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Bear With me, my dad was a preacher.  I tend to lean toward parables.

I play the organ at a Catholic Church in small town Central Texas.  I'm not Catholic - you'd have guessed that from the whole dad-was-a-preacher thing.  It's a good gig and I love the people, but 2+ of my 4 years there have been spent with temporary priests.  The one that almost drove me away was a Marian monk turned parish priest who preached almost exclusively on the horrible state of the world, leavened with Tooth Fairy promises that saying the Rosary daily and confessing weekly would magically change everything that is Destroying Our Nation/Church/Society.

He'd rail against sex education and I'd think "God my life would have been so different if I'd lived at a time when teachers were sensitive to the effects of sexual abuse on very young girls.  I'd never have made it to 3rd Grade without someone seeing how messed up I was."  He'd fuss about religious freedom and I'd think "I wonder how my Jewish friends feel about laws being made that ignore their religious tenets."  PS I have the answer, a general fuck you assholes about covers it.

The current moment was always the worst moment in human history.  (Oh and Jesus never made an appearance at Father Silly's first Christmas Mass, but the Blessed Mother was so lovely in the stable.)

Parableically speaking, I have similar reactions to posts here and elsewhere about the unprecedented violence of the police, the utter loss of privacy we suffer, the cruelty of corporate culture, the greed of the wealthy, the privations of the 99% in a culture riddled with political/corporate incest, the wretchedness of our education system, health care, safety net, media.

All of those things are real and lamentable, but we are SOOOO much better off than
     A) Most of the human race
     B) The wealthiest people in the world a hundred years back

Why is it so much more fun to wail and gnash our teeth, where is the energy to push back, to create change?  Reading comment threads, my sense is a whole lot of people have given up - the media is too powerful, money is too overwhelming, Democrats and and Republicans are interchangeable.  

EDIT:  I just got my discouragement.  I need successes.  I supported EDF, Greenpeace, and every other environmental group in the '80's, which meant daily mail - newsletters, emergency action requests, fundraising requests.  One week I quit them all because IT WAS FUCKING HOPELESS.  A couple of years later I started hearing from EDF, some good news, some successes.  "Here's how your support helped us fight and win".  I am never motivated by fear and despair.  I fight harder when we're ten points up.  I'm competitive - I want 20 points.

If I'm bombarded by "We can't beat Citizens United" I ask myself why you're asking me to send money to a losing entity.  If you're telling me that Democrats are no different than Republicans, I want to know why the fuck we're on a blog trying to elect Democrats.  It feels inauthentic, like costume outrage, theatre despair.      

I read a lot.  My dad was the smartest man I ever met, and he read even more.  and He could quote vast tracts from Jefferson, Thorsten Veblien, John Adams, Epictetus, Sinclair Lewis, and Marshall McLuhan - the list is too long.  I've been bombarded with history since early childhood, and that's an incredible gift.  

I just finished reading Stephen King's 11/22/63 which I wish was required reading for progressives.  

I was 14 when JFK was assassinated.  It was a body blow, even though I was young, and I still remember hearing assholes in the school assembly talking about how it was good that stinking liberal was dead.

I was alive during the years Stephen King writes about, alive when wife-beating was the way to control your woman, alive when beating your kids taught em who was in charge. I was alive when Jews couldn't get corporate jobs, when Jewish doctors were denied admitting privileges to hospitals.  I was alive when pedophiles flourished in the secrecy created by our fear of sex and sexuality and I was a victim for 3 years, from age 3 to age 6.  We moved then, and I chose blocking it.  Bad choice.

I was alive when there was a minimal safety net, when SS might keep retirees out of the poorhouse but the disabled were the responsibility of their families.

I remember the change in the Pledge of Allegiance, the addition of "under God".  I remember hiding under my desk to avoid an atomic bomb.  I still get shivery scared hearing tornado sirens.

I remember jokes about jigs, I heard Jew-boy name-calling.  

I remember when women started wearing slacks around the house, when housecleaning no longer required a starched and ironed shirtwaist, jewelry and make-up.  I remember when girls wore skirts or dresses to school and the vice-principal could stop you and measure that skirt to ensure it wasn't too short.  Of course it wasn't too short you twit, the damn girdle came to my knees.

My mom remembered the first time her mother could vote.  We've had that right for less than 100 years, and the Republicans are still pissed we won.

I was alive and politically active when yellow pollution domes covered every industrial city, when the stench of refineries was unimpeded, when rivers caught fire, when you could slough your skin if you walked into the wrong lake.  I remember Silent Spring and clouds of DDT being sprayed at the drive-in while we sat in the car waiting for the movie to start.

I read about the Triangle fire, only one of many cases where profit and greed trumped safety and human decency.  I read about 5 year old boys being sold to chimney sweepers for the price of a bottle of gin, about fires being lit under them to force them up into the flues despite their terror of rats, height, darkness.  I read about Pinkerton Men breaking union organizers heads with bats, killing them in alleys, threatening their families.  I read about young girls entering "Service" at age 12 because there wasn't room in the 2 room house for all the children, so you got out and earned your way pronto.  I read about eating cow tongues and sheep heads and being glad for the protein.  I read Steinbeck and learned about Woody Guthrie.  

This is not the worst time ever, this isn't even close.  I'd argue that we're actually showing signs of moral or spiritual evolution.  We are horrified about pedophilia.  We don't accept rape as boys just being boys.  We're outraged when innocent people are imprisoned by lazy DA's.  We don't accept that fag bashing is acceptable Saturday night post-bar-closing recreational activity.  40 years ago a call to the cops after your husband beat you was likely to result in advice not to piss him off when he was drunk.  Now it's likely you'll get advice on securing your doors, and the assurance that they'll haul his ass to jail if he comes back.  That doesn't save enough lives but it's a hell of an improvement.

Citizens United lost to citizens, united.  Karl Rove is no longer THE power broker in Washington.  FEMA is so effective the Republicans had to block funding to prevent people from getting it that government can be their ally.  The EPA has teeth.  OSHA is functioning again.  We're building goods in America, and exporting them.  Unions are probably not going to die off altogether.  The Right To Work for Less is not quite as attractive as it was 2 years ago, people are getting it.  

Final history lesson.  Google SS, Medicare, Civil Rights legislation.  Dig in, read what the Republicans were saying, but read further and find out what Democrats were saying.  It's a collection of Diary Titles from the Rec list during and after the ACA battles- Weak, Watered Down, Doesn't Reach Enough People, a Sellout to ..., Too Much Compromise, Use the Bully Pulpit, Not Bold Enough!  These are the things we're fighting to save today because once passed they could be, and were, improved on over time.  

If we were savvier about what's possible we could avoid the time-delay and start the improvement phase as soon as that sucker gets through Congress.  When will we learn?  Progressives have great ideas, great passion and lousy follow through, especially when we don't get exactly what we thought was best.  2010 was not the time to be dissing health care reform it was the time to run on it, to claim it as a great beginning, to sell it as a model for what government can do to help the little guy.

Immigration reform will be similar - start with the best ideas, take what you can get through Congress and this time could we PLEASE start the improvement phase the week after it passes?  Please?  Let's just try it, one time, and see if we can avoid the inevitable circular firing squad.  I'd really like to see a Dem blowout in 2014, not a repeat of 2010.

Finally, I'm on SS for disability, I've always been a low wage earner so I'm not rolling in dough.  I make a little playing the organ, enough to buy food and feed my Kindle addiction.  Here's the reality of my poverty.  Because of other people's generosity I have a 14" flat panel TV, a computer (14 years old, but it works), internet connectivity, a cell phone, a car, an iPod and dock that give me wonderful music, a slightly tattered Kindle.  I have my piano and I can play it at 2AM if I choose.  I have my birds for company and amusement and I can feed them the best quality food.  Careful shopping feeds me very well.  I pay Netflix 14.00 a month for movies and I do just fine without cable because TV mostly sucks.  I have heat and AC, hot water and a great shower.  I rarely eat out and even more rarely see first run movies.  Can't afford concerts but still have access to the best music out there.  I buy all my clothes at the thrift store which leaves me enough money for good shoes.  If my car breaks down I will find a way to get it fixed, but mostly I work on maintenance.  I am not by any means comfortably circumstanced by American standards but most of my problems fall into the Rich white girl problems category when compared to the rest of the world.  I think that's true for most of the people here.  I also think we could get a hell of a lot more accomplished if we focused on what's working and built on that instead of throwing up our hands about what's not working and wondering if it's worth it to keep fighting.

Yeah, it's worth it.    

 

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Comment Preferences

  •  I always write waaayy too much. (216+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, Vita Brevis, citizen dan, xxdr zombiexx, Persiflage, Wee Mama, JeffW, GwenM, Lorikeet, MKSinSA, yella dawg, Melanie in IA, randallt, mindara, blue aardvark, absdoggy, Herodotus Prime, Catte Nappe, MrSandman, flatford39, zestyann, Jim H, Naniboujou, Yo Bubba, gramofsam1, Iberian, Alice Venturi, Shippo1776, Emerson, sharman, missLotus, sewaneepat, tofumagoo, rbird, 207wickedgood, jeanette0605, marykk, Chaddiwicker, blueyedace2, HeyMikey, wader, lineatus, bwren, hardart, Hohenzollern, begone, zerelda, carolanne, stevenwag, Cronesense, slowbutsure, Ekaterin, Karl Rover, Jim Domenico, Gowrie Gal, EclecticCrafter, myboo, Preston S, chicklet, Sirenus, cocinero, elpacifico66, anodnhajo, My Spin, PaDemTerry, DrFood, OllieGarkey, Inventor, Actbriniel, peachcreek, Dr Squid, cotterperson, side pocket, irishwitch, congenitalefty, kalmoth, Don midwest, LynnS, BlackSheep1, turdraker, psnyder, multilee, Onomastic, sfbob, Chinton, jacey, Mary Mike, Hammerhand, Thomasina, asilomar, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, UncleCharlie, Nowhere Man, CorinaR, Southern Lib, Its a New Day, ATFILLINOIS, ChocolateChris, Lefty Ladig, SweetAuntFanny, karmsy, Statusquomustgo, filkertom, Teknocore, moonbatlulu, TexDem, TracieLynn, Involuntary Exile, greycat, Wheever, thomask, earicicle, CanadaGoose, yoduuuh do or do not, chantedor, Diogenes2008, FlyingToaster, murphy, LeftyAce, Sand Hill Crane, SCFrog, pixxer, fumie, implicate order, SilverWillow, 307dude, RiveroftheWest, DerAmi, Jeff Y, antirove, northsylvania, mamamorgaine, outragedinSF, Mathazar, onionjim, Trendar, hannah, lurkyloo, msdobie, progdog, JaxDem, JeffinQC, elginblt, tobendaro, Jane Lew, leeleedee, genethefiend, rustypatina, luckylizard, bladerunner, hopeful, kharma, Dave in Northridge, eagleray, WakeUpNeo, JohnB47, jamess, TheC, hlsmlane, gizmo59, CwV, native, vmibran, marc in MD, Fiddlegirl, checkerspot, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, TheLizardKing, Smoh, the Don, NCJim, Debby, elziax, xynz, Wisper, Wino, Eowyn9, prettygirlxoxoxo, marathon, Crashing Vor, Steven D, LynChi, wide eyed lib, kevinpdx, Diana in NoVa, INMINYMA, dotsright, indie17, fugwb, On Puget Sound, Sherri in TX, NJpeach, Sylv, Oh Mary Oh, FindingMyVoice, Batya the Toon, enufisenuf, howabout, liberte, JayC, blackjackal, DRo, lostboyjim, Copp, susans, Korkenzieher, left rev, Keninoakland, Sun Tzu, revsue, gloriana, splashy, wonmug, Larsstephens, SanFernandoValleyMom, Carol in San Antonio

    Maybe I should post daily and not save it up!

    Thanks for reading!

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:28:16 PM PST

    •  If this is the kind of post you write, (28+ / 0-)

      then you've got my vote for posting more often!

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:19:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, thanks for that! (11+ / 0-)

        I probably trash 2 diaries a week, but a few slip through.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:37:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I loved reading about your perspective and (14+ / 0-)

          experiences, and I think your message here is one that progressives need to hear, especially the ones who think that the appearance of failure is a path to victory.

          You understand the importance of Morale.

          If we can just convince the left that IF WE FIGHT, and KEEP FIGHTING we will win, then we'll really start pushing our nation in the right direction.

          We might even avoid irreversible climate change, if we fight hard enough.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:31:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If we start working with the Mother Earth (11+ / 0-)

            we can reverse a lot of damage.  We've done the impossible with cleaning up lakes and rivers, and they come back far more quickly than was believed possible.  

            I don't know how far we've gone - we may be the Easter Islanders on a huge scale, making paradise into a desert.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:21:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The environmental concerns are the toughest: (4+ / 0-)

              For me anyway.

              But, in the spirit of this diary, I should also remember that there was probably a time when the people in the mid-west, northeast and Ontario CA thought that acid rain was here to stay and that rivers would simply occassionally catch fire.  We don't hear about acid rain anymore - know why?  Because the Clean Air Act actually worked.

              I have to keep remembering how much worse the smog used to be in So. Cal. when I am in total despair about global warming.  The really depressing part is the fact that any changes made to discharge will take 10-30 years to have any impact at all.

              I also worry deeply about the direction taken by all EARNED BENEFITS be it SS, or Disability, EBT, Medicaid, Child care. . . but that is another story.

              Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

              by 4CasandChlo on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:10:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That memory of acid rain and of no longer (2+ / 0-)

                being able to drink from the streams near our cabin will never leave me.  I was in my early teens when dad explained water tables and pollution and what humans, even good humans, were doing to the earth.  

                Our casual acceptance of killing insects large scale for agriculture, the fact that we were reassured by "Better Living Through Chemistry", that there's an island of plastic floating on the ocean.  

                Years ago NPR ran a story about a man in Siberia who emulated Johnny Appleseed.  His village had become a wasteland after all the trees were burnt for fuel or cut for building.  The river dried up, rain was rare, nothing would grow after the topsoil blew away - nothing to anchor it.  He planted trees.  That's all he did, he wandered his area and planted trees.  Some of them took hold, and he came back and planted more.  There was a trickle of water in the dry riverbed, and then a stream, and finally a river.  He talked to people as he traveled, explained what he was doing and why.  No one believed him at first, but they believed their eyes when things improved.  

                He knew that just fixing his village wouldn't help, he had to move upriver and down river, he had to talk, he had to be willing to be mocked and ignored, and he had to dedicate his life to the job.

                I think of him when I look at the trees around my house, the ones that are struggling because of drought.  I live in a little slice of paradise and it might turn into a desert because El Nino didn't save us this time, the ocean is being altered, the whole planet is being altered.

                I'm not a blind optimist.  I'm scared.  I do know that if we stop doing damage the natural systems will heal themselves faster than we can believe.  It's a job for every single thinking person, to take action to stop the damage.  If every building in Texas had solar cells we wouldn't be buying coal or burning it.  We wouldn't need to frack for natural gas.  How to get there?  One house at a time, one town at a time.  

                I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:25:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  One of the BEST diaries I've read in awhile. (19+ / 0-)

      I'm a year or two older than you, and thanks to your effort, I believe I'm starting to realize what you say makes sense.  
      I just never quite appreciated what we now have.  I just felt that we should have better.  Maybe so, but, "it is what it is..., when we make it."

      "Keep it up.  You done good, girl".

         - PAX -

      •  It should be better, there should be no hungry (20+ / 0-)

        children or religious or resource wars.  There should be equality and equity and acceptance.  I really think we'll get there someday.  

        Knowing that we're moving forward, no matter how slowly, is what motivates to keep fighting.  And having a sense that there's a reason people resist change helps as well.  

        I also think there's a spiritual component to our progress and have found that my life works a hell of a lot better when I practice gratitude for what I have - I seem to attract more good stuff then.  

        If it works on a personal level, why not on a macro level?  I should not be able to pay my rent, buy food, drive a car, cover all my expenses.  It should be impossible but it happens every damn month, I make it.  What we think is not possible happens all the time.  

        would never have believed rights for GLBT people would move forward this quickly, I'm stunned and awed to watch this.  

        I would never have believed Elizabeth Warren could trounce what's his pecs.  She did!  

        I would not have believed the first black president would win 2 elections by high margins.  It happened.  

        I never imagined Rove would bomb out on every candidate he threw big money at.  It happened.

        I think I'm ready to believe we CAN have nice things if we keep working for them.  

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:35:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I totally agree, jacey (9+ / 0-)

        I'm just a few years younger than I love OCD, but I remember so much of what she's talking about.  I grew up in a home with my mother (divorced) and her parents.  We were an oddly liberal family in East Texas in the 60s.

        Thanks, I love OCD, for providing the lens through which I can look back at those memories.  

        The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. W.B. Yeats

        by SweetAuntFanny on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:55:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the great book recommendation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rustypatina, kharma, Smoh, I love OCD

      I started reading 11/22/63 and I haven't been able to stop!

      "...we can all shut-up and go back to our caves." - Leonard Bernstein

      by progdog on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:24:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nope (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I love OCD, howabout, blackjackal

      If you had posted this in smaller chunks, it wouldn't have had nearly the impact of seeing aaaallllll those improvements in one place. Things are better.

      We own the full set of Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters. If you're not familiar with them, they are historical fiction that takes place in 12th century England near Wales. I often think about what Brother Cadfael would think of modern technology. You know, things like asphalt roads and cars, antibiotics, indoor plumbing, electric lights.

      "We must love one another or die." - W. H. Auden

      by marathon on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:22:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Loved those books. Another (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marathon, SanFernandoValleyMom

        great way to know what really happened in the past.  I love the Peter Wimsey books, and am always jarred by the casual anti-Semitism and racism.  The era is reflected accurately, and that's where my gratitude is stirred.  We're doing better.

        The Father Brown mysteries are also fun, and revealing in the same ways.

        The misery and poverty of London at the dawn of the Industrial Age, descriptions of that yellow-gray soup of fog, the smell from factories that hung over everything.  The detritus left as coal mines were hollowed out, the harshness of the life.  London has fog fog now, not emissions fog.  We're slow, but we learn.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:33:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Many here have not given up... (25+ / 0-)

    ...by any stretch of the imagination.

    We don't always succeed but we try.

    I am sure you do to.

    We do what we can.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:43:06 PM PST

  •  temporary priests (16+ / 0-)

    Awesome band name

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:50:27 PM PST

  •  Love "parableically speaking" (9+ / 0-)

    Does that rhyme with "speaking in tongues"?

  •  I don't think you wrote too much and (18+ / 0-)

    I think you said a lot of things just right.  Bravo!

    My own "I don't get it" moments here are getting more frequent.  

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:02:53 PM PST

  •  I agree with most everything that you've written (7+ / 0-)

    my one issue is with that sentence about *-bashing. That word, and its usage, is so offensive that I find myself unable to rec or tip the diary. Might I request that you find an alternative description and update the diary?

    I really don't want to offend you, or tell you how to do things, but that particular thing just raises the hackles.

    Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

    by postmodernista on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:13:14 PM PST

    •  I completely understand what you're saying, (15+ / 0-)

      but I lived through the time when it was commonly used, in "polite" company, and rarely confronted.  I don't know how to keep the power of what that was like to live in and change the wording.  

      It's an awful word, and the bashing was still going on when my friends were dying of a new disease without a name.  To  me that's worse than the word.  If you have a suggestion for how to make that clear and not be so offensive I'm open to it!

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:28:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it is an awful word (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I love OCD, aitchdee, Hey338Too

        and I don't know of another that would easily substitute... It might be that the whole sentence would have to be rewritten.

        But we try (I can only speak of the Kosability group) try to avoid such words, if only to deprive them of their power. I too am disappointed of how those afflicted early with AIDS and HIV+ status were treated, or not, as the case may be. Certainly the abhorrent treatment that people suffered is worse than the word. I'm only saying that we would be well advised not to use the language of the people who let that happen.

        I fully understand the concept of reclaiming language, but that one is just so hurtful to so many people that I really object to its usage in any civil conversation.

        Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

        by postmodernista on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:39:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I struggled with it, as I did with Jig jokes. (18+ / 0-)

          I may be in a different place with it because the SLUTS group led to a deep healing for me personally.  That word was a weapon used against me before I even knew what sex really was and, more traumatically, was how I was labelled after being date raped.  

          Getting a girl drunk and having sex with her was just a thing Frat boys did, and boasting about it afterward wasn't unacceptable at all.  Slut made my heart hurt, it made me want to simultaneously hurt someone and curl up in the fetal position forever.  Stripping that word of it's power to hurt me was amazing.  

          Maybe we need to do that with all those words.  I don't know.  I'm sorry it hurts you.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:53:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It IS an awful thing (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Smoh, Cedwyn, I love OCD, blueoasis

          and if you've ever experienced it first hand, there's no sugar coating you can apply to it, no polite way to put it. Might as well call it what it is, just as ugly as it is.

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:45:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Based on my internal responses (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CwV, Wee Mama, SanFernandoValleyMom

            when I read old books that use those words and phrases, I think it's important to not whitewash what was real.  It's like a little electrical shock when I read "Are you in the hands of the Jews?", meaning: were you stupid, did you borrow money?  

            And these aren't archaic books, this was an attitude carried well into the 20th Century.  It took a Holocaust to change those casual attitudes, and even that wasn't enough for some.  In 1981 I attended High Holy Day services with the family of my future husband, and asked why all the cop cars for traffic control before the service.  Gently, sweetly my S-I-L to be told me they were doing bomb checks and providing security during the service.  (Which the Synagogue paid for, this wasn't a public service thing.)  

            They weren't worried about Muslim terrorism, this was about American terrorism.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:46:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  That's what we called it in my hometown (11+ / 1-)

      Every Friday night, out to the local meet-up rest area and do some fag bashing.

      Except if there was a basketball game.  When we played the city school next door and lost, then it would be nigger bashing. Hoo boy, when we played Cambridge Ringe & Latin with Patrick Ewing and made those signs up "Ewing kant reed".  Fun times, fun times.

      Yup, it was certainly offensive. And glossing it over now in the name of politeness or not wanting to offend sensibilities does no one any good.  It needs to be seen for the ugly, hateful, disgusting, vile thing it was, and people need to know that people turning their head the other way and not addressing it was just as repugnant as the ones who did it.  

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

      by absdoggy on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:37:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the thing with all of it. (6+ / 0-)

        Reading 11/22/63 brought back memories I'd just as soon do without, and moments of deep shame that I didn't scream "What the fuck is wrong with you?", or at least not freeze up,  more often.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:44:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  so sorry to feel compelled to HR (0+ / 0-)

        that word is the other one that just needs not be used. ever.

        Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

        by postmodernista on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:52:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is not important to remember (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          I love OCD, Glinda

          that gay men were burned alive as kindling for witches?

          That people for centuries so liked that idea they kept it in language?

          Words of hate and oppression should be used in discussion of hate and oppression in my opinion.

          So many lives ruined, it can't go unforgotten.

          The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

          by NCJim on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:40:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It seems that your avoidance of offensive terms (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          I love OCD

          has not deprived them of their power over you.  It seems to have had the exact opposite effect. The words have too much power over you.

          Which is exactly why gay men and women have adopted formerly offensive terms and defanged them by doing so.

          "Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex." - David Frum

          by Glinda on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:41:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for that comment. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Glinda

            My friend Keith used to introduce himself "Hi, I'm Keith and I'm a screaming queen."  He was, too.  I don't know if that went into his work life with him, but he sure startled some of my friends.  He used to introduce me at his parties as the token het.  

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:27:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've been known to refer to myself as ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              I love OCD

              a fag hag when being introduced to an LGBT crowd.

              That's a double whammy: a misogynistic and a homophobic slur.

              "Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex." - David Frum

              by Glinda on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:17:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Uprated (10+ / 0-)

        It's used in context in representing very well the ugly reality of an era.

        •  It's the sense of the whole era (11+ / 0-)

          that came back to me so hard.  There's a scene describing gas station restrooms in Alabama, I think.  Men, Women, then a little piece of wood, arrow shaped, pointing toward the Colored restroom - down a hill covered in poison ivy ending at a plank across a stream.  Fairly easy for men, really awkward for women, and taking a shit meant sitting on a board and dumping into the water.  And carrying your own toilet paper.  And dealing with the poison ivy if you were so desperate you just took that walk.  I knew these things, I knew it, but I feel like I've been hit with a 2x4 anyway.  

          Life is vastly better now, and if we celebrate what we've accomplished aren't we more likely to energized to accomplish even more?

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:07:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is so important: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Smoh, I love OCD
            Life is vastly better now, and if we celebrate what we've accomplished aren't we more likely to energized to accomplish even more?
            Perspective, people. Step back just a bit and really look.

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:47:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I still disagree (0+ / 0-)

          really want to strip the word and all it represents of its power? Stop using it. let it turn up in an unabridged google/wiki dictionary in 300 years with the qualifier 'archaic'.

          Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

          by postmodernista on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:10:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I thought you weren't supposed to uprate a HRed (0+ / 0-)

          post regardless of the situation or whether the HR was deserved or not.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:19:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only in the context of (0+ / 0-)

            shutting down a discussion.  I'm seeing strong opinions and people willing to fight for them, which is exactly why I'm here.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:29:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Some of the people who kvetch the most (10+ / 0-)

    are working the hardest.

    I think we're mostly good people doing good stuff in our own special ways.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:19:48 PM PST

    •  Probably true, but I'm susceptable to (5+ / 0-)

      words.  When no one says "No, Dems are not just like Republicans" I wonder what's going on.  When the gloom and doom runs on for 12" on my iPhone I get really impatient.  If it's that bad let's go all Jim Jones on ourselves, you know?  

      If it's not that bad, why have the discussion, why not talk about ways to improve the ACA, or ways to protect the CFPB from Republican knives?  How about action diaries about 2014, how to change things in your state in the off years, how to get Dems out in the off years.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:35:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dems are, in fact, not at all like Republicans. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I love OCD, SanFernandoValleyMom

        This is eminently true. They aren't theocrats; they aren't dyed-in-the-wool Randians (for the most part); they stand up for women most of the time; they seem to be getting it, of late, on LGBT rights (though there is a lot more to do); they at least pay lip service to the idea that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are sacrosanct institutions -- though this doesn't prevent all of them from musing aloud about "reform" (which could mean anything from minor tweaks to total dismantlement).

        All this is true. Its opposite is true of Republicans.

        But my view is that progressives, as a constituency, do not get our agenda pushed forward if we are in the habit of patting the Democratic party on the back.

        First, while it is absolutely true that we have moved forward on a number of fronts since the 1950s, we've moved backwards some, too: economic inequality is at its worst point since 1929. The labor movement is nowhere near as well-positioned as it was a half-century ago. Many Democrats as well as Republicans accept the logic of deregulation and free trade, despite the negative impact that these things have had on working people. Civil liberties have been only precariously guarded since 9/11, and Democrats have not been where we would ideally want on the question of extrajudicial killings or "enhanced" interrogation techniques. The prison population has exploded since the 1980s, and both Democrats and Republicans have helped to throw away the key.

        In this environment, we do not move forward if we worry about damaging the self-esteem of the Democratic party. The most high-profile and successful progressive movements have imposed pressure on Democrats from outside the party: in the 1950s and 1960s, the civil rights movement used civil disobedience as a key mechanism of pressuring Washington legislators to do something. LBJ's arm-twisting counts for a lot, but would it have happened without the Montgomery bus boycotts or the Freedom Summers? Labor unions and leftist organizations pressed from outside to improve the safety net, and FDR's New Deal was in large part an effort to respond to those pressures, to thread the needle between the need to save capitalism on the one hand, and the need to address the dire straits facing ordinary people on the other.

        My feeling with this is, there are key moments -- the general election, for example -- where it is important to have the Democratic party's back. And I'm not a huge fan of third-party candidacies, which may wind up achieving the opposite of what they intend. But it is important to press the Democratic party to keep pushing for progressive change, and much of this is achieved by external pressure.

        Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

        by Dale on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:36:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you in many ways about (0+ / 0-)

          keeping the Party moving leftish.

          What I don't agree with is this endless loop Progressives get in when things don't go exactly our way.  And that's a broad brush statement, but I went back through the 20th Century and looked at the real time reactions of the left wing through the decades.  I'm not kidding when I tell you lefties hated SS and wanted to kill the bill.  They were furious about Medicare not being big enough.  They hated the Civil Rights legislation, that passed only because it was subject to compromise, and blasted it for being too little, too late.

          And those are the programs we fight to protect today.  My suggestion is that we keep pushing for the best we can get, given the system we work in, and immediately start improving on it rather than walking away in disgust for a few years, or decades.  

          We dig in.  Single-payer or nothing?  How's that Progressive?  I'd rather see people die from lack of any insurance than let them have something tainted by compromise?  The idea seems to be that things will get so bad Single Payer will become the alternative everyone supports.  

          And that might be true, along about 2057.  Or we take the ACA as it is, sell the hell out of it people who are still terrified of Death Panels and the evils of government intervention.  We show them the stats on Medicare, on it's efficiency compared to for-profit plans.   We explain that our debt problem is largely a health care expenses problem.  We tell them that they're charged $2500 for a CT scan, insurance pays 1900, they're on the hook for $600.  If they had cash they could have gotten the scan for $450.  There's a problem here.  No one knows it if we spend ourt time being angry there's no Public Option, and no one works to get a PO in the program until they get over being angry.

          That's where we fail.  CFPB is under attack.  The Republicans want control over how it's funded so they can starve it to death.  They won't confirm ANY candidate to run it, although Paul Ryan might be their choice, and they want it dead because it's working.  Progressives walked away from CFPB in large numbers because Elizabeth Warren wasn't given the job of running it.   WTF?  She designed it, created the structure, made it strong.  Obama protected it's future funding.  Her skills were best used at the best time for them, and she went on to the next thing and she's now a Senator with far more power to change things on many fronts.  

          But this CFPB fight isn't generating much energy here.  Why?  Someone told us Pres. Obama is a corporate stooge so anything he does with the financial industry is suspect?  

          That appears to be the case, and this is why we blow our successes and let the Republicans take back an inch for every 2 inches of forward progress we make.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:14:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  One is unlikely to work hard (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I love OCD, cocinero, blue aardvark

      If one does not acknowledge the problems one is working to fix

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:37:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problems are almost exactly the (7+ / 0-)

        same as they were 50 years ago, 200 years ago, 1000 years ago.  There's greed, violence, bigotry, ignorance, religious lunacy, xenophobia.  We've made a ton of progress, still have a long way to go.  The balance of power between the haves and the have nots has switched back and forth throughout human history.  We'll have a better chance of maintaining equity if we don't lose focus again, but that pendulum keeps swinging, and we keep needing to fight for what we believe is right.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:58:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I get it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD, blueoasis, myboo, Smoh

    We clearly have a political system that is corrupt. Politicians spend more time raising money then they do anything else.  Things have changed, some for the better others for the worse. I do get that people need to have hope so they won't jump off a building.  We have clear problems and leaders too tone deaf to deal with them. Right now we have a clear disconnect between what our leaders think needs to be done and what is getting done. So, yeah, we have moved a few pieces in the right direction, but the cost of food, gas, and education are too high and are going higher. Demand for goods and services is still weak and hiring is stagnant. Not enough jobs are being created to offset the new people entering the job market.

    That's it. And no, I don't have some magic answer. It's why I bury myself in drugs and comedy.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:28:09 PM PST

    •  But the point is that we've moved so far (7+ / 0-)

      we're not facing nearly the overwhelming issues we faced even 40 years ago.  And compared to 100 years ago we're damn near paradise.  If we can do this much in 100 years, or 40 years, or even in the time since DOMA was passed, aren't we wasting energy on kvetching?  

      Yes we need to identify problems before we can fight them, but they're pretty well identified, aren't they?  Our media is no worse than what we've had for most of our history, and the Internet is making information more available to more people than ever before.  Win!  Rich people were damn greedy in the Gilded Age, and there was no social safety net for the rest of us.  That's a Win.  

      The doggerel about Republicans in the '30's?  "A Republican is someone who can't truly enjoy a sumptuous meal unless he knows that someone somewhere is starving."   But still, though they're no different today than they were then, we have SNAP, CHIP, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, ACA, entirely against their will.  Win.

      We have public education, no matter how broken it seems to be.  We have the option to fix it, not take Cantor's path.  He won't win unless we opt out of the battle.

      Nothing happens fast enough, our government was built that way, and good on the Founders for designing some safety blocks.  You'll notice that ALEC only seems to work at state levels, and only in Republican controlled states.  Imagine where we'd be if that kind of shit could move through both Houses of Congress as fast as it does in Legislatures.  Ponderous can be our friend.  

       

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:53:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yup (0+ / 0-)

        Gay people, black folks and everyone else are on their way to being treated equally as bad in our corrupt system. But we all got us some iphones, so, winning!

        I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

        by jbou on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:09:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And that is exactly why I wrote (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LeftyAce, Smoh, Cedwyn, meatwad420

          this diary.  It's the worst time ever, with the worst problems ever and nothing anyone says can make me think it's worth it to keep fighting because I refuse to acknowledge that progress has been made.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:24:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary! n/t (5+ / 0-)

    It's really about time i change my sig line...

    by stevenwag on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:32:41 PM PST

  •  that was good (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, myboo, I love OCD, Diogenes2008, Smoh

    actually great. I remember much of that also... I got some goose bumps just reading about it.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:45:01 PM PST

  •  Agree, great diary, (5+ / 0-)

    even if wince-making to be reminded of living through some of those days.  I get so impatient with people who romanticize the "old days."  Thank you, OCD.

    •  So do I. I think it's mostly (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diogenes2008, mamamorgaine, Smoh, howabout

      affluent white guys who long for the good old days, and who can blame them?  They were top of the heap without having to prove their competence, just by virtue of skin color and gender.  The whole level playing field thing is a bitch if you need inequality in order to thrive.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:28:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary (8+ / 0-)

    I go back about another decade, and I can say that I have seen the same general pattern of improvement.

    Too many people fail to recognize that "politics is the art of the possible" is more than a cliche; it's reality. Your comments about the ACA were especially on target.

    •  Thanks for reading. and more thanks (5+ / 0-)

      for your comment about the art of the possible.  I'm more grateful for the built-in slowness of Congress as I see what ALEC is wreaking in the faster acting state bodies.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:31:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I came here today thirsty for inspiration and (6+ / 0-)

        found it in your diary.

        When I die (some day...nothing apparent yet ; ), let my tombstone say,

        "All I ever really lost was my perspective."

        Tonight you gave me the gift of perspective.

        I get so discouraged by the ignorance I see, hear, and read. Today I was particularly discouraged.

        Sometimes I wonder whether it's because the 'inner tubes' make it easier for us to be exposed to ignorance. And then sometimes I understand that the same inner tubes - meaning you, specifically you but also specifically Daily Kos - remind me that there are many of us working every day to make this a better place for all.

        Huzzah for the generosity of spirit.

        •  I just wrote your epitaph on (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Smoh

          a pretty piece of paper and added it to my collection of things to ponder, to remember.  Thanks for the wisdom.  

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:45:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! thank-you for writing it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD, Smoh

    You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

    by Thomasina on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:08:38 PM PST

  •  Ah!!!! Yes!!!! Thank you!!!! (7+ / 0-)

    Wish I could tip and rec 1,000 times.

    One egregious omission of the coverage around here, and in any similar venue, is the lack of context. The glooming-and-dooming and lack of taking things in historical perspective really gets to me.

    Instead of always going all to pieces when something doesn't come down exactly our way, can we progressives learn to play for the long term?

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:55:29 PM PST

    •  Preach it! and rAmen! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diogenes2008, karmsy, Smoh

      We could be the driving force of the Democratic Party if we pulled together, accepted Progress (not perfection; the possible) and used it as the foundation for building the society we want.

      We have the values, the intellect, the passion, the vocabulary.  What we seem to lack is perspective, awareness of history, and an appreciation for why the Founders built this thing the way they did.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:12:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (5+ / 0-)

    As one church lady to another (LOL), today I was thinking of the Jesus quote about always having the poor with us. And I wondered when is enough enough ... or when is too much too much.  

    What you say is true, I have sooooo much more now than I did when I was young.  I was 15 when JFK was assisinated. As a minority woman, nothing much was expected of me.  When I went to sign up for the
    ACT and the SAT, the teacher told me not to waste my money since I was just going to get pregnant and drop out anyway. Now I have two masters, my daughter has a PhD and both sons have a college education. And materially, I also have much more than many others. What I consider necessary for daily living is so different from what I dreamed then.

    Yet, I see what the 1% have and how they operate; and NO, I do not want to be content to enable them when they apparently want to go back to the times when women were property, when being different (in any way ... sexual preference, skin color, language, ability) was unacceptable and you were worse than on your own, you were under the gun  (And BTW, bashing was exactly what they did to) even if you played the polite subservient "boy" or "girl".

    So maybe, the poor will always be with us, but I want to work to make the world more equitable for me and for my children and grandchildren while still remembering to be grateful for and enjoy what I have. I don't want to get "caught" in always coveting what is just beyond and losing the present, but neither do I want to to ignore social justice.

    Thaks for this ... I don't usually read Stephen King, but maybe I will try this book.

    "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

    by CorinaR on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:03:36 PM PST

    •  I'm with you on all counts. (5+ / 0-)

      I hope it didn't sound like "oh, live and let live" is my attitude.  When rich people routinely spend 4000+ on handbags, for the love of the sweet baby jesus could we maybe extend health care to all post-zygotes?  

      When Apple actually makes a diamond-encrusted iPad and adds dinosaur bones to make it extra-chic I realize that I must not have been getting truly high grade LSD in the '70's, cuz those hallucinations were quite pedestrian compared to today's reality.

      Funny/sad story.  My daughter is a private driver for 4 wealthy families.  It's a dream job for her, and she earned it.  She tuned into the backseat conversation one night, thinking she'd find out what cell phone would be this year's star and suddenly heard "Well, I've about decided to stay with the plane I've got."  Upgrading private jets, not cell phones.  Incomprehensible.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:05:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary - thanks for the reality check :) nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD, Diogenes2008, Smoh

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:38:27 PM PST

  •  On Dkos someone referenced the efforts at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, I love OCD

    Case Western Reserve called Appreciative Inquiry.

    I looked it up and thought their theories rang true.  We have to start from a place of shared accomplishment and then tackle the next obstacle or problem.  Our media seem to lead us in the opposite direction unfortunately.

    •  Exactly! (0+ / 0-)

      I think about how the media has shaped our perceptions of black people.  Barack Obama is a shock to the Fox folks because he's a smart, savvy, charming, well-educated family man with serious skills on many fronts.  They only know black men as wife-beaters, gang-bangers, or arrogant hip-hoppers.  Or silly old guys who have been beaten into submission by life in these United States.  That's the media influence, and its certainly not just the news media.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:27:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As my grandmother used to say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, Eowyn9, I love OCD
    "Can't" never did nothing.
    It was her way of saying that when you say "I can't," you will never be able to do anything because you have given up before you even tried.

    One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -- Plato

    by Jane Lew on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:25:10 AM PST

    •  I can testify to that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jane Lew

      It's why I'm such a saber-rattler about holding on to hope.  When I lose that hope that I can make a difference I've given up on my deepest values and cherished beliefs.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:29:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Her other advice was: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I love OCD
        Don't cry over spilled milk.
        She would not let me complain.

        I had to do something to fix the situation. If that were not possible, crying about it was not worth the breath.

        One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -- Plato

        by Jane Lew on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:10:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I freaking love you. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, indie17, I love OCD

    When we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.

    by genethefiend on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:35:02 AM PST

  •  Wonderful! Made my day. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howabout, I love OCD

    I had sworn to never read another Stephen King book, but I'll make an exception for 11/22/63.

    Private health insurance: a protection racket without the protection.

    by rustypatina on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:40:29 AM PST

    •  Do, it's so worth it. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know why it moved me so deeply.  Right book at the right time?

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:29:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Yeah, it's worth it." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    You're damned right it is.  

  •  OMG - Thank you!!! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD
  •  Our good fortune (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    "I cried when i had no shoes until i met a man who had no feet."  author unknown by me.  Most of us have riches that we will never realize.

    •  And when I'm in despair and fear about (0+ / 0-)

      my circumstances (which go to grim sometimes) I'm paralyzed.  It's all about me, then, and how sad it is that....blah blah blah.  

      I'm strongest when I remind myself that the odds of my staying sober, with bi-polar disorder, are about the same as my odds of winning the lottery.  And I'm doing it.  So fuck that hopeless shit, bring me another challenge so I don't forget how to fight.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:33:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for your needed perspective! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9, indie17, I love OCD

    This is so true... as disturbing as things are at the micro-level of human affairs, I truly believe we are progressing at the macro-level.  Hence our pride in being "progressives!"  Understanding the African American experience, the horrors of the slavery in this country's history and the long road through reconstruction, Jim Crow, segregation, the Civil Rights movement and the fact that we now have an African American president, is just one of the most visible signs to me of human progress - even though racism is still a continuing societal scourge.

    Your post also reminded me of the 5 or 6 emails I would receive daily from the Democratic party in the run up to the election - I would invariably open the ones with the positive subject lines and immediately delete the ones that started with "We're going to lose..."

    •  I got this most clearly when I was (0+ / 0-)

      thinking about LGBT rights.  On the macro level we have hate and rhetoric and Bible-thumping and all the usual BS.  

      On the micro level we have openly gay couples raising delightful kids and living just down the street.  Every LGBT person who was courageous enough to come out and take the abuse has been a gift to the whole country.  

      You can keep hating teh gayz in toto, but it's hard to keep that rage going when teh gay guy down the street rescued your runaway dog despite your obvious hostility.  That's how change happens.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:38:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A perspective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9, I love OCD

    as awe-inspiring as it is rare.

    Thank you for writing this.

    It feels inauthentic, like costume outrage, theatre despair.    
     
    It does.  It always does.  Not to mention childish.  It is how children react to things they can't understand, or if understood cannot articulate.  Hyperbole for the sake of the act; all cause to no effect.

    The outrage, the indignation... and this site is not immune to it, in fact it is an active energetic propagation device FOR IT.

    I am younger than you (by a little bit) but this mindset is what I am trying very very hard to be when I "grow up".

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:10:02 AM PST

    •  Yes, precisely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17, I love OCD

      as well as being the sort of thing that fundamentalist right-wing preachers are famous for. "The sky is falling! The world is about to end! Society is in a state of unprecedented moral decay!"

      I think we can leave that sort of thing to the Right and adopt a more mature approach.

      "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell) Join the Forward on Climate Rally on February 17!

      by Eowyn9 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:18:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I sure hope we do. (0+ / 0-)

        There are serious problems to solve, and I remain convinced that acknowledging our successes is the strongest foundation for building the next triumphs.  

        And Triumph most often comes in tiny little steps.  I used to love high drama as a lifestyle so it's hard to get excited about no drama, but life is sure more rewarding without the sturm und drang.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:09:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for reading, and for (0+ / 0-)

      commenting so thoughtfully.  There are a lot of us one the same page, and that's good to know.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:10:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful diary, thank you, OCD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    Please write more!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:32:31 AM PST

  •  I think it's quite amazing how far we've come. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    Consider this: in the last election, voters in three states overwhelmingly chose to pass marriage equality measures. In other words, a large MAJORITY chose to extend, to a small MINORITY of citizens, a right which would not directly help them (the majority) in any obvious way. Yet they did it anyway.

    Incredible -- especially when one considers how often the "tyranny of the majority" has used their power to deny such rights to minorities throughout history. Has this sort of shift EVER happened at the ballot box before (as opposed to being passed through legislation or decided in the courts?)

    Racism is no longer considered acceptable in our society. Sexism is no longer acceptable. Homophobia is rapidly on its way there (after an amazingly quick shift in public opinion over the last 5 years or so). I believe that, over the next couple of decades, we will arrive at a point where environmental destruction is likewise seen as unacceptable (either we'll tackle the issues facing us, or ignore them to the point where the consequences become so dire that they simply can't be ignored any longer.)

    There is still LOTS of room for work: upgrading, refining and extending the progress we've made. But it IS progress.

    "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell) Join the Forward on Climate Rally on February 17!

    by Eowyn9 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:34:59 AM PST

    •  You brought tears to my eyes with this: (0+ / 0-)
      In other words, a large MAJORITY chose to extend, to a small MINORITY of citizens, a right which would not directly help them (the majority) in any obvious way. Yet they did it anyway.
      You put this stunning leap forward into words so beautifully that it rocked me back in my chair.  YES!!!!!!

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:05:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  U ROKK (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    Astute, closely observed, reasonable, empathetic, passionate, and communitarian - not to mention that your memory is like a superpower from another age. Folks now require the google to pick up historic tidbits. But you remember how it FELT. You remember the revealing details, and you have the discretion to recognize them for the persuasive realities they are.

    I would love to read more of your observations.

    To My Colonoscopist

    I think that I shall never see
    so far up you as you up me.

    by shieldvulf on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:14:11 AM PST

    •  Thank you so much. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm thrilled that this is resonating with so many people, because we really do have good reason to keep fighting the good fights - our successes can be the rising tide that floats our boats, despite the occasional harpoon through the gunwales.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:02:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I give this diary 10 points up! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    Thanks for the lift.

    100 years ago I'd have died at 15.  It could be better, but it's good.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:30:37 AM PST

  •  You also might like to read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. He argues persuasively that we are living in the most peaceful period in human history and that rates of violence are orders of magnitude lower than what they used to be.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:39:46 AM PST

    •  Thanks for the book recommendation. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milkbone

      Sounds like my kind of reading!  And I agree with that assessment.  We still have that lizard brain component that drives some really crazy fear-based thinking and behavior, but we seem to be using our cognitive resources and behaving more wisely.  

      Parable:  I live in Texas, the land of the free and home of the armed.  Politically idiotic short-sighted people are running us into the ground, but I live in paradise in the friendliest town I've ever been in.  I can't get through the grocery store without several conversations, including the cashier and the bagger dude.  

      We have 5 stoplights, the uncontrolled intersections require some politeness, and I've rarely seen selfishness win.

      When my mom died we had people delivering food all day long for 3 days.  We chose the small chapel for her service because she was the last of her siblings and my generation is widely spread out and very busy.  The chapel was packed - people from my church, my sister's churches, AA and Al-Anon, the Community Chorus, the Library where I volunteer 4 hours a week.  People from another church who volunteered for My New Best Friend, a senior program that gave us one morning a week for errands when we were mom's caretakers full time.   The music was spectacular with all those singers there, and it was so comforting to look up and see friends who loved her and love us and wanted to be there for us.

      Every day I live in a world where people are kind and generous.  Every day I read about a world where people are hideous, cruel, selfish.  It's fantasy to think that the bad things aren't real and don't need addressing, but the good so vastly outweighs the bad when we look for it and cherish it.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:00:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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