Peacemonger Mom

My son just enlisted in the military. I'm a peace activist. Why couldn't he have rebelled in some other way, like being republican?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

So I Wasn't Last!

I just got back from a 5K run (my first one) and totally was NOT the last person to cross the finish line. There was a lady with a stroller and an infant that I beat. Who was walking. With a cane. And a limp. Actually, I didn't do too badly - my time was about what it usually is, and the water was very tasty after, and so were the smoothies. I'm sure that had I not been suffering from crushing cramps and a blister on my foot, I might would have even beaten the old lady right in front of me wearing a fanny pack and a visor.

I take back what I said about this town not having anyplace pretty in it - the greenway park where we ran was beautiful. It ran along a little river, and reminded me of the greenway I walked on when we lived in Nicer State a Little Ways Up North, and to be honest, this park was even nicer.

My thesis has been stalled out as of late - all that prepping for the presentation took over my brain. I can't do more than one panic-inducing thing at a time, apparently. But I revisited my Chapter 3, and I'm pretty happy with it. I am reading The Anti-Cindy Sheehan book, (American Mourning, most heinous, for the love of god and all that's holy, do NOT read it) and it is absolutely unbelievable the way that they twist the argument of the right against Cindy Sheehan. The authors are seemingly so compassionate, so caring, so sympathetic of her plight, then BAM!!! Out of nowhere, and truly apropos of nothing, there's a passage about how filthy her house was. Then more kind words about her grief, and then WHAMOO! Boy, it's horrible that she was an ORGANIZED activist, instead of flopping about, grieving in public but without cameras and media attention. Interesting that they don't really start criticizing her until they reach the point of discussing the way she actually was successful as an activist. Apparently a mother's grief is just fine and dandy, ma'am, so long as you keep it behind closed doors and do it in private, and don't allow it to have any effect on us. Just keep it away from us, thank you, along with all those scary immigrants, frightening gays and heavens to betsy, those freakish libruls!


Yesterday was not such a good day - I had had a number of not exactly nightmares, but not particularly pleasant dreams either, and woke up feeling rather out of sorts. This continued through the day and I thought, why waste a perfect mood? So I delved into the right wingnuttery that is "American Mourning." I can't really resell the book after I get done with it, as it has "BULLSHIT!!!" inscribed on so many pages. What can I say? I'm nothing if not mature.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Post Run Blathering Wherein I Write Until the Odor of My Running Shoes Overpowers Me

I've been frantically working on my project for the Research Symposium, where I will be presenting (and where I won the groovy Research Scholar award) and am fairly freaked out about the presentation. I want to do well, because Dr. C is going to be there, and so will a bunch of other people that I want to think I am a smartie, and who I really care what they think about me. I would rather not stand at the mike and say, "Duh" for ten minutes, ya know?

So I've been working on summing up my findings from my research and have discovered the following:

1. I am seeing Cindy Sheehan's activism in a new light
2. That's not a bad thing
3. I can still think that she's radically excellent
4. I'm still really, really pissed off at the Bush Administration

Maybe it's just me, but I spend a lot of time contemplating the way that things are these days. Maybe it is my recent Large Birthday (the one that rhymes with Lordy Lordy) or maybe it's just the way that my life has recently narrowed down to a very few, very important things...whatever the reason, I find myself asking questions like these:

Why are we so angry at each other, as citizens of the same planet, the same country, frequently the same neighborhood?

Why can we not see that others can feel strongly about something, and not be evil?

Why can't we get away from this stupid, pointless, ignorant binary way of thought? What is it that makes us want to see people as ones and zeros? If Cindy Sheehan is anti-war, does that make her bad? If someone else is in favor of the war, does that make her bad? No, it just makes us DIFFERENT, and yes, yes, I understand that we see different as bad - is that the base problem here? That we are so frightened of what is Other, what is Different, that we can't see past that?

Cindy Sheehan is a pacifist, and to those who are not pacifists, she is dangerous and wrong - there is no room for her to be a woman with a different opinion. If she doesn't fit into this neat cubbyhole, then she is in this other cubbyhole, the one that says "Enemy Combatant."

I am the mother of a soldier, and I am proud of him for what he is doing, the work he is doing on himself, and for others, and with others. If you could have known him (and many of you did) before he was in the Army, you would agree that he has changed, for the better, and he has changed a LOT. He is turning into his own person, rather than some carbon copy of his father or of me, or of his friends. TB is, simply put, himself. I am proud of him. I love him. I support him, and I pray for his safety every night, every day, all the time - it's like the Muzak you hear in the elevators or in the store. It's always there, just beneath your noticing, but it's always there. So how do I reconcile the part of me that is adamantly pacifist with the part of me that is proud of TB and his actions? I do it through my motherhood, my identity as a mother - I love my son, and I pray for his safety, but I pray for the sons and daughters of all those who have children in the military. I pray for the safety of anyone in harm's way during this war: "enemy combatant" or soldier, all are children of someone, and all are worthy of prayer.

My pride in TB and my worry for him aside, I pray for this stupid war to end soon, and I pray that someday we can see each other for something other than zeros and ones, hawks and doves, mothers or child-free, for us or against us, black or white.

I think I understand this confusion in myself a little better now, having read this. I have spent a lot of time wondering why it is that so much of the news on tv seems to follow the binary line of thinking, why things are the way they are now. That article seems to sum it all up for me pretty well, and makes it a little easier for me to understand for some reason.

Cognitive Dissonance, anyone?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I really must update my blogroll.

Thanks to the inspiration of one Ballpoint Wren, I have a new toy.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Nine Thousand More

In addition to the previously requested surge. How big of a surge does he need? Does Bush not understand that if the surge lasts longer than four hours, he should seek medical help? Or perhaps we should just ask this little boy if he minds missing his dad for just another year or so - or maybe forever - when he gets sent overseas again.