FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

One Issue Only

by MISSY BEATTIE

My mother talked to the television, disputing anyone with a pro-war message. When George Bush appeared on the screen, she’d turn away, but still talk. At first this was humorous.

After Daddy died, she became pessimistic. When she said the world should end, that we’d be better off, I said, “Easy for you to say. You’re 83. Please don’t express this to my children.”

At some point, the rest of us just looked at each other, rolling our eyes.

I see my children rolling theirs. And when I’m with them or anyone who’s watching the set, I respond to infotainers with, “As if that’s important.” I seem unable to control this, even though I know it’s annoying. And while I desperately try to manage the scope of my negativity about the future of our ecosystem, often I slip. My mother, myself.

So, no surprise the other day when sister Laura said after I’d been sleeping under her roof in NC almost two weeks, “You’re smelly.”

Insert:  We’d moved to a larger house in Baltimore. This was the first Baltimore period. Prior to Nashville. Before Manhattan. My parents and Laura were coming for a long weekend. I’d taped a quote to the fridge: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Morning of the second day, I marked through the “three” and wrote “two”. Benjamin Franklin’s words became a family favorite—especially with alterations.

I wasn’t quite ready to exit Laura and Erma’s though. The weather forecast was ugly. Consequently, I did what any stinky guest might do—I ingratiated myself, running the vacuum, sucking up errant cat litter, angling for a reprieve. On Saturday, Laura finally said, “Wait until Monday, unless it’s snowing then.”

It wasn’t. In Chapel Hill.

Six days into spring, I drove from NC to Baltimore through mostly rain that turned to snain as I neared a symbol of mighty righteousness, the Quantico Museum, and then another—DC. I caught an odor of Wall Street influence.

I’d listened to radio music early during the drive and then to Diane Rehm, who talked with her guests about gay marriage. And, yes, I support gay marriage, vows exchanged on the courthouse steps, on the beach, while bungee jumping, in a place of worship. Defenders of the “sanctity” of marriage baffle me. Perhaps they should unite to prevent the sources of divorce.

I had an urge to call the show, to articulate two considerations—wondering why anyone would want to thwart the happiness of others, and the questionable urgency of this particular issue when the US is on a rampage of imperial terror, its foreign and domestic policies threatening all life.

I thought of a friend who suggested I vote for Obama on the issue of gay marriage alone. Of so many who support Obama on this issue alone. People are surprised that I do not, cannot. Those to whom I say, “There really is one issue only. It’s Injustice.”

This casts a wide net; so vast that it encompasses the wellbeing of our entire planet.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore.  She can be reached at: missybeat@gmail.com.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 27, 2017
Darlene Dubuisson – Mark Schuller
“You Live Under Fear”: 50,000 Haitian People at Risk of Deportation
Karl Grossman
The Crash of Cassini and the Nuclearization of Space
Robert Hunziker
Venezuela Ablaze
John W. Whitehead
Trump’s America is a Constitution-Free Zone
Ron Jacobs
One Hundred Years That Shook the World
Judith Deutsch
Convenient Untruths About “Human Nature:” Can People Deal with Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons?
Don Fitz
Is Pope Francis the World’s Most Powerful Advocate for Climate Stability?
Thomas Mountain
Africa’s War Lord Queen: The Bloodstained Career of Liberia’s Eleanor Sirleaf Johnson
Binoy Kampmark
Short Choices: the French Presidential Elections
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Monetizing My Mouth
Michael Barker
Of Union Dreams and Nightmares: Cesar Chavez and Why Funding Matters
Elier Ramirez Cañedo
“Let Venezuela give me a way of serving her, she has in me a son.”
Paul Mobbs
Cellphones, WIFI and Cancer: Will Trump’s Budget Cuts Kill ‘Electrosmog’ Research?
Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
The Closing of Rikers: a Survival Strategy of the Carceral State
April 26, 2017
Richard Moser
Empire Abroad, Empire At Home
Stan Cox
For Climate Justice, It’s the 33 Percent Who’ll Have to Pick Up the Tab
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Machine Called Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
The Dilemma for Intelligence Agencies
Christy Rodgers
Remaining Animal
Joseph Natoli
Facts, Opinions, Tweets, Words
Mel Gurtov
No Exit? The NY Times and North Korea
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Women on the Move: Can Three Women and a Truck Quell the Tide of Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse?
Michael J. Sainato
Trump’s Wikileaks Flip-Flop
Manuel E. Yepe
North Korea’s Antidote to the US
Kim C. Domenico
‘Courting Failure:’ the Key to Resistance is Ending Animacide
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Legacy of Lynne Stewart, the People’s Lawyer
Andrew Stewart
The People vs. Bernie Sanders
Daniel Warner
“Vive La France, Vive La République” vs. “God Bless America”
April 25, 2017
Russell Mokhiber
It’s Impossible to Support Single-Payer and Defend Obamacare
Nozomi Hayase
Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech
Robert Fisk
The Madder Trump Gets, the More Seriously the World Takes Him
Giles Longley-Cook
Trump the Gardener
Bill Quigley
Major Challenges of New Orleans Charter Schools Exposed at NAACP Hearing
Jack Random
Little Fingers and Big Egos
Stanley L. Cohen
Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition
Stephen Cooper
Conscientious Justice-Loving Alabamians, Speak Up!
Michael J. Sainato
Did the NRA Play a Role in the Forcing the Resignation of Surgeon General?
David Swanson
The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
Binoy Kampmark
Mike Pence in Oz
Peter Paul Catterall
Green Nationalism? How the Far Right Could Learn to Love the Environment
George Wuerthner
Range Riders: Making Tom Sawyer Proud
Clancy Sigal
It’s the Pits: the Miner’s Blues
Robert K. Tan
Abe is Taking Japan Back to the Bad Old Fascism
April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail