Tuesday. Back from breakfast at the usual café having, of course, read the papers. The start of another week. Things to get done. No, really. Things to get done. Send the wedding pictures off to the cousins, pay the camera insurance (ouch!), get the wedding pictures off to the cousins. Or did I mention that? I believe I did. It's been sitting at the back of my brain, those wedding pictures. Yes they have.
Glenn Greenwald continues to post video and commentary from St. Paul on the demonstrations going on at the Republican national convention. What I've gleaned from reading accounts in both The Chronicle and The New York Times is there's indeed some demonstrating going on by some of the usual riff raff and radicals and that windows have been broken and property damaged. Which is what we were accustomed to getting during the sixties when I participated in one or two of the get together's protesting the Vietnam war and found what I saw on the ground completely misrepresented in the press.
The problem with demonstrations is they're messy and windows get broken. No problem putting window breakers in jail, that's what having a police department is about, and crowds can be scary. Still, political dissent is critical to a democracy: look at how much ink we've given to criticizing the Chinese for stifling dissent during the Olympics (before, during and after the Olympics). How many newspapers here have pontificated righteously over Chinese suppression and then blown off similar activities here at home as the work of “radicals” who deserve their pepper spray, hand cuffs and time in prison? Still, again, demonstrations are messy; there are always elements, usually quite small elements of “hooliganism” (a term favored by the Russians, another bastion of freedom); and it frightens a whole lot of folks who find ambiguity and lack of control frightening.
Again, the interesting element for me is the increasing number of young videographer would be journalists who are now present, allowing you to see a perspective right down on the ground (sometimes quite literally right down on the ground). I don't know how any of this is going to play out, how grim things may get in the future leading to, perhaps, demonstrations here in San Francisco, but if there are I'm ready to set forth packing my still cameras (if it's not raining and the mood is good - one does not want to go overboard on this democracy business, after all). We're going through a fundamental change of some kind in how we get “news” and many of us wonder where this may be going now that the national media is so obviously compromised, but I feel better seeing these new sources of on the ground coverage. You still have to evaluate what you're seeing, who's providing it, what they're saying and for what reason, but, at least, these seem sources of information we'd never have gotten under the old system.
Not so much politics, at least partisan politics. I'm not a Democrat and I'm not a Republican, although I'm clearly voting Democrat in the coming election. If it's President Obama in November, then I'm watching his every action just as closely as I've been watching Mr. Bush. Whatever's going on in our nation is being expressed through the political parties and isn't limited to or originating within the political parties. Something's wrong, many elements of it obvious, but I have the feeling the cards may well be stacked against any kind of sensible resolution and every effort (left, right or middle) should be make to expose the confederacies and contradictions lying behind them. We live in a Spin World where speaking truth is a quaint and naive concept, ever more so when what we see of the world comes through one or another media filter: all of them with biases, all of them with agendas, all of them on the dole of one or another interest.
Except, of course, for Walter Cronkite.
Did you know Cronkite and Muskie were infamous for their Ibogaine binges throughout the 1972 Democratic convention, that he's been an addict on the Drug Cabal payroll since he first appeared on television? You didn't? And you call yourself a sentient American?
Best to take one of your pills, I think, and get back to those wedding pictures.