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Sistahs Steppin In Pride parade, Oakland

September 16th, 2006

Then So Be It
Saturday. Last night was the first night I skipped the cholesterol pill. There's three of them actually, nasty buggers, cost a fortune, but boy howdy do they lower the old cholesterol which, we are told, is a necessary item if we want to live to a hundred. We shall see if they're ganging up and causing the aching sinuses. Did I feel any different this morning? Hard to tell, you're looking for a difference after only a few hours and any difference could be a placebo effect. The neurologist, in outlining the situation, mentioned they'd measured a placebo effect with people suffering heart attacks. (How do you do that, exactly? Half the people inhale nitro and the other half inhale stale air? Wouldn't there be, um, ethical issues involved?) Life is complicated, is it not? And it seems to spill over into medicine. A funky day otherwise, naps and more naps packed tightly around a short bus trip downtown to buy necessary items.

I suggested that Mr. Bush and his administration had fallen to fear in my Nine-Eleven entry. I admit that may not be accurate. I've said before I had a moment of epiphany in college when I realized the truly “conservative“ Goldwater supporters I knew didn't at least subconsciously believe in pluralistic democracy. When push came to shove they believed in authoritarianism. They didn't believe a pluralistic democratic state could successfully fight a truly authoritarian state and reverted to a bare knuckle might makes right reality when they perceived danger. There's a little fascist in everyone and some of us have more of it than others. Bush and his people are basically at their core authoritarians, elitists with a belief you need to keep your boot on the collective neck of those who entertain other ideas. I apologize if I incorrectly called you a coward, Mr. Bush. I think you're something else altogether, nastier and more dangerous to those who believe in the principles on which this nation was founded.

Aren't you doing exactly what they're doing with this over the top crap?

Of course, but I find it rather liberating to just pour it out here every now and then. Cleans out the cobwebs. Reduces the stress the doctors talk about. I have no doubt using over the top terms such as “fascist” doesn't do any good in the larger sense. I know my share of Republicans, many of whom are no longer Bush supporters, many of whom aren't all that happy with Arnold Schwartzenegger, come to think of it, now that he's made people think he's “gone over to the other side”, many of whom think Bush walks with the guy who walks on water. I've always found this authoritarian crap a little scary when it seems to be making headway in Washington. There are too many things, whether they're out there or not, they can be use to scare people and scared people seem willing, from what I've seen, to hand over the reins without considering consequences. Congress, for example. You give someone the reins under special circumstances and you suddenly find they feel all circumstances are special so “don't be an Indian giver”. It's an odd thought when you find yourself thinking well, maybe this is a good time to have been alive because you'll be dead by the time this whole thing comes down. Yes, I know that's over the top, but I've got more than enough company in this paranoia.

I don't think it's about “liberal versus conservative”, “religious versus secular” or “Democrat versus Republican”. These dualities are two sides of the same coin, one cannot exist without the other. They're incredibly emotionally charged and that's what makes them so useful in bringing them up to divert our attention from what they're trying to hide, things generally about money and which pig gets first slop at the trough. Each party has a set of positions of relevance. Each has its own set of fucked up groups out on the fringes. There really isn't a whole lot of right and wrong in the basic equation, but boy-howdy do I think it's better for someone like me to live in a democracy under the rule of law when someone in power decides they don't want me dating their daughter or expressing a contrary political opinion or asking about that money they got from the real estate guy just before our man cast his vote for the new overpriced waterfront project. Paranoia, sure, but if it takes paranoia to keep the bastards off your back, then so be it. Here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at the Sistahs Steppin' in Pride Parade in Oakland with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 70-200mm 2.8 VR Nikkor lens at 1/1600th, f 2.8, ISO 100.