FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

I’m Not Cheering

“Smile,” she said, “no one wants to be in the company of someone who’s sad.” She performed happiness confidently, although once during lunch at a crowded café, she looked at me, began to cry, then loudly said, “Cancer is so fucking terrible.” Her son died in 2006 and when I met her in 2009, she was grieving, like me. I was Brailing my way, wondering if anything ever would be normal for me again after my husband’s death. She and I became friends.

And e-pal P: We engage in exchanges about a world that’s gasping to survive. We worry. We worry about the future of our planet for the children, what we’re leaving the children. Pesticides, rising sea levels, nuclear meltdowns, nuclear war, lead-based drinking water, pervasive corruption, the latest wrong that’s often ignored by establishment news outlets but easily accessed online. Yet she sends the “laugh of the day.”

I discuss horrors with my best friend who almost was banished by her family at Thanksgiving for being such a downer. She, at the dining table, enumerated what they should and shouldn’t eat. She knows her toxins. Has become an expert on glyphosate. When she told me, we laughed.

And I’m trying not to yammer endlessly to my children who see forests where I see wildfires. However, I slip. Sent an email yesterday to son J, father of Mr. Poop-adore, with subject line: do not move to Los Angeles. I’d just seen that this city has the worst air quality in the nation. I resisted sending a link about super head lice (no effective treatment), but I still remind them, when they travel, to check mattresses for bedbugs. My anxieties about Zica and microcephaly would require too many paragraphs.

Last night I read an article about a Clinton win, winning only because her Republican opponent is unelectable. Sure, the “vagina voters” worship her. (Kudos to my Facebook friend J who used this term in a comment.) We know these voters, the “liberal” and “progressive” women who say, “It’s our time.” Despite Clinton’s record.
I’m repulsed by Clinton, her war lust, the disingenuousness attempts to convince the oppressed that she feels their pain.

I imagine scenes, the off-camera moments where she’s blowing up at the husbandator because he said something he almost apologized for later. And another in which she asks, “How dare that wannabe challenge Israel, challenge me?” Because during the Brooklyn debate Sanders said:

If we are ever going to bring peace to that region which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.

These 35 words are prominent among the thoughts playing bumper cars in my head and probably not for the reason you think. For stating the obvious, that Palestinians are human beings, Sanders was lauded. Astounding. Because praising what’s clear serves to highlight the hideous acceptance that Palestinians don’t deserve empathy.
This is something I’ve questioned. When anyone acts from a position of moral responsibility, why is it necessary to reward with applause? Is it that we rarely see politicians display integrity and when we do, we’re startled—startled enough to cheer?

I’m not cheering.

That said, I’m weighing little pleasures, larger ones, family time, friendships, and motivation from people who tirelessly promote justice against all that inches or leaps toward ecosystem collapse. I can’t offer hope if I’m hopeless. I can’t participate if I think it’s already too late. Here’s just one incentive to remain engaged—the work of a 20-year-old Baltimore woman who “inspired a multigenerational struggle.” This makes me smile.

More articles by:

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

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael Duggin
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail