Thursday, December 12, 2002

I don't want to be 'Miss Current Events' here but this is an important story about lies that can be reported when war is on the horizon.

I got this from Turbanhead

This prompted a little bit of childhood nostalgia

Sometimes I wonder what it is that makes someone horrified by war--and suspicious of the media--rather than inclined to believe a story like the one above and hope for war.

It seems I was born this way.

I have many memories as a child being entirely against war, the death penalty, in favor of redistribution of wealth. I remember we couldn't afford a lunch box for me but I finally got one. Unfortunately, it was a Hee Haw lunch box. I think they were on sale. I still felt guilty about using scarce family funds to get this lunchbox. I said to my mother "mom, why can't everything be free? I would only take one of everything...I wouldn't want more."

My mom said "Miel, you're a communist!"

I was so intrigued by this I later research communism...I became a communist by the 3rd grade. (I now have a rather more nuanced and complex view of politics and economics, etc. Well, actually. Come to think of it it's not all that complex and nuanced...)

In the 4th grade my teacher was quite conservative. God, I loved her so much. She was so gentle, and compassionate and caring. Her whole schtick was to teach us self-esteem. True, I didn't learn much math. She was very into the "I'm OK, You're OK books." She was my idol. Her name was Mrs. Hartline. Still, when she tried to convince us of the evils of the Soviet Union and make us true patriots I was utterly suspicious of everything she said. (Of course, strictly speaking--much of what she told us was true. And she'd actually been to the Soviet Union. I was disturbed by it because it seemed to support the possibility of war with the Soviet Union--something I greatly feared as a child. I had this utopian ideal that all the children of the world were very sensible and if we could just get together, perhaps we could convince the adults that their nationalism was unjustified and avoid war.)

Many of the people I most admired and adored in childhood were very politically conservative. Yet, I was a radical. Was I born this way? It's almost a tempermental orientation toward the world...that I've always had. Class distinctions deeply bothered me. I went to a grade school which was very divided between an upper middle class white population and a lower class black/chicano population. Even though I was in the 'high' reading group and the gifted programs with all the upper-class kids and could therefore be friends with them (reading group placement mattered much more than class or race in this school)--the racism and classism drove me crazy. Before I even knew what racism and classism was.

I'll probably delete this post later. I hate revealing anything genuine about myself on the internet.


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