March 19, Wednesday evening -- At the war protest

In front of city hall protesters came together after a full day of actions.

Reading a speech, in which she quoted another speech, by a Lebanese artist who said, here I stand in front of you with anger and sadness squeezing out of my heart....and dignity and is time to stop this machine.

Reading, aloud, to her friend, to familiarize themselves with the candidate's views: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama. She was looking at a passage about how he was not for gay marriage, though, he stated something to the effect of, some day I might find myself on the wrong side of history. She said that, if he was going to make a stand about racism, he should also make a stand about the discrimination of gays, and other groups, as well.

Addendum from the reader:
Would it be possible to clarify my critique of Obama's position for your blog? I feel like what you wrote oversimplified it a little bit. Specifically, my feeling was that, in his recent speech on race relations in the U.S., he said, "Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools." And yet, he claims in his book to support marriage for straights and civil unions for queers; that there is justification for having separate institutions for straight people who can procreate. My position, on principle, is that this is the same kind of argument used to support school segregation, and that, even if he thinks gay marriage is not politically viable right now, he can still acknowledge that it is fair. And let me say too that I'm not into marriage at all. I think people should have health care and hospital visitation rights and adoption rights that are independent of what kind of relationship they're in or how they define their families. I just think he has to be consistent, that's all. I am not attempting to privilege one form of oppression over another, or to equate homophobia with racism. The distinction for me is an important one.

Not reading, just boycotting with Code Pink. Her favorite books are The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, the second of which she said she cried all the way through--it's about the women of Afghanistan. The country needs a rest. Her daughter, who teaches High School English is going to have her class read The Kite Runner.

And, from a table of books for sale (click on picture to increase size to read the titles),

Reading The Forging of the American Empire, by Sidney Lens. Recently he read Downtown: My Manhattan, a book by Peter Hamill about New York history. His favorite book-- Buffalo Boy and Geronimo, by James Janko , about Vietnam.

Have you read anything recently about this war or other wars?


Grand Life said...

So glad I found your blog. I'm working my way through the archives each day. I worked at an large independent bookstore for 10 years and love recognizing (and not recognizing) the book you feature. Thanks for sharing with us.

Beth said...

I love this blog - it is amazing!

Also, yesterday for the first time I found a bookcrossing book at London Bridge Station (in London,UK) This made me extremely happy and I am thinking about where I should put the book now!

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Hmmmm.......cried all the way through, huh? I'll have to read the Kite Runner. The guy all the way to the left in the most bottom picture looks like Robin Williams!

Aerin said...

I'm reading Survival at Auschwitz by Primo Levi, because it's one of those books we had to read lots of excerpts from in college, but I wanted the whole picture.

I would so love to move to San Fran - ah, I miss a good war protest.

Nissa Lee said...

I recently read The Kite Runner. The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz is another beautiful novel about how war changes culture.

Thank you for this amazing post. I began my blog to explore the reasons to write poetry. Your blog gives me hope that the poetry is read.

Jenn said...

I love your blog, I too am a reading addict. It's good to know that there are still people out there who know the value of a good book. Thanks!


Ms. Bassette said...

I have read both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. They were both excellent books and a couple of my 8th graders have read them.
Sometimes it is hard to think how hard and how long it takes to make true cultural change happen. Whether it is cultures in the mideast, gay marriage here or our own other transgressions in the past-women, blacks, the Japanese internment camps, or any other discrimination, it takes so very, very long to change.
But, people with knowledge, courage and time can make change happen. That's one of the neat aspects of life. Today's pics show that. Thank you!

Danielle said...

I've read many books about wars, but the one that sticks the most in my mind is All Quiet on the Western Front. Something about reading it at the age of seventeen, when life is so full of new understandings and discoveries, has made the book stick with me.

Pachunk said...

I really enjoy your blog! Thank you for doing this.
When I was in middle school I read Johnny Got His Gun. My dad recommended it. I really liked it, but the story was...horrific. I cried.

Francis Tapon said...

Congrats on your great interview at WRFN radio! Good job!!! I'm proud of you! I'm lucky to know you!


Francis Tapon

aliqot said...

Still following your blog when I have time. Though I'd comment here since I recently read One Thousand Splendid Suns. I loved the way he describes the historical and social context, but the personal violence overshadowed the more general political points, and weakened the book a little in my view.

Katie said...

I love your blog!

I recently read Three Cups of Tea. It is about the education crisis in the Middle East, specifically, in Pakistan. The authors comment about the way the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are viewed in Pakistan-something I found to be very interesting.