THE ROCK THE HARD PLACE
I got that funny feeling watching Obama's State of the Union speech last night, and I forgot about it and didn't much care until 10 minutes into it and I remembered to turn it on. We were working! And there he was —noble, smart, teasing, trying to draw in two crowds of the liberals and the conservatives that just have no idea how to work with one another. This country is cooked. It's now owned by the business interests, lobbyists, bankers, and that's the worst lot on earth — they think money first, people second. I also pick up a remorseful and ugly racism, lined with contempt from the Republicans to everything about Obama. The same feeling I picked up all my life from watching and working with regular joes who just won't budge off a dime. It's sickening. The face of McCain captures it all. On the other side, the liberals clap and clap but don't have half an iota of the strength and dream that Obama has. He's a poor fucker in the wrong place at the right time. Michelle's face tells it all — she's already weary, patient and angry at what she sees, and it's what I see. When Obama goes to her during the speech, and the camera sinks in, one sees the tragic captivity of a woman, a spouse, an intelligence that just can't hide the fact she is sickened by what she has been watching: one great idea after another, idea for all people and causes, and there's the Republicans sitting on their hands in contempt. The liberals clapping, splashing like fish in the sea. Obama tries to laugh it off and say, almost rudely, "she's shy". No, she isn't shy; she knows shitheads when she sees them.
Howard Zinn just died. Here's what he had to say that sums up his life work, right out of Thoreau, as you well know, and just sent out to me and others by my high school teacher from 40 years ago: “Democracy doesn't come from the top. It comes from the bottom. Democracy is not what governments do. It's what people do.”—Howard Zinn
The problem is, the people are now so broken and spoiled and disillusioned they don't know what is what. Right where the bankers like them — maxing out their credit cards and so they're owned, beautifully owned.
Let it snow let it snow let it snow, since it is, here in Vermont.
"wobbly rock" built by Bob Arnold for Lew Welch, photo © bob arnold