The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Was a time...

Was a time when I laughed at mud. I walked on it, not in it. I floated above it. No longer. I walk in mud nearly to my knees nearly all the time, and I'm cranky about it.

A few gross injustices performed with banality and accepted with passivity raised my hackles 40-some years ago. Among those injustices were "whites only" signs on drinking fountains, wars attended by the US gummint at the bidding of folks who made money from manufacturing boomy shit, and the fairly new practice of jailing people in large numbers for trying to feel better.

Was a time I thought we were making progress, and we have on some issues. On others? Not so much.

While, in 1963, overt segregation was dying anyway, federal intervention speeded up the process. Today, as far as I know, non-whites are not prohibited by law from drinking at certain water fountains anywhere in America. Integration has progressed a long way. It still has a way to go.

Progress on the war issue? Not good. Probably negative progress.

Putting people in jail for shit no sane person can call a crime? The slide into hell for that one was quick and steady and it hasn't ended. It is one public policy in which the "whites only" mentality has survived. It's also a way to suppress the anti-war voices.

Nebraska is threatening to sue the state of Colorado for the harms that the vote [to legalize small-amount possession of cannabis] will do to Nebraska.

This lawsuit has not even been initiated, nor will it (probably) ever be. It was a threat thrown out by some sheriff or maybe even the attorney general, but not even SCOTUS will hear this suit. It's simply a clue as to the stupidity of those who oppose letting people attempt to feel better, unless it's with a "good" drug. Good drugs include any drugs you've obtained after paying your doctor to write you a prescription and any drugs you can buy legally in a liquor store or bar.

Nebraska's argument will have to be that their cops are worn to a frazzle keeping pot-smoking to a mild smoulder and that the popularity of a benign vegetable in Colorado will infect Nebraska like corn rootworm and needs to be stifled by sterilizing the biosphere.

The allusion occurred to me after I took note of the scene in "Sophie's Choice" where Sophie walks through the ever-present mud of the concentration camp in what was known as the "concentration camp walk."

Incidentally, I recommend "Imaginary Witness" (Netflix).


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larry kurtz said...