Sunday, December 19, 2004

Future Rama Lama 

The war goes on. The madness continues. Our Sunday paper has sixteen ounces of lurid greedmongering advertising and two ounces of tepid news. The historian Arthur Link said, referring to the 1920’s, that they were “an era when great traditions and ideals were repudiated or forgotten, when the American people, propelled by a crass materialism in their scramble for wealth, uttered a curse on…years of reform endeavor.” That during this time “political representatives of big business and Wall Street executed a relentless and successful campaign in state and nation to subvert the regulatory structure that had been built at the cost of so much toil and sweat…to restore a Hanna-like reign of special privilege to benefit business, industry and finance… to engulf the land in fear of communism…manifested in suppression of civil liberties, revival of nativism and in the triumph of racism and prejudice in immigration legislation.” Days of intense research in the RDF labs have concluded that history is repeating itself. The future is ours to envision. Marge Piercy’s Luciente in Woman on the Edge of Time said it well to the traveler from our time:

”Can I give you tactics?” Bee turned her chin back toward him. “There’s always a thing you can deny your oppressor, if only your allegiance. Your belief. Your co-oping. Often, even with vastly unequal power, you can find or force an opening to fight back. In your time many without power found ways to fight. Till that became a power.”

“But you’re still fighting. It isn’t over yet!”

“How is it ever over?” Luciente waved a hand. “In time the sun goes nova. Big bang. What else? We renew, regenerate. Or die.”

“But you don’t seem to believe really in more—not more people, more things, or even more money.”

Luciente leaned against a pine, her fingers playing with the ridged bark. “Someday the gross repair will be done. The oceans will be balanced, the rivers flow clean, the wetlands and forests flourish. There’ll be no more enemies. No Them and Us. We can quarrel joyously with each other about important matters of idea and art. The vestiges of the old ways will fade. I can’t know that time—any more than you can ultimately know us. We can only know what we can truly imagine. Finally what we see comes from ourselves.”

Happy holidays, if you get any. Know that the idealists of the '20's could envision us today, fighting the same powers. We are hunkering down in the middle of the wintertime web at RDF, making sure to have funeral clothing for the January 20th temporary interment of American Idealism, but while we sit shiva in sackcloth and ashes for peace and justice, at the same time we mourn, we will be lifting a glass or three of fine whiskey with an eye to a better future and in memory of those progressives that came before us. Salud! The Democratic Party is ours to take back. The past is ours to embrace and the future is ours to envision.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

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