I have a habit of anthropologizing when I go somewhere. I like to get a feel for the human climate wherever I go. I'm probably annoying to some because I ask hard questions sometimes, but my job is to make people stop and think for a minute.
I went to a polymer clay retreat in Nashua NH over the weekend for artists. It was fabulous but not very restful because we were on a creating frenzy. My carpal tunnels were having a field day throbbing and pulsating. I'm surprised I can type this. I couldn't figure out how to get online because no one knew the user name and password for the campus wifi. I was too exhausted to really do much of anything at 1am anyway and my buddies were banging on my door at 8am to get moving. There were no TVs or radios, so pretty much 60+ of us relied on each other for information from the outside world. Thank Gawd, this time, my fellow retreaters were critical thinkers (as opposed to the Nazi sympathizers and Christianistas on my last retreat in Dallas.) I lost no hair this time.
The believers were reasonable and open minded (we had great theological discussions) and the few Republicans were your typical northeastern Republicans like me- socially liberal capitalists (but I am an Independent now). The average age of the mostly female gathering was probably 50-55. Well more than half (maybe 3/4's) of the attendees were appalled at Dick Cheney's secrecy, knew about Halliburton moving to Dubai, think bush is the worse president in their lifetime, are opposed to the war and a war with Iran and deeply disappointed with the Democratic representatives who are not doing all they can to stop the madness. The many gals from Connecticut apologized for Lieberman. (I made them. I also asked them to find out about a recall.) Everyone I spoke to would like to see Cheney and Bush extradited and charged with war crimes.
Hillary and Bill were in NH over the weekend. That caused a bit of chatter. Mostly good chatter. I saw a headline on the Boston Herald in a convenience store that read: "Face it. A vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill." I looked at it and asked a customer if I was supposed to take that as a bad thing. He said, not for him.
Even though a lot of progressives have all sorts of issues with the Clintons, people have to remember that we just spent 6 1/2 years battling a fascist takeover. This is not a fairy tale and there is no one out there who will come and save the day. The best we can hope for is a lesser evil. If Hillary is pandering to every group hoping to get votes, then so what? That's what politicians do. Personally, I am sick of white men running this country. I would like to see a female president in my lifetime. I know that she will be hammered unmercifully by the fascist media, but I believe Hillary is up to the job like no other woman. I think she knows what she's doing and if she has an agenda, it may be to cripple the powers that be. Whether or not she will succeed is not known, but any movement towards reclaiming this country away from the corporatists will be a step in the right direction.
Late Saturday, a woman at the retreat got news that her daughter was being deployed to Iraq and she left in tears to go home to say goodbye. When the news spread throughout the gathering, you could feel the temperature rise in the room and see the anger and tears welling up in everyone's eyes. No one could say anything positive to her like "oh it will be all right."
Seriously. It's like we're living in a Stephen King novel.
PS there is a ton of email in my box. I've read it all, thank you. I will do my best to answer but I broke my glasses, am wearing sunglasses and need to get to Lens Crafters.