Saturday, July 5, 2008

When Road Leads to Neverending Road

There's a line in Waiting for Godot, something to the effect that it is the worst thing to have thought, which would seem pretty stupid. And yet like much of Godot, though it be madness, yet there is a method in't. Witness what happens when instead of jumping on a bandwagon of whatever stripe, you find yourself actually trying to sort things out for yourself.

From the very beginning of the Bobama odyssey, I have been asking, "What, pray tell, is an organizer?" I mean what kind of occupation is that? As a title, it has no substance, an occupation built of air, shapeless, open to all sorts of construction. Then last week, I stumbled upon an article by Byron York in the National Review that took that very tack, namely, what is an organizer and what did Barack Obama do during his tenure as such.

A portion of the article is available on line, and the magazine is still available for a day or two. Aha, I thought upon reading, organizer is just another word for rabble-rouser, because going by the Saul Alinksky rule book, you have to convince people they are wronged, then cause all sorts of grief. Smugly, I thought, "I knew it."

But then I stumbled upon a link to an article/essay by Camille Paglia about Hillary on Penúltimos Días. Now I'm not going to cry crocodile tears for old Hil. If she were a true feminist, she would have given old Bill a good, swift kick in his ample posterior when she discovered he was doing some variation of the dirty with young Monica. She did not. So while I admire her single-mindedness, I cannot see her as the poster girl for feminism. Yet, I know full well that to many men, she is the prototypical emasculating woman. These last would vote for Kim Jong-Il before they would cast a vote in her direction.

It was not the article, then, that got to me, rather, it was the era. I used to love to inform my students that I attended Barnard and not Columbia because that worthy institution admitted men only. You see, I hit my teens during the "women's lib" movement. I benefited from their activism, dare I say "organizing." What was consciousness raising after all? So now, I had to alter my perspective somewhat.

As all roads seem to lead to Cuba lately, I began to realize something the opposition in Cuba has been saying. Just like downtrodden I begin to head toward battered, this near interminable post will never end then....Anyway, it occurs to me that, shockingly, people who have been beaten down might actually need to be informed of the same. I'm not sure what the mechanism is, whether you begin to lose the sense of entitlement as a human being, whether you think that the consumption of crumbs is your appointed lot in life, whatever.

In the end, then, one man or woman's organizer is an other's rabble-rouser. I promise to look into this one carefully. Meantime, "Let's go." (They stay seated.)

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