I’m told I have only 250 milliseconds to get your attention so: recently I spent some time with Tommy Lee Jones in Richmond Virginia’s State Assembly, and at 2:30am on Leap Day 2012, my Mother died.
The tie that binds these two personal historical moments to you: when a low life calls a college “snob” a “slut” for increased ratings, gets more TV time news cycles than Virginia’s Women’s Strike Force, a new PAC of women who are fiercely united in their progressive independence to resist any attempt of Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Virginia State Governments to launch a successful national campaign to make 157 million Americans second class citizens with fewer constitutionally guaranteed rights, personal liberties and freedoms to pursue happiness, just because they were born without a penis, then I think it’s time to acknowledge that a 250 milliseconds evaluation, is likely to leave you in the dark ages.
March is Women’s History month. Why not, black people have February. As the other ten months go to the highest bidder for white guys, don’t know where Asians, Hispanics, Jews and original Americans get celebrated or at least acknowledged — perhaps when returning veterans get parades again.
Can’t help wondering if we spent as much time & money and gave as much attention to caring for one another between birth and death, as we legally and financially burden death, and try legislating birth, perhaps more of us would have a healthier and happier life on earth.
We might discover the stability and security that a life filled with peace, love, happiness, communicating ideas offers: listening to the birds and the bees instead of condemning them, smelling the roses with each other instead of destroying the healing potential of the rain forest; uniting in true friendships that produce solutions, rather that proclaiming loving God and country is a license to prosecute those with whom we disagree; putting more blacks in jail for drugs while 20 million hang on every twisted word of radio talk show druggie; expressing institutional religious freedom by insisting pretty boy wannabe VP Bob sign himself into Virginia law as Vaginal Probe McDonnell.
Supreme Court sanctioned Corporate Personhood needs our regulation, not the personhood of those Americans continuing the procession of Pocahontas, Sacagawea; Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Amelia Earhart; Eleanor Roosevelt, Marion Anderson, Rosa Parks; Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor; Geraldine Ferraro, Olympia Snowe, Hillary Clinton and of course Anita Hill.
Somethings worth pondering longer than 250 milliseconds:
• Perhaps it’s better to define Personhood by the kind of person, husband, mother, soldier, government employee, community leader, and family or board member you are
• Buffett and Gates are not the only good people in the top 1% income bracket, but if you’re not one of them, you’re the 99%
• There have always been rich and powerful people like the Koch brothers craving more at the expense of others, but they can’t rule us without our voting, listening or silent consent.
• The Civil War never ended. Only the target victims have increased. Now it’s women like my Mother, your sister,Sandra Fluke and you
A gentle rain at sunrise rejuvenates like a midnight turkey sandwich on Thanksgiving, each calmly lulling us into savoring moments of annual rewrites to embolden our Happy New Year resolutions.
When I was growing up my cousins headed off to Grandma’s house for a two week slice of summer vacation “in the country,” but my parents wouldn’t let me “be a burden” to her, until all the cousins, aunts and uncles assailed The Holidays, “over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go,” at Christmas.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day it seemed every Italian we knew from Miami to NYC descended upon “the big house,” to enforce “tis the season to be jolly.” When I crossed over the border into double digits, my life was absorbed into a maze of dos and don’ts strung in a red, white and blue reflection from a round black and white TV screen, telling “stories” to old people about young people.
To a pre-teen, the only thing people over 50 talked about was how far they had to walk to school in the cold wintry months of snow and ice and how hard they had to work so that I wouldn’t have to. As for me, Mom had told me, at four, on my very first ever school day, I insisted on walking alone, so what was the big deal?
As teenager I pretended to listen to the same stories, my 50 plus elders repeated after holiday stuffing, until my fourteenth Thanksgiving, when Mom added a new epilogue to the story of my first school day solo hike. She confessed to following me the four city blocks, unseen on the opposite side of the street. Moms! Just when you think you can do it without them.
In 1962, people over 50 went to church to talk to God about Communism, Cuban missiles and UN shoe banging. A year later their tears flowed openly over Dallas bullets, giving birth to 24/7 news and ending my family holidays. Post Nixon preamble to America’s 200th birthday, there was only talk of Watergate and Florida solutions from the half century crowd.
Final separation came with eighties realization that “government was the problem,” but the weirdest change, people over 50 started looking more like me, echoing the wisdom of my last Thanksgiving with my Grandmamma. After 1978, it seemed smarter to pay attention to those with crow’s feet.
At the dawning of the age of 21st century baby boomers resisting silver heads and golden years with exercise killing knees, elbows and lower backs, I skirted around their edges with the plan to drop dead working at what I loved, telling teens, “People with gray hair rule the world and when you get some, maybe you can join the club.”
Now, at 54, body parts seem not to recharge as quickly as before, I’ve discovered we are the sum total of our intake and experiences, so I try ignoring mirror reflections limited to proving “the child is father to the man.”
Grandchildren insist I use a stylus with my new Christmas iPod, but I fail to understand why I should find a tiny screen preferable to something I can see. Still, looking within but not behind, I relive the Zorro I was and Quixote I might have been.
So with swords unseen for years, shield off retirement paradise lost talk, and answer the call to slay bullying Banksta dragons of Corporatism – protecting our young, as people over 50 have always done.