Anutha Mutha for PeaceWatching the news over the past several weeks, I sometimes flashback to when I was a kid, and get this very child-like nervousness and fear just like I did watching the images on TV from the Vietnam War. We had one of those War Is Not Healthy posters in our kitchen, although somehow I remember it being prettier and brighter, with green leaves even. How odd. I also remember getting special permission from the folks in 1972 to stay up late and watch the election returns, as we were solidly pro-McGovern. That morning I went with my Mom to vote, accompanying her into the booth (I was 11, the poll-watchers thought it was cute); I don't think I doubted she would vote the right way, but somehow I needed to see the process - she'd pull the lever, millions of others would do the same, and within a few weeks, Nixon would be gone, the war would be over.
Needless to say, it was an awful night, no simple regime-change, and when my parents finally convinced me that there was nothing more to see on the news, it was over, I went to my bedroom to go to sleep. In tears I wrote this "how can people be so awful" 2-page note that got buried in a drawer, then cried myself to sleep. A few days later, discussing the War with Mom, I told her I if I were in the army, and ordered to drop bombs, there is no way I would do it, even if it meant going to jail. She pushed me on this notion, saying that even if I didn't do it, they would just find someone else. My only reply was that I had to at least begin with taking responsibility for my own actions. My parents were pretty cool like that, not content with hearing us just repeat back their points of view, but challenging us to think for ourselves.
Anyway, I haven't a clue now what to do, it isn't as simple as what an 11-year-old would think (or hope), but I am scared, and nervous, and angry about all this. There are little glimmers of hope, at least that other people won't accept the inevitability of all this, including today's Global Vigil For Peace. Scheduled for 7pm all over the world, I belive it may already have started in the Far East, intended to be "a rolling wave of candlelight gatherings that will quickly cross the globe." I think I will go to Union Square here in the city - you can check online by zipcode to see where a gathering is happening in your area - Union Square seemed to be the gathering point after Sept 11, and with a silent vigil, I think it's an appropiate spot to gather to say "NO" to this madness.