Sunday, May 08, 2011

My last Mothers Day as a 'mother'

I've been a mother for 30 years now. My youngest son is a senior in high school, so after his June graduation I won't have any 'children' at home. That is, no one under 18 that I am fully responsible for.

I find I am tremendously relieved. The load of guilt I've collected over the last 30 years will stop growing any larger. I won't have to second guess any more decisions I've made over the fate of another human being. They are all 3 now responsible for their own fates and while I may contribute to that fate, I'm not the person who will make it go one direction or the other anymore. Ultimately, they are in charge of their own lives. And I'm back to being responsible only for my own life. Woohoo!!!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Explaining the demise of the Liberal community in the Blogosphere

From a discussion at
corriente - a couple pithy remarks which ring true.

Submitted by vastleft on Thu, 2008-07-03 17:15.
I was a little surprised that your leading thrust is that we should hew closely to issues of personal interest.

I was expecting the topic here would be about the health of the blogosphere and the need to change, upgrade, or replace it, to get something different and better.

Maybe my expectations were just off — is this not about PB 2.0?

Though in some ways — especially on voting records — I don’t have any problem with people suggesting similarities between the final two Dem candidates for president in ’08, the notion that all pols suck equally is IMHO dangerously reductive.

“Everything is everything” and issues-only focus become carte blanche for not caring about dimensions like dishonesty, hypocrisy, truthiness, unfair play, and low-quality media coverage and prevailing wisdoms.

Your record during this campaign speaks for itself — you’ve called bullshit on many such matters IIRC, not confining yourself to an issues-only view.

To me, again my apologies if I’m mistaking the topic you’re intending to address here, PB 2.0 is about recognizing that and how truthiness and groupthink destroyed the integrity of the citizen journalism movement that was so valuable in documenting and helping fight against Bush’s sins.

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Professional manipulation
Submitted by Truth Partisan on Thu, 2008-07-03 17:16.
Although BTD may applaud the professional approach, in part what happened was that Obama’s campaign hired bloggers and used volunteers to post pro-Obama pieces and anti-other-candidate comments in many places.

I wonder why everyone is now calling the DailyKos 'the Cheetoh'? I can't disagree but it would probably be funny to find the origin of the phrase. Ya gotta laugh or else you'll cry.

Where to go for reasoned dissent from spoon-fed garbage from both the right and left is getting harder and harder to find. Those who supported Obama by destroying blog communities on the left will come to regret it, I think.

Friday, May 09, 2008

It once was...

(Some time ago I would have published this on the Great Orange Obama. I would have felt that I was communicating this diary about a feeling to people who would listen, consider, take it in to the online community, and slowly reel it back out in their comments and other diaries. And sometimes I would see the ripples of thought spreading out...I miss the gathering of minds, the sharing of moments. It's different writing to no one in particular because writing to an audience, you know that someone is hearing and you want to carefully consider how you affect someone's day. Another day, they will affect yours. But now Orangeland is filled with koolaid drinkers who give no thought to affect at all...)

I may not be one of those prolific, prescient bloggers like digby or daily howler who can point to their archives to show how they saw it coming and they were right. Probably, I didn't blog about it, but I'm sure I told my husband. In one ear...

What was there to predict? Our self-destruction. Or you might call it our spiral into laziness. Some morning, maybe more than one morning, I remember talking over coffee about how things aren't invented in the US much anymore. The new ideas, the breakthroughs come from foreign countries - sometimes from expat Americans who have moved there to find a place where research is supported.

This little snip from a BBC article this morning I found near the end of the story - where the insignificant bits go. Most people skim over news articles, reading only the first couple paragraphs and then move on to the next item. What a writer chooses to fill out a story with toward the bottom is the known, the not-new, the details that flesh out the argument. So, at the end of a story about US airline delays, this reporter casually mentions the obvious.

Like much of America these days, the airline industry feels tired, worn down, and old. That is surprising in a country that often likes to think of itself as the best. Arguably, it once was, but the airline industry - like the health system, like schools, roads - you name it, feels like it is just creaking along...

Obviously, we're not the best. We certainly thought we were, true or not. Now, Americans are content not to be. Of course airplanes are late and not well maintained. Of course bridges fall into the river. Of course freeways are overcrowded and filled with potholes. Of course health care is too expensive and inaccessible for some of our citizens. Of course we'd better look for private schoools for our children because the public system is rotting from the inside out. We just shrug our shoulders, look away. There's nothing we can do about it.

And that resigned attitude is what slowly erodes us into second rate status. The wearing away of our souls over the last 8 years has begun to destroy the very face we show to the world. It's clear to the casual observer that apathy is rampant and ruining what we had, let alone our drive to create the new and better - you know, all those notions about U-S-A being number one. Our president shrugs his inadequate leader-of-the-free world shoulders and says 'I wish I had a magic wand.' If he can't do anything about fixing our problems, we shrug too - what can we do? The government of the last 8 years has encouraged us all to feel powerless and adrift. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer and oh well, it's all inevitable. We unwashed need to just carry on, don't complain as we slide down the slope into thinking that the way things are - the economy, the wars, the crumbling infrastructure - is just inevitable.

Apparently our thinking is so lazy that we believe it. And we turn our heads away towards media narratives that deny the obvious, prop up our self-satisfaction, and lull us with tales of patriotism and reverence for what we used to be, pretending that it still exists - that what our parents built for us will continue on with no effort from us. Oh well - it must never have been better than it is now. That's just someone looking at the past with rose colored glasses. The truth must be that the middle class was never really better off then they are now, that government never did anything well, that all wars were really wars of choice. We blithely buy in to a myth that paints the innovation which created our past with the dusty beige apathy of today.

So we vote for people with platitudes and feel good aphorisms. And then we shrug our shoulders when the promises of our newly elected leaders don't come true. Well, it turns out there was nothing we could do and certainly, nothing they could do. We vilify our party or our leaders and we smugly feel secure when they fail us again because after all, nothing changes. We wallow in our laziness of thought.