I’ve noticed a few things since my last post. The USDA has
solved disguised the crises of American hunger by re-naming it “very low food security.” Every year the government issues a report showing access to food, using the word “hunger” to describe the state of Americans who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. No more. The lead author of the report says “hungry” is “not a scientifically accurate term for the specific phenomenon being measured.” 35 million starving Americans can console themselves with the fact their condition is being analyzed with the most scientifically sophisticated statitistical metrics, reflecting the government’s deep and abiding preoccupation with the trouble of putting food on your family, who’s number has increased 1 million this year.
A “liberal” pundit reminisces on thoughts going into Iraq:
We are a good country, attempting to do a good thing. In a post-Sept. 11 world, I thought the prudent use of violence could be therapeutic.
I notice the mainstream news has yet to interrupt their relentless holiday shopping coverage to mention the youtube now playing on every other blog, where cruel soldiers taunt children with bottles of clean water. This blog comment caught my eye:
Here’s your “therapeutic,” Richard Cohen. American soldiers, barely out of their teens, tormenting children desperate for a bottle of clean water. There’s your “prudent use of violence.” There’s your “good country.”
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
That evil will live with us for the rest of our lives. It may kill us yet.
“Here’s your Patriot Act, here’s your abuse of power.”
That quote comes from a mouthy but otherwise unresisting UCLA student who was tasered five times in the school library, cuffed and dragged through the room by two officers, while he repeatedly screamed, “I’m not fighting you” and “I said I would leave!” The LA Times reported it as the third troubling incident of taser abuse, but that was last week, this just in via Mindhacks:
Oakland police tasered a man having an epileptic seizure because he became agitated when restrained. They subsequently prosecuted him for assault and disorderly conduct. You couldn’t make it up if you tried.
Civil disobedience “wins” striking janitors an increase from minimum wage to 6.25 an hour, increased work hours and medical benefits, which will, they say effectively double their income. Effectively? Medical benefits are valuable but they don’t translate to food on the table. These are victory crumbs, but you don’t look gift horses in the mouth after having been trampled by them while protesting peacefully.
Shakespeare’s Sister reports on yet another draconian anti-choice bill, calling for a total abortion ban in Alabama; no allowing for an abortion to save the life of the mother.
Thanksgiving I watched the PBS Frontline report on Living Old, what it means to wear out your body, mind and welcome here on planet earth.
“Living Old” spares us nothing in terms of graphic human decline or thorny ethical issues around life and death…presents a brutal, relentless picture of what happens to the rest of us, particularly the burgeoning population of… the fastest-growing group in the country.
The footage of the very old in nursing homes, together with the pronouncements of experts about the inability of the American health care system to cope with the present situation, let alone what’s coming, are chilling. …
I’ll say. Only yesterday cold sweats, hot flashes and the return of migraines after a five-year hiatus hit me like a thunderbolt, welcoming my initiation into menopause, one more story I can’t do a goddamn thing about.
Here’s to awareness!
Other things have surely happened but this is what I noticed. A certain stinging reward of getting sober is to notice.
Alan Ginsberg took it a step further, instructing his students to notice what you notice. Sounds worse, somehow, so I’ll get right on it, meanwhile enough with the war on Christmas already, haven’t we settled this yet?
And. From children. He gets. Letters. Here. Enjoy, godspeed, peace out, more soon.