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Last night I deleted my diary entry titled “Knitting A Special List” because it was stirring up a peculiar and unexpected response.

To those who inquired, let me say first that I am not a troller. I wrote about dreaming of Madame Defarge because I, unlike most of you, am very familiar with Newtown, Connecticut. Yes, we all grasp the grief, but through old and dear friends I now understand too well -- too horrifically well -- what those sweet children looked like after they were butchered by a weapon supported by the NRA.

And because of the NRA’s cruel and reckless response, and the support it has received from the tea baggers, I wanted to say something about what is really happening in our country. It is not a simple political debate now. We are confronted with a literal and violent assault on democracy.

Yes, I, too, abhor violence. I wish for honest, peaceful debate. But peaceful discourse is now being throttled, and it’s going to get worse. Petitions don’t halt madness.

To my first critic, the proud Texan: Your listing of my wonderful colleague, the late and brilliant Molly Ivins, as one of your inspirations was a bit of a surprise. She fervently believed in the First Amendment and would never have blocked anyone’s right to express an opinion, or recommend it, particularly if it was satiric.

To the critic who suggested that readers here should Google Madame Defarge to understand what I was saying, let me suggest this instead: Read the book (A Tale of Two Cities), particularly the ending when Charles Dickens belatedly explains who Therese Lefarge was, what had happened to her and her family, and why she felt the way she did. He waited too long to explain her, and, thus, he created the impression that she was a monster. He knew better.

To the critic who suggested that I speak plainly: I didn’t realize how correct you were before reading the comments on my satire. So here is the plain truth. Our country is being threatened again by violence from the ultra-right. And, as always, it will do little good to compromise with the obscene racism, selfishness, and lunacy that impels their assault on the things we hold most dear.

Now, to the knitters among us, I truly apologize. I added that tag as a joke, not realizing that there is such a community here. I am sorry I dragged you, your skill, and your pleasant, ongoing conversation into this idiotic debate.

What I tried to say, clearly without success, was simply that this is a deadly serious situation. To mistake it for anything less will be lethal – to us.

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