Wednesday, July 04, 2007

With Liberty and Justice for All

So on our nation's birthday, like 60% of its citizens, I am incensed. Oliver Stone, having been turned down for a documentary on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "as part of the Great Satan" by Iran's president wished "the Iranian people well," and hopes "their experience with an inept, rigid, ideologue president goes better than ours," a statement that is smarter than any of Stone's pictures. I have a call in to a friend at the Department of Justice which she asked me not to make to her at work, for unspoken but obvious reasons, and a copy on my bed of 'Breakfast of Champions," one of the delicious books by my late but early as far as consciousness is concerned friend Kurt Vonnegut, who quietly railed in that book at the stupidity of 'The Star Spangled Banner,' empty as the lyrics were of any salute to the American people, an anthem composed of 'gibberish,' exclamation points' and 'question marks.' Thus it is that I turn to the words of our salute to the flag, that piece of cloth that Kurt points out is the only one in the world that it is an offense to let touch the ground.
When I was little, as everyone was once, I struggled with words, as most little people do. Having been lovingly incarcerated in a nunnery by my mother who was seeking her fortune or at least her survival and didn't know what to do with me at that moment, the first of many, I had to pray every morning with the other children who, I assume, were all Catholics, in front of the nuns. I was filled with terror, not so much of the nuns, scary as they seemed, but of God, who knew, unlike those around me, that I was Jewish. I was sure He would be mad at me for praying to Mary, with Jesus waiting in the wings. The prayer went, according to my recollection now, "Holy Mary, Mother of God,' etcetera, 'blessed be the fruit of thy womb." Womb. A tough word for a five year old. I never heard it clearly, and afraid to ask, for fear that would brand me an Israelite, said what I heard, which was, "the fruit of thy woo."
In the same way, when I got to P.S.9 in New York, my parents having reunited as was their erratic custom, I put my hand on my little heart in assembly and recited my allegiance to the flag. And what I heard and repeated was "One nation invisible." It was not until I stood next to an eight year old patriot, quick to correct my stupidity, that I learned the word was 'indivisible.' But I think now that my child's intution was probably correct. Maybe even in both cases. All those who believe in immaculate conception have my apology, but reason will prevail.
Except in our nation's capital. I am so sad. Sadder, I think, than angry, because I spent the whole day the day before yesterday being in a rage when the news of Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence came in, accomplishing nothing, I was so incensed, too infuriated even to take it out on the pool going swimming, or on the sidewalk walking my dog, and then Beverly Sills died. And I thought "I have wasted the whole day Beverly Sills died," and thought how much she would have enjoyed being aBle to go swimming, or to walk her dog. And I sorrowed not only for her and the great artist and woman she was, but for my country, which I loved with a great passion, even when Nixon was president.
John Edwards said at the fund raiser I attended for him, where a woman as unbending in her wish to get rid of Bush as Bush is in his wish to get rid of democracy as we knew it insisted on wasting his question time by asking about impeachment. Edwards wisely said, having served in the Senate at the time of Clinton's impeachment proceedings, that the process in Congress would interfere with anything else being accomplished. But I wonder if, indeed, the country can survive until the day he is gone. A friend gave me one of those little tickers that reads 'Bush's Last Day,' counting off the seconds and the moments and the hours until he goes, and something went berserk in its mechanism, as something has gone berserk in Washington, and it kept adding on days till I got so upset I had to throw it away.
We are hated all over the world, our spiritual stock having fallen even lower than the dollar against the Euro. England suffers for Blair's having supported this retard, a word that is no longer politically correct, but as politics is no longer correct, the hell with it,-- let's call a spade a spade except when it involves a spade. I said to my friend Billy Danoff who wrote 'Country Roads' and 'Afternoon Delight' and just got back from Ireland where at least in Shannon airport people saluted our troops, suicidally on their way to Iraq, "isn't it sad what a little moron can do?" and he suggested I put it to music, the tune of "ooooooooooo, what a little moonlight can do." OOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo, what a little moron can do. I don't know. What's the next line? Have we got time for the next line?
I remember a 4th of July where we stood on the South Lawn of the White House even though Nixon was still in it, loving our country, waiting for the fireworks, and one of our cadre-- I won't give her name, in case the Justice Department is rifling this website-- said "Let's smoke a joint for Mama Cass(who had passed that year)" Why do all the wrong people die too soon? How many stints can work to save the heart of a man who has none?
Keith Olbermann went on the air yesterday with a Zola speech, J'accuse!, accusing Bush and Cheney of everything of which they are guilty, and calling for them to resign. In Hong Kong the people marched at great personal peril on the 10th anniversary of the handover to China, pleading, insisting on the promise of democracy being fulfilled. We didn't just have a promise. We had it. How could this have happened? Why aren't we marching?
When The Little Prince got to a planet inhabited by a king, the king greeted him as a 'subject.' And the little prince wondered how the king could have known who he was if he'd never seen him before. "He didn't realize that for kings," wrote Saint-Exupery, "the world is extremely simplified. All men are subjects."