On the next page she came to a spell "for the refreshment of the spirit'. The pictures were fewer here but very beautiful. And what Lucy found herself reading was more like a story than a spell. It went on for three pages and before she had read to the bottom of the page she had forgotten that she was reading at all. She was living in the story as if it were real, and all the pictures were real too. When she had got to the third page and come to the end, she said, "That is the loveliest story I've ever read or ever shall read in my whole life. Oh, I wish I could have gone on reading it for ten years. At least I'll read it over again."
But here part of the magic of the Book came into play. You couldn't turn back. The right-hand pages, the ones ahead, could be turned; the left-hand pages could not.
"Oh, what a shame!" said Lucy. "I did so want to read it again. Well, at least I must remember it. Let's see . . . it was about . . . about . . . oh dear, it's all fading away again.
And even this last page is going blank. This is a very queer book. How can I have forgotten? It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill, I know that much. But I can't remember and what shall I do?"
And she never could remember; and ever since that day what Lucy means by a good story is a story which reminds her of the forgotten story in the Magician's Book.
~C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chapter 10: The Magician's Book (1952)
We will not be able to turn back to the days when we were terror-free. The days of American respect, strength, and power seem to have faded, much like the back pages of Lucy's book. It's almost impossible for us to believe we once lived in a time when we could send our children off to school and never think twice about their safety. It's nearly impossible to recall leadership that brought out the best in us, revealing to us the angels of our better nature. The war has torn us asunder, not because we are simply "at war". It isn't that we are pacifists. No, we've learned that freedom sometimes has to mean defending ourselves with intelligent strength. Yet, these days - dear God - these days have given us a leader who does not care for our uniting in the most stressful of times. This leader does not seem to care how we feel about the fact that he misled us to the point where we offered up our own beloved sons and daughters; our very life's blood and meaning. We waited for one word from this leader to show us there was a trace of remorse for his many errors in judgement, and we got silence and a stare as blank as the runaway pages of our precious book. Our hearts are broken.
We are in great need of inspiration, direction, and hope in such times and it's missing - as surely as the twin towers at the World Trade Center are missing. As surely as the beloved family members of the 9/11 victims are missing. It is as if we are living in the pre-9/11 story as if it were real, and all the pictures were real too. When we get to the end, we say, "That is the loveliest story we've ever read or ever shall read in our whole life. Oh, we wish we could have gone on reading it for ten years. At least we'll read it over again." But, we find we cannot turn back.
It's a queer book, indeed, with the fading of the memory of the comfortable days before 9/11. Ghosts from the empty pages float in and out of the dreaming mind. Halcyon days return in flashes of remembrance. A husband's smile, a son's embrace, a wife cuddling her children. Missing. Lost in flaming towers or lost somewhere on a road outside Baghdad.
We remember the beauty from the old, faded story - even though we now only have fragments of the tale remaining in our tortured minds. We still have the ability to turn the pages ahead of us. I pray we can write the rest of the book together, as a truly united nation, and I would recommend that we do not allow the divisive talk radio hosts, the flaming fundamentalists, and the FOX News team to co-author our future narrative. I also hope our leader, who is our leader whether we like it or not, will find his lost heart somehere among the lost items in his own story. May he come to understand that, more important than focusing in on ugly partisan comeuppance and exercising hardline power he thinks he deserves, he needs to heal a nation of millions waiting for him to come to his long lost senses.
"Omigawwwwd! Like, I'm never
gonna go away, okay?"
-Monica, Stigma Ghost,
Killer of good ol' fashioned
Lewinsky silently haunts James Carville
Time for a change.
Boooooooo! I can still hear the ghost of the Monica Lewinsky scandal eating away at the Democrats.
I've stopped watching CNN, MSNBC, and FOX because their credibility, for me, has gone completely down the shitter. I do, however, tune in to the Sunday morning shows for a small taste of the new myths..and for a glimpse of the slow death of democracy as it progresses toward the boneyard of Empire. I can't do much about it, but I assure you I'll have a good time writing about it.
Breaking an egg over his own head on today's Meet the Press, snotty yolk running over his bald pate, James Carville looked like the political loser he actually has proven himself to be. I have a wonderful sense of humor, but rather than giggling at his clown-like antics, I felt tremendously sorry for him. But not sorry enough to stay silent about it. It was when he cracked the egg that it was all made clear to me: James Carville is no longer a serious or effective or winning contender. I thought back to many episodes of the dreadful circus known as CNN's Crossfire. Carville and Begala have, far too often, played the idiot jesters while Douchebag Robert Novak outed CIA and both Novak and Carlson parroted (ad nauseum) meaningless-but-effective RNC talking points.
If any of you think we're going to find future success with these Democratic party leaders, the Begalas, the Carvilles.. I have to say that I think you're absolutely insane in your hopeful delusion. To everything there is a season, and their season is long past.
The "rightest" of the Red folk were culturally empowered, most unfortunately, by Bill Clinton's wet tongue dalliance with Monica Lewinsky and his subsequent lies to America about the sad affair. I think Bill Clinton was one of the greatest presidents we've had for all he accomplished during his time, I really do. However, for Democrats linked to Clinton, that time was up when the Lewinsky affair came to light, empowering and encouraging "Red and Right America". Don't shoot me for saying it - someone has to. Rush was empowered by Monica. FOX, the worst, tilted, one-sided journalism in any supposed free society, was able to be hatched - quite successfully, thanks to Monica. A "Right and Red" powerhouse began to steamroll the political landscape and it hasn't stopped.
I hate to have to say it, but I think the elephant in the room is still Monica Lewinsky. (Pun intended - meow).
Boooooooooo - she's never going away. She's a big old Stigma Ghost and her wet tongue has made fetid all in her glossy-lipped wake.
In 2000, Al Gore took a bloody electoral beating in his own state of Tennessee because of her.
You can blame Ken Starr if that makes you feel good.
But Stigma Ghost isn't going away.
You can blame America's definition of "Morals" if you'd like. Heh. Tightass America can't have a president who cheats on his wife and lies about it. They can, however, support an abuser-president who lies to them and sends their sons and daughters to lose their lives and become maimed in unnecessary warfare.
Either way, it's time for a change in the Democratic party. Let's face it, we are NEVER going to win over the Rush and FOX crowd with appeasement. More importantly, why on earth should we try?
I'm just as American as any of those total loons of the right, and I will continue to assert my vision of America as I learned to love my vision of America - without surrender or apology. Surrender and apology would be as unnecessary as the Iraq war!
On the FOX Sunday show, I heard Senator Joe Lieberman, the BIG loser in the Democratic primary, dare to say that Howard Dean, the highly popular primary candidate who was eaten by his own party during the primaries, was not a viable representative for the Democratic party. Talk about living in a sudden alternative universe! Dean was the only candidate able to successfully come up with a perfectly sound and consistent narrative for his Democratic campaign. And look at what the Democrats did to him.
Lieberman says that 3.5 million more people voting for Bush than Kerry is enough to cause Howard Dean to be impotent and for the centrists to swarm back toward ultimate Democratic power. Lieberman thinks we millions of Dean supporters were no more than a bunch of anti-war folks. He is creating a centrist-propping myth - neglecting to mention it was the IRAQ war that we Dean supporters saw through...no other wars were involved in our protest. And we see through all those fake rationales for the Iraq war to this day. And we still do not appreciate our Democratic congressmen who gave Bush carte blanche on Iraq. It was an abandonment of duty and sense. It was no less than malpractice in our Representative's responsibility to appropriately represent the American people. Lieberman is a pathetic opportunist. Period.
Josh Marshall has some great commentary geared toward the Democratic power center, spiced with a cautionary air:
The Dems did not get 48% of the popular vote for nothing. They got it because of what they were clearly for and clearly against. 48% isn’t enough for the White House or enough to be the country’s majority party. But it’s nothing to sneeze at either. And many changes that would gain Democrats votes in the Red States would lose them votes or unity in the Blue ones.
This doesn’t mean Dems should just stand-pat or be satisfied with what they have. They shouldn’t; indeed, they can’t. It is only to say that there are real limits to how many positions and rhetorical styles Dems can ape to good effect. And it means having a little more respect for themselves, their voters and what they claim to believe in than to collapse into a puddle of self-doubt just because this election didn’t go their way.
I agree with Josh. My kingdom - for an ounce of honesty and respect for all the voters who came out on November 2nd!
If any of this sounds like hand-wringing, you can bet your sweaty palm pilot that's exactly what this is. It's brutally honest hand-wringing.
Let's take a hard look at the Democratic party.
Call it tough love.
Some people might say, Jude, do you want to stand for something or do you want to win? To them, I say, the powers that be in the Dem party haven't done either thing -- in the last four years. I say "Move out the way" and let the new blood in.
If there's no change, I am not going to stick around.
To the Democratic party:
I don't want to leave you, honey, but if what you do to yourself is killing me and my vision of America as a wholly respectable and truly free society, then 'Goodbye' it may have to be.