“Sadly, the underdog socialist has forgotten that the story of the left ought to be a narrative of hope and progress.”
Isn’t that what I’ve always said?
Hello again, it’s Tom. It’s Sunday morning in America and I’m downing coffee in my office in the rain while I prepare for what in the day comes next. Maybe I’ll get to that in a minute, but no promises. You’ve seen my stuff before; you know that I don’t know any better than you do where this will go once I start. That’s why it’s called a “blog” instead of a “dissertation,” “story,” or “coherent plan.”
My niece got married last night, to a really good guy. She’s been through some rough stuff in recent years so it’s awesome that she (a) found genuine love, and (b) found it with a decent beau. At the same time I got to see family that I haven’t seen in a couple of years and we picked up right where we left off with subtle (and not-so-subtle) jokes and a true appreciation of each other. Like a family should. I missed them terribly, and seeing them only reminded me how much. The biennial reunion is going on right now over in Sonora and I’m missing it. That’s either bad planning on my part (partially) or just bad luck (mostly). The timing, for us, just wasn’t right.
Yes, I had to look up “biennial.”
The main reason (there are many) that we couldn’t pull up stakes for Sonora (I keep wanting to say “Sonoma”; am I supposed to?) is that Mrs C started her new job last week. She had her old job for about six years but the new GM (or DM, I forget the titles) treated her like a witch. I mean that literally. He was a little too sanctimonious in his religious beliefs and thought that anyone who wasn’t, but still got along well with others, must be an honest-to-goodness witch. In that vein, I promise you, Mrs C would not have survived long in 17th-century Salem. She survived several months, however, under difficult circumstances and now she’s in banking. And banking is really cool, since that’s where all the money is.
But it’s hard for her to take time off the second week on the job, hard for me to take two Saturdays off in a row for a lot of reasons, and hard to abandon the new puppy. Life is hard sometimes. But I miss ‘em. And I miss it, the reunion time, terribly. Love to you all, my brethren, sistren, and extendren.
I may have made up one or more of those words.
Nonetheless, it was a great wedding, and really good to see them all. Life is a series of memorable events partitioned around our daily lives in-between. The missus and I were remarking on the way back from the wedding at how many memorable events have been squeezed into our lives, forcibly or otherwise, in the last ten months. The fire that chased us from our home. The landlord deciding to sell the house I love. Buying the house I love from our landlord. The boss seriously talking to me about buying the biz. The Rams going to the Super Bowl. The new puppy. Her new job. It seems like the segments in-between have been small of late and that we’re always making up time.
The one thing I have been able to do is read, and I just finished Bregman’s book where the quote above came from. It was also the theme of my last post, which I intended to expand upon today. Alas, I got romantic instead. Suffice to say, anyway, that the greater advancement of mankind is accomplished through the desire for a better world, and the belief that one can come. The “underdog socialist” that Bregman describes is a lot of us, who think our ideals of a better world are grand but untenable. Just like we all thought that “the end of slavery, the emancipation of women, and the rise of the welfare state” once were. It’s silly to want. Ridiculous to hope.
These are dark times, to be sure. The narrative of the future has been co-opted by the voices of the right due to the conciliatory nature of the left. But the answers have always been on the left. Societal reforms come from liberal dreams. In particular they come from the liberal dreams of utopia, of a world unimaginable today. The unimaginable world today, however, becomes the reality of tomorrow. We are partitioned to the in-between right now. Great things happened to change the world yesterday and great things are coming to change the world again.
“Everyone who reckons themselves progressive should be a beacon of not just energy but ideas, not only indignation but hope, and equal parts ethics and hard sell.”
Keep dreaming, my friends. Keep hoping. Be a beacon of energy and ideas. Sell it. Tomorrow is ours, just like yesterday and today.