Friday, March 11, 2011

On Wisconsin

I went to the University of Wisconsin and lived in Madison for five years (I never went home for a summer, although I lived in New York City for one of my five summers).  The more I think about it, the more I realize that college made me a huge part of who I am today.  Or it at least allowed me to find that person.  And a lot of that had to do with Madison.  A comfortable, beautiful, independent city, I was always a little annoyed with it while I was there.  Perhaps it was because I never felt like I quite fit in, even when I was excelling in most parts of my life (women's studies classes, film classes, dating, cool jobs, etc.).  I was not a pot smoker, I didn't drink, and I certainly wasn't into the Greek scene, so where did I belong?  Looking back, of course, I realize no one really fits in, and we're all just hoping to find some people who like us and we like back and to have some fun in the process.  And I had all that in Madison.

So what the fuck happened?  How can a city so free-wheeling and open-minded be hit by such a tiny group of assholes?  I'm not putting any of this on Madison or its people; if anything, our country is SO lucky this happened in Madison, a city where people GIVE A SHIT.  BIG TIME.  But one of the (freakishly numerous) things that is most disturbing, disheartening, and just plain wrong about what Walker and his cronies are doing is that it didn't seem to matter how many people spoke up or cared.  A tiny group of close-minded, hateful, ignorant dickheads made a decision for everyone else.  I don't get it.  At all.  I have some friends in Madison who are hardcore about protesting and staying on top of this, who believe Walker will be recalled, who believe in something.  But me, watching it unfold online, I don't know what to think.  I felt so much hope when Obama was elected president, and a few days later my daughter was born, but I think my hope may be lost.  And not because of Obama, but because of all of the people out there who don't treat people like people.  Those who have an agenda of spite and hate and some childish point to prove that doesn't help anyone.  Or our country, that they pretend to love so much.  Whether it's unions or women's rights or health care, a lot of people making the decisions are not on the side of actual people.

I'm depressing myself by being such a lame-ass pessimist.  Good will prevail, right?  This can't really happen, right?  Buffy will save us all soon, right?  Cheers, hugs, a gratitude to all of my friends and the people in Madison fighting for the freedom and benefit of all.  Not just a group of rich toads.

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