One of "The Jaded" Checks In
By Robert Cacciopoli
March 13, 2001
I'm just an average "fringe" guy, trying my best to put "food on my family".
Before the coup I had never written anything other than school assignments
and letters to friends and family. I have no political connections, belong to no
political organizations, and I've never organized anything more complicated
than a family outing...
So what can a political nobody like myself do? And the answer is simply this,
anything and everything that keeps this issue alive for myself, and for others -
Al Gore won the 2000 election, he got more votes nationwide and he got more
votes in Florida (in spite of the massive fraud that occurred there), and
nobody occupying the office of the president under these circumstances can
ever be considered legitimate - the courts do not decide elections, the voters do!."
Just checking in after a bout with reality. Of course I visit every day, and I'm always amazed about how your site (and the BBBR movement in general) is growing. I was floored today to see the link to T.S. Elliot's "...Book of Practical Cats." I just read these poems (again!) from the very same book to my kids the other day (although they have memorized them all). I thought of doing a parody - "...You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter when I tell you, a website must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES... "- but I don't have the energy. My very own cat (or is it the other way around?) is half MACAVITY and half RUM TUM TUGGER, and is eagerly awaiting "the Jellicle Moon and the Jellicle Ball"!
Well, it finally happened. Somewhere in the past few weeks, which started with the unexpected death of a beloved next door neighbor and ended with the christening of a cousin's twin babies, it happened. I have arrived at the final clinical stage of my personal grief regarding the Death of Democracy. I have arrived at "acceptance". The Circle of Life does continue, the laws of the universe are still in effect, and somewhere in my grief at a loss of life, and my joy for new life, I have made peace with reality, I have accepted that "what is" is...well, it just simply "is". (And so I decided to spend some time with my family - my kids were starting to see me as the distant "daddy" guy who comes home from work and goes upstairs to write stuff on the computer. They deserve better than that once in awhile. And as The Diva mentioned, sometimes you just have to take time off to enjoy some new music. For her it was Aerosmith, for me it's Jeff Beck.)
This is not to say that I have "gotten over it". This is not acceptance of the theft of the presidency, not acceptance of the pretender's legitimacy, not acceptance of the Xtreme Court Five's crime against our laws and against democracy, this is just the acceptance that one cannot grieve forever. And while grief, introspection, and self absorption in your own pain is a vital and necessary part of the healing process, it too must end, and there comes a time to "move on". No longer do I wake up feeling disoriented, feeling that I am living in
a dream world. Gone is the sense of despair and hopelessness that I've lived with these past few months. But I am now filled with a sense of purpose, there are wrongs to be righted, there are crimes to be avenged, there is justice to be restored, and I am safe in the knowledge (and I am emboldened by the knowledge) that I am not alone.
SOMETHING MAGIC BEING BORN
Now, I feel that I am part of a new consciousness, recently born, that is just beginning to awaken in this country, a consciousness that is now beginning to discover itself, a consciousness that is maturing and growing neural connections at an unprecedented and ever accelerating rate. This consciousness has always been present in the nervous system of our country. Most of the time it is dormant, but it does emerge during times of stress on the body politic. It was born, fully formed, at the founding, and it has reemerged many times in our history. Most recently, in this past century, it has arisen to limit monopolies, give birth to labor unions, ensure voting rights for women, affirm the civil and voting rights of African Americans, oppose a misguided war, and to ensure the civil rights of women, and then of homosexuals. And now it has begun to reassemble to challenge one of the gravest threats of all, the first brazen, out in the open for all to see, illegal seizure of power in this country in modern times, a coup d' etat! The irony here, is that the rapid growth of this new consciousness is based in a large part to the existence of the internet, which, contrary to media charges, was never claimed to have been "invented" by Al Gore. But the truth is that Al Gore played a pivotal role in shaping the internet into the hyper human nervous system that it is today. And so the internet community is actually paying back a debt to one of the midwives of it's own existence, as it arises to oppose the theft of his office. I feel that something new, something different, something almost magical, is being born. I think that it was Arthur C. Clarke, or was it Isaac Asimov?, who said that any sufficiently advanced technological society would appear to a less advanced society as possessing magical powers. Having come of age with a print/radio/TV mind set, I feel that I now live in "magical" times. Several times recently, I have started to put my thoughts into writing, only to find the next day, several pieces on the internet covering the same topics, sometimes in almost the same phrases that I was thinking of. To me, that's magic. A day after the press all fawned over Dubya's speech, I could read dozens of well reasoned critiques, biting satires, and just plain angry rants, from dozens of average citizens, all reinforcing everything that I had felt about the "performance" that I had seen. Again, I call that magic! When I think about how frustrated, alone, and isolated I felt during the Reagan years - Great Communicator indeed!, as I kept raving, "But he's not really SAYING anything!" - now I am no more than a few steps from any one of four computers in my house, sharing wirelessly a cable modem connection to the internet, where I can be linked up in a matter of seconds to others who share my world view and concerns. (... a sufficiently advanced technological society...) Magic!
THE REAL PROBLEM
This is not to minimize how difficult it will be to overcome what is essentially a powerful criminal organization's deep penetration into all
of the branches of our government. (See the NY Times Mon. 3/5/01 article on Poppy Bush and James ("It's so unfair...") Baker's role in the Carlyle Group to understand the worldwide scope and reach of this crime syndicate, and be afraid... be very afraid.) But in more totalitarian police states, with less viable democratic traditions than ours, the democratic impulse of the people has managed to overcome their oppressors and reform their countries. It can be done, and if we have the courage, it will be done! Do not doubt it! (Like father, like son - like Bush I, Bush II will be a one term show!)
So, as important as it is to rid ourselves of this illegitimate "president", we must remember that Dubya is not the real problem, he is merely a symptom of a far more serious disease. The real problem is a "loose association of millionaires and billionaires" (from Paul Simon's "The Boy in the Bubble") that has been waging a steady and relentless attack on our liberties, our freedom, and our American democracy for the past twenty years. They are ruthless and unprincipled, and they now control the levers of power in all the branches of the federal government and most of the major media. They will not simply disappear when a Democratic president is elected in 2004, and they will not take to that outcome kindly. If you thought that republicans behaved like rabid dogs towards Clinton, get ready for "mad cow" republicans when Al Gore is re-elected!
WHY I SUPPORT GORE, AND WHY I THINK HE'LL WIN
I support Al Gore to be the Democratic party nominee in 2004 for a moral reason, and several practical ones. Morally, he deserves it. He
won the last election, only to have it stolen from him by the Xtreme Court Five. He deserves to be president. (And wouldn't the irony be so satisfying?) Practically and tactically is where one can make the strongest case. First off, his bio has already been through the republican rumor monger mill. The best that they could come up with was that he was "boring" and that he "lied" about inventing the internet - two charges that will have no traction in 2004. Second, he will have been out of public office for 4 years, he will have no Clinton "baggage" to carry, nor will he have any recent "controversies" to contend with, while Dubya will have tons of unpopular decisions to defend. (Any other nominee will have a recent public record to defend, and who knows what "scandal" to contend with.) Sure, they'll circulate that post concession party photo - sweat soaked shirt and Heineken in hand - but the concession speech itself, one of his finest moments in public life, trumps it handily. In short, Al Gore won the last election in spite of all his liabilities. Facing an incumbent who has pushed an agenda opposed by over 53 million voters in 2000 will be a cakewalk. (And Dubya won't have his brother to "fix" Florida for him. Although, I suppose that the Xtreme Court Five could decide that elections are not constitutional, at least not this election, Scalia will say we wouldn't want to question the "legitimacy" of Dubya's re-election now, would we?)
WHAT I INTEND TO DO TILL THEN
I'm just an average "fringe" guy, trying my best to put "food on my family". Before the coup I had never written anything other than school assignments and letters to friends and family. I have no political connections, belong to no political organizations, and I've never organized anything more complicated than a family outing. I attended two anti-Vietnam War rallies when I was in High School, and if truth be told, I did it more to impress a girl who I was desperately trying to loose my virginity to. (It didn't work, I might add.) I did volunteer work for the Jimmy Carter campaign in 1976, and even got to attend the Inaugural Ball, and that is the sum total of my political activism. So what can a political nobody like myself do? And the answer is simply this, anything and everything that keeps this issue alive for myself, and for others - Al Gore won the 2000 election, he got more votes nationwide and he got more votes in Florida (in spite of the massive fraud that occurred there), and nobody occupying the office of the president under these circumstances can ever be considered legitimate - the courts do not decide elections, the voters do!
I'm going to attend the May 19th protests in D.C., gonna bring the kids, let them see Democracy in action! I'm going to contribute whatever I can, to as many organizations as I can afford to, that are fighting back, from Planned Parenthood and People for the American Way to Bartcop and Buzzflash. I'm going to participate in every symbolic campaign, every letter writing campaign, and any other campaign that I hear of. I'm going to stay connected to this new consciousness, I'm going to do everything that I can to help it expand, I'm going to be an active participant in our growing movement to take back our democracy. I'm going to continue to speak out, and I'm going to continue to write. (As a poet once said, "Write it down, it might be read, nothing's better left unsaid..." And as they say in NYC, "It couldn't hurt!")
"In Held Twas In I"
"Glimpses of Nirvana"
By Keith Reid, Procol Harem
In the darkness of the night, only occasionally relieved by glimpses of nirvana as seen through other people's windows, wallowing in a morass of self-despair made only more painful by the knowledge that all I am is of my own making. When everything around me, even the kitchen ceiling, has collapsed and crumbled without warning. And I am left, standing in the eye of a well looking up and wondering why and wherefore. At a time like this, which exists maybe only for me, but is nonetheless real, if I could communicate, and in the telling and the bearing of my soul anything is gained, even though the words which I use are pretentious and make you cringe with embarrassment, let me remind you of the pilgrim who asked for an audience with the Dalai Lama. He was told he must first spend five years (in) contemplation. After the five years, he was ushered into the Dalai Lama's presence, who said, "Well, my son, what do you wish to know?" So the pilgrim said, "I wish to know the meaning of life, father." And so the Dalai Lama smiled and said, "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
Held close by that which some despise
Which some call fate, and others lies
And somewhat small for one so tall
A doubting Thomas? Who would be?
It's written plain for all to see
For one who I am with no more
It's hard at times, it's awful wrong
They say that Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor
And those unsure believed his eyes - a strange disguise
Still write it down, it might be read
Nothing's better left unsaid
Only sometimes, still no doubt
It's hard to say, it all works out