Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Anne Lamott: Anyone for a Revolution?

Anne Lamott reminds us we can’t just sit idly by and watch as the Bush people continue to take over. She’s calling for a revolution of sorts on Salon, and has a date in mind: July 14.

“I, for one, do not want to answer that I did nothing, or that I ranted and flailed, showing up to support my own interest groups, candidates and concerns.

Instead, I think we should lay down our differences, and have a revolution. I am wondering if July 14 works for everyone.

My father wrote a great novel about an antiwar march in 1970, called "The Bastille Day Parade," in which many protesters carried signs that read, "Turn Off the Lie Machine." In choosing July 14, I would like to pay tribute to him and to the people of his generation, who are surely turning in their graves, as if on rotisseries, with horror about life in their beloved America. They were passionate in their fight against fascism, and Joseph McCarthy, their commitment to civil rights, and to libraries, and to good manners. All of us were raised to be polite, as honest as we could manage, and to live as if the word "fair" meant something, which all sounds a little Amish at this point. A renewal of these values would be the major plank of this revolution.

In this revolution, there will not be any positions except kindness, and libraries. We will not even have a battle cry, as that can lead to chanting, and haranguing: Hey, hey, ho, ho, all that chanting's got to go! We would simply look one another in the eyes, shake our heads, and say, "This just can't be right." We will not try to figure out what it all means: Iraq, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Terri Schiavo, abortion rights, the Downing Street Memo, domestic spying, immigration, the Kyoto Accords, the Geneva Connections, Tom DeLay -- none of it. We all know what kindness means, and I think we can all agree that libraries are sacred, and our revolution will decree that we will fight tooth and nail for these things, politely. “

And later …

“We would all show up on Bastille Day, propelled by the ferocious, heartbroken belief we've carried since childhood, that America is a republic, of 50 states, united and humane.

It would be nice if everyone would turn off his or her cellphone that day. “

I don't think George Bush would notice, but since he can't even admit the ice caps are melting, he's besides the point. (My husband calls him "The Bubble Boy) I'd go.

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