ELVIS IS IN THE BUILDING (Continued from PREVIOUS PAGE)MORE: SCADA Conference Debriefing, Part I
At one point, Vincent stopped speaking, because SOMEONE was telling him to wrap-it-up. He looked out at the audience, and asked to be given a few more minutes to complete his remarks. We gave him all the encouragement he needed.
He continued, until he was stopped again for the same reason. I found myself ready to do battle, if that was what was required to let Vincent say his peace.
Again, the audience came to Vincent's aid. (I hate to think what might have happened if the Conference organizers had given him the hook. I hate to think how I might have reacted.)
Vincent, as I said, brought down the house.
As he ended his remarks, the audience flew to their feet to give him a thundering standing ovation. We Resistance Chicks were the loudest, I like to think, and even today, I am still hoarse...
ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
As the roar of the crowd slowly died down, I looked over to see Rose with tears in her eyes. I knew exactly what she was feeling. After all this time -- after being marginalized, ignored, mocked, and condescended to for our opposition to the coup -- we had heard a powerful voice speaking to our values, and we had heard that voice praised and had seen its message embraced. Vincent did that for us. For all of us.
We got what we came for, and began to file out of the auditorium, but were stopped by a mass of people clustered around the exit.
We paused, and Warren Beatty stepped up to the podium.
WARREN BEATTY SPEAKS
Among his first remarks was this good-natured early warning, aimed directly at us: "I was sitting a couple of rows in front of The Vincent Bugliosi Gallery, and I just want to say, I hope you don't plan on leaving until I'm finished giving my speech." [DIVA NOTE: or something like that.]
Alright, then. We'll stay.
Warren spoke primarily about the need for campaign finance reform -- a noble cause to be sure, and one with strong support on these pages -- and read a speech about the future of the Democratic Party written by his 9-year old daughter (the best bit being, "Democrats are the oldest party in America. Unless I am wrong...").
Warren made the point in his speech that campaign finance reform, and getting money out of politics, is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING we need to do.
Well, now... Any of you who have spent anytime reading my writings from the BBBR Bunker know that I disagree, but I will quickly sketch for you the reason for my dissent:
Campaign finance reform = people voting for the best, rather than the best-financed, candidate
Bush v. Gore decision = people's votes do not have to be counted
Instituting campaign finance reform means NOTHING in the absence of voters having the right to cast a ballot, and to have that ballot counted in determining an election's outcome.
Coco went in for her one-month post-radiation therapy follow-up yesterday, and I asked Dr. Ridgeway, D.V.M., the following question: "If a person brought an animal to you that was bleeding to death from a laceration, AND dying of lung cancer... Which condition would you treat first?"
Without missing a beat, Dr. Ridgeway said he would treat the laceration first -- he would treat the acute condition before the chronic condition. (Of course he said that! You don't think I'd let an idiot treat CoupCat Coco, do you?)
My point is this: Our democratic processes are wounded, and it defies reason to let the patient bleed out, while treating the chronic condition of whoristocratic abuses.]
I MEET MY SISTER, MAXINE WATERS
I'm now black, as most of you already know. Granted, I didn't always know this, but it's never to late to learn the truth. On January 7, 2001, I formally switched my personal racial identification, due in no small part to Maxine Waters:
To further document her sudden change in racial identification, The Diva discussed her response to yesterday's certification of the presidential election. "I was watching it, and it just became so clear to me. One by one, members of the Congressional Black Caucus stood to challenge the electors," she explained, "and I felt a kinship with them that I can only describe as absolute." Continuing, she asked, "Why didn't I feel that same sense of community and affection when I looked out over the sea of white faces looking on? The fighting spirit that lives in me more clearly mirrors that of an Alcee Hastings or a Maxine Waters, than almost any of those people."
-- From "The Diva Formally Switches Race," January 7, 2001
So, when we got word that my sister was not only in the building, but was mingling with attendees, Rose and I made a beeline in her direction.
Though gracious, I could tell Maxine was a little overwhelmed by all the people bending her ear, and I could also tell that her assistant was trying in vain to help her move along. Having said this, I still could not let her leave without speaking to her. Selfish, I know, but I HAD to.
When my chance came, I handed Maxine a "No Vote, No Justice, No President" button, and began to tell her how much it meant to me, to all of us, that the Congressional Black Caucus stood in challenge to the certification of the Florida electors.
I was babbling, but I finally got my verbal legs under me, and said to her, "I watched as you were walking out of the chamber, and I looked into the faces of progressives that I knew wanted to be with you... They were looking away. They couldn't look into your eyes, because you were Justice that day, and they were cowards."
I can't really describe her physical reaction to what I said. She sort of jerked, like someone had given her a shock, and then looked into my eyes, and said, "That's a powerful statement!"
I felt, at that moment, like the gods had smiled down on me.
Rose began to speak passionately to Maxine, and gave her a fringefolk button. I was so emotional about Maxine's reaction, that I don't really remember what Rose said. But as we walked away, Rose was again in tears, and again, I knew exactly how she felt.
ALSO TODAY: The Long-Neglected BBBR MailBag
WEEKEND: ACTION ALERTS: On R.Y.O.B. I and II