The Intervention

Squirrelly is in the ‘Boro at the state tourney and called me last night. She’s been gone for about a month covering games and, of course, I’ve been up to little or no good.

I probably owe everyone an apology because I’ve been snarly lately. It’s taken me some time to figure out why but I’m coming to conclusions about it all that I’m still processing.

I guess you could say that last night Vibinc gave me an intervention over the phone about my commentary of politics here lately (yes, we liberal tree huggers have this crazy thing called a phone and we talk on occasion.)

The issue would be about the lack of writing about these things.

I was smelly because I’d been out taking a picture where folks where setting up a Field of Flags for Memorial Day. I decided to stay and help the local American Legion who were raising money for the Carl Perkins Center that helps abused children (I really didn’t do very much but get in the way) and I thought to myself how people here in Hoots are a good lot. Flags honoring the war dead, dozens of them, will sit in a field near the gym at UT Martin and a handful of folks were making it happen. A small group of people were putting the poles into the ground. I’m a shorty so seeing me carry huge flag poles around that were taller than me must have been amusing. As I said, I basically just got in the way.

After it was done, Vibinc and I decided to talk over a beer although I was in Hoots and he was in Memphis.

He gave me one of those Come-To-Jesus talks when I told him that I was having some issues talking about politics right now here at the ‘coma. When he asked me why I told him in so many words that I was just really irritated.

I honestly don’t have anything to say. I can scream into the wind, but I don’t think anyone is listening, quite frankly. I can tell you about the 9+ unemployment numbers in the county, I can tell you a dozen times that the gap between those who have compared to those who don’t widens daily. I can write all day long about how many of the people I talk to in Hoots feel a bit disenfranchised by their government. Those of us who have a passion for these things feel a bit betrayed because our voice isn’t always heard much less acknowledged. We are just folks, not lobbyists, who have tried to help and continually get shot down.

Wears on a soul.

Vibinc, being Vibinc, basically told me to suck it up in so many words. This is why you need a dude like this around you. He’s been here to Hoots and met some of the same people I’ve told you about. He gets my affection for this silly place. He knows, as he’s from a small town himself, that it can be tedious but it can also be a place of great wonder.

Later on, a man who is a friend of my father started talking to me about some of the bills that have been passed and made me feel a bit better. Apparently, I helped him dissect some of them and maybe I was sent a sign letting me know there is still work to be done and in little ways, I’ve made a small difference.

I needed to hear from someone unsolicited that they got it. And they thanked me for helping them although they had wished the outcome had been different. (I tried.)

So, there are lessons, campers, in things we see, we say and we do. Men and women putting up flags during their off time to honor those who came before us. A buddy listening and then telling me to get my cajones back out of the closet. A man saying thanks.

These things are a process.Now, to cheer us up, go look at this cat in a sweater.

UPDATED: Yep, this is how I’m feeling right now. B. must have her psychic alert up this morning.

4 comments for “The Intervention

  1. Tennessee Values Authority
    May 20, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Those are some powerful thoughts you’ve been having and completely understandable given the state (and State) we’re in right now.

    I’d be lying if I said I knew the answers, but I’m glad Vibinc was able to give a much-needed pep talk. The frustration in Hoots isn’t much different than the frustration in Knoxville.

    I think we all need a good collective commiseration over a beer now and then. If nothing else, it’s a good reason for you stick with the writing as I can’t afford the gas money to go have a beer in Hoots right now. So, I’ll drink one here and read the thoughts you and Aunt B seem to be pulling out of my head.

  2. May 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Maybe we can do…I dunno….some kind of electronic group hug or something?…


    And yeah, I like Vibinc. No whining over there, just truth.

  3. May 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    First of all, thanks Capt. for the kind words.

    Secondly, I think we all are feeling a bit beat up right now. I sure am. The key is to take the frustration and turn it into something positive instead of the easy road of retreat. This is going to be a lot of work, more than the couple dozen progressive bloggers in the state can manage. We have to build alliances, and look outside our networks. Blogs aren’t enough, it’s got to be real, hardcore political action.

    Surrender is never an option.
    You don’t lose until you quit.
    Movement Conservatives understand this.
    Sometimes, we forget.

    (look, I made a poem!)

  4. newscoma
    May 20, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    You guys are my bromances, I adore you.

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