Sunday, October 19, 2008

I woke up to NPR's Weekend Edition this morning. I heard that Colin Powell had endorsed Obama, then fell back asleep into a dream in which I was joyfully telling everyone at work about this good news. I do alternate between joy and excitement about Obama's chances of winning the White House, and anxiety about the alternative--we've had enough disaster from the Bush Administration for the last eight hears.

I've been watching the television series "World at War" on dvd, and simultaneously reading the first volume of Ian Kershaw's book on Hitler: Hubris. It says in the book that for Hitler politics was first and foremost propaganda--that at which he so excelled. It struck me that that also define Rovian politics, in which a lie can be repeated so often, and somehow gets purchase on reality, however often the truth is told. Witness the lies that got us into the Iraq War, witness the lies like "palling around with terrorists", witness the lies about free markets being self-correcting. I so hope that we can begin to turn all of this around with an Obama presidency. He makes me so proud when he says (to paraphrase), "this has never been about me, it's about you, the people, bringing the needed change to government".

Watching the "World at War" series also makes me think about my father, who was born in 1917 and died in 1995. He was on a battleship in the Pacific, but the only thing I know about his experience during the war is that he hated it, and that they fed them mutton that was so unappetizing that they'd empty their plates overboard rather than eat it. My father was an FDR democrat and Adlai Stevenson type liberal. He taught the history of philosophy and Western Civilization at Santa Monica College. He hated Hitler and war and the killing of the Jews. Although he didn't talk about his personal experience in the Navy, he did talk a lot about the betrayal of decency and civilization that the Nazis wrought. I often think that WWII feels like a part of my life, even though I was born well after the war because of how much he talked about how fragile Civilization could be in the face of totalitarians and fanatics of all kinds. He would not have been happy with these last eight years and he would have seen in Sarah Palin the raising up of vulgarity, ignorance, and superficiality. He would have shared in the hope for Obama to be the next president.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It is a quiet day, while I knit, set up this blog, browse Ravelry and watch the birds feeding on the red berries. The whole gang has been here: The robins, a small band of cedar waxwings, a Stellar jay, briefly a flock of starlings, and one other little thrush, I think. He has a turned up tail and a white bar over his eye. I love that they love the yard.

I was unprepared to take a picture of the birds, but here are the berries.