Archive for March, 2010


March 30, 2010

For further confirmation that people need to take their focus off their own problems and start realizing we’re all in this together, here’s an excerpt from Chris Hedges’ piece in February’s Adbusters.  There’s so much more in this article worth pursuing.  Here’s the link:  Thanks to Paul Hinton for sending me this.

The philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote that the exclusive preoccupation with personal concerns and indifference to the suffering of others beyond the self-identified group is what ultimately made fascism and the Holocaust possible: “The inability to identify with others was unquestionably the most important psychological condition for the fact that something like Auschwitz could have occurred in the midst of more or less civilized and innocent people.

The indifference to the plight of others and the supreme elevation of the self is what the corporate state seeks to instill in us. It uses fear, as well as hedonism, to thwart human compassion. We will have to continue to battle the mechanisms of the dominant culture, if for no other reason than to preserve through small, even tiny acts, our common humanity.

why the revolution won’t start tomorrow

March 11, 2010

The untouched ones spend their luck without a thought, believing they deserve it.

The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver

In the midst of the florid fecundity of Kingsolver’s new novel, I picked out this one spare sentence to preserve.  Although Kingsolver is aiming for this novel to be all things to all people (there are TOO many parallels to today’s social, political and economic situation to shake a stick at) and undoubtedly readers will ADORE her for it, this is the one she did get right.  While millions fall beneath the wheels of unemployment, unpaid mortgages, uninsured medical procedures, and zeroed-out investment portfolios, “the untouched ones” don’t consider themselves lucky; they really do believe they deserve it.

A Clarabelle tale

March 3, 2010

Here’s a picture of my best friend Clarabelle.  Anybody who knows me has heard at least a few tales of my traveling companion of 9 years.  She’s the mastermind of this whole operation, although she claims limited liability when it comes to my current financial insolvency.  She’s clever that way.

On Friday, CB, as I call her when she’s not scratching on something she shouldn’t, is going into to have one of her rotten teeth pulled.  Clarabelle and I have both had trouble with our teeth.  Although the cost for my bridge necessitated a heavily penalized early withdrawal from my miniscule 401(k), generally my dental visits cost a lot less than hers, and not only because I use the dental school.  When I get my teeth cleaned, for instance, they don’t have to put me under anesthesia.  Also I do my best between check-ups to brush and floss regularly.  CB is not into that at all.

Given that my bank balance won’t even cover my now deliquent phone bill and my mother has begged me repeatedly not to use my credit card (all those NPR pieces on credit card changes really got to her), I wouldn’t be able to even think about taking Clarabelle to the vet’s office if it weren’t for my other friends.  Out in Nebraska, Sherie Gordon is looking into selling an antique mirror of mine that’s been schlepped from Boston to Charlottesville to Utah and finally to Nebraska.  The money I hope to get from that will go to paying my friend Rachel back as soon as possible.  Because Clarabelle has gotten a nasty sinus infection from the rotten tooth, the vet wanted to start her on antibiotics before the operation, so to save me the cost of gas for a trip into town, Scott picked up the medicine and brought it out right away.

Isn’t this incredible?  Three of my friends are helping me help another friend.  At times like this when I feel more unstable and insecure than I ever could have imagined feeling, I realize how my friends keep me rooted in the world.  Their support feeds into what I can give to others, and it doesn’t stop.  It cycles around and around, an ecosystem of nuture.  This kind of love is the one REAL thing that can counter despair (another REAL thing), and it is everywhere, sustaining us and others we will never know.

“What will survive of us is love.” 

Philip Larkin