Wednesday, October 21, 2009

crazy justice

Crazy, but that's how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe, it's not to late
To learn how to love
And forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing
Life's a bitter shame
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
- Ozzy Osbourne
I'm beginning to have some empathy for those U2 fans who love the music, but don't pay much attention to the lyrics. To explain, first I'm going to have to admit that I'm a 'Dancing with the Stars' fan. Not only that, but while I'm watching apparently I have this silly grin on my face - at least that what sources close to me say. Why am I such a fan? It could be my way of imagining my life as a dancer - this dream having been crushed at an early age. Maybe it's the morbid fascination of watching some of these famous people fail like plain, old regular people might fail when they start something new. But the real reason for me is that every season these stars step outside their comfort zone and I get to watch a transformation take place.

But I digress. Last night I saw Kelly Osbourne dance to her dad's song 'Crazy Train'. Now I know I rocked out to that song in my youth, but I'm pretty sure I didn't catch any significance to the lyrics. Without Ozzy and his crazy antics, I heard the lyrics for the first time. Who knew Ozzy Osbourne could sound a prophetic voice in my head? What do his words have to do with justice? Here's what I heard. We live in a conflicted world where suffering somehow coexists with joy. Greed and generosity, apathy and action, denial and forgiveness, despair and hope, addiction and wholeness, hate and love somehow live alongside each other in varying degrees and somewhere between these contradictions injustice is born. As you become aware of justice issues, you become more aware of these contradictions. As Brett Dennen sings, just thinking about this reality is "enough to make you go crazy". If you actually take on the work of doing justice, you are by definition living in the midst of the contradictions. No wonder one can become mentally wounded, fatigued, confused, even ashamed. No wonder others look at those doing justice and suspect they are about to go off the rails and ride the crazy train.

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