know when to let go.

Wow, check out this sidewalk painting.

I just unsubscribed from MoveOn. They offer a feedback box:

The constant strident tone of crisis is wearing on me, and not everything MoveOn emails about deserves that tone. In my attempt to make sense of what's been going on, I've realized that it's not just BushCo causing the problems: people voted for him, many of them twice. In the 2004 election, people looked at Bush straight on, said "He's a poor leader", and voted for him anyway. American voters go along with the fictions about Iraq, about torture, about magical budget arithmetic where we can spend more than we take in. It's not that they're not hearing the message of the left; it's that they don't want it. The right offers belief and certainty instead of facts, and America has gone along for the ride. I can't stay constantly angry any more. I have a life that needs living from a place of quiet centeredness, not rage.
It's sad, because I believe so strongly in the American experiment, in its glorious complexity, its sheer fucked-up-ness that somehow works so well. How could a country this large get anything together? But, amidst our manifold sins, and not always for the right reasons, we've accomplished astonishing things. I was raised with a sense of humor about government--I'm from Massachusetts, for Pete's sake, home of Ted Kennedy, William Bulger, and his rather less esteemed brother--but I really have to give up these days. When decent people look me in the eyes and say that our principles are not diminished if we torture people to protect ourselves, that we do not then sink toward the level of a terrorist or a violent criminal...what's left for me to say? We've reached an impasse where I feel they've betrayed the most basic ideas of human dignity. Do they even know what they're saying? I hope not, but worse, no one seems to care. It's like my college's culture of ignorant apathy all over again, on a vast scale, with guns.

So it's true, America: I give up on you, for now. I have a life to live, and I'm going to light up my little corner of the world with all the kindness and dignity and humanism I have in me (powered by my lightning intellect and excellent cooking skills). I will participate in all the love of my families and friends. I will smile at strangers and be polite and helpful and compassionate (and usually kind). I'm hoping it will catch on.