Monday, September 26, 2005

How Smart Was Nero?

So I have returned from the protest march in Washington. It was truly inspiring, in the right sense of the word: breathing in. So much of the past few years has been spent holding our breaths, or breathing fire, it was joyful to just take in how many like-minded spirits there were, almost all of them benign. The carpers and screamers who stood on the sidelines and told us we were going to go to Hell if we didn't accept Jesus were few in number and ineffective, as there was such general good will, and sense of-- Get this: Love of Country. It has been easy to forget, or at least be numbed into a wounded kind of amnesia, what a great country this is, was, and can be again. But there were fourteen busloads in from Wisconsin,and twelve in from Arizona, and people who had flown in on their own from all over the United States of America which it showed signs of becoming.
There were posters being carried by children:"Get rid of Mad Cowboy Disease", "I want my Country Back."and T-shirts(I was wearing mine, bought at the Roe v. Wade march: "Stop Bitching, Start a Revolution," connecting me with two others I spotted wearing the same, so we 'Yo'd' to each other,and a younger one "Hey!"d,revealing several steel balls in her tongue(I'm glad I'm not that young)and Peace banners waving, some drummers, a brass band surrounding Iraq vets in wheelchairs, an Uncle Sam on stilts with a Pinocchio nose, several "Nobody died when Clinton lied"signs, a blow-up of the doctored photo making its way around the Internet, of George the 1st and W grinning as they hauled a big fish out of the floodwaters of New Orleans. And I could not help thinking that as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, that W biked while the Gulf flooded,and I wondered if Nero had a father he emulated. Sometimes I cannnot help wishing I were Gore Vidal, who would have known.
The march was long and routed past the White House("Our House!" people shouted.) I told somebody Bush wasn't home, and she said "He isn't home when he is home." Starbucks (there were several along the way) must have made a fortune( the coffee-house Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired,") and in one of them, when we could wa;lk no further(I'd connected with three wonderful women,Unitarians I met on the Metro, spirited and kind, distressed at how far right Christianity had veered in this country, saying Jesus wouldn't approve of how he was being used) I met up with Joy, a downsized journalist who went back to school and now teaches English as a second language(in Wisconsin! -- who would have known there were Hmongs.)
All in all a wonderful voyage which I invite you all to join in in some sympathetic fashion, finding out when the next march is(check Moveon.Org or and think about maybe making Cindy Sheehan our candidate. We don't know how smart she may be, but she certainly is charismatic, something the available Democrats show no sign of being;It is not just enough our being against, we have to have someone we're for. And she did do something, which is more than most of us did before Saturday. And how smart do you have to be to be smarter than W?
I remember when I was in the earthquake in '89 in San Francisco,and a bunch of women were picked up fromHuntington Park where we were huddled on what is the solidest part of Nob Hill, and taken back to a sort-of friend's house,and among those gathered was Ann Richards, who was in town for a fundraiser that, sadly, must not have raised enough or maybe George W.wouldn't have beaten her as Governor, and then we wouldn't be in the pickle we are now. And as we spent that earthquakey night watching the marina explode through a picture window, I asked her what would happen if Dan Quayle were to become president. She said "Then the country will find out what the Founders always knew: that it can run without a president." Well, I guess we've found that out, but the Founders weren't counting on Karl Rove.

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