The View From the Hill
I love California. Wish I could have made it work here. Lived here for six years, three in San Francisco, three in San Diego, and of course I’ve visited many times. Finished my MSW here and worked various and sundry jobs. I was just starting too late to fully enter into ‘the good life’ in the Golden State. But I suppose if it had worked I would just be missing New Mexico and my New Mexico family. Such is life with that greener grass always just over there.
Nine days to look forward to now…doing exactly what I want…being pampered…being the family elder isn’t all bad…
THE VIEW. FROM ARRIVAL IN THE RAIN LAST NIGHT TO RIGHT NOW. The poor man’s version of time-lapse photography.
VACA…starting in seven hours
Not sure I’ll publish this…it sounds like I lead a very decadent life as a surly lush who only loves words and pictures, not people. Not entirely true.
It has been a hectic fall. I’ve abandoned my introverted ways for a big social schedule of friends, movies, concerts, clubs, gatherings (even) and friendly coffees and lunches. Phew…giving that up as of January 1, 2017. Enough extroversion, back to my books and off-work solitude.
Meanwhile let me tell you about this morning. Twelfth day after the election-from-hell (eventually I will be able just to say ‘the last election’, not yet).
I am leaving for San Diego this afternoon where I am pampered by my California family. It is indeed WONDERFUL. Ten days of good company, good food, California THE FREE STATE ambience, and time to blog and think and write a little and enjoy the pleasure of being a grandmother to delightful grandchildren (in December I get to do the same thing in New Mexico—it’s just more regular, therefore ordinary, here where I live, however the grandchildren are no less delightful, and one even has a perfect dog!)
The thing I’m getting around to is that at 10am on a Sunday morning I am drinking a few glasses of my excellent white wine and eating a baked potato. (So okay, I can’t even have a wine when I get to my kid’s house in SD at 7pm—my serious medical/ hypochondriacal issue with drinking or eating after 4 or 5 pm. It makes us do strange things.) I feel positive for the first time since the 8th. It has taken a ban on all news media and three glasses of wine to bring me to this place but, hey, happiness is happiness.
It is so weird. I have nothing scheduled for this time until the airport. I NEVER leave open time. EVER. Of course throwing the Surface in the backpack and showering and dressing are there but that’s a few hours from now. Aaaahhhh. Netflix. I’ll start House of Cards, the final season. Maybe Netflix IS the answer to most questions?
The only thing I miss about my media ban is Fareed Zakaria on Sunday morning. But I can read his columns. It’s just that I’m so used to those images before my face. Is it good that on-line seems to take a bit more thought, focus, intent? Or is that because I’m old? Anyway…Here’s to VACA…
The Sixth Stage of Grief
It is a sad statement that as I write this I can’t help but wonder if we are not heading back to a McCarthy-era place where we must fear the personal, familial and professional backlash of engaging in free speech! … such as this post. ‘Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid’ –to steal a line from an old horror film The Fly (how appropriate after all…)
Ten days have passed between election day and today. American Progressives—among whom I would count anyone who objects to the idea of electing a president who embodies all of the ‘isms plus being a shyster of the first order—have not been sleeping well. Moving on productively is the trick to getting back to some new normal. So…reviewing the seven stages of grief (we have after all lost something quite loved—that last shred of innocence we had about who we are as Americans) let’s see where we are now.
I am in Stage Six.
Just to remind you: it goes like this:
- Shock & denial
- Pain & guilt
- Anger & bargaining
- The upward turn
- Reconstruction & working through
- Acceptance & hope
To Arrive in Stage Six, this is what I’ve done:
- My ringtone is We Shall Overcome.
- Television is gone (not the thing itself which is after all the source of Netflix and Amazon Prime but the channels of fake news, sports, smutty and/or inane network ‘comedies’ and REALITY shows). I’m sure it will be back some day but for the foreseeable future it is banned—the sight of the smug aging white faces of the shyster and his buddies must be kept to a minimum if sanity is to reign.
- The NYT doorstep edition suspended briefly—or longer. I still have access on line but it’s easier to skim over ‘those faces’ on the screen then when opening up the front page to them before one is fully awake…gag me, etc….
- HuffPost US banned. I can get all of the regional and reliable world news from HuffPost Canada, UK, Australia and South Africa, Aljazeera and on-line PBS without seeing what I’m starting the think of as ‘the faces from hell.’
- Signed up for the January 21st WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON. Have my plane tickets to NYC, and a friend and I will bus or drive down to DC.
- Making small but at least symbolic monthly dollar commitments to Move On, ACLU and Planned Parenthood. There will be other commitments as The Movement develops, and while all small, every dollar is a vote for what I believe in…
- Paying close attention to Bernie, Elizabeth, and others like them regarding next steps. One of the first has been to get Keith Ellison to assume leadership of the Democratic Party.
- Vowing to work hard (and we all know how much easier vowing is than actual doing—but here’s to a renewed commitment to ‘doing.’) to elect honest progressive Democrats as Mayor of Albuquerque and Governor of New Mexico. Preferably ones who can generate a bit of enthusiasm in addition to being hard-working and honest!
Of course it’s easy to write a Saturday morning post about all of this. I think this time however, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ALL OF OUR RESOLUTIONS ARE KEPT. Just watched Geena Davis (The Fly on youtube) saying with fear, trembling and loathing in her voice “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.” Watch this when your enthusiasm is lagging Marjorie!
Off to the Free State of California for the holidays.
Today is Not a Good Day
I do promise this is my last political rant for a long time to come.
I’m physically at work after a mostly sleepless night but mentally I am SOMEWHERE FAR AWAY.
I spent last night veering between almost-vomiting and almost-crying as I paced the confines of my tiny living room and periodically tried dozing. Couldn’t turn on the TV once I realized the worst had happened and reading was difficult.
So I simply mourned—for the loss of Presidential intelligence, experience, good citizenship and good manners, adult behavior, the ability to articulate ideas and goals, and possibly a broad interest and knowledge of the whole wide world. Gone.
This is the last time I will write about The Shyster and his adoring public and there’s not much to say that all of us haven’t said over and over in the past few hours.
But one more time I must say this: it is so sad to think half of our voting population is ill-informed and/or terrified of the world and/or racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic and/or just plain mean and dumb. And thanks to them I can’t write a happy little blurb saying “Phew, thank god THAT’S over.” I am happy to say MY states did okay: New Mexico, Minnesota, California. Good job us.
The Shyster IS NOT MY President. Hillary won the popular vote which is what I go by. But he wouldn’t be in any case.
No secret I’ve never been all that Capital A-American. The US, like every other country is only as good as it treats the least among us…which puts us somewhere in the middle ranks I would say. I consider the flag a piece of cloth…although I do feel patriotic when hearing either Battle Hymn of the Republic or Simon and Garfunkel’s We’ve All Gone to Look for America.
In honor of election time however, in the last couple of weeks I’ve worked hard at becoming a Real American. When Hillary is declared the winner I want to celebrate my country, little slow on the draw but we finally come through…often. If the Shyster should win, next time I’m home in Minnesota I’ll be one of those border jumpers, right across the Rainy River or a soy bean field on the west end of the state. Here’s how I became a ‘Real American’:
So #1, I acquired “a team.” I was just in Chicago and now I Am A Serious Cubs Fan.
#2. I went to church at 10am yesterday, Sunday. At least I’m pretty sure it was church. There were a bunch of books resembling hymnals and bibles piled around and a couple of stern old guys resembling prophets straight out of biblical times.
#3. I ate pizza.
#4. I spent the afternoon with some ‘girls gone wild.‘
Friday Morning: A Minute of Weather
Gripe, complain, piss and moan…all I ever do about the endless Albuquerque sun. So we are supposed to have Weather (not WEATHER) today and tomorrow. However, as usual, it will only last a minute or seven. Any Albuquerque Weather deserves a photo or two don’t you think?
ARRIVING AT WORK
VOTE…unless you’re a Trump supporter which I am pretty sure none of my FB Friends are…
Bosch in the Booth
THIS MORNING: Somehow Voting and going to the Guild to see Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil in the same day makes sense this year. While I don’t think any of the candidates have achieved angel or devil status I do believe Shyster Trump has loosed the devils of xenophobia, racism, sexism, and just plain old hatred not seen for awhile. As I view some of Bosch’s images in preparation for the film, it’s obvious he foresaw the Trump world of bad behavior and greed in some of his work…especially the Garden of Earthly Delights:
Now I’m good to go vote. Just thought having scenes from Trumpland in my mind as I head for the polls would add the right amount of adrenaline to the process. Sorry for the repetition but, again, I had hoped my first vote for a female President of the United States would be more fun than it’s turning out to be. Not that I don’t find Hillary’s grit, intelligence, support for women, determination, and acknowledged older-woman pants-suit grandmotherhood inspiring, it’s just that specter of the “selfish little sleazeball” (thanks Elizabeth Warren for yet one more apt label) casts a pall over every election season activity.
AROUND NOON: Back from the polls. Tough decision…Giggle with Gary, Dumb with Donald OR vote for a Smart Woman. Let’s seeeeeee…? Lots of people there. Tried to identify Trump supporters but some of them almost look like normal people so it’s tricky. Besides what could I do? Trip them, give them the evil eye, or chant ‘abracadabra…YOU WILL vote for Hillary.’
I have so much work-work to do next month I should be getting on with it…but it’s hard to focus—too much art and politics and late October sun. It should snow around election time and I probably should be doing something appropriately political. Like drinking.
I support Hillary Clinton—absolutely. And at one time I was excited about finally electing a female president. However any excitement (the good kind) about Campaign 2016 is long gone. First of all there’s no longer the possibility of a presidential campaign inspiring interesting ideas and arguments because Shyster Trump doesn’t know/believe/think/talk actual policy so Hillary is left arguing with the air, saying the same smart but rote stuff over and over. That’s no fun. Then the first female president thing…well at this stage of the Shyster Trump revealment I would vote for a mongoose over the ‘orange one’ so that bit of pleasure is gone too. But—Go Hillary—all you have to do is keep the world safe for continuing to be the world.
I did go to Clinton headquarters a few times but the olden days of non-stop calls and drop-ins for paraphernalia are long gone so unless one is calling supporters (paid my dues in that activity a long time ago) there’s really not much to do. It’s all cell phones and data entry and I have a feeling they’re not letting just anyone off the street (that would be me) get near the computers. Republicans and Russians are not to be trusted (only a few Russians fit this ‘Untrustworthy’ category but it appears to apply to all Republicans). I don’t mind the idea of being mistaken for Russian (I am, after all, 3% Russian) but please please please do not ever mistake me for a Republican.
This is all just to say my extremely modest monthly contribution and my vote will have to be the extent of my Clinton campaign involvement because I’m going back to art where there’s reason and color and hope and joy.
I am extremely lucky to be working in a place where people make art all day. Here are some close-ups from around the Center…and a small piece by Adam Smith I just purchased. See, you feel better already, don’t you?
I’m spending a few mornings at Hillary/Michelle/Maggie Headquarters so I should try to write a rational post or two about how I’m feeling about this election…saving the rants for Facebook. First of all can I just say how very fine it is to have these three women—smart experienced serious articulate Liberal Women running for offices to which it is quite likely they will all be elected.
First up—HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
I have many reasons for voting for Hillary but let me get the woman part out of the way right now. Yes, I want a woman president, but not just any woman you understand…imagine Sarah Palin anywhere near the oval office and the cold chills up and down my spine are equal to imaging Mr. Shyster in charge—of anything. But Hillary, well I’m okay with smart, experienced, serious articulate and slightly leftish. And yes, she is flawed and after all these perfect guys running the world that’s a little challenging but I think I can deal with it.
I would find electing the first woman president of the U.S. even more exciting if we weren’t so damn late to the party in terms of women leaders. Over 70 other countries already have or have had female heads of state…for god’s sake even Pakistan was ahead of us…and India and South Korea and the Philippines and on and on. Never mind the Scandinavian countries which are pretty much in the lead on every front. Even Africa where the good old boys are about as firmly in place as in the U.S. has had to resort to women now and then; for example Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, currently serving her second term and managing to bring some degree of stability to a country very nearly destroyed by the men on the scene lo those many years.
The Michelle mentioned above is Michelle Lujan Grisham, one of New Mexico’s three congressional representatives. I am ashamed to admit I’ve contributed neither time nor money to her campaigns—which must change since, from everything I do know, she is strong and she is right (meaning slightly left) on nearly every issue that’s important.
Maggie is Maggie Toulouse Oliver running for Secretary of State. I used to see her with her grandparents Jim and Charlotte Toulouse, Democratic Party stalwarts, when she was a kid. She came into the office last week—poised and polished and smart and ready to take on the world—or at least the state of New Mexico. Jim and Charlotte would be proud.
Here’s one of my theories about why we need way way more women in high office, besides the basic fairness of ‘equal representation.’ Intelligence and ability are probably pretty equally shared between the sexes but history has given women a break when it comes to temperament. Actually history and biology I suppose. Those cave women giving birth weren’t usually expected to go out and hack off the neighbors’ heads so the need to mark territories and victoriously exhibit dead-body trophies from just across the latest line in the sand didn’t get bred into female genes. Therefore we women aren’t as prone to the ‘mine’s bigger than yours’—referring to bloody sword-swinging hands or whatever the manly symbol might be for any given decade or century—syndrome which is probably responsible for half the world’s violence.
Sure sure, we believe the big conflicts are all about oil and religion and race and ethnicity and territory and yes on the surface they are… Still there’s a huge element of the boys and their toys challenging each other out there—in the name of course of one of those ‘bigger’ issues. Overall Women Will Be Less Apt to Engage in Those Competitions. I Think. We played with different toys!
I have other theories as well…equally unscientific and possibly irrational…but we’ll never know until an equal number of females are in positions to bomb or not to bomb will we?
There are so many other reasons to elect Hillary Clinton—her lifelong support of women’s issues among them. Maybe I’ll talk more about that in future posts. Everyone else in the world is—why not me?