Wednesday, September 01, 2004

My good friend Jason asked me earlier in the week to tape some of the speeches of the GOP convention this week for his arrival back to the Bay Area just in time to take care of our cats. But I am boycotting the convention. I refuse to throw things at the TV which is something I usually only reserve for Packer games. Instead, I will leave him a printed packet of the speeches and the extra Eric Chavez Babooshka I acquired at the A's/Rangers game back on July 25th. Oh, and the detailed instructions on how to take care of the cats.

I began the week by sending a copy of this article to my list of friends and I also included the GOP leaning members of my family, a practice I usually eschew. Lakoff says many of the things I've been thinking. And I would add to it that it's always the people who benefit the most from government who complain about it the loudest.

My mother forwarded the link, along with my comments, to an old friend of hers from her neck of the woods. I was floored by the following letter in response:

Dear [My mom],

This e-mail came today from the old oil company and might have information that could be of help to you since you are a cell-phoner now.

I REALLY liked the article you sent. I can see right now your Bill is my kind of guy. It seems to me the political world is such a wilderness now, filled with grotesque creatures who use words to soothe and lure us but who have little regard for America or its people.

We have been taught a new vocabulary that seems too closely tied to that black beast of mind control, “1984”. Here it is twenty years after that cautioned date and we have Clear Skies programs that remove restrictions for pollution and Healthy Forest programs that open public lands to loggers. And that is just the beginning. We tolerate ads that twist words and contort intentions. We buy politicians like cornflakes off the shelf and then seem stunned when in the silence of our own homes we find the box more than half empty with stale, outdated goods. We allow lies to stand and truth to be trampled. We take bullheadedness for strength and make fun of “nuances” as if it were some kind of fault to be found thinking. We let people of heathen fruit define Christianity for us always leaving out Christ’s admonishment to care for the weak and provide for the poor. Like Herod in Auden’s “For the Time Being” we pray for a Messiah with the caveat “but let him be weak and ineffectual like us”.

I really do feel a kinship with your Bill because among so many things about him that I admire there is the welcome strain of sophisticated political thought. That is rare and to be highly treasured.

I will not send on the article because it would go straight over the heads of most of the good people I know. Thank you so much for passing it along to me. I have read it and will re-read it again before long.

With affection, E.

And then she sent me a link to the latest Garrison Keillor article on the GOP which was even more eloquent:

I am not much of a "Prairie Home Companion" listener, but I love reading his words! All of this made my day both yesterday and today. And I am glad I am filling my thoughts with these words and not words of Mr. "Girlie Man." For those who are worried on the Dem side, this too shall pass, and pass it shall soon. "Carpe 9/11" does not have sea legs.

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