Saturday, February 14, 2009
I GOT THEM LONG-GONE INAUGURAL-BALLS, BI-PARTISAN/SCHMI-PARTISAN, IF-YOU-CAN'T-BEAT'EM-TIE-A-NEWS-AROUND-THEIR-NECK, WASHINGTON POST-COITAL BLUES
(or KEEPING IT UP WHEN THE HONEYMOON'S OVER)
First, a little couplet:
Forget the grape gripe
(viz, no whine before its time)
about the taste of the unripe
or cerveza without lime
addicted to the rush
but crashing, all because
after bush has got the push
hey!--what happened to my buzz?
There is a natural tendency to denigrate one's experience in the light of subsequent developments which detract from the whole and reduce it to a series of logical propositions that all things borne of Man are destined for dust and decay. And you can get your mind out of the gutter right now: there aren't going to be any libido euphemisms here. That was strictly a teaser head.
Participatory democracy only works when you participate. Just as there are no atheists in foxholes (or at least, whoever is in there is just as scared as you, irrespective of pieties), there are no cynics knocking on doors. There may be some professionals at the top who are pretty jaded, but, again, THAT'S NOT A TRENCH ON THE MARNE, ok?
Our president has been in office a little less than a month, yet the number of active detractor's has shot through the roof. Should any creedence be given to the divisionists and revisionists who seem to work less by concrete facts based in the authority of comprehensive investigation and appreciation of a subject than misleading interrogatories, sly innuendo and scripts tailored to climax at 6.8 minutes into a 7-minute segment peaking with, "I'm sorry but that's all the time we have right now..." before the commercial?
So much for the romance, eh? (Ok. One bumper ref.)
Over standard coffee morning conversation with the Elf herself, in discussion of this lamentable phenomenon, she mentioned what the Obama election meant to her: "The return of common sense." And it struck me that, yes, I did learn something way back when in American History; this was also the name of the pamphlet (their "blogs") by Thomas Paine that was the most widely-read piece of literature in "the colonies." This was a truly revolutionary bit of wisdom in that it spoke in plain speech about subjects that everyone could understand. Just to be able to hear a chief executive say something like, "We screwed up," is so precious and honest that we tend to undervalue it just because it was over something fairly trivial. (Mistakes on two nominee's tax returns vs. One Trillion Dollar Bailout Plan? Don't see the logic in putting them on the same plate, nope!) In the relatively short continuum of the United States, the amount of disunion has always been pretty big. Why should the present be any exception? Perhaps it just seems worse because of the aforementioned professional gainsayers. The other day, Colbert is putting up a new "on notice" warning to another of his pet peeves, amusing as always, when I notice, right at the top, the one put there by the Man himself when making a late stage televised appearance via satellite: "DISTRACTIONS." During the Civil Rights Era (hard to conceive that we actually had eras of social concerns), there was a saying, either out of the gospel churches themselves or the SCLC itself: "Keep your eyes on the prize." And despite modern interpretation of it as some sort of "get your game on" exhortation to win the big bucks, this usage was more about focussing on an ideal and not being swayed from belief that the true path was there, even when, at times, it was hard to see, obscured by brush or rubbish or the dark.
I had fallen prey to this very malady. It is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans: Life.
Over past week, however, I had been re-encouraged, shall we say, by two "better angels of my nature." One was a serendipitous Saturday afternoon stroll through Chelsea with a friend that stumbled upon this group exhibition. As art goes, not exactly thrilling (or even as art propaganda--for that, better to cross the same street to the Robert Miller gallery to see the DJ Spooky (Paul Miller, no relation, far as I can tell) show satirizing Soviet revolutionary posters for the rebel state of Antarctica), but as signs of the times, nothing short of exemplary.
The other was more personal, having actually received two e-mails, quite unexpectedly, from former campaign staffers with whom I worked in Pennsylvania. It was so touching and unexpected, I had to haul out the video diaries and have another look. And so, I offer here...another look. What you will see below is how the campaign looked from the skirmishes, the hand-to-hand combat. It is not comprehensive, merely the infantry perspective.