Connie Stetson reflects on what shaped her views of democracy and what fuels her hope today.
With the passing of Teddy Kennedy, aside from feeling real grief at his loss, I am feeling, profoundly, the weight of my age. Not my chronological age, I just turned 58, but the age that has shaped my sensibilities, the age I am passing through. As I write this I feel like a trauma survivor, as though I’m watching my life pass before my eyes.
The year of my birth, 1951, Harry S. Truman was president, and then Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected in 1956. The first presidential election I can remember was between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy. It was as hotly contested in our family as it was in the nation. My grandparents were staunch Republicans, supporting Nixon, and my mother was a Democrat, mad about Kennedy.
That first televised debate, Sept. 26th, 1960, at nine years old, made me a life-long Democrat. Those impossibly handsome brothers, Jack, Bobby and Teddy, whose passions fueled the passion of a generation, were the real standard bearers of hope and change, the very words I am sick to death of hearing politicians spew now.
It was late November in 1963, I was in my Home Ec. class (which was mandatory for girls then), anticipating the Thanksgiving holiday long weekend, when our school principal announced that Kennedy had been shot in a motorcade in Dallas. Read more
Carine Fabius reflects on boomers, overinflated egos and signs of the times.
In what might have been George Carlin’s last stand-up gig, he aimed his razor-sharp verbal AK-47 on baby boomers, and I’m still trying to recover from all those small, bleeding slits he left on my body. Okay, so he came off just a teeny bit angry, as in The Angriest Dog in the World; but boy, did he hit the bull’s eye on our generation’s outsized egos.
Just the other night, I, the one who turned off the TV set at age 15, happened onto an Anderson Cooper special that made me remember why I hit the power button and chucked the boob tube all those years ago (no offense to all the TV lovers out there; I’m sure there’s a ton of great stuff I’ve missed out on). In this perfect demonstration of 24-hour cable presenting crap and calling it something else, like “Special,” financial guru Suze Orman was interviewed, and here’s what she said about herself: “I am the personal financial expert to the world!”
In a choreographed moment, my husband, my brother-in-law and I turned toward one other, raised our eyebrows and smiled in shock. But there was more to come. She then said, “There is nothing I don’t know about money!” The woman interviewing her did not say, “Don’t you feel ridiculous making such silly statements?” No. Although she couldn’t hide her disbelief, she smiled, and said NOTHING. That in itself deserves analysis, but that’s for another day. Read more
I think Obama’s not busy enough.
Really, choosing which dog will make his kids and the entire nation happy; whether Michelle should plant arugula or potatoes on the south lawn of the White House; and while he’s at it, trying to convince Michelle that she really doesn’t need any more shoes (I actually read this in the New York Times. He’s really like any other husband, girls.)
There’s still one very serious issue he needs to add to his plate right now: the ongoing rape of female soldiers in the military. You thought I was going to suggest something silly, right? It’s just that it feels so idiotic to suggest the president take on one more issue when he’s already being accused, by some, of heaping too much on his plate. But, even though I feel like writing are you crazy? letters to any interest group that rears its head with a special issue that should not be forgotten, I figure I may as well throw this one at him, too. Kind of like throwing multiple strings of linguine ideas at a wall just to see what sticks! Read more
I saw these wonderful cookies at Citizen Cake in San Francisco. Yummm…
I’m trying to find a thread to pick up and sew into the fabric of my life. I want to weave a thicker, stronger cloth—one that will protect me and keep out the night chills. There’s no going back to the beginning, no way to alter the experiences and the mistakes. Only the urge to try and discover a truth about myself that incessant searching has blurred. Two marriages, one child and inexplicable deep friendships with those I have met over my long romp of a life provide clues, but the pattern in this imaginary cloth appears to be missing. Read more
If one is to believe what they read in the press, it is now unhip to be a feminist. I don’t know how this happened, but I’m saying it loud, I’m a feminist and I’m proud! I wish it sounded as catchy as, Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud! But, I’m no James Brown. Every movement has its downsides. Although we still earn less then men do, women in corporate boardrooms no longer harken back to a time when alligators roamed the earth freely. We make more money than ever, but we work harder than ever. We wait longer to have children, are a lot more tired when we do have them, and spend a lot less time with them than we’d like. Some opt to keep working while others choose to re-evaluate; but we get to make the choice. Read more