that says "To attain enlightenment, just sit still and don't wobble. But if you wobble, wobble." Try it. Not so easy, is it? To be your own wobble?
"Things fall apart, the center cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world" are famous lines from Yeats's poem The Second Coming. To which the Wobblies would have answered "and high time, too."
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