Thursday, November 04, 2004

Thursday, November 4, 2004
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

NaNoWriMo Cheer for the Day:

You’re eating the elephant a bite at a time, you’re climbing the mountain, and you’re not using these old clichés in your work, so kudos to you!!! :)

I left the house to go to work at 7 AM yesterday and didn’t get home until 1 AM. One of my colleagues injured her back and I ended up staying past day work and doing both shows. It was a little too much for my back – I’m not as fully recovered from the car accident as I would like – but I’m okay.

Of course, it didn’t help that, at the top of the second act, the elevator broke down. Wardrobe has to haul very heavy racks of clothes (some of the costumes weigh 20 pounds or more for a single piece) up and down on the elevator. Well, Darth Vator as we fondly call the elevator, threw a hissy fit right before the ball gown crossover, so we had to RUN up two flights of stairs with 40 pound ball gowns in order to make the change. I’m talking hoop skirt sized ball gowns trimmed in feathers, fringe, jewels, and beaded corsets. Not only do the clothes weigh one third as much as the people carrying them, they’re twice as wide and don’t fold through doors.

The feathered dress left a trail that looks like a chicken truck collided with a green spray paint truck and left roadkill.

But we got the girls into the dresses and onto the stage on time!

I had fun with my colleagues, and a nice Vietnamese dinner with one of them, where we mostly talked politics.

For those of us here in New York and in most of the Northeast, yesterday was


We are devastated by the outcome of the election, infuriated, and betrayed.

This is what Bush’s victory means for me, personally (and for many people I know):

The loss of everything for which I’ve worked my entire life
The loss of everything for which my parents worked their entire lives
The loss of the environment
The loss of social security and any sort of cushion for old age
The loss of human rights, turning back the clock to pre-Civil War times
The certainty of more terrorist attacks in New York City

The Red States decided to sacrifice New York. I resent that some evangelical moron in Podunk who sleeps with his twelve gauge voted to end my life. No one’s going to attack Podunk, because it means nothing on an international stage. But New York does. So, even though New York voted for change, we will be the ones to be attacked, from both without and within.

Because, regardless of terrorism, you know the Republicans who control the purse strings are going to punish New York for voting Democratic. That means more cuts in services and monies. Of course Wyoming voted for Bush. They get $37 per head in security money AND THEY DON’T NEED IT. In New York, we get less than $9 per head. Our police, State Troopers and National Guard are stretched beyond the breaking point. Far too many twelve hour shifts, double shifts, etc. The drawn, haunted looks on the faces of these men and women who are working around the clock to protect us is heartbreaking. And the firefighters still don’t have a contract.

To those who live outside of New York, the above will seem enormously egotistical. “New York is not the center of the world, or of the United States,” they sniff. And they’re right.

But if you’ve traveled extensively outside of the US (and I have), when someone wants to make an impact, either positive or negative, be it in the arts, or business or any other trade, it happens in New York. Believe me, when I’ve lived outside of New York and traveled internationally, I’ve been quite miffed that New York sets the bar. I understand the frustration at other regions not getting the attention and respect they crave and often deserve. I experienced it.

One of the reasons I want to move away from New York is because it’s so busy and there’s so much constant stimulation that you can’t hear yourself think. I’m glad I spent so much time there in my twenties and thirties. But now I need more quiet, and I can’t get it when there’s so much going on at every level all the time. It’s wonderful. I’m simply worn out and want something else.

One of the reasons New York remains so vibrant is that, for every person like me who burns out, ten more hopeful, idealistic, ambitious and talented people enter from all over the world.

A positive aspect of Tuesday is the amount of people who turned out to vote. The 18-24 year old turnout was small, and they will pay for their apathy once the draft is re-instated and they are sent to war. But they chose not to make their voices heard. And they will have to pay the price.

One of the hypocritical celebrities who ran around in photo ops wearing T-shirts urging others to vote couldn’t be bothered to show up at the polls. When questioned, her rep said, “Well, she wasn’t paid.” That just made me sick. You vote out of a sense of responsibility to your country, not because you’re paid or not paid to wear a t-shirt. And it’s not like chickie needs the money. Daddy gives her plenty.

I’m glad that so many people voted. I’m glad that so many people were happy to stand in line. Plenty of people got frustrated at problems at the polling places, but when I scouted out polling places in the city on Tuesday (especially where I used to vote when I lived there), the mood was generally upbeat. People were excited that enough people turned up so that there were lines. How often had I gone to vote in the past and only three or four other people were at the polls with me? It’s discouraging when the election workers outnumber the voters, and that didn’t happen this time around.

I also thought it was interesting that Washington, DC voted overwhelmingly for Kerry. That is very telling.

I’m very unhappy at the outcome, and now I have to decide whether or not I want to stay here. If the vote truly represents the majority of the people in this country, the country is going down a road with which I deeply disagree. And I have to make the choices on my own life based on whether or not I think the country can be reunified and work together for everybody, not just one side or the other. That’s not a decision that can be made in the heat of the moment. The dust has to settle, and the two sides need to renegotiate.

I also hope one or two more political parties arise for the next election. I’m talking about serious parties, not fringe parties with 14 members wearing foil hats. One of the things I like about politics in the UK is that there are several parties with well-defined positions. Granted, from the outside, it often looks like those definitions are in flux, but there are options. So many people with whom I spoke over the past few months felt like there weren’t enough options in this election here.

I want to give the victors the benefit of the doubt, for at least a few months. I want to see if the newly elected and re-elected politicians from all parties are serious about working together to come up with strategies that work for everyone. If the country moves in a direction of strength and tolerance (far too many believe these two policies are not compatible, but they are), I will support it. If it moves in the direction about which Cheney already gloats (“the convincing mandate for his conservative agenda” – New York Daily News, today’s edition, p. 3), I will have to see what my options are elsewhere.

One of the friends I trust most is a politician in London, and I hope to have a long e-mail chat with him. He’s always got an interesting and intelligent point of view and I’d like to get his opinions on the election.

I enjoyed the BBC coverage enormously on election night. I tried to watch some of the French coverage, but I don’t have enough of my French back – they spoke so quickly and so vehemently I couldn’t keep up. And my Spanish is so slight that I couldn’t keep up with that, either.

A trusted friend suggested, in her blog, that we look for something to admire about Bush, even if we disagree with him. She has a point. We need to work towards unity. There is one thing I’ve always admired about him – how kind he is with his animals. That’s going to sound ridiculous to many people – certainly, when anti-Bush people around here have asked me if I could find anything redeeming about Bush and I’ve said the way he behaves with Barney, Spot (RIP), and the cats, they look at me like I’m crazy. But there’s something to be said about that. If he can listen to his constituents the way he listens to Barney, there’s still hope.



At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not everyone in the "Red" states voted for Bush. And there were plenty of Bush voters in the "Blue" states.

Not all of them are shotgun-toting religious fanatics. Some of them are decent people, like you, who want what they see as best for themselves and their families. They didn't vote Republican just to f*ck New York.

What rights are we going to lose now that Bush has been re-elected? I hear this complaint from almost every Kerry voter I talk to and I don't see it. I feel that I've got the same rights I had all along. But I could be wrong.

I don't think it is so bad that we need to start talking about leaving the country. We survived Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and we will continue long after the current administration is a memory.


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