May 1st, 2012

Harriet Vane

A needle artist

Dear friends and readers,

As I decide what to wear these days, knowing I will be going out much less (now that term time is over), and change my clothes until I'm in that endurable outfit which is right for the weather (not easy in Virginia) and looks okay on me so that I can not cringe too much when I look in the mirror, I remember when I was a girl how my father would needle me over such behavior. The mocking tone, the ridicule. What fuels a desperate kind of rage is the sense of what I fool I was to have been so shamed, anger at myself for not turning to him, and saying, bastard, what's it your business. And remembering how many years such shaming controlled me when I was dressing.

His needling of me was an important factor in my anorexia. And yes when I wrote a couple of short stories, age 15, he was deprecating at best. A mess of mediocrity I was, could do everything a little and nothing very well. Like him. A close friend for a year (age 21 in Leeds) marvelled at this use of alliteration to put me down.

I am angry at my self for not speaking up and countering many such incidents. "What a dog!" to a actress on TV (the center of _Jewel in the Crown_). Was it her function to please his eye?

If only I had thrown these things off decades ago,
Harriet Vane

May Day

Dear friends and readers,

Just finished watching Amy Goodman's newshour and reading and watching on line the news of this May Day. I listened to Chris Hedges, author; Amin Husain, editor of Tidal magazine and a key facilitator of the Occupy movement; Marina Sitrin, author of "Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina" and a member of Occupy’s legal working group; and Teresa Gutierrez of the May 1st Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights.

I  leant how drones work.  A drone is a precision missile sent by a flying object.  It cannot murder someone individually. What it is is a bomb sent to blow up a house where some targeted person lives. In his journalism Samuel Johnson said, that if people could learn to fly, they would soon be killing one another from the sky. That's what happened in WW1. And this is what we've come to. The US bombed huge areas of Vietnam, and now the US wipes out house by house.

I saw some heartening photos of the different demonstrations around the US and wished I were at one of them. A rare group of police marched alongside Occupiers in San Francisco. For the most part the police were roughing people where they could, menace, threaten, obstruct. I loved the sign "Fuck the Police". I saw nurses for patient care, people uptown for legalizing immigrants, demonstrations near Madison Square Garden, Bryant Park, up and down Wall Street, around the country. One for making the wealthy and corporations pay their taxes and a fair share too. Banks had barricades around their doors and huge cement buildings. Good to see.

I was sent these today:

How the Oakland, California poliice treated their fellow citizens who are trying to get better pay for all

A good moment in Meridian Park, DC -- a May pole dance

Bogota, Columbia --  man rescuing an injured boy

I so rejoice that all these people came out -- for decent living conditions for all, decent wages for every single person and/or family and friend group on this earth, for health care for all, for humane living spaces appropriate to human communities.  For liberty. For the right not to be murdered in your house. I'm with them heart and soul.