Friday, May 11, 2007

POLITICS MAKES STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

One of my earliest memories of my grandmom, Anna, was her Sunday
morning ritual of sitting upright and tense on the studio couch in her
bedroom watching "Meet the Press" moderated by Lawrence E.Spivack . For
my radical and highly political grandmother, television was an
interactive activity. She kept a running dialogue going, giving
positive shout-outs when she liked the politics of the guest and
hurling invective when she didn't. Her favorite epithet was "Rahk-shun-air", which I later figured out meant "Reactionary" in Yiddish.When she was particularly disgusted, she added a "Feh" or two. There is simply no English equivalent.

As a young child, I often cuddled up next to her and we watched TV
together. When I was in first grade (TV was still an exciting
innovation in 1953)the teacher asked us to tell our favorite show. At
the parent-teacher conference, Miss Bradley told my mom and dad, with
some concern, that while most of the kids had answered "Howdy-Doody", I had piped up with "John Cameron Swayze and the News"!

So it should come as no surprise that one of the things that my husband
David and I found out during our courtship,was that, especially during
election cycles, politicians appear in our dreams. I remember a whole
series involving George McGovern which was,as it transpired, the only
place that he did well.A few years ago I had a very vivid dream that
one of my best friends came to me all atwitter to confess that she had
embarked on a thrilling extra-marital affair. The amazing part was that
her paramour was none other than Michael Nutter. The more amazing part
was that this was even before he was running for mayor. In
reality,Michael Nutter is much too homely and nerdy to incite my friend
to break her marital vows ,and even in the dream I was surprised. Now,
just days before the Primary, I'm taking it as a sign that this was, in
some Freudian way prescient and that my man Michael will prevail. But
just in case, I will be working the polls!

And what a while ago might have seemed to be a dream, yesterday became a reality. My brother-in-law, Robert Greenwald
appeared before the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations
Committee, testifying about the issue of war profiteering. Abe sent me a link
to a video clip of part of the hearing
[http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Greenwald-Kingston.mov] so I got to
see a member of my family talking truth to power. I also got to see my
brother-in-law wearing a suit and tie; thank God, his glasses were
perched on his pate or I might not have recognized him.

Last night
I had a dream that I was watching CNN with a bunch of people huddled in
a gas station in the middle of nowhere. There was some sort of natural
disaster going on and the TV was showing a brand-new road being washed
out and this somehow,in that weird and unclear way of dreams, caused
some deaths. Several people in the crowd were yelling back to the TV,
something about this road being a boondoggle for rich concrete
manufacturers. A couple of tall frat-boys said that, hey, the
government has to help rich people make money and if some people had to
die, so be it. At this point I strode to my car and heard a disembodied
voice saying loudly "The truth shall set them free". I was declaiming
to no one in particular "This is the beauty of our democracy; we can
hear the truth". Then the voice said to me,"What difference does it
make if we can broadcast the truth if no one cares?" At this moment the
large poodle shifted at my feet and I awoke.

I wish I could tell Grandmom about the dream. She would probably hiss her most sibilant epithet, "KAHPITALEESSSSSTS". I found out that John McCain will be Tim Russssssert's guest on "Meet the Press" this Sunday. I can just hear her now. "Feh! If he the best thing the 'Repooblikahners' have to offer then we're in good shape for '08" According to Anna Miller,at least, THINGS ARE LOOKING UP!

2 comments:

Heidi said...

I'm pretty sure that tie Robert wore predates our (18 yr) marriage... scary, eh? :)

Glad to hear Nelly woke you from that frat boy nightmare.

Cynthia M. said...

Inspiring words for the primary! Keep on dreaming!!! Yay!