The race to the bottom continues.
If you’d told me when I was a child that one day my heroes would be congress people (well, and Wonder Woman because both the adult and the child me can see Gal Gadot is fucking awesome as WW), I’d have laughed at you. As a female, I didn’t have heroes growing up so even the idea of it would have been too strange to process.
Even now as I type this I associate the word “hero” with songs and abstract ideas. Mom went through a phase when we were growing up where she listened to country music. Don’t pity me – she had good taste, and it was fun to have the variety as she’d long been a blues aficionado (grew up on some amazing blues, classical, etc.). Willie Nelson brought up heroes and then described “cowboys,” sad and lonely people, wanderers, sort of half-assed searching for some vague dream that they’d probably not recognize if they did find it. Not really my bag even as a child.
Now that I’ve grown up, so to speak, I am learning about comic book heroes. Christopher Reeve played Superman when I was a kid. That movie was special to me in 1978 as I was just beginning to discover my nerdiness (which I mostly didn’t get to nurture until my 30’s) through movies, especially Star Wars. Comic books weren’t an option. What book funds we did have went to my brother. Even now I don’t read comic books often, but my guy does, and we both look forward to seeing comic book movies. While I still don’t identify with “heroes” in them, I can appreciate their mythology and get into the stories. Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman when I was young was great for the time but hard for me to identify with. My cousin, who was older and looked a lot like Ms Carter saw her very differently than I did, of course. The latest movies, DC and Marvel alike, are beautiful, visually stunning, and tell exciting stories. The actors are perfect in their roles. . . but perhaps I’m too old now to identify that way? I hope the children are loving some of these men and women. With few truly good people left in academia (we still have some like NDT and Bill Nye), sports, and government for kids to look up to, I hope they can see in these characters what I couldn’t. Now that they have some comic book “heroes” to choose from, that is.
As an adult I’m dealing with something I haven’t before: members of my government that not only aren’t working for me but are going out of their way to harm me and people I love (for personal profit, not just for fun like your average, boring mustache-twirler). The guy with the red button isn’t stable and trustworthy like President Obama, but he’s also not a fun, interesting villain like The Joker. No, he is a scary, stupid fucker, and we never know when a tweet is going to set him off causing him to murder us all. Every day I wake up alive I check the news and think “what next?”
Today, I am cheering as Tammy Baldwin, Gwen Moore, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Tammy Duckworth, Mazie Hirono, Dianne Feinstein, and others who represent people in Wisconsin and the rest of the United States fight for me, fight for us. They are women I can identify with. I want to be as smart and as strong as they are (you know, when/if I grow up). I am sometimes, but I want to be every day. They are heroes. They are joined by Ted Lieu, Chris Murphy, Joe Kennedy III, Adam Parkhomenko, Joshua Black (of the ACLU), Robert Reich, and Will Fischer (of VoteVets.org). . . It’s heartening to realize there are too many to list them all. I still wish I could.
Lately, I’ve been frustrated by the willful ignorance and malice of the citizens all around us. I don’t get to have health insurance through the ACA (Wisconsin said “no thanks”), but one day, who knows? Either way the ACA’s protections are valuable even without access in my state. Having everyone who is willing and able to serve in the military, regardless of their sex or gender, is valuable. Net neutrality rules are valuable. Environmental protections, clean air and water, are valuable. Everything these men and women I listed (and those I couldn’t) are doing to lift us up is valuable, and they remind me that while we are among some real shitbags, we are also among heroes. Real life heroes.
(BTW: call your senators. Seriously. This is life or death with the health care discussions, and it’s urgent. Call your senators.)
(In the photo at the top, Representatives James Clyburn on left, John Lewis standing in the middle, and Nancy Pelosi to Mr. Lewis’ left (our right in photo))
Link to original tweet from Danny Zuker.
Link to original tweet from John Bain.
Link to youtube video, Willie Nelson’s “My Heros Have Always Been Cowboys.”
Link: “Murkowski downplays Trump attack: I’m here to govern, not campaign” – by Rebecca Savransky at The Hill
Link: “Trumpcare isn’t popular. But universal healthcare would be” – by Kate Aronoff at The Guardian
My moment of zen for today. Actually, it made me laugh my ass off, but whatever. Notice the first “like” on my tweet to the Senator? Yeah, that’s FoxxconnUS, a company that is supposedly bringing somewhere in the neighborhood of 13,000 jobs to Wisconsin. We’ll see.