Monday, February 28, 2011
I started this year with a vow not to be so negative about events and the future, despite the fact that I was sick as a dog when the new year dawned.
This has been one of the ironies of the New Year. As I think has been clear, I have been quite ill with pneumonia since December. I thought the first course of antibiotics had cleared it up and that I was simply recovering slowly. When I went to the ER, however, I came to understand that it was not cleared up at all, that it had come back with a vengeance, and that despite all the hooey about TB and cancer that they were giving me, I was damned sick just the same. I've been on a multi-pronged course of treatment ever since. Saw the doctor today; he's concerned that my chest x-ray still shows a significant -- though dimininshed -- infection in my upper lung, and he's inclined to recommend bioscopy to see what's going on, especially to see if there's any blockage in the trachea that had not been noted previously. That's as may be. Oh, and he ordered up another TB skin test just to confirm for all and sundry that I am not walking around spreading tuberculosis far and wide. Bless his heart.
Meanwhile, events have moved very quickly and surprisingly in the wider world, so much so that what seemed to be such important matters only a couple of months ago hardly even register any more.
The Uprisings have become the focus of attention for nearly everyone.
As they should be. Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, all have been subject to widespread political and social unrest that is almost all based on principles of Dignity and Justice -- principles that have been utterly lacking in the course of these mostly young people's lives to date.
But before there were Uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, there were widespread anti-austerity protests throughout Europe, many of which are still going on. It started in Greece, but it spread swiftly from there to France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, the UK, Albania, Hungary, Poland, and on and on.
Calls for "Dignity and Justice" in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East combined with severe economic pressures brought on by an out of control financier class -- and oligarchs and plutocrats in general -- did not go unheard in this country.
Uprisings broke out here, too, with Wisconsin's continuing battle against the preening overreach of Scott Walker in the vanguard.
The struggle is just engaged. It's only just begun. But it seems to be the beginning of the end for a variety of oppressors far and wide, and the beginning of a New Community of, by and for the People, a spirit that is overdue for revival.
In this regard, the fascinations and problems of only a few months ago seem almost a self-indulgent fantasy now.
Power to the People. Power to the People, right on.