I'm angry! Dylan Thomas said it and I understand it too well. "Rage, rage, against the dying of the light!"
I'm in that mode. Friends say, "oh, you're not gonna die, you're gonna live another twenty years." My first reaction to that is, "what did I do to you?" Another twenty years of this? Sorry, that's not a promise -- that's a threat. Seventy-nine years on this earth and before I leave it I have a desire to leave behind something inspiring, something edifying. At least that was my desire. Now I'm just angry and that's the way I want to leave -- raging against not just the dying of the light but what the light too often stands for.
In a world where, in many countries, people are persecuted, tortured and murdered for their religious beliefs, every day, where the children of so-called advanced nations -- my country, the United States, is first to come to mind -- are ignored as they destroy themselves and others around them, when readers read an article describing all of these tragedies and delineating their possible causes, one person perceives a possible slight to the women's movement and sees nothing else. Nothing else. Set aside that there was no such slight. If there was does that outweigh the tragedies of childhood suicide, teenage girls beating and murdering each other, a nonexistent war on drugs, an education system that should be called a miseducation system and politicians who sold out their constituents so many years ago we can't remember any who were clearly on our side?
The barbarisms of the world in which we are now living go so far beyond the skimpy few in the preceding paragraph that it is a wonder any of us sleep well. In a world where the only person a man -- or woman -- can trust is his/her mother and we should always keep an eye on her, petunias or a new recipe for goulash are nice, but the new totalitarianists are peeking in your window so don't get too careless. Your children are being carried off by an ugly monster called meth or ecstasy so you might have to forget the recipes or the petunias for a moment.
An elderly lady in Yemen, remember, was tending her garden and she was taken out by a drone missile. A grandmother. Can we spare a minute to think about her and her family?
I grew up in Philadelphia and spent almost thirty years in Los Angeles. In Philly crooked politics was always met with a shrug and a smile. Is that all? L.A. didn't seem so bad at first but there it was more subtle, less obvious. But the evil being revealed in politics today, nationally and internationally, goes so far beyond the shrug and smile variety that it should alert everyone to wake up and pay attention, to dig and discover.
But should you write about any of it be careful. Not so much of Big Brother, but you might inadvertantly say something that can be construed as not entirely admiring of the women's movement. You might not say it but someone might think you're thinking it. And that will take precedence over all else.
However, let me say this: For many years I have avoided movements of all kinds because no matter how well intended it is always just a matter of time until the loudest, most aggressive, most opinionated take charge. I belong to one now and have for 54 years. I won't name it for reasons I don't care to go into. But it is bursting with loud, aggressive, opinionated people who would like to turn it into something it was never intended for. It takes a constant, vigilant effort for the rational faction to keep the bullies in line and out of control. Still they fight on.
Such is life. Then, now and forever. --------- Charlie