Tuesday, July 21, 2009


These last couple of weeks my energy level has gotten better and I'm starting to feel more like myself. Still I get worn out quickly and I've found that the best thing to do is stick close to home. So I've been watching a lot of TV (food network and baaaad reality Housewives TV) and I've also been watching movies - on cable and from the video store. Lots of movies. Many I'm watching again for the umpteenth time.

A few days ago I watched the movie Bobby again. I didn't really think much of it the first time, but this is like the 4th time I've seen it and for some reason this time it affected me differently. This could be because it's the first time I've watched it since the election in November so I'm looking at it through that filter. Could be that I watched it shortly after watching Frost/Nixon so that adds to the experience. Could be that I'm having an emotional reaction post surgery - everyone keeps saying that I should be expecting a big emotional reaction, but so far nada.

In any case after watching Bobby this time I have been thinking a lot about how lucky I was to grow up in that era. How blessed I am to be able to remember the hope that was represented in these two men: Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. They wer progressive at time when they could really create change. Martin Luther King was radical in the most intelligent way possible - and because he was grounded in the absolute truth of his convictions he was incredibly powerful. Bobby Kennedy was pragmatic in a way that was necessary for someone who was looking at leading this nation at that time. The Vietnam war was escalating. There were race riots in New York, DC and Chicago, and a real sense of divisiveness throughout the entire country.

Basically it was a lot like it is today.

Had Martin Luther King not been killed he could have galvanized people to create a peaceful and prosperous future for themselves and their children. Had Bobby Kennedy not been killed he probably would've won the presidency and I cannot stop thinking about where this country would be today if that had happened.

I can't stop thinking about where we would be today had those men lived to lead us.

Would we be in a better place? I'd like to think so, but I really have no idea. I can't stop thinking about how Barak Obama finds himself in much the same position that Bobby Kennedy would have been in had he lived and won in 1968 (although the mess seems much MUCH bigger today). Truly I don't see anyone in our current landscape who can fill MLK's shoes. Peace through non-violence seems to be an idealized utopitan fantasy whose time came and went - whose messenger was shot and killed by hate and racism (or, for the paranoid, by a US government that wasn't havin' it).

Still my faith in this country, in the people who live here and in this man who inspires so many to have hope, much like Bobby did, like Martin did, remains strong. I've been alive long enough to know that even though you're sitting in a long line that wraps around the block on the day when your even number license plate gets to buy gas, it will get better. Even when you have no job and you don't know where you're going to sleep next week - you will be okay. We've been thruough a lot of rough times in this country and we have always risen above, survived and thrived and we will continue to do so.

As long as we keep the faith and do not succumb to cynicism - which is tough to do when you watch too much realityTV, or the nightly news.

But that's what the "off" button is for.

1 comment:

Undercover Black Man said...

Comments activated! Yay! Elizabeth hooked you up?