Saturday, February 14, 2004

Leisure doesn't play well today ...

It's Saturday and I'm finding that a Saturday that isn't preceded by a busy week holds little meaning.

Read The Nation cover to cover, and gave due diligence to the pundits on the Left and decided that I need to locate a new base for political activities and soon. Came to the conclusion that -- for good reason -- the Democrats have clearly come together in the hope of unseating the Bush presidency by supporting the "electable" John Kerry. S'okay. I can live with that, though I find myself hoping that Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean will remain in the race through to the end in order to provide a ballast on the Left that may keep Kerry from doing the "Centrist" thing by moving to the perceived middle after the primaries are over. Clinton with the help of Dick Morris moved to the right of Nixon when running for his second term, and the temptation will be great for Kerry to do likewise. His positions were far more conservative at the beginning of the primaries than in the more recent past. It wasn't until he adopted Dean's far more feisty anti-Iraq Bush policies that Kerry's fortunes began to change. Becoming more critical of Bush's stance on both economic issues and foreign policy turned the tide for him. Were Kucinich and Dean to remove themselves from the race prematurely, I fear a pulling back on his part. By liberalizing his views, he's given a political home to a brand new constituency -- one that will quickly disintegrate if there are signs of that kind of "Clintonism." That would mean a far closer and more perilous fight for the presidency against a powerfully-financed George Bush.

Am finding MoveOn and People for the American Way essential to my ability to track events. I've come to trust a host of sources; George Soros, the Guardian, The Nation, Le Monde, Al Jazeera, and (yes) the Berkeley Daily Planet for local stuff, adds a sense of being part of something larger than myself these days. This is new, and largely made possible by the Internet. Having access to CSpan and the cable coverage of city, county, and state governance is making a difference in campaigns and the way we've come to use political power. Never have ordinary citizens had the tools to move governments in quite this way. We've magnified power of the electorate a thousandfold through technology. Hope enough of us are aware of that and are using it wisely. Eli Parisher and MoveOn have surely changed access and provided the means by which we can bring accountability into the equation, raise funds, and have our voices heard in an effective way.

And -- today is Valentine's Day. Noticed on the last pages of The Nation a column of personal ads. I'm aware that many folks my age read the obituaries with the same interest. Sometimes read the personals for entertainment value, and for what little vicarious thrill there is in seeing bold and sophisticated men and women with enough daring to say precisely what they want for the entire world to see. Smart! Not sure that I could ever do that, but I did see one ad by "a professional man (mid-eighties, it said) who lives on the east coast and is seeking companionship," sounded mildly interesting. "Has home in New York and summer place ...". Now if that had been "lives on the west coast with a summer home on Tiburon or Belvedere," who knows. Maybe would have answered it. Felt daring just thinking about it. Nah, he'd probably be a Republican anyway.

It did stir memories of living in relationship and brought up some nostalgia for times past. Guess I've kept myself too busy to have regrets about living singly, but -- maybe it's just the effects of February 14th. Remembered with a grin of the Valentine's Day that I baked a heart-shaped meatloaf for Bill. He told that story for years, and embellished it with descriptions of sprigs of parsley placed strategically to suggest God knows what! He always made me sound clever and Noel Coward witty in the telling. It's also true that it takes an awful lot of "busy" to re-direct all that sexual energy elsewhere -- and an equal amount of self-delusion to convince oneself that none of that matters. It does.

I'm thinking that I may need to re-think the entire notion of romantic love, and embrace a broader definition of just what that is, and just how that might be achieved. I may have more time on this planet than previously thought, and updating my conception of just how that time might be spent may need consideration (grinning wickedly!).

Now, back to those tango lessons ... .