But I've started many blogposts in my head during my long days, and through the various hazes of my various fatigues. But I wanted to write tonight to talk about my heroes.
It's long been my Middlemarch inspired philosophy that it's the small the simple expressions of humanity that make for real heroes. Like my neighbor, Jonathan, who came into my house in order to dispose of a tiny, almost dead baby mouse. Because not only did he dispose of the wee thing for me, he also went well out of his way to make me not feel stupid for being afraid of dealing with it myself. And then he had the kindness to express some regret for the death of this tiny thing. Little things like that count for a lot, I think. I am lucky to have such nice neighbors. And I will always believe that people who will just be kind when they don't have to are the real heroes of this world.
But sometimes the big gestures count too. And I cannot help but be overwhelmed by those people who've camped out overnight for a month and led marches and made their voices heard and who are, I really think, forcing us away from what I'd thought was a depressingly inexorable drift to the meannest right-wing ethos of America, to an eventual complete capitulation to the fucking plutocrats. These people have stood up, sacrificed convenience and ease, to say, "This isn't fair, this isn't the American dream, and I think the American Dream is something worth fighting for."
Because, you know, it seemed like for about ten years now, we lefties had sat back, wryly commenting on how incredibly fucked up the country had gotten. And, I enjoy a little wry commentary. But it doesn't really do anything except remind you that you're smarter than the poor saps who were willingly embracing it.
So, Christ on a cracker, I am fucking THRILLED to see the left move away from sarcasm and wryness and on into almost embarrassing earnestness. When I saw an amazing, idealistic, passionate crowd unabashedly singing along to This Land Is Our Land (god, I love that song) with Tom Morello, I got a little weepy and thought, well, the sarcastic, ineffective, smug worm has finally turned.
So, here's my cry to the heavens: the American Dream isn't that anyone can be president, anyone can be a millionaire. That's a stupid misinterpretation. The American Dream is that anyone can make it here. You don't have to be born into wealth to have a nice life. We are all supposed to be able to do better than just get by. The American Dream is that you can work, have a home, and go to a doctor when you're sick. The American Dream is that you can raise a family, which means getting to spend some time with that family too. The middle-class IS the American Dream. And those hippies in Zucccotti Park, that's what they're fighting for.
And I, goddammit, I salute them. Their earnestness is worth more than all the sarcastic commentary in the world.
(but let's keep the sarcastic commentary coming to... I mean, I like that too).