Wednesday, October 17, 2007

i pledge allegiance to the...

Dear NPR,

Thanks for another episode of "guess who has more money!" I have been troubling myself with the pesky questions of who has a viable strategy to get us out of Iraq and start mending all the fences we've burned, who will take universal healthcare seriously, who will hold corporate polluters accountable, who will restore our civil liberties, release the "enemy combatants" (or at least give them a trial), give our teachers back the ability to teach evolution and sex-ed... I have been worrying over all these choices, choices, choices and voila! It seems they've been narrowed down.

I was concerned that I still had 384 days to choose between Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Stephen Colbert, Christopher Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Don J. Grundmann, Bryan Malatesta, Diane Beall Templin, Alan Keyes, Jim Gilchrist, Jerome Cors, Jared Ball, Elaine Brown, Jesse Johnson, Jerry Kann, Kent Mesplay, Kat Swift, Daniel Imperato, Bob Jackson, Mike Jingozian, Steve Kubby, Alden Link, George Phillies, Wayne Allyn Root, Christine Smith, Sam Brownback, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Alan Keyes, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, and Fred Thompson.

And wow, that's a lot of choices! When it comes to soy milk, I'm happy to have 39 options, but 39 presidential candidates? That's just crazy. Apparently all we need to know is who has more money. I've never actually given to a campaign myself, and I don't know anybody else who does either, but somewhere somebody is coughing up cash for their favorite and that's good enough for me.

I'm glad NPR doesn't bother with an analysis of where the money comes from -- corporations vs. individuals, drug companies and oil executives, tree-huggers and the ACLU. It's just too hard to try to stay informed, and I'd rather my news source do the hard thinking for me. Whew. Thanks, NPR!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

how easily we forget...

I watched this house move a few weeks ago, saw it severed from its foundation and raised on steel bars and connected to a truck and moved a few lots away. I saw it, I took pictures of it, I remarked on it. And today, walking by the lot where the house used to stand, I thought "what used to be here?" The basement has been filled with dirt, the top covered in sod, and even the lines of sod have wedded together so that it's almost impossible to say that anything was ever there.

I'm one of those people who remembers pretty much everything -- conversations from grade school, names, big experiental things, little detaily things... But this act of forgetting made me think of all the things we must insist on remembering, no matter how much dirt, grass, or time has filled in the hole. Not the house. I don't care about the house.

Revisionist history has damaged our collective memory. Remember when we were told there was a connection to Iraq and the 9/11 attacks? When U.N. weapons inspectors searched for months for "weapons of mass destruction" and found nothing? When we were told that all Americans would have access to affordable healthcare? That children weren't going to be left behind??

People want us to forget. Forget we were lied to, forget we ever had a choice. What good is it to insist that 2+2=4 if everyone else swears it is 5? Reality is collective mythology. Lay some sod and change the story.