Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This blog has hit the road. . .

It's now at About damn time, n'est-ce pas?

Update your bookmarks and feed readers, ¡por favor!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The rising of our women is the rising of us all

I'm too angry to blog thoughtfully about what's going on in Wisconsin.

My parents were schoolteachers under a string of Republican governors, and I remember seeing a photo in the newspaper of my dad and his fellow workers protesting at some school board meeting, singing union songs. When I became a graduate student, I joined unions and participated in picket lines, so I'm definitely feeling some solidarity with the people of Wisconsin.

Many times over the past few days, I've seen folks reference Martin Luther King Junior's reminder that "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." That sentence has become a sort of mantra for me over the past few days.

Suffragists, Section of Working Women, 1917 (source)

As many people have pointed out, the end of collective bargaining disproportionately affects women employees--as do various other actions being taken this legislative season in state legislatures across the nation.

I feel moved, then, to share one of my favorite songs. Here's Utah Phillips and Ani DiFranco performing their version of "Bread and Roses" (scroll to 1:18, where the song begins):

Lyrics (slightly different from the original lyrics):

As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill-lofts gray
Are brightened by the beauty a sudden sun discloses,
And the people hear us singing, “Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.”

As we come marching, marching, we battle, too, for men –
For they are in this struggle and together we can win.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes –
Hearts can starve as well as bodies; give us Bread, but give us Roses.

As we come marching, marching, a hundred million dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for Bread;
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew –
Yes, it is bread we fight for — but we fight for Roses, too.

As we come marching, marching, we're standing proud and tall –
The rising of our women is the rising of us all –
No more the drudge and idler — ten that toil where one reposes –
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.


Have I shared with you my red-state nightmare?

A gunman enters a class I'm teaching in a large lecture hall. Students at first look shocked, but then they all stand up, draw their handguns, and start shooting. (Take a moment to imagine the crossfire and the terror.)

Thanks to the lovely politicians in my new state of delusion, that nightmare is one step closer to reality.

My campus has banned smoking anywhere on the university's grounds. But it's likely that very soon students will be able to bring guns to class.

Smart is sexy--in the classroom, on the job market, pretty much anywhere. Guns, not so much.
Photo by Janina Szkut, and used under a Creative Commons license

I know many students at Boise State come from rural areas and grew up hunting. They're comfortable, therefore, with hunting rifles. But let's be honest--we're not talking about letting students and others bring rifles onto campus. We're talking about handguns. (Including at football games. Because football isn't already enough of a blood sport.)

As someone who grew up in an area scarred by handgun violence perpetrated by teenagers and young adults, I am profoundly uneasy with this latest development.

Friday, March 04, 2011

I have no words

. . .except for these: the folks at this protest are bigots and racists, plain and simple. Even worse, some of them are elected (Republican) reps, one of whom made death threats against the Muslim families attending this charity event.

Please spread the word of these protesters' and representatives' hateful wrongdoing.