Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"War is Over, If You Want It"

The Collateral Damage Dance Troupe performs prior to the start of the UFPJ NYC Peace March on Sunday (click to enlarge)

Well, I looked around the American mass media for awhile today, just to see whether citizen protests mattered as news; apparently they do not—that is, on this side of the pond. But over in England, the BBC had it on their front page, here.

Backstage - Backstage Passes and Laminates

But our media wouldn't be interested in this past weekend's marches because, (a) aside from some verbal shit-slinging from a few disordered Bush supporters in Washington, there was no conflict, no violence; and (b) no star appeal. It appears as if either the weather or the limelight potential didn't suit the Hollywood peace glitterati or anyone else among the rich and famous this time around. Which, after all, is fine with most of us.

This was very much our march, our statement. There was no flowery rhetoric, no makeup trailer, not a speck of glamour, at the march I attended here in New York. Boy, it was great: old folks, young folks, baby strollers, toddlers, teenagers, gays and straights, Communists and Democrats (and, I suspect, a few Republicans), walking side by side. Nameless to the network media or the rest of the National Enquirer set. Just ordinary people; small but strong.

For those of you who don't live here, New York is not a glamour, culture, or fashion capitol for the vast majority of us who call the city home. Who can afford to do Sardi's or the Hard Rock or Tavern on the Green or Elaine's or Broadway? Nah, that stuff is for the wealthy minority and tourists who have probably saved for years to get tix to The Producers and a table at SPQR or Sparks. I've lived here 25 years, been to one Broadway show and little else besides. For us, New York is more about a sun-splashed afternoon on Strawberry Fields or a pedal boat on Prosect Park Lake or the top deck at Yankee Stadium (not lately, though) or a long walk on the Piers or a bike ride over the Brooklyn Bridge and up the West Side Promenade. Or a protest march in midtown. It's inexpensive, fun, refreshing, and gives you the chance to meet your real neighbors. But again, it's not exactly stuff for the Cindy Adams set, which is fine by us.

Favorite sign seen at the protest: "Hillary is Bush with Tits". Really, it was there.

Speaking of Hillary-with-a-penis, guess who might have noticed the protests this weekend in Washington, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, and elsewhere? Yep, you guessed it: why else did he whine to Congress today about getting his escalation funding bill passed? Think maybe he heard all those tens or hundreds of thousands of people yelling all weekend in the streets "no more money for war!"? Now he wants to play rough with the blue Congress, turn the screws on them a little, show them who's still boss.

Well, will they let him get away with it? Probably: Democratic majority or not, cojones are still decidedly in the minority on Capitol Hill.

Here's Bush's nod to reality in this moment: “There will be good days and bad days ahead as the security plan unfolds.”

Let's clarify for a minute what he's talking about, because when we normally talk about "bad days," it usually involves a deal at work not going through, or your kid getting an F in math, or a fight with the spouse or significant other...that sort of stuff. But when Dub talks "bad days," he's saying, "there will be hundreds, probably thousands more deaths...there will be massive amounts of human life and taxpayer treasure wasted in the carnage, soaked up by the desert sands...there will be more terrorists, more bodies, more widows, more orphans, more desolation." That, folks, is what we have to look forward to if Congress does the jelly-spine act again (we know the mass media will).

I would suggest that, whether or not you voted with your legs and your voice this past weekend, it's high time to:

  • get on the phone

  • write some letters

  • send some emails to the fat cats in DC and let them know what you voted for with your ballot last November.

  • And remember..."War is over, if you want it."

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