We had a lovely Dia de los Muertos, alone together at the McMenamin's Kennedy School.
We attended the Northwest Energy Association fall symposium and had a hella good dinner, some good wine, slept late Sunday, breakfasted, read, Mojo soaked in their hot pool, we spent a leisurely hour at IKEA, and then home to our needy little ones who spent the rest of Sunday clinging to one or both of us (aiieee...!!!)
Now it's back to the same nose and the same grindstone, the only advantage that today is the LAST day of the 2008 election. I'm SO tired of the entire risible pageant, from the Obamamessiah hype to the Palin ignorance, from McSame's pathetic anger to the craven cozening and toadying of our congresscritters to the culpable ignorance and hubris of the American electorate. I have an ugly, uneasy feeling about the next few years.
I know I've been saying this for a long time, I know that I risk sounding like a broken record. But I think the combination of imperial hubris and fiscal irresponsibility, of impenetrable ignorance and irrepressible gullibility is going to set a loathesome and indigestible feast of shame and dishonor for us.
For a long time I've been enjoying George R. R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series. It's your basic swords-and-sorcery with a strong overlay of the Wars of the Roses thrown in made enjoyable by an author who writes well and moves the story along with engaging characters. But if you wanted to sum up the "feel" of the story you could do worse than quote the words of House Stark:
"Winter is coming."
I have that feeling.I think we're in for a cold coming winter, and I hope that I and my family are strong enough: strong enough in love, strong enough in endurance and grit, to weather that winter.
I am worried about our country. Lisa over at Ranger Against War points out thoughtfully that we're not talking about the ugly racial and social divides that still fracture us, and that the nomination of Obama is kicking in a door that many Americans want to keep closed. While I agree with her that the to-me silly theme of Obama as "change" personified is not helpful, I have to disagree with her that this isn't a fight that needs to happen now. If not now, when? If not us, then who?
"But the legacy of slavery and race relations are the great sorrows of this nation, which will perdure past the current sorrows of our own making, and they attach to Obama solely due to his race. This is the subtext of this election for many disenfranchised white voters."and asks if risking the odium of these voters - and the potential loss of the election - is worth the objectification of Obama as the beginning of the end of the Great White Ways.
I think that's a valid question. And I suspect that Lisa's answer is a qualified "no"; that the Democrats are risking too much for too small a gain. And I think, after trying to look at the issue apart from my bone-deep loathing of the Bush-Cheney criminals and intellectual derision of the Obamessianic hype, that despite my respect for Ranger Lisa and my appreciation for the cogentcy of her argument my answer is a qualified "yes".
IMO we need to get past worrying about whether the fundamentalists are going to be upset that homosexuals mating is making Baby Jesus cry. We need to get past worrying whether that black cop got his job because of Affirmative Action.
We need to START worrying about the abyss between rich and poor, wider now than at any time since the Gilded Age. We need to start worrying about the hideously unrepublican effects of the continental glacier of cash and influence distorting our government. We need to start asking how we're going to continue to be The Indispensible Nation with a defense budget the size of a young asteroid and a self-shrinking tax base that leaves us borrowing our operating budget from the Chinese and the Lombards.
We need to start worrying about our economy, and whether remaking our nation from a nation of farmers and artisans and factory workers and engineers into a nation of lawyers and doctors and "consultants" and baristas and burger-flippers is a Good Thing. And if facing a blackish-looking man as a President will help with this - and it might - then we need to try it.And we NEED to start asking why none of our candidates is asking us or telling us about the things I've listed above. Obama is admittedly better than McSame, who is lying when he's not not telling the truth, but when Obama promises this and that and the other AND a tax cut?
Frankly, I'm tired of the whole damn business. The GOP has so thoroughly screwed the American pooch that only a deaf-and-dumb multimillionaire with a defense plant would be marginally sane to vote Republican this fall. The attack ads are loathesome, the GOP race- and gender-baiting even more so, and, what is more frustrating is that I know that even if Obama wins tomorrow the next four years will be full of the sort of GOP dirty tricks that made the Newt Gingrich era so repellent.
I really want to hope that there's hope for my country. The dream of the U.S. has always been one of history's wonderful dreams. I had to include this lovely little snapshot of a cyber-friend's daughter that symbolizes the best of America for me.I don't know what most people's vision of America is, but that picture pretty well sums up MY vision; where a little girl (or little boy) can be welcomed, loved, grow up free and healthy and strong and loving and giving no matter who they are, where they come from, what they look like or what they believe in, so long as they believe in those wonderful words that begin "We, the People, of the United States..."
So I've been feeling sort of nervous and edgy and irritable all day, wanting tomorrow to be over, wanting the wretched Republicans to be cast into the outer darkness but fearing some last, awful Rovean dirty trick, worried about the future but hoping for the best...and with all of that on my mind, I at least found some comfort in my old friend 孙悟空, Sun Wukung, the Monkey King, in this little video from the cartoon adaptation of "Journey to the West" by the Japanese anime artist Ryosuke Tei. I've loved this story ever since we found a Chinese language manga version of it in Guangzhou; we love to sit and tell the story to Missy even though we can't read the characters, the pictures are so delightful.Here's more over at Pink Tentacle.
That's all. I hope you're more optimistic and excited on this Election Eve than I am; and whether or not you are, I will urge you to go out there and vote. You know how cynical I am about this, and how I feel about our late-Republican-Roman conditions. But, as the saying goes, you can't play the game if you don't step on the field. Lace on your cleats and go give some Republican balls a good kicking!
Update, 11/3 (about ten minutes after I posted this): Seems that I'm not the only one feeling kinda low down: Paul Campos over at LG&M says about the same and says it better, as usual.
Oh - I should note that the snapshots of Mojo and Missy were from Sunday, when Little Miss decided that mommies needed to be crushed; physically sat on. And that she was the toddler to do it. So she did. There was a LOT of giggling. And Missy and Mojo laughed a lot, too.