Scarleteen in the Media: San Francisco Gate
Lesbian Wiccans Save America
Because if you don't notice all the fiercely positive glimmers of hope, no one else will
Mark Morford, May, 2003
There is the wild and crazily cute fetish-object success of the Mini Cooper and the minor sensation that is the eco-friendly GOP-smackin' Toyota Prius and the imminent arrival of the insanely funkytiny DaimlerChrysler Smart car in the U.S., maybe, someday soon, let's hope.
There is the surprising population recovery of the gorgeous and once-endangered California condor and record migration numbers of humpback whales this year and the joyous rise of flagrant lesbian tongue kissing on prime-time television especially among young kickass vampire-slaying Wiccan females.
There are, apparently, still plenty of things to give you hope amidst the warmongering and the chaos and the staggering feeling that BushCo and its cronies are simply hell-bent on squeezing this nation into a vicious little spit wad of fear and ennui, all via record budget deficits and staggering unemployment and gutted schools and gutted Medicare and a truly nauseating anti-environment pro-industry agenda and civil rights like an afterthought.
There is, for example, the enduring success of small independent radio, KPFA and KCRW and KALW, shows like "This American Life" and "Visionary Activism" and Joe Frank and "Morning Becomes Eclectic."
Each and every one flying straight in the ugly GOP-drunk face of the monolithic Clear Channel corporate radio monopoly and let's not even mention the appalling upcoming FCC vote next week that will essentially annihilate any last remaining vestiges of variety and choice in major media by allowing corporations to own multiple media outlets within the same market (read: more consolidation, more bloated monopolies), because it's just too damn depressing and we're trying like hell to focus on the positive. (By the way, you can protest the odious vote here).
Because dammit there are, apparently, actual glimmers of sanity and beauty and spirit and they do, apparently, abound, and shimmer, and glow, and survive, and even flourish, though they seem increasingly difficult to locate under the thick suffocating blanket of BushCo nouveau fascism, the general warmongering ethos, a culture of paranoia and fear and CNN parroting Fox News parroting White House spin parroting Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trials.
But then you turn around and notice that Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" won the Oscar and that "Stupid White Men" has been on the N.Y. Times best-seller list for nearly a year, well into an unprecedented 58th printing, the top-selling nonfiction book of 2002, despite how its publisher reputedly resisted publishing it at all and how its status as massive seller blatantly defies the gross "America loves Bush" PR misrepresentation and you just look and nod quietly and go, well, damn straight.
And then you notice even the best-selling page turners like Dan Brown's religion-slammin' "Da Vinci Code" or maybe Gore Vidal's mandatory "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace" or Eric Schlosser's jarring "Fast Food Nation," which delineates just how many reconstituted chemically blasted diseased cows go into your average toxic Big Mac.
And you realize all these books are being read by millions and passed along to millions more and digested by at least some and you think, well, maybe bitter resigned heavy-drinking fatalism isn't really what I need, just yet.
And there's more. Just look. There's the new and tiny and yet when you think about it rather momentous organic/whole-foods section at Safeway and Albertsons.
There is significant progress in organic-food labeling laws and the wondrous advent of door-to-door delivery of fresh local small-farm organic produce to counter noxious big agribiz -- neither of which, admittedly, does much to assuage the excruciating news that we have, via industrial fishing and pollution and general abuse, decimated every single one of the world's biggest and most economically important species of fish by a whopping and rather tragic 90 percent. But hey, at least it's something.
There is dog rescue. There are yoga studios opening right now in North Dakota and rural Idaho. There are joints like the luscious and straightforward and no-BS Scarleteen teen-sex advice and info site to counter the odious deeply insulting GOP-funded "abstinence only" school programs.
"Six Feet Under." Organic tortilla chips served as a snack on Alaska Airlines. Goodly Bible-gropin' Texans reputedly buying more product from Divine Interventions than any other state. Streaming downtempo on SomaFM. "Spirited Away" on DVD. Bill Moyers back on television.
And on it goes. These are the things you must cling to to thwart the onslaught, to counter the ever-dire forecasts and the flagrant snorting corporate malfeasance and the just-passed $350 billion tax cut that will further bankrupt public schools and gouge Medicare and stab at the heart of Social Security and give a huge extra chunk of gilded cash to the long-suffering uber-rich.
And this is what you must do. Find those things that give you a jolt of encouragement and a sly gleam of bliss and a tiny lick of reassurance that all is not lost even though it probably is but what the hell, do it anyway, see what happens, see if you don't feel just a tiny bit better.
Make your own list. And add to it daily and then work to become a part of the list yourself and then watch as you become a part of someone else's list and they begin to look to you and your divine sly gleam to help them thwart the rampant BushCo idiocy and the incessant madness of the world.
Because no one will notice these things for you. Because noticing them only increases their power and range and potential for revolution. Because you have to stand up and do your own noticing. Because it's socially responsible.
Because who wouldn't love a world with better cars and more illuminating books and gorgeous art-drenched movies and pure untainted foods and more anti-GOP awareness and more radiant bodies and widespread interstate dildo purchases and lesbian Wiccans tongue kissing on TV? Exactly. Focus on the positive, I always say. Or, at least, I really, really should. Hey, it sure beats the alternative.