Archive for the tag 'Hillary Clinton'

15 December 2015: “Feeling the Bern” in My T-shirts

December 15th, 2015

Like some women from yesteryear who acquired pretty sets of panties with the days of the week delicately embroidered on them, a couple of months ago I bought a bunch of “Bernie Sanders for President” T-shirts in different colors, one for each day of the week.  Although I know Bernie does not really stand a chance against Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for the 2016 presidential election, I feel that the longer he stays in the race, the more Hillary will be forced to move left of center, perhaps even take on Bernie’s life-long crusade against millionaires and billionaires, with his raging battle cry against the country’s top 1% for owning over 90% of all the wealth in America.

I’ve been wearing my Bernie T-shirts everywhere, sometimes over heavier turtlenecks when the weather is cold.  The reception I’ve been getting varies greatly, depending on where I am.  At the farmer’s market in Lawrence or Dean & Deluca in Overland Park, or Trader Joe’s and  the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, I get smiles and lots of thumbs up.  At musical events at the Lied Center in Lawrence, or the Folly Theatre and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, people look at me quizzically, then move away discretely.  But not in Chicago.

I was in the Windy City this past weekend, seeing a couple of operas at the Lyric, for which I dressed properly, because I had been forewarned on television about all the street violence and shootings there.

Early one morning, however, wearing one of my Bernie T-shirts, I found myself sharing an elevator with a couple in the tony Allegro Hotel where I was staying.  One isn’t supposed to look at people in elevators, so I didn’t.  But I did note out of the corner of one eye that, early though it was,  they were dressed as if for an evening party, or maybe just returning from one; that the woman was much older than the man; that she was wearing around her neck artificial pearls the size of Christmas tree ornaments; that the pancake on her face was so thick she had better not smile or we would all crack up with her; that she looked like Marlene Dietrich just before she died.

In any case, as the elevator door opened on a floor before mine and the couple started to leave, the man glowered at my T-shirt and muttered darkly under his breath, just loud enough for me to hear: “More power to the one percent.  We earned it, and we get to keep it!”

To which I replied meekly, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

He gave me the finger and, before either of us could reach for our guns, the elevator door shut and I was able to return to my room without further incident, where I replayed the rather surreal event in my mind several times and slowly began to “Feel the Bern.”

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10 July 2011: Your Summer Fiction Rereading List

July 10th, 2011

New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has just listed ten books which are on his summr rereading list because they’re “triumphs of fiction, both fun to read and significant for literary or historical reasons, relating to social justice at a time when inequality in America has soared to historic levels.”

Here’s Kristof’s list of Best Beach Reading Ever—“Germinal” by Emile Zola, “Pale Fire” by Vladimir Nabokov, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte, “Our Man in Havana” by Graham Greene, “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque, “Les Miserables” by Victory Hugo, “The Mysterious Stranger” by Mark Twain, and “Scoop” by Evelyn Waugh.

Assuming that anyone even vaguely connected to the University of Kansas is now rereading (or perhaps reading for the first time) the novels of science-fiction giant Theodore Sturgeon because of the recent acquisition of his books, papers, manuscripts and correspondence by the Kenneth Spencer Research Library, thanks to retired English professor James Gunn, himself a giant in the field, one might have time to read just three more non-Sturgeon novels for what’s left of the summer.

My three would be— “Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin, because it would make right-wing conservative Christians fall down on their knees in perpetual prayer, and maybe also for occasional inappropriate sex with members of their own sex; “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren, which firmly advocates that, if you dig deep enough, you can find dirt on anyone, Republicans as well as Democrats; and “The Transposed Heads” by Thomas Mann, because I keep fantasizing about what it would look like to graft the heads of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor on the bodies respectively of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Mary Matalin. Or, truer to the spirit and theme of Mann’s novel, perhaps the heads of Hillary Clinton, Claire McCaskill and Elizabeth Warren on the torsos of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor.

So, those are my three summer rereads. What are yours?

4 November 2010: Me-sogynist?

November 4th, 2010

I’ve always admired Hillary Clinton, but there’s no denying that, once the Republicans saw the handwriting on the wall and the glass ceiling breaking, our Hillary gave birth to their Sarah Palin, who then spawned such shrews as Sharron Angle, Carly Fiorina, Linda McMahon, Christine O’Donnell and Meg Whitman.

I don’t want to sound misogynistic, but if Louisa May Alcott were writing Little Women today, Sarah Palin would be the new Marmee Grizzly trying to raise her unruly cubs.  And in this new reality show, Marmee will eat her own young as she turns into Lady Macbeth. Barack Obama could stop all these weird sisters in their tracks by running with Hillary Clinton as his vice-president in 2012.

19 June 2010: Women Beware Women!

June 19th, 2010

It boggles my mind how, in recent years at the University of Kansas, so many of the young women in my classes do not want to be identified as feminists.  They seem to want all the benefits, and actually take all the benefits for granted, but would rather not be identified with the cause, or the history of the struggle.  Back in the 60s and 70s, life seemed so much simpler when opposing forces like Germaine Greer and Phyllis Schlafly were at least civil with one another.  These days, temperate and well-mannered people in politics like Hillary Clinton, Claire McCaskill and Maxine Waters seem to be horribly outnumbered by the likes of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Sharron Angle, Sue Lowden, Liz Cheney, ad nauseam.  So can we blame young women today if they would rather not be identified with these shrieking shrews?  What hath feminism wrought?  Perhaps Jacobean playwright John Middleton said it best, back in 1657, in the title of his play, Women Beware Women.

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