Alert #19: Let the Wild Rumpus Begin

My impulse is to apologize for the lengthy period that has elapsed between the last Alert and this one, but… maybe it wasn’t missed!
And this reminds me of a story:

In the late 80s, a battered, out-of-tune grand piano appeared under the semi-permanent scaffolding at Columbus Circle. A bedraggled man, not only unschooled, but unskilled, often sat banging away at the keyboard. The echo caused by the scaffolding only served to intensify the unholy racket.

One day all was quiet beneath the scaffolding. As I drew even with the piano, I saw a scrap of cardboard on the music stand, bearing this hand-lettered message:

“Back in 5 minutes.”

Sessions! Tillerson! Price! Perry! Pruitt! Mattis! Mnuchin! Carson! Puzder! Grizzly bears!

Events have overtaken me. I’m having trouble keeping up.


I’ve been consoling myself by watching President Obama give a dramatic reading of Where the Wild Things Are to children assembled on the White House lawn:

(See especially 24 seconds in where he emits a terrifying roar and curls his fingers into evil claws and Michelle follows suit.)

Here is a more politicized version:

Also under the rubric of self-care, I’ve been clicking through photo galleries of Michelle’s gowns. And wondering why little Sasha was absent from her father’s farewell speech in Chicago last week. Someone speculated that she’d been dispatched on a secret mission to find Trump’s tax returns. In an interview, Joe Biden cleared up the mystery as only he can do: Sasha was studying for a chemistry test that night, together with his granddaughter.

What I have learned this week:
-Chuck Schumer has terrible communications. His voice mail box is always overstuffed, and you have to keep calling back. They keep promising to add my name to a public meetings notification list, but it hasn’t happened, despite numerous requests. I’m beginning to wonder if such a list exists.
-Senator Gillibrand really has it together, though. And her aide told me yesterday that the Senator was surprised by the number of calls from constituents urging her to boycott the inauguration.

On the other hand. I read yesterday that Senators are surprised that they have not received MORE calls urging them not to confirm Sessions. Let’s call all day Friday!

This Saturday, we march. Our group has finally stabilized at around 10 people, after all the maybes figured out where they were going and some people defected to larger, more official groups.

Here are some of the slogans we considered putting on our signs:

“Trump, Bah!” -Richard Ryan [a friend]
“In an autocracy, politics as the art of the possible is utterly amoral.” -Masha Gessen

“Trump has so many skeletons in his closet that he can barely shut the door.”

[from the comment string on 12 January Times op-ed by Gail Collins]

“Cynicism is the enemy of change. Don’t go to the dark side.” Susan Plum [don’t know who this person is; we were simply on the same email string because we have a mutual friend]

“Let 2017 be the year of resistance.” Cory Booker

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

“Equality feels like oppression when you’re used to privilege.” anonymous

“Not every battle can be won, but every battle must be waged.” -1 December Times op-ed by Charles Blow

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” the Dalai Lama

“Day One: the wheels are already coming off the clown car.”

[inspired by the comment string on 12 January Times op-ed by  Gail Collins]
“We are fearless women rooted in fairness and equality.” Barbara Taff [a friend] inspired by Edward R. Murrow

“We are descended from fearless women and unafraid to defend causes for the moment unpopular.” Barbara Taff, inspired by Edward R. Murrow

Determining that unity of message was best, we finally settled on the Orwell comment for all of our signs. Feel free to use any of these slogans on your signs.(For surely you will attend a march if you are able-bodied, and surely you will carry signs, and you will therefore need slogans to put on your signs.)

Thank you, Barbara, for having the signs professionally made and donating them to our group. Thank you, Ann, for delivering them to us.

And finally, about the inauguration tomorrow:

Turn on your TV and tune it to anything BUT the inauguration. This will lower ratings for the inauguration MORE than having your TV turned off.

The ratings are determined by the number of TVs that are tuned to the inauguration as against those that are turned on but tuned to something else.

If your TV is off altogether, it will not affect the ratings.

Thank you, Anne.

Sorry, nothing too substantive this week. This is the best I can do right now. The post-election shock waves diminished in December but are now re-intensifying.
So, let the wild rumpus begin.


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