Wednesday, April 25, 2012

leftists, liberals, and the politics of betrayal

i  wrote this email to Democratic candidate Alan Grayson's office, after reading his fundraising appeal letter--see below.  i am really, really outraged by this.  [as you see...]. and as much as we need to make political compromises with whoever can keep Romney and his like out of office, we do need to remember that compromise can easily turn into collaboration.  

FYI, some of us ARE radical leftists, and we don't see that as an insult. you'll probably gain more than you lose financially by putting us down in your fundraising, but you will lose some of us.  and please remember that, because all of our choices are so limited to democrat or republican, most of us if we vote at all will vote democrat, out of sheer horror at the alternative.  but if you go out of your way to offend us, you remind us that you too are our enemy.  and that will keep some of the constituency that Obama once had, and the democrats once had, away from the fundraisers and the polls. and by the way, in case  mr. long accuses you of other vile things, remember that some of us are also: queer/queer-lovers; women's libbers, angry african americans or supporters of angry african americans; commies, anarchists, bleeding-heart liberals, muslims or non-muslims concerned about islamophobia; uppity jews, and a lot of other things mr. long might use as epithets.  just so you can have your own attacks against us ready.
-----Original Message-----

From: Grayson for Congress <>
To: karennederland <>
Sent: Wed, Apr 25, 2012 5:19 pm
Subject: Our Opponent Called You a "Radical Leftist"


Dear Karen:

Our opponent, Republican Todd Long, sent out an e-mail about you. And it's not a pleasant one.

Long apparently is upset that 100,000 of us have contributed to this campaign, while his campaign counts only 84 contributors. So he has lashed out at you, calling our supporters "liberal Hollywood, Washington insiders, and radical leftists outside Central Florida." Long also gripes about the fact that the "Goliath" in the race is "Grayson's fund raising war chest."

We can't make Todd Long stop insulting you, but we can raise more money than he can. Click here and show Todd Long right now that your $50 adds up to more than all the sewer money that he can take in.

Todd Long's e-mail isn't just an assault on Alan Grayson; it's an assault on every one of us who supports these things:
  • a good job for everyone who needs it;
  • healthcare for everyone who needs it;
  • security and peace-of-mind for seniors;
  • a first-class education for every child;
  • lower taxes on people who work;
  • equal rights; and
  • peace.
Aren't you sick and tired of people like Todd Long who put you down, just because you care about other people? If wanting a good life for all Americans makes us "radical leftists," then we are guilty, guilty, guilty as charged.

Let's show Todd Long that his negative campaign against Alan Grayson and you comes with a price.Put your money where his mouth is. Contribute $50, or whatever you can give, today.
Now, it's personal.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

me and the kids, down by the schoolyard....

so it wasn't my best semester, thanks to asthma, depression, and fate, i suppose.  one of the RA's posted this online today with some other pix, and  it cut right into my self-pity... how could i feel totally off about a semester that included this? and how could i forget for a moment how much i love the castle?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Theme on a Poem by William Mearns

when i was walking up the stair
i turned, and saw i wasn't there.
i wasn't there again today.
it's time for me to go away

where face-free mirrors beckon clean
reflecting only ancient dreams
where glass nor footsounds threaten views
and sight-unseen is all that soothes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tryvon Martin Charges

2nd degree!  the guy calls the cops, who tell him to do nothing; they'll check the 'dangerous-looking' kid out. and he ignores them and follows martin and shoots him. how is this second degree?  how is it not cold-blooded, deliberated murder?  state law; shoot first.  would that apply if the killer were black and the victim white?

i suppose we should be grateful it isn't manslaughter or justifiable homicide.

a 16-year-old unarmed kid was murdered.  but so what? he wore a hoodie; it didn't completely cover his black face.

but it's okay, folks. we got a black president.....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Forgotten Gems of Arlen and Mercer

For my 13th birthday in 1957, my parents' friend Clair arranged a special surprise.  A chorus girl, she was performing in a musical comedy called Rumple [no connection with the later BBC series] . i remember little of the plot, and the show was a flop, but to me, going to live theatre for the first time, it was bliss. lights dimming, orchestra warming up, curtain rising, first lines...nothing, nothing was or could be more exciting. i was totally hooked, and remained so for years.  i went to everything:  shakespeare, miller, and pretty much whatever was playing on [and later off] broadway.  my father frequently came home with 'twofers' for a play that was failing or preparing to end a long run   hamlet or world of suzy wong,  they were  all equally brilliant to me.  mostly, though, i loved musicals.

over the years, i've forgotten most of those musicals.  a few, however, have stayed in my mind.  i had recently been thinking about some of these, and, thanks to the magic of google and of sound-improving technology, i've found albums of two i had loved most.  both were by arlen and mercer, both near flops at the time, both now largely forgotten.  and both had daring subtexts criticising capitalism.  Jamaica  [1957] starred lena horne and the nearly white ricardo montalban.  Horne was a beautiful belle set to marry montalbon, but pulled by a desire to move to glamorous new york.  arlen and mercer had recycled a great, sassy song they'd first used in Cabin in the Sky years earlier, "Ain't It the Truth" [a song that has reappeared in recent years in the repertoire of Audre McDonald].  "Push the Button' and "Three Monkeys in the Mango Tree'' light-heartedly mocked human greed and regressive 'progress,' while "Leave the Atom Alone,'' with an angry edge that seems amazing for the bomb-enthralled 1950s [and perhaps played a part in the show's relatively short run]. "Coconut Sweet" was a gentle, sexy love song that, a decade earlier, might have become a hit on its own.

two years later came the same team's Saratoga, based on an edna ferber novel and starring carol lawrence and howard keel as a pair of con artists who meet in high-toned saratoga, new york, predictably falling in love along the way. terrific songs, but the one that stands out and whose entire lyrics i had remembered for over 50 years, is one i'd love to see revived today.  ''the men who run the country' is a self-congratulatory ode to their own cleverness sung by four robber barons. i wish i could legally quote it all, but i'll settle for a few bits.  as the title says, these guys rule everything, including cops and politicians, while they 'mutilate the woodland and disintegrate the plain."  they are rapists, near murderers,  growing more and more successful by the day as they impoverish the citizens,  and though the 'headlines say red lines' they become millionaires.  and everyone believes them because they keep assuring the populace that the economy is improving.

soon these, and even smash hits like The Music Man, would pretty much vanish as rock became the music of both rebellion and submission, and the rock musical was born and flourished.  but it's nice to know i was just old enough to be there as 'the great american songbook' was exiting, and to go to musicals every month or more, not knowing that it would soon be the end for mercer and arlen, porter and berlin, and all of their ilk, apart from a handful of cafe society singers.  and it's nice to listen to those songs again, remembering that girl who, unhappy enough in daily life, was uplifted by those great popular-music artists.  ain't it the truth.....

Saturday, April 7, 2012

"As Seen on...!"

i understand that advertising is the science of the immoral, and for that matter, more often than not, the science of the stupid.  but really....don't you love the 'as seen on television' ads that keep popping up in magazines and on the internet?  they must work, b/c the ads keep appearing.  but is anyone really convinced that a product is worthy because it's been advertised on a different medium? i guess....