I went to my favorite place, Bovina, New York, to share the eclipse with Gary, one of my best friends in the entire world. I’d bought the ISO 12312-2:2015 certified eclipse glasses on Amazon ( a pack of seven) a month ago, because I knew they’d be gone. We only got a partial eclipse, here in the Catskills, but still it was wonderful to watch. I am a sucker for anything that man and his kind did not create. As per the directions on the glasses you could only watch for three minutes at a time. That Gary and I, both of us in our 60’s, paid attention to the directions would not have happened 30 years ago. “WTF man, pass the bong.”
I felt intense pressure in the weeks before the eclipse. My insides were churning; old emotional patterns chomping at the bit to destroy the world I am actively creating, and the true self I am ever uncovering. Funny how old emotional patterns are originally set by familial externals, and created by soul for your own survival, until the day they turn on you. I think that’s why people hold onto old behavior, even when it’s killing them. The old ways of seeing, being, and feeling, are intricately connected to one’s survival within family and community.
I woke up early this morning, raring to go. I didn’t wake Gary, I wanted him to have a chance to sleep late. The Inn is hard work and he does it all himself. Every cell pulsating from the eclipse, I was on the road by 7 am. The mountains were covered with fat strokes of patchy fog and thick mists. A mile or so of rain, maybe two or three of drizzle, back to rain, and the sun behind clouds turning edges pink and lavender. A fox ran across the road. My heart ached with the beauty, and my heart ached with a deep sadness that knows no end. Not for the first time I wondered what is so lacking in the culture that it is perfectly all right to destroy beauty for profit.
There’s something about staying small. We’re programmed to stay small. God forbid, people should be aware of the power with which they were born to create their lives and their world. Despite appearances even those who excel within the culturally defined paradigm of success stay small. So often that success becomes who they are. In other words, it is anchored in externals. Take those externals away and what are you? A clear-cut mountain. Strip mined. Clearly, if you are a success, as defined by the culture, then your entire life is invested in keeping the paradigm, against which human beings judge themselves, intact.
I’m all for success but as a spoke of my wheel, not the hub. I know how much courage it takes to step outside the paradigm. My inner circle does too. One of the ways this has impacted me most profoundly, over the last 15 years, is my ever deepening understanding of the surface world, the dueling worlds of Huffington Post and Breitbart, and how the parts connect and feed each other. Each side is so into the feed, the argument, that the puppet masters fully invested in the profit game, which the narrative is meant to hide, are overlooked. There’s an unconscious collusion between the population and the narrative, expected and planned for by the puppet masters of profit, in much the same way there’s an unconscious collusion between self and programming, dictated by community, family, and belonging.
The majority of us are programmed to fit in, to answer the needs of the wounded families that birthed us, and to support the social structures that are the foundation of the culture. Most human beings are not programmed to uncover their true selves and use their power to create their worlds. Nothing terrifies the puppet masters of profit more than a bunch of aware, authentic people coming together to overthrow the systems of power, that are destroying humanity and the planet. That’s why it’s so important they keep control of the narrative; either or, right versus left, and make it as ugly as possible.
And it is ugly, people hating and killing each other is ugly, and we as a people are more and more polarized everyday. It’s happening, it is not a figment of your imagination, and if you know anything about history, polarization always precedes social change. Someone will no doubt write me and say, are you saying we shouldn’t protest, and no that’s not what this lefty, progressive feminist is saying at all. Resist, protest; make as much noise for humanity as you can. But don’t get so caught up in your rage, indignation, and intellectual superiority that you skip looking at what’s underneath; at what gives rise to what. Rage is a result of powerlessness; a daily pounding of incidents that prove repeatedly how powerless you actually are. What is the point of being kept powerless? Who benefits? As ever, follow the money.
I am forever struck by the systems of power with which people collude, whether personal, professional, or emotional. Then again, we are programmed to collude. And in the collusion people are held hostage by their victimhood, and well on the way to becoming that which they are fighting. It's not just about overthrowing the powers that be. Please don't misunderstand me, they need to be overthrown, but equally important is what are we are going to create in its place. If we don't ask ourselves that question, sit with that question, the very same thing will be created all over again.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools.
P.S. Though I was middle aged when I started writing and administering MAWT, at 65 I'm pretty sure I'm too old to call myself middle aged!
I am now elder woman talking.
Art: WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE Cheryl Braganza Canada
Before we begin to today's piece please be advised that over 3/4's of us are veteran's daughters. We hold true that if a young man or woman nobly chooses to die for their country, then they deserve reasons other than profit, greed, and power, to fight for, and leaders of impeccable character. Also, though half of us are pagan, the other half are staunchly Christian, and we're quite sure Jesus and God do not approve of what is being done in their names. So if the above photo offends you, move on. There are plenty of pages and people writing who will agree with you. We are not one of them. The Kitchen Table Caucus is composed of women 65 and older, who have been activists and friends since the early 70's. Though Katherine aims to corral us weekly for our latest opinions, we are not an organized group.
The Kitchen Table Caucus
The Kitchen Table Caucus has been talking a lot about the T.V. coverage of Vietnam. Every night the war was on the news. Every night in our living rooms, we saw dead bodies and dismembered soldiers, and body bags and burials. Every night we witnessed the atrocities and results of war close-up. It was either Nixon or Johnson who said t.v. coverage of the war was what ended the war because it turned the public against the war. A lesson learned by future warmongers and when Bush declared war against Iraq, reporters were embedded. We, the public, saw nothing like what we saw in Vietnam. The war barely registered unless you were military or your children were serving. The only difference was that now returning vets were honored at political and cultural events, and thanked profusely for their service, instead of being spat at and called baby killers.
Trump bombed Syria and was applauded. It was the “morally correct,” thing to do given the fact that Syria had bombed innocent children with chemical bombs. We’ll show you who’s boss! This is what happens when you bomb children! We, of the Kitchen Table Caucus, are all for morally correct. What we oppose with every fiber of our beings is the illusion of morally correct, and its cynical application by those in positions of structural power to further the financial aims of rapacious capitalism. What we oppose with every fiber of our beings is an act of destruction that will have little if any impact on the war in Syria; a conflict that began with peaceful protests against the government and devolved into a proxy war between Russia and Iran and the U.S. and her allies. Part religious, part civil, all sides are being played against the other to serve the financial interests of the larger countries involved. 400,000 people have died in Syria and over half the population have been displaced. The idea that bombing a runway would have any impact on the clusterf**k that is Syria, or stop the chemical bombing of her citizens, is a flat out lie. Which brings us to Afghanistan and the mother of all bombs.
As per the news this morning the mother of all bombs killed 36 Isil fighters. 36 you say? Other than being remarkably skeptical of where the figure came from, and how it was decided upon, the idea that the mother of all bombs only killed 36 people is somewhat confusing. Wouldn’t a bomb that big kill at least 100 people? Maybe 200? Someone no doubt is going to write and tell us that the bomb was purposely targeted away from populated areas. Someone else will write and say, they weren’t aiming for Isil fighters, they were aiming for the tunnels where Isil hangs out. The Kitchen Table Caucus isn’t buying it. We think the main reason the mother of all bombs was dropped was to show Isil the U.S. means business and don’t f**k with us, rationale so beyond stupid it takes our breath away. If terrorists were afraid of our bombs and military might there wouldn’t be terrorism. Someone will no doubt write and say that we just haven’t bombed enough. Check please. Bombing for peace is like f**king for virginity.
A right wing woman with whom we are acquainted, let’s call her Bitsy, told Lenore, when they were thumping cantaloupes for ripeness at Hannaford’s, that the mother of all bombs was dropped to send North Korea a message — We’re not afraid to go to war. Bomb us and we’ll bomb you back even harder.
“But I am afraid of going to war,” Lenore said.
“What’s wrong with you?” Bitsy asked. “We’re America. War will show the world just how powerful we are.”
“No, it won’t,” Lenore said quietly. "This is boys playing king of the mountain, only the stakes are the planet and the young men and women who will be used as weapons and sacrificed for corporate profit. Tell me Bits, are you sending your grandchild?" Bitsy backed away. Lenore is not a chatty person and always packing because a rabid skunk attacked her favorite goat. She promptly got a gun and learned to shoot and now she wins all the shooting contests at the county fair.
That Bitsy backed away made us laugh, but it didn’t stop the awful sinking feeling that starts up every morning when we turn on our computers and read the latest. The world that held us has cracked wide open and as for the people....most want simple answers to complicated questions. Fix it, make it like it once was, and the corporate narrative is only too willing to oblige.
"The bombs were beautiful." "Trump became president." "Morally we had to do something." "Making America great again!"
But you can’t make anything like it once was because it denies what is and what is, is an economic system so rapacious it has destroyed the economy, the environment, and a genuine morality that knows neither religion nor country. People feel powerless and when people feel powerless they don’t feel safe and when they don’t feel safe they will do anything, believe anything, that makes them feel safe and protected. Like the beaten wife who refuses to leave her abuser, it doesn’t matter if that protection runs completely counter to reality. Trump is but a symptom; the body is patriarchy, the right hand is war, the left hand is capitalism, and the feet are firmly planted in religion.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools.
Secretary – The Kitchen Table Caucus
“Democrats alone lack the votes needed to block any of Trump’s nominees from taking office — and there are no signs of Republican opposition to any of his picks. In fact, Republicans lashed out at Democrats for what they described as partisan, obstructionist moves.”
“It is time to get over the fact that they lost the election,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “The president is entitled to have his Cabinet appointments considered. None of this is going to lead to a different outcome.”
The Kitchen Table Caucus just wanted to clarify a few things for you because clearly you’re confused. The democratic's opposition to Trump’s cabinet nominees is not about sour grapes over having lost the election. It’s a wonderful sound byte, but it’s a big lie. And really, obstructionist moves? After what you and the rest of the Republicans did to Obama? Seriously?
We wanted to make sure you understood that the democrats are against Trump’s appointments because the appointees are either inept and/or serving an alt right wing agenda, and/or don't believe in the office or the department they've been tapped to head, and/or a combination of all of the above. When we of the Kitchen Table Caucus say alt right wing agenda, we mean policies dedicated to eviscerating a woman’s reproductive freedom, destroying the environment, and rendering civil rights null and void. That you get away with this under the guise of religious freedom, creating jobs, and protecting the country and her citizens, boggles the mind and is further testament to the education policies you support, and the utter brilliance of your P.R. machine.
We (the Kitchen Table Caucus) are a group of women, 60 years and over. We love our coffee, live hand to mouth, and had no idea we would be spending the last chapter of our lives fighting for truth and justice. Unfortunately Mitchell, there's no doubt that you are blind with greed, addiction to power, and have lost your way. In order to help you find your way, we thought we’d remind you that the purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of its citizens. Surely you remember learning this in history class, along with, "government is necessary to ensure the proper use of force.” We do, and we're not that much younger than you,
Right use of force to protect the individual rights of its citizens. I tell you we got chills imagining what could happen if the power of government was used to benefit her people. It was like the 70's all over, when we were going to save the world, and when the whole point of an education was to help others. That’s when Mary B. intoned, “Promotion of the general welfare of the citizens and securing liberty for all," The constitution Mitchell. Remember the constitution? That piece of parchment that you and yours are completely ignoring? Edna G. likes to think that maybe your brain was wiped, and the brains of all the Republicans were wiped, by reptilian forces and y’all were reprogrammed to use government might to protect oil companies, big business, Wall Street, and the 1%. Stranger things, you know?
We want you to pass the following onto your boss, that poorly brought up republican who thinks speaking with constituents is “a f**king waste of my time,” and the rest of your party locking their doors and turning their phones off in order to avoid the opinions of the people they represent. Intrinsic to democracy is the participation of her people in the direction and operation of its political systems. Some of the elected Democrats (not all because of the weenie factor) are standing firm against the horror show of Trump’s nominees, because the people who elected them have demanded they do just that. Ergo, the people calling and marching and resisting are participating in democracy! What a concept, huh? They are democracy in action! They are everything the founding fathers and mothers fought and died for.
You’re probably right when you say, it doesn’t matter what they do. The Republicans have the majority; you can do pretty much anything you want, and yes, we can slow you down, but that’s about it, unless members of your party wake up and realize that what they are in fact supporting is the overthrow of democracy and the institution of a military cult. This is not sour grapes Mitchell, and you know it; you’re lying to cover up the coup. Those opposing the coup — elected officials and a rainbow coalition of human beings — are growing in number. We are America at her most beautiful. We will not be silent. We will not bend to your will and your ways and the evil you are unleashing on our beloved country. Her-story is recording.
The Kitchen Table Caucus
Katherine Manaan — Secretary
Art - Installation of Memory by Nancy Spero