Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The World on Tuesdays

Things happen every day in the world that working people know nothing about. For example, now that I have been retired a couple of weeks I've discovered that my town, Berkeley, has a big farmer's market on Tuesday afternoons. Seventeen years of missed Tuesdays, can I really account for that? Clearly, many folks fill cafes and stores every week day. They must be either unemployed or work odd hours.

Tuesdays are full of other wonders as well. Elections invariably take place on them. Yesterday was an example of this phenomenon. The despicable Scott Walker won out easily over the recall efforts thereby demonstrating the devastating impact of Citizens United and just what money can purchase in our increasingly no-holds barred plutocratic society. The corporations and the 1% outspent the now-decimated unions and progressive groups seven to one. The senate Republicans also managed to block the Paycheck Fairness Act a followup bill to the Lily Ledbetter legislation that would mandate equal pay for women.

It's hard to know what will come next. The repression against the 99% has been largely successful. There seems to be only a small percentage of Americans who are capable of independent thought. The splintering of the various subgroups and caucuses is evident to those of us who are still active. Old prejudices keep rearing their ugly heads. I have every intention to keep on keepin' on but, as you can probably deduce, I am quite depressed at this juncture.

On another subject,  retirement is solidifying as a reality for me now. Sunday, the Emu, better known as my somewhat domesticated partner Deborah, threw me a retirement party with fabulous cuisine and even more fabulous friends. Thirty-two people of all genders and orientations filled the tiny cottage and yard. The one thing they all have in common is that they live large, not in the sense of consuming material goods, but in the sense that they all have hearts and minds that stretch far beyond the limits of a circumscribed life that revolves around the nuclear family. The second thing they all had in common was that they are my friends, a simple fact that makes me eternally grateful. I want to thank all of them for their warm wishes and support!