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Sep 15 2008

Hope, Humor and Harmony

Today, Seattle was bright and sunny, but I felt like crawling into bed with the covers over my head for a good long snivel. It was all I could do to make it through work.

This country is falling apart. The banking industry is collapsing. Bush is determined to scorch the earth as he retreats. My fellow Americans are being snookered by the two biggest, most dangerous cons since Bush/Cheney. FEMA’s fucking over the Gulf once again, and all the media really wants to talk about is fucking bullshit. Oh, and Russia’s flexing its muscles, Venezuela and Bolivia chucked out our ambassadors, and it’s clear that their newfound disrespect for America can be laid firmly at Bush’s feet. If McSame and Sarah “Bush-Cheney Hybrid” Palin get elected, it looks like a few countries might get disgusted enough to start a whole new Cold War – unless they plump for hot, instead. I doubt McLame would do much about it – after all, since the RNC was over, he decided that watching a Nascar race was more important than grandstanding in the Gulf. Funny how Republicons only remember to be compassionate conservatives when the cameras are watching.

And that’s just today.

So I almost couldn’t bring myself to blog. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed, curl up in a miserable little ball, and cry into the cat. That is a tricky proposition, because my cat exhibits sympathy for about 2.4 seconds before she attempts to rip my face off for getting her fur wet. If she was a human, she’d probably be a Republicon.

I planted arse in chair, wrapped myself in a blankie, and read on. Because it’s a chilly night, the cat plonked herself down on me and started purring. She only tried to remove limbs twice. And then I started to find precious hope, humor and harmony.

Glenn W. Smith chats at Firedoglake about being “In Molly’s Back Yard: Resisting Rove.” He’s right:

For years we embattled Texas liberals used to gather in my late friend Molly Ivins’ Austin back yard on the “Final Friday” of each month. For a few glorious hours – if the whisky held out, it would be many glorious hours – hopes ran high and hearts ran wild.

These last couple of weeks of Democratic anguish and anxiety make me think of those evenings at Molly’s, where morale stayed so high even the ducks weren’t down. I’m certain there were ducks.

[snip]

We were then and we are now the Undaunted. Because we have to be. Them that daunt, die. Somebody probably said that once at Molly’s. Probably more than once.

Texas liberals are, um, very familiar with Karl Rove. We have a couple-decade head start on the rest of you, though the last eight years might count double.

Here’s a reminder that a key Rove strategy is the demoralization of his opponents, and it’s a strategy learned well by John McCain’s top lieutenant, Steve Schmidt. This year, they’re at it again. We have to resist it.

Go read the whole post. He’s right, he’s absolutely right, and we have to fight this. We have to be the Undaunted. That was what carried Barack Obama to victory in the primaries, after all: that invincible feeling, that utter faith in the power of us. It’s still there. For fuck’s sake, McCain’s slipped so far that even Rove’s saying he’s gone too far. Yes, we can defeat this fuckwit and save this country. Not just by electing Obama, but by sweeping Democrats into power and giving the Cons the swift boot to the ass they so richly deserve.

So there was a little fire in my belly. But it wasn’t enough. I needed some lighter fluid:

First of all, all of the undecided voters I talked to like Palin. They like her a lot more than they like McCain. They are compelled by her energy and her looks and her demeanor. A couple were pro-life, and McCain’s selection of Palin had turned them from “leaning Obama” to “undecided.”

BUT, by far the MOST important issue for all of them is the economy. These people are disgusted by oil company profits, disgusted by high gas prices, disgusted that relatives of theirs are losing their jobs and unable to find new ones. They KNOW that the system is unfair, that corporations are bleeding this country dry while they are suffering.

When I spoke to them about Obama’s tax plan (the elimination of income tax for many seniors, the tax breaks for middle-class people and the increase for corporations and the rich) – EVERY UNDECIDED VOTER I TALKED TO WENT FROM UNDECIDED TO LEANING OBAMA.

Mmm, feeling warm. And this, this line from that phonebanking post is mesquite fucking charcoal on my growing fire:

These people don’t want to hear us rip anyone apart. They want to know that Obama has a plan.

Some people in this country actually want to discuss issues? They’re persuaded by people talking policy? Oh, fuck, yeah! We’re blazing, now!

Bring on the naptha:

I attended the “Change We Need” rally in Manchester, NH, on Saturday morning.
(See Part I of the photojournal here,
and Part II here.)

I saved some of the best photos for last. Just look at the crowd he draws–8000 diverse people, believing in the “Change We Need.”

As Barack told us in his new stump speech, John McCain may have lobbyists, but he has us.

Damn skippy he has us! Go, us! That’s what I remember from this spring – that solidarity, that brilliant, beautiful sensation that we the people have the power and the passion to lift this country up. We can do this. Of course we can. We’ve done it for over two hundred years.

But to lift up a nation, we need to uplift ourselves. Which is why I spent so much time tonight playing with this. I think tomorrow I might make Chevy Generals, do some shots of Claw Washout, and get thoroughly, shit-faced Mole Valdez. Hell, yes!

Take that, Ladel Torque Palin! Texas and I fart in your general direction!

Now, now, the fire’s burning hot enough to grill up some nourishing, fresh hope. I’m serving it up hot and savory. We just need some music to round out the meal. Not just any music, my friends, but an opera-oratorio based on Charles Darwin. Science, my friends, has finally gone classical, thanks to the inspired efforts of Tristero:


After a year and a half of near-daily composing, I have finally finished The Origin, an opera-oratorio inspired by the life and works of Charles Darwin. It was a challenging, and very enjoyable, project and will premiere February 9, 2009 at the State University of New York, Oswego – that’s 3 days before Darwin’s 200th birthday!

[snip]

The texts used in the Origin are taken entirely from the writings of Charles Darwin – with a brief cameo by his wife, Emma. They were compiled and arranged by poet Catherine Barnett and myself. Most of the words come from The Origin of Species; the so-called “transmutation notebooks;” Darwin’s autobiography; The Voyage of the Beagle; and his letters (you can find a huge selection of Darwin’s writings at this incredible site). My purpose was to celebrate Darwin’s thought and life in music, concentrating specifically on the writing and ideas in The Origin of Species.

This is just awesome beyond words. Darwin finally has his day.

So shall we, my darlings. So shall we.

There’s hope. There’s humor. There’s harmony.

It’s enough to give this nation a fighting chance.

1 comment

  1. 1
    Beatrice M

    Kick ass post. I’ve been reading via RSS and haven’t posted much since my initial comment. But, I just want to say keep up your great work. I really love this post. Thank you for the reminder about the KR playbook. He can and will and must be defeated.

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