My Progressive Bubble

I confess. I live in a bubble. Absolutely. I click on my Facebook feed, and all I see is a solid wall of politics and art (all well-spelt, by the way). I live in the kind of idyllic, upper-crusty neighborhood I never even dreamed of as a kid, because I’d never seen this kind of suburban utopia. And I teach community college, so I’m surrounded by educated people who, like me, have had the privilege and sheer joy of many years of the best education this planet currently has on offer and chosen to – wait for it – help other people instead of profit. I don’t socialize willingly with a single Republican, and I donate to public radio, drink responsibly sourced espressos, have a hemp shopping bag, all the rest of it. And thus, per the NYT, I judge Fox viewers without knowing them, I don’t understand the pain of white gun owners, I’m a coastal elite, and I’m the one who let Trump win.

Well, yeeeeah. That’s all kinds of bullshit, and I’m not even going to delve into WHY that’s all kinds of bullshit. But it has made a little light go off for me, a little realization about the bubble I actually do live in.

I live in a bubble with refugees, with immigrants, with new citizens and fleeting visitors. I work and live, day in and day out, with people who are everything except “white” and everything but “American.”

I hear ten different languages spoken a day, every day. I’m an avowed atheist who’s celebrated Eid, who’s broken fast with friends at sundown during Ramadan. I’ve helped women adjust their hijab and had veiled women uncover in my office with relief. I’ve helped undocumented students figure out housing applications, helped DREAMers write college essays, helped Afghani military translators find therapists to help with their PTSD, tried to help a mother stop her daughter’s planned genital mutilation. I live in this bubble with people who have seen loss and pain, and joys as well, that I will never understand.

In my bubble are people who tried to rise up in their home countries and make it better – and couldn’t; who are here because otherwise, they would certainly be dead. And every term, every ten weeks, for the past sixteen years, I have had the pleasure, the honor, the responsibility to meet another fifty, sixty, seventy of these people: to meet them where they are, get to know them, and to love them, as best as I can. Because you can’t teach – excuse me; I should say, I can’t teach – someone unless I feel some love for them.

Even the torturer.  Even the war criminal. Even the rapist.

And certainly, for fuck’s sake, the woman in a hijab.

And this is where I live. Inside my bubble.

And it’s bigger, so much bigger, so much more wild and complex and beautiful than the entire world of so many Americans.


Has It Been a Month Already??

Quick-quick like (I’m doing my early-morning grading, 22 essays to wade through before 7:30) —

  • I miss writing, I miss all y’alls!
  • I am immensely relieved about the state of our union and the way this election is headed. I am watching the dissolution of the Republican Party as we knew it, and, well, what could be more joyous than that? And what sweetens the deal even more is that the architects of its current evil incarnation (Cheney, Rove, Gingrich et al) are here, watching. In Cheney’s case, watching from a hospital bed. Mwha-ha-ha … no that is not a chuckle at Cheney’s “unspecified ailment.” As Madonna said about Sarah Palin, “Get that b!#@h out of here. But I love her soul.”
  • I am now pondering the possibility that Cheney has a soul, a theory for which there has been only negative evidence thus far.
  • I do wish Reagan were present in some state to realize that the “trickle-down” house of cards he foisted on us has come to its logical conclusion, and that his real legacy is the second Depression facing us.
  • I have this song stuck in my head:
  • I am sticking to most of my resolutions, and they’re working out surprisingly well! I may (may, might, could) start cycling partway to work. Haven’t actually made that one a resolution. Will have to invest in more technical rain gear if so …

A cute Echo story: As the final bodyslam debate was drawing to a close, I asked Echo (plopped on her pink bunny chair, eating snacks and watching along with us): “So, Echo, look at these two guys, the ones talking. Which one do you like more?”

Without a second’s pause: “Ummm, the new one.”

So, take it from the youth. Another ringing endorsement for change we can believe in.