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

February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Kristin Kolb
The Greatest Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail