This week’s featured female blogger is ‘Wanda’ of Words on a Page. Wanda has, like a lot of others lately (what is it? something in the water?), totally re-designed her site; now it mimics the look of a small-town newspaper. She has even designated herself ‘Editor-in-Chief’, so I guess it’s a one-woman operation. She changed her handle, too, to ‘an independent woman’, which may be a statement of some kind, I’m not sure.
The only things that haven’t changed are her wide-ranging interests and the character in her writing. Wanda writes more from the heart than the head–not that she doesn’t have ‘a good head on her shoulders’, as my mother used to say, only that what matters to her is what the information she’s passing along does to your living soul as you punch your way through every day. In ‘Shades of Gray’, for example, she starts with the Bushian slogan, ‘You are either with us and against the terrorists, or you are on the side of the terrorists’, and slams straight to the heart of the dichotomy in its assumptions.
I worry that there are so many who do not spot the flaw in this pseudo-logic. Why do so few understand that it is possible to not be on the side of the terrorists, and also not subscribe to the Bush Administration’s foreign (or even domestic) policy?
Why do so many forget that we live in a technicolor world, where black and white are only the beginning? There are so many shades of gray. Grays stained with the red, red blood of those who are forced to fight the wars of fanatics.
After watching an HBO special on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, she writes:
As I watched this documentary tonight, there were times when I almost cried. There were moments when I felt my blood run cold.
For the first time in my life I truely [sic] understood McCarthyism and all that it encompassed.
Neo-conservatives across the country are following in McCarthy’s footsteps. They are calling Liberals and Democrats every vile, hateful name they can think of. Implying that by not supporting the President and his administration you are a traitor, that you are un-patriotic, un-American. They condem[n] genuine war veterans. Question their service to their country. When they themselves did not have the will nor the courage to make the sacrifice required by volunteering to go and fight. Their hate for all things not conservative or Republican spews forth and infects all they come into contact with.
One only has to look at the days of McCarthyism to know what we have to fear if these people are allowed to continue to control the Congress, and the Presidentcy [sic] of this country.
What Wanda seems to want to do is remind us that the consequences of our behaviour aren’t just moral or legal or technical but that the price we pay, we pay with the stunting of our emotions and the shriveling of our humanity.
Whenever I get lost in a tunnel of intellectual anger and cynicism, I go read Wanda and get reminded of what this is really all about: a sneaking, snaking desolation of the heart perpetrated by forces that want us to be smaller and meaner than we really are. She’s like an anti-toxin to the poison of small, selfish minds, and we all need a dose of somebody like Wanda every once in a while. A couple times a week, at least.