March Forth

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As someone mentioned on NPR this morning, March 4th is the only date that is also an exhortation. ("May 1" may be misread as a question or a pleasantry.)

That sort of exhortation was followed forty-two years ago in Selma this week, on Bloody Sunday. (One of many Bloody Sundays, admittedly.) This year two presidental candidates and an ex-president will be joining the commemoration. It surely took courage to walk into the midst of the police waiting on that bridge, and it's always worth asking yourself if you would have joined that march. I like to imagine that I would, but perhaps instead I would have excused myself as too busy to get arrested, to get injured. It's telling that no firehoses or police batons have been turned against Americans demonstrating against the abuses of the past six years, and yet despite the lack of such physical threats getting people to stand and be counted is still like pulling teeth. (Whereas, Hell, you've got Russian grandmas marching into the riot police in St. Petersburg just yesterday. That's just by way of contrast.) Perhaps the people of this nation have become so inured to disgust that they've simply forgotten that outrage is an option.

Impeachment is hard, after all: at the end of the day, the political class protects its own, and the result is the conviction of powerlessness held by so much of the American populace. That's why it's so important to elect grassroots progressives who (at least for a few terms) see themselves first as public servants. I'm very sympathetic to the argument that we need institutionalized expertise in government, but long incumbancy in a position of power will twist anyone's priorities.
Here's a brilliant political cartoon along these lines.

On a lighter note, for ages now Xylo has been aggravating his friends with his extreme contrarian stance on climate change. Now I know why: he has it in for maple syrup! Clearly the sweet delicacy has offended him, so he has determined to do his part in doing away with the sugaring biz. Turns out that warmer winters interfere with the annual sap cycle that allows maple syrup to be made, and in the longer term the maple forests will be completely replaced in the northern United States (Canada will still have them, I would imagine. In an unforseen reversal of the usual order, this will allow that hardy folk to buy our loyalty by trading on our love of pancake toppings).

3 Comments

People in America have a lot more than bread and circuses. We've got delicacies at the supermarket that were unheard of less than a hundred years ago for like $3, and television / Internet. The Roman senators would have creamed themselves.

Well, Lydia, I certainly can't argue against the existence of first world abundance. But, begging your pardon, I think you're making a connection I'm missing here. Out of curiosity, what in this post got you thinking about bread and circuses?

I don't care about bread or circuses. My loyalty can be bought with maple syrup. Which, by the way, will probably be viable in Michigan for at least a year or two after it's kaput in New England.

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on March 4, 2007 11:12 AM.

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