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THE SIXTH STAGE OF GRIEF

house-fly-illustration_2550x2037

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:

  1. Shock & denial  
  2. Pain & guilt
  3. Anger & bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. The upward turn
  6. Reconstruction & working through
  7. Acceptance & hope

 To Arrive in Stage Six, this is what I’ve done:

  1. My ringtone is We Shall Overcome.
  2. 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.
  3. 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….
  4. 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.’
  5. 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.
  6. 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…
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

 

BOSCH IN THE BOOTH

hieronymus_bosch_garden_of_earthly_delights_tryptich_centre_panel_-_detail_6-2THIS 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:

Hieronymus Bosch from the Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch from the Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch and GREED

Hieronymus Bosch and GREED

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.

20161026_104422AROUND 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.

20161022_172431

TRY SOME ART TO TAKE THAT BAD POLITICAL TASTE OUT OF YOUR MOUTH

ADAM SMITH

ADAM SMITH

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?

ORLANDO NAJAR

ORLANDO NAJAR

DIANA TWISS

DIANA TWISS

Land of Enchantment: Coming of Political Age in New Mexico

Continuing the tale of New-Mexico-Love after the epiphany in Valley of the Fires. For the next two years, I lived on Holloman AFB with my Air Force husband and two grade-school rabble-rousers. Our sons insisted on letting their white-blonde hair grow long, only gradually realizing the disadvantages. While that long hair did establish their independence from standard military fashion, they were apparently the only two little boys living on the base with long hair so when the little mini-gang of neighborhood friends struck their dad would inevitably get a call from base security.

 By now I had discovered politics…well actually that particular epiphany happened previously while listening to JFK’s inaugural address followed by an interest in Minnesota’s Eugene McCarthy and living through the three assassinations.  But I hadn’t done anything yet and now seemed like the right time. Women’s Lib was in the air—the concept of strong women taking charge, working their collective asses off, and being smarter and more determined than the men around them was not new to me. My conservative Christian farmer mom would not have admitted it for the world but she had all of those “Lib” qualities…another story.

 My Holloman Air Force wife years were consumed with commuting to Las Cruces to finish up an undergraduate degree in education (minor in History) at NMSU. I was listening, with car and house windows wide open and the music up loud, to Helen Reddy’s

I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore

And I know too much to go back an’ pretend  

 ‘Cause I’ve heard it all before

And I’ve been down there on the floor

No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

and Judy Collin’s “Marat Sade”

Fighting all the gentry and fighting every priest

The business man the bourgeois the military beast

Marat always ready to stifle every scheme

Of the sons of the ass licking dying regime

 I suppose you could say I had attitude.

 I was studying history, thinking politics and wearing my husband’s camouflage jacket to NMSU’s pathetic little peace rallies. My teaching supervisor and I drove to El Paso to hear Gloria Steinem and a woman traveling with her (who gave the opening address and said f*ck more in one sentence than Anthony Bourdain can manage 40 years later. I hung out on the freaks side of the student union; once some kids from the cowboys’ side beat up one of my friends. We drank gallons of coffee, smoke cartons of cigarettes, and talked volumes of political truths!  This was heady stuff for an air force wife from rural Minnesota—all happening in my new state of New Mexico.

 So…me and New Mexico. Loved it during those years. I student taught in the underwhelming little town of Alamogordo, drove up into the Sacramento Mountains to Ruidoso or down to Juarez on day trips, and especially loved the drive to school through White Sands Missile Range. Early morning New Mexico, empty roads, think/ plan/muse/dream, sometimes halted for awhile so a rocket could be launched. Occasionally my friend, also from the base, rode down with me—the friend who was having an affair with my husband on weekends while I was studying—obviously she was a quicker study than I! Oh well.

 Obviously politics was of growing interest and New Mexico was a good place to get started down that particular long and twisty road. Such a sparsely populated state, you really could get to know the cast of characters pretty easily. At this stage it was mostly through the media but before long I would get to know them—well the Democratic them—more intimately. 

08-27-2009 CM Scaffolding and Various Operations

NASA photo of White Sands Missile Range.

National Park photo of White Sands National Monument.

National Park photo of White Sands National Monument.

National Park photo of White Sands National Monument.

National Park photo of White Sands National Monument.

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