I meant to start this yesterday. Yesterday was January 20th 2017. I tried not to watch live TV so I ended up spending the whole day watching episodes of Star Trek.
BBC America runs them all day long. I soon realized I was watching them because the Star Trek Universe is the way things are supposed to be. The Earth has no poverty. Everybody has jobs. The planet is doing just fine.
The only problems in the 24th century are Romulans and grouchy Klingons.
But eventually I had to come back to reality. All day today, January 21st 2017, I have been watching live TV. All day. I just finished watching the new President give a speech from CIA headquarters in Washington DC.
It was sort of a stream of consciousness rant. He mostly talked about himself. He pointed out for some reason that he has been on the cover of Time Magazine more than anyone else in history. Yes, he said “In History.” Of course, that’s a lie. The person who was on Time Magazine’s cover most often in history was … Richard Nixon! Why? For being President. But he was on the cover a lot more because of Watergate and the fact that he was the only U.S. President ever to resign in disgrace. Trump may be bad for the country but he’s great for irony.
He then complained about the crowd estimates for his Inauguration. The “dishonest media” were reporting that 250,000 people showed up. He said that he saw maybe a million. Two “sort-of” sentences later he said that he saw at least one and a half million people! Why was he so obsessed with this topic?
Well, as he was giving this speech an actual half million people were in Washington DC protesting against him! There were marches on every continent, including Antarctica. Seventy countries, 673 towns across the world held HUGE protests; 370 cities in the United States alone. At least one protest in EVERY STATE! And here’s the thing that really surprised me.
Photo: R. Goldberg
When he finished, I expected the mainstream media pundits to start dissecting every crazy thing he said and waste hours pointing out why 90% of what he said made no sense. But no, the media just interrupted the coverage of all the protests, aired the speech and as soon as it was over they went right back to the coverage of the protests. They ignored him.
That is when it hit me. The media are covering the real story. It’s bigger than you think.
To put this in perspective, I’ve been in the news biz for a long time. I rarely went out in the field, but on my first time out I covered the anti-Vietnam war protests in May 1970 in Washington DC for my college radio station, WVHC.
Photo: ABC News
It was a big deal. More than 100,000 people showed up. I was up on the stage at the base of the Capitol looking out over a sea of people, shoulder-to-shoulder as far as the eye could see. Then, Country Joe and the Fish sang “The Fish Cheer”. But instead of Fish it was F#@K. More than 100,000 people where chanting: “What’s that spell? F@#K! “What’s that spell? F@#K!
Aah, the good times. That’s it. Those were good times. Even though we were there to protest a horrible war, everybody was upbeat. It was positive. It was a real movement. It took years of war in Vietnam, a war which had taken thousands of lives to get people to the point where they were willing to get up, get out, and march.
Today I watched more than 500,000 people march in Washington. I watched Madonna tell the new President “F@#K You. The news outlets are reporting that these are the biggest and most widespread protests in history. Biggest. Protests. Ever. It’s not hyperbole. It’s true and real and important because …
IT’S ONLY HIS FIRST DAY IN OFFICE!!!!!
The other interesting thing is how diverse the crowds are. All ethnicities. Women, men, young, old. The placards are great. My favorites:
“There is so much wrong, it cannot fit on this sign.”
“We Shall Over Comb”
Photo: R. Goldberg
I can see the baby boomers realizing that they have to get out of their recliners, go out into the streets — and do it again. The thing that keeps coming out is how positive all these marches are. This new “Women’s Movement” has been much bigger than anybody anticipated. I’m not surprised. To paraphrase Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto when he was told of the successful attack on Pearl Harbor, “I feel all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill her with a terrible resolve.”
Photo: R. Goldberg
Many are complaining that a lot of these people:
“Didn’t vote for Hillary”
“Didn’t vote at all”
“Where the hell were all these people before the election?”
You know what? It doesn’t matter. They’re here now. Will it continue? I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s a flash in the pan, either. It’s more like a shot heard round the world — with the whole world shooting.
On January 20th 2017, a door closed.
On January 21st 2017, a window opened. Through that window appeared rays of hope. Right now, that is pretty much all we’ve got. I hope we don’t fall out.
Oh yeah, and don’t take the brown ant-acid.
From Marilyn: A big thank you to my cousin, Dr. Roberta Goldberg, who actually got up and went out and did her part in keeping American great and keeping America AMERICA.. We ARE great. She took pictures — another thank you!