Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Starting My Day With News Curated By Friends And Tweeters, While I Still Can

Some days I get up so early that I am embarrassed to comment or reply to online messages. But then I just say what the hell and do it anyway.

What I should be doing is preparing for the long day and the many activities ahead of me. Or sleeping in. If I didn't wake up so damn early maybe I could make it to a 9pm conference call tonight with Medea Benjamin and Rusti Eisenberg about the blood money alliance between the government that doesn't represent me and the vicious patriarchs of the House of Saud. Well, I already know I'll have to read the notes on that call after the fact, but maybe you can make it.

Ever since high school when my parents let me start drinking freeze dried instant coffee with nasty tasting 2% milk in it, waking up over the newspaper is in my blood. It's what I give up when there's a baby in the house, because they get up as early as I do, and they are full of sweetness and life, and I go toward that like a moth to a flame.

For the rest of the time, there's my Internet news feed. It has seemed too good to be true all along, and I won't be a bit surprised (though I will be devastated) when it ends someday. Because the news and views that come to me curated by friends and far flung acquaintances and kindred spirits is so stimulating and refreshing that I'm addicted to it for sure. 

Twitter moving to a managed news feed rather than real time tweeting from real people on the ground caused a storm of #RIPtwitter dissent lately, because there are a lot of other people who feel passionate about access to real information. Twitter as we've known it has been a force of history and has brought more actual news into my life via hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter than any other single source. It is international in scope and it works 24/7 which is neat for an early riser like me. I gave up on corporate news decades ago, and I laugh now to think of the feeble information flow (and feeble coffee) of my teenage years, delivered via the San Francisco Chronicle.

Facebook gets a bad rap from the tweeting masses, but as curated by my far flung "friends" it's been a rich source of news, too. Just this morning Codepink's Alli McCracken shared a bracing jeremiad from concerned millenial Holly Wood. Written in response to yucky old Madeleine Albright consigning girls who don't like the candidate my antiwar friends call Hellary to, um, hell. I don't buy Ms. Wood's implied endorsement for Bernie as she appears not to notice that he's running with a D after his name, too, but her analysis of the state we're in deserves to be carved somewhere for posterity. An excerpt:
If anything concerns me at this pivotal moment, it's not the revolutionary tremors of the youth. Given the Great American Trash Fire we have inherited, this rebellion strikes me as exceedingly reasonable. Pick a crisis, America: Child poverty? Inexcusable. Medical debt? Immoral. For-profit prison? Medieval. Climate change? Apocalyptic. The Middle East is our Vietnam. Flint, the canary in our coal mine. Tamir Rice, our martyred saint. This place is a mess. We're due for a hard rain.
Trayvon Martin would have been 21 yesterday. His death at the hands of vigilante George Zimmerman remains a festering sore in the rotting carcass of the rule of law in the U.S.
Amen to that, sister. It must have been difficult to select just one martyred saint, though. Probably she went for Tamir because he was only 12 when he was killed by police. Sandra Bland popped up in my news feed again yesterday, too, because her mysterious death where she allegedly hung herself in her jail cell following incarceration for failing to signal a lane change has been not-investigated by the government agencies responsible. Big surprise there. New documents pertaining to their "investigation" of Sandra's death was the headline. Reading within we found that other prisoners who were interviewed were asked...if she had smoked any weed, or talked about weed, in the few hours she was imprisoned. Not anything else. Just asked about some facts that would inexplicably be seen as useful in sullying Sandra's reputation. 

Another excerpt from Holly Wood will go well here:
If I am alarmed, it is by the profound languor of the comfortable. What fresh hell must we find ourselves in before those who've appointed themselves to lead our thoughts admit that we are in flames? As I see it, to counsel realism when the reality is fucked is to counsel an adherence to fuckery. Under conditions as distressing as these, acquiescence is absurd. When your nation gets classified as a Class D structure fire, I believe the only wise course is to lose your shit.
Our public education system is a "Class D structure fire" after nearly eight years of stewardship by a highly educated president with D after his name. His Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, did more to dismantle and disable the promise (never quite realized, and fading fast) of decent education for every mother's child in the wealthiest of nations than any other education czar in my lifetime. 

Antiwar organizer Bruce Gagnon shared this post by a middle class Black parent reflecting on what she would and wouldn't do to get her child into one of the remaining decent schools in Memphis. An excerpt from zandria's post on the blog New South Negress:
In a time of heightened class anxiety in America, the camp-out is a specific symbol and expression of middle class angst and fear. We are still limping along from the foreclosure crisis. Many middle class folks kept their jobs but saw their wages fall. We got older and sicker. The kids needed new soccer cleats. College tuition continued to sky-rocket. College grads weren’t getting jobs. Millennials stopped going to church as much as they used to. The sky was falling.
Camping out for a decent education for your children is a luxury many cannot afford. Oops, make that camping out for the chance at a decent education. Paying your taxes will only get your child into a decent school if you can afford to live in a place where people can afford to shore up the system with property taxes. Because the Pentagon needs a $13 billion new submarine with which to rule its global empire. Stop whining about your kid's water supply or decrepit classrooms!

Well it's probably time for me to stop passing along information and get ready to go to my job, where adults were prancing around in football jerseys yesterday, reluctant to let go of their drug of choice in the face of another Monday morning. As am I. 

6:13am. Sigh. I'd better schedule this to post hours from now if I hope to show up in your news feed when you are actually awake and taking in information. Until then...

1 comment:

Cecile Pineda said...

Hellary and fuckery. nwly added to my lexicon.