I'm moving to a different part of Brooklyn in two weeks and when I change my voter registration I will, for the first time since 1996, register as a Democrat. I've been a Green since I first registered to vote in the city in 1996. While I've often voted for Democrats on the local, state and national level during the last 19 years, there have been none that I've been particularly enthused about [with the exception of mayor de Blasio - but even there I didn't see a reason to change my registration]. With the announcement that Bernie Sanders will run as a Democrat, it's time for me to put away my issues with the horrific leadership of both the state and national party and return as well. Too much is at stake with the direction of the party and the country for me to passively scowl at the backroom machinations of party politics. I will finally roll up my sleeves and work. Senator Sanders is the man to take back the party from the corporate assholes that have screwed up the world and I will be there to support him in every way I can.
Contrary to popular belief, which has professed a coming 'progressive' revolution for years, it won't happen electorally. Yes, it will be pretty impossible for the Republicans to win a national election from here on out. Yes, the Senate sets up well for the Democrats in 2016 and changing demographics makes it likely that state legislatures & the House will start to flip later in this decade.
But that won't be a 'progressive' revolution anymore than that of 2006 and 2008. The same interests will be at the table, making the same demands, creating the same confusion as to what the way forward needs to be, compromising the same legislation they always write.
"This is pouring rain, this is paralyzed". [Bon Iver 're: stacks']
'The house always wins' is not just a tired aphorism of American popular culture, but the reality of the lives lived by most people on the planet - a reality so obscured that few ever realize the con.
It starts with the idea of a horizon.
I left Daily Kos in 2007 for a while because of the crap that was being done to Gaza & the editorial & community moderation response to the people speaking out about it. I wrote a very ambiguous diary about it then.
At the time, writers I loved were being banned left and right because they became embroiled in endless flame wars with a legion of defenders of Israeli actions - most of whom were getting their talking points from listservs like GIYUS. This also spilled into the real world, with people who actually knew each other slandering each other on the site. It was serious ugly.
The site administration was not helpful. At one point, there was a front page diary suggesting that anyone without history on the site that repeatedly took a pro-palestinian view might be banned outright. I've tried to find that diary via google, but don't have enough time to search through all of the shit from 2007. If anyone remembers it, it was written by Hunter. It all revolved around a number of both Palestinian and Israeli activists who were trying to combat the horrid news coverage in the states - which also extended to Daily Kos at the time.
I don't usually walk the police brutality beat around here, though I frequently read JPMasser's diaries and shake my head in disgust. But This atrocity just happened in my fair city & our newly elected mayor better do something about it.
The whole of our economic history has revolved around a single concept, scarcity. While we've supposedly evolved in our understanding of it from the time in which killed each other over fire, arable land, water and gold, we're still killing each other [literally and metaphorically] over fire, arable land, water and gold. Now, we're just interested in the derivatives we can profit from on those commodities. When the world started to transform into a global capitalist economy in the 16th century, or so, our social economy started to obscure that reality. It wasn't some vast conspiracy by the aristocracy, but the manner in which it evolved continued to serve their interests and continued to ensure that we still kill each other over fire, arable land, water and gold, while they take the spoils.
The crease in the fold, however, is that our technology has now conquered scarcity.
It is a supreme pleasure in my life when I encounter something that says what I want to say, or have said, or thought I was saying, in such an elegant way that its saying has escaped me. Mind you, this is not an uncommon occurrence - for all of my conceits, I only wish I was as eloquent as so many of my heros & peers. But when I came across the extended Sagan quote in last Sunday's 'Cosmos', it summed up everything I've been trying to say - and been trying to live - for three decades.
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.
Every social, economic, political, metaphysical thought I've ever had has started from this precept. This Earth is common. This Earth is the only existence we have.
While purchasing a lottery ticket at the deli this evening, the proprietor made a joke about me giving him the dollar instead and all of my sins would be forgiven. I've known him for a while. He's a 20 something Muslim man who has worked in his father's store for all of his life & I have a rapport with him, so I offhandedly responded, " I don't believe in God, or sin". He replied, "I've known a number of people like you over the years and when I ask them why they don't believe in God, they've never been able to give an answer that satisfies me". So I asked, "Why must there be an answer?" But then quickly, before he responded, I continued, "That is my answer to the question of why I don't believe in God - why must there be an answer?"
He said, "I'll have to think about that." I think he understood the question.
I'm reposting this diary from long ago - before I had a flame out here in the mid-2000's and deleted all of my diaries. It was written on a night, like tonight, when I had the joy of playing live music, the reality of my struggle to do that for a living and the comfort offered me by the gas heater at home, as it washed cozy goodness over me as I fretted about my life, and the world, the same as I do 8 years later.
I also think it is somewhat pertinent to the bizarre pie-fest in these parts...
The Greek word kairos has a long and interesting history. As opposed to chronos, the generic word for time, kairos stands for a specific moment in time - the opportune time, the 'right' time. Among the early medical philosophers it represented the moment in which a patient could be saved from disease, or would ultimately perish. Within oratory, it was seen as the opportune moment to shift and win a debate [unfortunately exemplified in history by Plato's straw men Sophists in his dialogues]. As it came into early Christian theology, it was understood as the moment of God's revelation - the moment God makes things right, according to 'his' time.
It is also the etymological root of our word 'crisis'.
My 9-11 memory this year, has nothing to do with memorializing those who died in the past. Honoring, remembering and meshing their lives to our own is an essential element of what is human. Our mortality is a given. Yet, my 9-11 present is that a good friend lies struggling for her life in a NY hospital, dying of cervical cancer. She's 41 years old - the same age as I. She has two wonderful children with her husband - who is one of my oldest and best friends, ages 5 and 9.
Is her struggle and that of her family and friends, any less noble, or worthy of remembrance than the senseless deaths 12 years ago?
When I was in college in the early 1990's, there was still pressure, albeit small, to disallow certain texts, like those written by Faulkner, from being taught. The reason given by those seeking injunction was because of the pervasive use of the word 'nigger' in his novels. Of course, this movement completely ignored the fact that Faulkner was one of the greatest documentarians of the southern social structure that dehumanized and executed any African American at the drop of a hat - and that this consistent thread to his stories was the point, was lost on far too many people... [Just read 'A Light in August' if you need a primer].
I came of age in a world that not only refused to talk about race, but also refused to really talk about bigotry. And in that world, I made a choice that it was more important to talk about those things, because they exist around us everyday.
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