So it has been all quiet on the Western Front from me, which yes, you could take as an allusion to Remarque’s brilliant post WWI novel about the destruction of human beings by war, or not. The station in question is the United States of Atrocities, (disambiguation: Corrupt Neoliberal Parties and Elections, in this case).
I had a plane ticket to Philadelphia which I had to cancel due to a bad slip and fall and consequent health issues, and as I watched the antics on the days preceding the scheduled program, I decided to help the outer pain by signing off from the constant barrage of propaganda, messages, speeches and other panem et circenses as provided by the stations, not of the cross, but of the empire. I watched, briefly and proudly, the exit of a number of brave Bernie delegates from the convention hall (yes, DemExit, very much so), and refused to listen to any of the speeches (someday, when my anger has abated, if that happens, I may listen to Michelle Obama’s speech).
The day before the main events on the main ring we had yet another dump by my current favorite whistle-blower showing that all the things we had worried about were indeed true. Strangely, except for those of us who have been called crazy and deluded, there was very little outrage, the planned program was executed without a hitch, without a delay, other than the occasional spanner in the works by one of our die-hard Berners (and no, I am still NOT with her, and I am still NOT voting for her, ever).
On Friday night, I attended, as a possible interpreter, a presentation by the Committees of Correspondence for Socialism and Democracy (http://www.cc-ds.org/) in Emeryville. The presentation was called Building Solidarity with Social Movements
a panel discussion with social movement activists Frank Chapman, field organizer for Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of “An Indigenous People’s History of the United States,” Pennie Opal Plant, indigenous people’s movement activist, and Carla Wallace, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).
I made a strong request as the last question of the evening that the attendees, activists and other sundry individuals not use the word America or American for the country in question or its citizens, and actually was thanked and applauded, go figure, (that will the subject of a forthcoming book of mine, America IS NOT a country). But at the table, while eating dinner and sharing dessert and impressions, the outrage which has been consuming my life, my breakfast, lunches and dinners, seemed mostly absent. I was sitting with Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists; people were talking about the need to vote for Queen H in important states.
On Saturday, also in Emeryville, I attended a presentation on Cooperatives and Socialism in Cuba, with Camila Piñeiro Harnecker, renowned for her work in the development of cooperatives in Cuba and their role in strengthening the Cuban Socialist economy. Two other presenters were Carl Davidson of CCDS and Cinthya Muñoz of LeftRoots, whom I used to work with in joint immigration and gentrification/displacement events for Causa Justa :: Just Cause.
The presentation by my compatriota Camila was enlightening, and gave me hope that despite Yanqui interest in my socialist homeland, we will prevail in this incredible experiment despite 50+ years of a brutal economic embargo by our dark neighbor to the North, of whom our national patriot José Martí stated: He vivido dentro del monstruo y le conozco las entrañas (I have lived within the monster and I know its entrails).
While there I talked to my friend Sharat Lin of the incredible San José Peace and Justice Center about Cuba and about presenting a workshop on immigration and Palestine at this year’s SOA Watch encounter at the border (Nogales), and about the elections, of course, and to my favorite anarchist crazy man Ramsey Kanaan, of the amazing PM Press, about the Trump/Clinton conundrum (or is it conundra?). These days we are whispering these conversations, even in places such as the CCDS, because it seems as though everyone is brain dead (and by the way, I just saw the first two episodes of that show, and may I tell you how disgusting/interesting I found the first two episodes… ).
So listen, boys and girls, the revolution is going on elsewhere, but until you all exit the system in place, all this stuff is no more than the aforesaid panem et circenses, or possibly the bugs are in your head already!
Finally, I forgot to mention that my personal mail, both regular and electronic, have now been taken over by “she who has been crowned but will not get elected” and so I have sent out emails when that is possible, and letters when nothing else will do, to the likes of Diane Feinstein and “otras hierbas aromáticas” telling them to henceforth remove any mention of my name and address from their lists of supporters, as I am done with the Democratic Oligarchic Party of the United States of the Appalling and Abysmal.