Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We the people

That's the last bit of sangria that I drank just up the street and around the corner from my house this evening. I sat at a large booth by myself and drank it, along with some mussels, french fries and a grilled artichoke whose leaves I smeared in aioli.

I wish you'd been there.

I've gone all day without sitting here. I've been looking at the jacaranda trees whose purple flowers hang in grape-like clusters. People love to complain about them -- their rotten smell, the mess they make, the sticky layer of them on the sidewalks -- but I think they're fine. I could drink that purple, roll in it naked and glorious. And no, that's not the sangria talking. It's just me, making purple prose.

Oliver and I are exploring the American Revolution, the Constitution of these United States, the amendments to the constitution, all that we the people. To tell you the truth, reviewing it all makes me a little sad. Such glorious ideals, such purple prose, such disconnection from what we have and know today. Money and influence, the triumph of oligarchy -- it seems, in many ways, that the whole democratic "experiment" has gone to shit. I don't even know how to explain these things to Oliver other than to convey that there's much for his generation to do. I have to bite my tongue not to say what I feel, which is more often than not, we're f**ked. 

I hesitated to do so (because it's so de rigeur to be tired of people's postings on social media), but I posted a link on Facebook to an article from the Washington Post that I read  -- an article where Mr. Martinez, the father of one of the victims of Sunday's murder spree in Santa Barbara, angrily denounced politicians and the NRA for their collusion in refusing to pass more stringent gun laws. Martinez was glorious in his grief and righteousness, and I hope that given his military service and criminal justice background, he might knock some sense into these craven people. I feel compelled to join him, to curse and rail at anyone, anyone, who claims owning guns like the ones used by this young man is part of the liberty we are entitled to as citizens of the United States. The misogyny, the mental health debate, the disaffection of our youth --yeah, these are all part of it, but this gun bullshit has got to stop. As Henry said when he heard that my home state of Georgia had passed laws allowing guns into most public places, Sometimes I hate this country, mom. We the people are stupid.

What are ya'll thinking about? Drinking? Posting? Fire them at me -- just not with guns.


  1. I have started three blog posts since the UCSB shooting and aborted them all. I have not allowed myself to pour even one glass of wine because I'm afraid I will drown in the stuff. I am normally able to shake the utter sadness and get belligerently angry but not this time. Not this time. I feel very much like we are f**ked and long for my friends who live in Europe right now.

  2. I'm thinking about grief. I'm drinking red wine. French. Cheap. From Trader Joe's. I'm eating deep dark chocolate and coconut gelato and raspberries. I want to do a post about the physicality of grief. How it makes the body reel in pain. I might. The night is young.

  3. I am drinking the last dregs of my pre-dinner/sunset rum and coke and I am thinking about the silly (true) thing I saw on FB about how one damn guy made a shoe bomb and now we all have to take our shoes off at the airport but that so many people have died from gun violence and yet...yeah.
    We are fucked.
    I meet so many people who have moved to Mexico and they are all very happy with that decision.
    I think about that.
    A lot.

  4. I am burying my head in the sand for these two weeks my daughter is home and trying to weave spells around all our babies to keep them safe. That shooters parents called the cops because they were worried he would do just what he did. I don't think the cops even checked whether he'd purchased guns because that should have tipped them off. It's more than I can take in right now. Your boys are so on point. I wish I'd been there for the sangria.

  5. My heart is sick about the UCSB shootings. I went to school there for a year and I have vivid recollections of the school and Isla Vista. It is horrendous all the way around. The mother called the police before it happened based on a call she got from the kid's therapist. They were warned but did not bother to check his room... This could have been prevented. The NRA has to be stopped. Henry is right. The boy needed to be stopped and needed help. The parents made calls. BFD. What is happening in our society? I wish I could drink right now but I can't. It would be really hard to maintain a face of sanity in teaching Oliver right now without interjecting a lot of your own feelings. I don't think I could do it. Good luck Elizabeth. You are one amazing Mom. Sweet Jo

  6. I think the architects of the constitution would be appalled if they came back to see the state of things today. Much like Jesus would be appalled at what goes on in his name.

  7. Have you listened to any of the programs in the series -- http://www.studio360.org/series/american-icons/
    American Icons on Studio 360? It's fascinating, and really well done. I just listened to the one on the Vietnam War Memorial. I think Oliver would like it.


  8. I'm thinking.. I can't wait to get home and sit on my back deck and listen to the birds and pretend that that's all there is, just me, the birds, and the breeze.

  9. I just want to eat that good meal with you. We had a terrible one last night, at a restaurant that was way too pricey to serve terrible food but they did. It was like a bad spell. I think the only way to break it is a good meal. I don't care about anything else. Except you and your perfect prose and your jacarandas.

  10. Today is
    Tomorrow and I am having Jewish chicken soup and a giant bowl of leafy greens for lunch thinking about why my doctor would rather treat an infection with antibiotics and kill the infection AND my gut just making me sicker than before. Guaranteed future business maybe.

    I didn't know about the shootings.
    I am sad that we no longer have Maya with us though.

  11. I think you should check out Howard Zinn (historian and activist) for American History, for Oliver or yourself.



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