A new mirror brings some needed light into my office. It looks crooked in pic but is actually hanging straight.
How tedious it is to be unwell! No chemo this week, because my platelets are not yet back in the normal range. Thoracentesis today because fluid has built up around my lungs again. My vision and hearing are deteriorating. I have water retention in my feet, ankles and legs, even though I take "water" pills. Four times a day I get a little buzz from the hydrocodone pills, a reminder that life can be beautiful. I take them mainly to control the mucus secretions in my lungs. What I resent is the feeling that staying alive (and sane!) is work, after a lifetime of taking being alive (and sane!) for granted!
We begin the work day (ie, every day) with the strategy session in my office: checking the drugs, appointments, shopping, meals, etc. We read the paper and talk over the news. I feel busy, but mostly I have to take it easy, and that is a bore.
Our daughter who was visiting us left yesterday. She actually enjoyed being here as a contrast to her busy life on the Mainland. She did a lot of cooking, and we have a freezer full of entrees.
Ronni Bennett reports from her hospital bed after surgery for pancreatic cancer. She is a good reporter and even funny about what's happening to her. Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono had surgery yesterday, to remove a cancerous rib. I worry that she won't be able to get enough rest; she is a key figure in the Senate. But truly I don't see how she will be able to keep up the pace demanded for her job for long.
We are continuing to watch The Handmaid's Tale--engrossing but hardly upbeat-- one episode at a time, because each episode needs some thinking over. This series illustrates how precarious women's gains are, how easily taken away.
The bohemian man may have idealised women as muses and models but he was unhampered by bourgeois obligations to be faithful or to earn money, though rarely was he so unconventional as to undertake any housework or childcare. The bohemian woman with children was as much shackled to domesticity as any solicitor’s wife, but without the staff a middle-class household would command or the security. Meanwhile the door to a respectable life had slammed shut behind her.
What I observed in the late 50s and early 60s in Berkeley and San Francisco was the carry over from Beatnik Bohemia to Hippiedom. Issues of respectability and financial worries were real enough to me and most other women during this period of regression. Pregnancy loomed as a threat. The mistreatment many women endured at the hands of "revolutionary" and/or "artistic" or merely heroin addicted (but entitled!) men was a factor in the rise of second wave feminism. My personal brushes with Beatnik and Hippie men made me impervious to their dubious charms! They were perfectly fine with walking all over me and then moving on.
That's why, when Bernie came along, I was not thrilled! I figured he had some pretty sordid backstories that his opponents were sitting on, because he was a useful fool* and could help to defeat the hated Hillary. Unlike the original Bohemians, he is obsessed with money, and left politics has been a good money maker for him.
The Cubans were not taken in by the jovial but evil Eldridge Cleaver and his Panthers, when they showed up. Why oh why was Cleaver lauded by many on the left? This article, also from the LRB, Havana 1968, by Andrew Sinclair illuminates so much:
His misunderstandings with the Cubans were more a matter of street wit than substance. They took his asides as true statements. Given an old crone to act as a cook and spy on the apartment, he said: ‘If I got to have a cook, make her young, white and willing.’ This was reported as wants a young white slave. When he saw a black Cadillac in the street, he observed: ‘I want to get me a big black Caddie for this big black ass.’ This was reported as wants big american car. When he bought some grass to smoke in Oriente province and was asked his source, he said: ‘Fidel gave it to me.’ This was put down as says he got marijuana from castro. And when he sang in the lobby of the Havana Libre hotel, ‘I guess I’ll have a ball with Haydée Santamaría,’ his dossier read: wants also to rape cuban official women.
Sinclair may find Cleaver witty; I just think he insults women. But so many of those men talked this way, all the time. What's to forgive here? Just, oh that was the times, you know!
Sullivan makes it sound like such a lark:
... news had spread of our preparations for armed resistance, and Marianne had carried a personal letter from Cleaver to Castro. It was clear that we were more trouble than we were worth. Castro had no intention of provoking another Bay of Pigs by allowing the Panthers to invade Mississippi in their rubber boat, but also knew the damage that would be done to the Cuban image if foreigners were eliminated in a firefight. Our passports were restored to us. Places were found on the Cuban airline to Madrid for Marianne and me, although she was only a couple of weeks from giving birth; and the Panthers were booked to Algeria, which had agreed to accept them, rather too far away for them to mount any invasion of the United States overnight. We were all taken for a last day on the beach at Santa María del Mar, the perfect finale to our Cuban excursion.
These people were loads of trouble but not serious at all!
*Remember his attempted audience with the Pope? I think the inability of men like Sanders to feel shame is remarkable.