Wednesday, June 09, 2004


I'm using a computer in the school library to make this blog entry.

Yep, it's here that in the mid-60s I drove my VW around campus in the middle of the night on the sidewalks and carried around a fifth of whiskey in my briefcase and met my students in the student union coffee shop rather than my stuffy office in a tiny building which, by the way, is still here. In the coffee shop, I could sip my whiskey in what I thought was more freedom. 1964-1966: I was so cool. Yep, this was the place where my precarious life turned rather dark and continued dark for about ten years afterwards, yet I wouldn't trade a minute of my life. It was all good experience. But in those days, you couldn't convince me of that.

Like everything, the change here is immense. I lived in Cambria while I attended graduate school in Carbondale. I should say I parked my poor wife in Cambria, alone without a car, while I struggled with graduate school and eventually left one quarter shy of a degree, a pile of incompletes in my dosier. Anyhow, I could drive out to Cambria on Route 13 and I was in the country. Now, there's almost nothing but traffic and business lining Rt.13 from Carbondale to Marion, Illinois. A stretch of road does pass through Crab Orchard Lake which is still nice. This morning, however, a four car pile up kinda spoiled the sight of the lake as I drove into Carbondale from Marion. Nothing serious, just four cars and trucks with dented fenders beside the road. Probably, one or another of them made the mistake of glancing at the beautiful lake while traffic was bumper to bumper going at 55+ mph.


Let's give credit where credit's due. Reagan was the one who set off the process by which the rest of us balance our national budget by cutting programs for the poor. Don't forget, he tripled our national debt. He gave us the Savings and Loan scandals which the average tax payer had to save us from, and also, the poor. Remember Milliken? Also, recall all Reagan's little invasions! He discovered that if you spend money on military adventures, you can leave later presidents, like Clinton, the task of screwing the poor of America in order to get us out of hock. It's the unspoken Republican plan to return most of us to the poverty which existed before the Roosevelt era. Republicans have never stopped hating Roosevelt for creating a national safety net. With Roosevelt's safety net in place, Republicans could not use economic necessity to drive down the wages of the average working stiff. Do we working people feel the economic pinch now, when the whole world is undercutting our wages? Where's the safety net when you need it? It's being squandered in Iraq, that's where!


Heard some stupid journalist the other day try to give Reagan credit for the tearing down of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Not so. Recently, some former members of the Proletariat and other Soviet leaders admitted that the Beatles caused the collapse of Communism. Even Gorbachev said so. Remember him with the continent mapped on his forehead?

It was Gorbachev's generation which smuggled western rock and roll and Beatle records into the Soviet Union. They smuggled in the American openness of the 60s and 70s. They admired things like the Freedom of Information Act (which Bush hates). They grooved on the spirit of the hippies, just as we did.

Conservatives, whose main thrust is always secretiveness and force are incapable of inspiring such an idea as "glasnost" or transparancy. By the time the Russian "age of aquarius" people came to power, they could no longer believe in the conservative, i.e. authoritarian, state of things, the oppression of the generations before theirs. They craved freedom from authority. Like our "baby boomers", they were ready to open up, to turn on, tune in and drop out.

Never, never, never let American conservatives take credit for the change that our Age of Aquarius people created in the world. Peace did it, the ideas of Thoreau, Gandhi, King and Whitman did it, not the force and bombs conservatives so very much believe in.


Every time I use public facilities and watch guys leave the stalls without washing their hands, I realize that with these new blow dryers, I don't have paper towels to use, and I am handling shit when I pull a door open, that I have nothing but my shirttails to use to get out without touching shitty door handles, and I realize that we humans are always handling each others poop. It's just like we liberals always have to clean up the human mess that conservatives leave behind in every age. Sorry, el Squeamish!


Got a glimpse, driving yesterday, of a long line of semis ahead of me for a half mile or so and realized they looked a lot like lines of conestoga wagons, heading west.


Yesterday, heading across Indiana on I-70, I was doing the usual liesurely 15 miles per hour above the speed limit that goes for lawful driving all over the US nowadays. In short I was doing about 70 to 75 miles per hour when up behind me comes somebody doing 90 to 100. Passed me on the left like a shot. At first, I can't believe my eyes, then I do, as I acknowledge the reality of my eyes. It is a Florida license plate on the speeder of speeders among speeders. Stands out like a sore thumb among a road of thumbs, he does.


Today I head down to Cairo to watch the Ohio enter the Mississippi and tomorrow rest in Marion before I start the final leg of my journey home via Route 2 at the top of the US, about 2350 miles by a longish route. Will I discover any public computers to blog from up there? Any Internet Cafes? The Shadow knows, not I. So far I've escaped all bad weather except for heat and humidity. Now heavy weather thunderstorms are projected between me and my trip home, at least until I get farther north. We'll see. We'll see.... Adios anyone who might be reading this blog'a'mine.

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