Tuesday, July 01, 2003

who has the time to scribble poetry when i read news like over 60% of the american public *don't care* that our administration fudged intelligence to sway public opinion toward war with iraq? i wonder what else we don't care about: the gop is pushing to recall gov davis, who is desperately trying to get californians reimbursed for the millions stolen from them during that manipulated energy crisis? bush hoping to raise over $20M in the next weeks for the 2004 push?

i was watching the local news with my father, an ordinary man who makes no more than 40k/year. he voted for bush because he was 'truthful' (so ironic) and thinks he's likable. so we're watching the news, looking at the rundown of stuff happening in washington--deficit numbers, iraq disasters, policy rollbacks--and my father doesn't blink an eye. it has no effect on him at all. he is unable to make a link between who he voted for and what's happening in the world. about iraq, all he can say is "it was time we kicked some ass." despite my best efforts, my father will probably vote for him again. (and i will gnash my teeth.)

i love my dad, but when i hear him say things like that it makes me want to tie him up and gag him in the corner. it's the most unreflective, knee-jerk, ignorant statement i've ever heard.

about the tax cut and whopping deficit: "republicans will never care about the little guy; so who cares what they do?"
about civil liberties being eroded: "you're overreacting."
about environment policies and labor protections being rolled back: "it has nothing to do with me."

but if i ask him about school prayer, abortion rights, or gay rights suddenly an awful lot becomes mighty important to an individual who doesn't have kids in school, will never bear children, and knows no one gay (except through me).

people don't expect me to be a patriot, but i am. i may be black, female and progressive but i love this country more than anything. i hate stupidity. i loved the stories i read when i was a kid of the revolutionary army, the boston tea party, the rebels. of course, growing up and learning more history, these myths changed for me--but still i loved that story of origin. tom paine, thoreau, frederick douglass, ida b. wells, malcolm x.: these were the heros i had, the rebels, the brave ones who called a thing what it really was. who refused blinders.

when did we become a nation of stupid people, dullards, apathetic, uncritical sheep? when did we turn a blind eye to facts, logic, rationalism? when did we become collaborators with bullies? when did we become a nation that favors nostalgia and fear over progress?
the portfolio deadline has passed. but all is not lost; we just have to realign the deadline! (ahem) the third article is still unfinished (must finish tonight) and there is still outlining to do for the essay (which can perhaps be turned into a monologue?)