Why get worked up about this election? I'm not emotionally involved but fascinated anyway. The self righteousness emanating from the socially and economically comfortable left is not something I can relate to. Apparently, there was a lot of anger on display during the last Nation Magazine Cruise. Now, obviously anyone who can afford that cruise is affluent and probably retired, not marginal in any way but raking it in with pensions, real estate, stocks and bonds and yes, maybe even overseas assets, and mostly old and mostly white, like Terry and me. .A lot of those old lefties, the men in particular, are obsessed with money and hardly talk about anything else. Sometimes they call it economics, but it's all about money, not morals. Those who failed to support Sanders, one participant reveals, especially if, like her, they said they were voting for Hillary Clinton, came in for a lot of abuse.
The local people who support Sanders are mostly old Greens, Mainland transplants, left academics and young white activists, especially environmentalists. If there is a groundswell among "locals" I have yet to perceive it. Many of us old ladies prefer Hillary Clinton, but we know how unpopular she is and how, by extension, we are. The boys are not going to like us for this. Clinton continues to be a favorite among us second wave feminists, but we are a compromised bunch, (and a lot of the major players are dead). That's what all the talk about Clinton's "baggage" is about. Some elder women, however, have jumped ship in order to throw their weight behind a 74 year old man. They may be old, but they preserve their dewy eyed innocence and idealism. Some day their prince will come, and he will be a 74 year old curmudgeon from Vermont.
A man may emerge shiny and new from whatever dreck he has been involved with, a woman never. One thing I am sure of is that women will get it in the neck, no matter who wins, so what else is new? The important thing for women now is to cultivate their strengths, ignore the put downs and forge ahead. We love you even if you don't love us back.
So here is a new term I have invented: youthiness. It's when you act young but you really aren't young. Our current crop of adults favors youthiness except in children, who are expected to act like wise little adults.
Footnote: I'm so glad Jane Sanders has told Bernie's followers to lay off the Hillary bashing. This makes me feel A LOT better.
So what's new and outrageous today? So much to choose from. Hell with it. I'm going to put up some pix instead. My latest Buddha Board and Photoshop pieces are on the art blog. Link on the sidebar.
The plate in the middle is one I bought years ago in Vancouver. I'm making a series of plates like the ones on either side of it. These are pretty clumsy, but with some practice I will get better. And they are colorful.
My Buddha Board and Photoshop work display screen with plate and Jessie Edminster Lawson's painting, Madonna de los Gatos. It's Jessie's birthday today! I think it's her 75th.
We've got dengue fever, too. And so many people just kind of drifting around. I'm thinking about the man who lies on a box. It's a large wooden box that he wheels around and lies on in various parts of town. Yesterday I saw him near the Tsunami Museum, lying on his box, looking at the Bay. Saturday a.m when I go to the market I see people with dogs and musical instruments, people selling crap, nodding out on the sidewalk, and so on.
When we first came here, we knew the street people and beggars, who were accepted as characters and generally actually had places to live and weren't really homeless. But I don't know who this current group are or where they come from or why they have ended up here. I"m not a person who directly engages with the homeless any more, however. So there must be people who have a better notion than I do of how they got here and how they have managed to mess up their lives so badly.
Part of me thinks we like it this way. It shows that we are a better sort, those of us who are successful or at least OK. We don't imagine ending up like that. However, everyone's afraid of violence.
I did read one good thing in today's New York Times by an 18 year old Sanders fan, which is very astute and actually has merit as a criticism of Clinton:
Women have to use the language of men and are suspect. It's not like you can go ahead and say what you think, if you are a woman. Just try it! Hillary is also that most abhorred of creatures, Mom. She understands that with the youth (and the many grown up adolescents among us), motherhood is a one way street, in which a woman's duty is to give but never to take. So her success is a terrible affront to the decencies of life, as young and other immature people understand these things. The corollary is that Hillary Clinton should drop the mask and "come out" as herself: an ambitious woman, a genius, a person who accepts the frailties of others, someone who will take money from the rich to further her causes, Mom, even.
Sanders is OK. He belongs to that small cohort of Americans born in the period between 1930 and 1945. Look in your obits to see where our age group is going. Clinton is a little younger and has a few vital years left. But don't be fooled. Sanders is on thyroid medication, and I think she is too. I could jump around plenty and make quite a peppy impression if I were taking that stuff. Younger people like to imagine that age doesn't make a difference as long as you can impersonate a young person. They don't really know what it's like to be old.
I would like to see Elizabeth Warren on the ticket, either with Sanders or with Clinton. She looks pretty hopped up, too, though, but in her case I think it's just metabolism.
These gadgets are sold to display photos, but this one works great to show off my Buddha Board Photoshop art work. It was pretty cheap but does the job. It's a Sylvania SDPF 1089 and costs about $70.00. I set it up to change the picture every 15 minutes. It is fine in daylight and at night and has a very wide display angle. At first I wanted to hide the flash drive and the cord and then thought, no, those things have a kind of cool and artsy vibe.
I've never been successful at romanticizing myself. There is quite a market for it, though, apparently. A cultivation of girlish innocence in old age--after a lifetime of cooking, cleaning, working for a living, having sex lives, bringing up the kids and all the other matters that go on in the lives of normal women-- seems a little suspect. Are we really all sweet nice romantic creatures at heart, tho not above a little titillation and scandal? No matter how tough and sometimes brutal we have had to be in order to survive?
So when I watched a short film, Mend and Make Do, which Ronnie Bennett recommends on her blog, Time Goes By, I felt queasy. Of course, that could be the point. The young director has quite a girlish air, although she is in her 20's. Could a woman in her 20s really have much of an idea at all of what it's like to be old? The displacement from the actual bodies of old women onto various objects is weird. I'm very curious what others think about this. Ronnie Bennett does not allow people to go on her blog and contradict her and make critical comments or cast doubts on any of her enthusiasms, which is why I'm commenting here. You can google Time Goes By and read her post and comments from her readers, if you are interested. My favorite line: "'E was a saint, to put up with me." Well, if that's anyone's idea of charm, so be it. It's all very clever and very specious. Like so much coming out of Britain these days.
I'm in the midst of a difficult and to me important read right now and may say more when I'm finished with it. What are women's lives like if you strip them down to the basics? I think that is what the novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout, is about.
Lucy Barton hopes that she can survive by appealing to men. Lucy remarks at the way, like Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, she "has always depended on the kindness of strangers," as she thinks about how good her doctor is to her during her hospitalization. But Tennessee Williams's character Blanche DuBois is an alcoholic prostitute and hardly a fount of wisdom, and putting these words in the mouth of his character is the bitterest sarcasm. How eager we are to go for cliche meanings, as Lucy seems to realize, noting that the quote is a "bumper sticker." It's like the fatuous Polonius telling Laertes, "This above all: to thine ownself be true," as if anyone could be anyone but one's own self! As if that would help anything.
In my ceramics class, we sometimes fall into long and very intimate conversations that would be amazing to anyone who believes he or she knows what goes on in the lives of old women. The struggle to survive at any cost is the major theme and the source of the pathos of our situation, since, aside from our dear ones, no one really cares about us. In this mode we are not cynical at all but simply incredulous at how strange human existence is, how we love our lives in spite of everything.
These are almost all young Midwestern white men. At least where I live, and throughout most of the rest of the country, this is a minority group.
Another worry is the negativity that a lot of Sanders fans are displaying, particularly attacks on Hillary Clinton and her supporters. Liberals and progressives here do a lot for this place, but they can be very uptight and self-righteous. This would not be so bad if they were not constantly violating their stated values, especially on environmental issues. All of us here are sinners that way, because we need to fly so often and use so much imported food and other goods from the Mainland, and of course everyone drives around a lot. Are we going to stop doing these things in order to help save the planet? Terry belongs to the Sierra Club and Greenpeace and so on, and that's good, but this is not my core issue. And I find environmentalism to be inhumane in the way it favors animals over people and the callous way some say poor people should stop "breeding" and so on. Even when I point out that improving the lot of women is an important step in stabilizing the birth rate, they close their ears, as if even to mention women as mothers is an obscenity.
The birth rate has flattened out in Latin America. I am not sure, but I think women are getting their tubes tied or getting hysterectomies after they complete their families. But who cares about this huge change in the demographics of a whole population? It's saving the Aardvark or something that gets the attention and the funds for environmental organizations.
One thing this campaign is doing for me is making me understand that my core values center on women's rights and racial justice. These are international concerns. And there is no doubt that in these two areas Hillary Clinton is the front runner. I'm not saying she is the best human being on earth on these issues, just that if you look at the candidates for the presidency she is! So I'll vote for her in the caucus. Hawaii Senator,Mazie Hirono, is in Clinton's camp, as is our other Senator, Brian Schatz. Al Franken backs her, too. Al Franken believes in American institutions. I got to "know" him well from listening to his program on Air America. He's worked closely with Hillary, and if he's for her so am I.
We had such a busy weekend of fun that I spent most of this afternoon recuperating, by which I mean taking a long nap. I did have to go to a rather exhausting meeting in the a.m. and get my warfarin blood test and then came home and made a risotto. I had to use red wine, having no white, and goat cheese instead of Parmesan. It tasted great. Now I am up again and functional, more or less.
On Saturday we went to Paulo's in Pahoa. A year ago it seemed certain that lava would overwhelm the town, but lo, it stopped! What a relief. Now everyone's back to complaining about the usual stuff.
On Sunday we went to the Volcano Village Market. This is one of those counterculture places where Boomers congregate. Volcano is peaceful in spite of its proximity to the Halemaumau crater, which is spewing emissions over the islands. Usually the wind carries the sulfur-laden cloud away from the Village. The Village is favored by older women, in particular, and has an artsy vibe.
We went to Volcanoes National Park with Jim and Mary and took one of our favorite hikes down to the caldera floor along Byron's Ledge.
Jim showed us some photoshop apps built right into our Nikon Coolpix L840 camera, and we had fun fooling around with them.
There was a shooting at the Honolii surfing beach on Sunday a.m. Some of our neighbors heard the gunshots. When I went to get my blood drawn, the technician asked me about it. It's so unusual for this sort of thing to happen here. I don't recall any shootings in Hilo, and certainly not so close to us. The victim was treated at the hospital and then flown to Honolulu for intensive care and is now in "unstable condition," according to the newspaper.
Well, the caucus is over. Creepy Cruz did quite well, I see, and Hillary's hanging in there. Sanders came out fine, but he is not popular, as far as I can tell, with minority voters. Not possible to judge this with a virtually all white electorate, as in Iowa.