Poster child for carnival

I've been following all the hullaballoo in the politics blogosphere about whether there are any women writing any political blogs of interest, which is a pretty depressing discussion to have to be having. I have some thoughts of my own about the closed system of blogosphere discourse and its center-left-libertarian slant, which I will attempt to share with all two or three of my own readers (hi there, you, you and you!) in a long post to come -- soon. But as one symptom of this, I notice that none of the sites I tend to read have made any mention of the second anniversary of the beginning of the US war in Iraq.

So, here, I make note of it. I commemorated the event by going to the "huge" anti-war protest supposedly taking place in Chicago. I was feeling pretty depressed this morning as I dragged myself downtown. I couldn't get anyone to go with me. I have a lot of work to do and didn't really feel like going, but I thought I'd feel worse if I didn't go. See, it's all about feeling bad. Why so much negative affect associated with these events? Is it because we go through daily life partitioning away the sheer awfulness of this horrible, illegal war, and it's only in protests that we realize a) just how awful it is and b) just how little we can do about it? Anyway, by the time I got to Bughouse Square I had worked myself up into a lather of political depression. The march was starting in the Gold Coast, where extreme poverty and extreme wealth rub shoulders, which made for an especially depressing approach: the smell of human urine mingling with Chanel. I was hoping to run into people I knew, but nobody seemed to be around; there were maybe 100 or so people standing around the park, looking gray and bedraggled. Earlier that day I'd exclaimed blithely that there was no chance of rain; now it was starting to look like snow. There were more people on the way, but I didn't know that. All of a sudden, from out of the blue, came the Human Television Network, the folks who brought us the bicycle-mounted TVs with creative Bush clips ("terrorism. terrorism. terrorism.") at last year's protest. This year, however, they were with a marching band. An acquaintance of mine was with them, and when I said I was feeling depressed about the protest, he said, "why not join us -- here, take a flag!" I donned a red workshirt and picked up a green flag and joined the color guard. We marched in loose formation with an improvised twirling routine (everyone took turns leading the march, and we were a little rag-tag -- we weren't all always in time or in formation -- but, I think, pretty impressive all the same). Suddenly, I wasn't depressed. Why? Well, it was so darn much fun. It helped to be in a group, but it also helped to be part of something that shows the world that it's the right and not the left that's full of sour, dour, self-righteous angry assholes. It's the much-vaunted (in my activist art readings) carnivalesque. And it made me happy (not to mention tired--good tired). Maybe the left can be cooler, and more fun and joyful, and politically acute at the same time. Depressed? Try joining the color guard.


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