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By Richard Marks, which means I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself which you may not know.
1. As a teenager I was a member of the school marching band, soccer team, tennis team, chess club, Model U.N., drama club, 4-H Club and Socialist Workers Party.
2. Both my grandfathers died of lung cancer. I don’t smoke. I am also allergic to morphine, which I learned the hard way in the Weaverville emergency room a few years ago. I am told that had I ever tried heroin recreationally even once, I might have died. Fortunately I don’t like needles.
3. My favorite television series on right now is Iron Chef, but I miss the Japanese version. My favorite television series ever is Upstairs Downstairs.
4. As a kid I had a reputation with teachers for asking annoying questions. (Okay, you probably knew that).
5. The biggest thing I miss about San Francisco is not, contrary to the claim of some posters herein, the politics, but rather the availability of dim sum.
6. I am afraid of public speaking. That includes being on the radio. Oddly, I find it exhilarating as well.
7. All of the women with whom I have had serious relationships are older than me, the youngest being 3 days older. Jana is two months older. This wasn’t by design as I was often interested in younger women. I just didn’t end up in relationships with them.
Okay, now I’m supposed to tag seven other bloggers, but I don’t know who hasn’t already been tagged.
I’m encouraged by the demonstrations. I wish this kind of energy had been present in September. The election might have gone the other way.
Anyway, it’s going to take more than protests. It’s going to require more fear alleviating organization. Just remember that on the eve of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, something like seventy percent of the U.S. population opposed mixed-race marriage.
By the way, grassroots progressives did very well in San Francisco this last election, against an onslaught of “downtown money.” The usually cynical and alienated progressives/radicals of SF actually sang the Star Spangled Banner with pride at one gathering on election eve.
Outside of Kilowatt, on 16th Street near Guerrero, the crowd of celebrants was dancing to the sounds of a street drummer. In the Castro District, a huge crowd was cheering and chanting Obama’s name. And on Valencia and 19th streets, a spontaneous outpouring of energy filled the intersection. Two police officers stood by watching, and when a reporter asked one if he was planning to try to shut down the celebration and clear the streets, he smiled. “Not now,” he said. “Not now.”
Then, out of nowhere, the crowd began to sing: O say can you see /By the dawn’s early light …
It was a stunning moment, as dramatic as anything we’ve seen in this city in years. In perhaps the most liberal, counterculture section of the nation’s most liberal, counterculture city, young people by the hundreds were proudly singing The Star Spangled Banner. “For the first time in my life,” one crooner announced, “I feel proud to be an American.”