Friday, February 18, 2005

I'm fast becoming an escapist;

losing any ability to connect with the headlines. I cancelled the subscription to the local newspaper months ago and haven't missed it -- and I'm a news junkie. I scan the headlines in the Washington and New York Posts daily, giving more attention to AlterNet and TruthOut, but skipping all but the editorial columns much of the time. At some point the day-to-day outrages have so fueled my fears that even the Six O'clock News fails to draw me in anymore. However, I never miss the Daily Show and Jon Stewart's outrageous satire. Maybe the indirect view is less frightening for me. It's so hard to tell the real from the unreal now, and made-up news is less crazy than what is coming out of the Capitol. The final blow was to discover that "made-up news" is also coming out of official sources and paid for by taxpayer dollars, at that. It's becoming even more difficult to tell where to place one's trust in news sources than ever before.

I continue to wait for reactions to come from leadership -- from anywhere; the arts, the state capitol, Washington, city hall, county seat. I'm beginning to suspect with increasing dread that much of the nation is precisely where I am; paralyzed with fear and no longer able to respond. And this is probably just as true for those blue cities caught in red states. This must not be!

I keep reminding myself that what is happening to us all -- worldwide -- is a runaway global takeover by hostile forces (yes, I know that's wild talk), and that crossing the point of no return on the environmental breakdowns can only be topped by the impending economic collapse, and the resulting panic and devastation of the planet. I also remind myself that such words would have been seen as hyperbole only a short time ago, but now are highly possible -- and my grandchildren will not be spared, nor will yours.

Today I will prod myself into acting somewhere beyond my self-imposed limits. Last night I was in the audience at Berkeley Arts Magnet school where my two youngest granddaughters are students. The innocence of those children, the hope shining from the faces of young parents, convinced me that giving up and continuing to cede power to forces beyond my control has never been a valid response. I must return to the old ways of acting on pure faith that invisible others are out there waiting for me to help to shoulder the burden of change as in the past, and that I'm still capable of doing so.

Whistling in the dark may be all we have left, but whistle I will! (At least until the next awful disclosure, appointment, or act of aggression.)

Oh, word has come from army recuit, granddaughter Jessica, from the South Carolina Boot Camp. She's terrified, angry, disappointed, and wants to come home. At 18 she is just one more youngster who yielded to the temptations set forth by the recruiters in the inner city, and exemplifies the new "all volunteer" army. This will take more than whistling... .

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