Monday, October 8, 2007


(Bill Barnett, my little brother, circa 1982, doing his award-winning Elvis impersonation)

I'm working on the third and final installment of "My Knees". In the interim, here's three recommends and a reader's poem to chew on.

As a follow-up to my postings on class last month, I'd like to direct your attention to an excellent post at FireDogLake by Tula Connell called Kicking Ass for the Working Class. She's commenting about books on class by Michael Zweig, and she kicks off the kicking ass by saying:

"Unbelievably, in 2004 when Al Gore dismissed George W. Bush’s plan for tax cuts as a benefit for the richest 1 percent, polls showed that 19 percent of Americans believed they were in that top 1 percent, and another 21 percent thought they would be there in the next 10 years.

Even at the height of the Depression, when a similar poll was taken, most people placed themselves in an economic status much higher than they actually were in.

So what’s the meaning of this seemingly hard-core self-delusion? According to Michael Zweig, professor of economics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the persistence of the American public in identifying with the wealthy means those of us in the progressive movement should stop pitting rich against poor when communicating with the rest of the world because 'when we attack “the rich” too many people think we are attacking them and their future.'"

She goes on to quote from a recent talk by Zweig on "why class is an essential starting point for more effective politics to turn back the right-wing tide that has swept across the United States with growing power for nearly 40 years." It's a great read, in particular because it doesn't demonize the rich for being rich, and because it shows how class cuts through all other oppressions (for example, race and gender). My response was: What they said.

BitchPh.D is doing a righteous job of organizing resources to help us on the web take steps to overturn Bush's veto of SCHIP, with several posts devoted to analysis and concrete suggestions -- the best source out there, as far as I can see. Read her and do what you can. If you need inspiration, here's Jon Stewart's coverage of it at The Daily Show (via Alternet), where he "describes Bush’s villainy as rivaling that of a cartoon character after he has recently refused to tax smokers in order to give poor children health care."

(Mujeres, probably in NM or AZ, from the Retter Collection)

Terrance over at The Republic of T. currently has up a post asking for folks to list their LGBT heroes in honor of GLBT History month. He says "a lot of names came to mind for me. Some of them are people who, in some small way, gave a little bit of hope to a skinny, effeminate, non-athletic, black, gay boy growing up in Augusta, GA, during the Reagan era. Some of them are people who helped that same kid hold on to (as my mama would say) 'a portion of my right mind' through college and into adulthood. All of them are people whose lives or work gave me three clear messages: You’re not alone. Everything will be alright. Anything is possible."
I posted a few of my heroes. Why don't you give him a visit and add to the list?

And, lastly, blog reader Kat sent me a poem which she's given me permission to share with ya'll. I kept thinking of a certain frat boy invader when I read it....

The Houseguest

He brought with him anger
the thought of HER
inching into my love's brain

He brought waves of doubt
He brought old habits

Her face (by which I mean my imagining of it)
keeps over taking me
haunting me
Is my love gonna leave cuz I'm not like her?

I wasn't like this last week.
I was doing ok
he brought it all in the door with him
The vampires I've worked so hard to squash

he took off his hat
they all flew out
with their teeth
fangs after my blood


He doesn't brush his teeth.

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