RESISTANCE IS NOT FUTILE
But it can be exhausting. Longtime activists know that, but newcomers may get blindsided, and give up before they really want to.
That’s why Jerry Rubin started his Activists Support Circle in 2005. Some may not take it seriously. You want to protest something, just go do it, right? Don’t whine about needing support. But even if you disagree with everything Rubin stands for (or against), give him credit for putting his butt on the line and standing up to certain ridicule from the other side, for decades. Most of us just talk. Jerry Rubin shows up. And much of the time, he’s successful.
For those of you who are reluctant to even be seen with Rubin (full disclosure: I consider him a friend), you’re now in the position of needing lessons and advice from him.
You who showed up among the 750,000 who took part in the women’s march in LA, or even went to DC. You who went to LAX, or are planning to participate in a national strike, or a tax day protest or anything else being planned, or have made phone calls or sent emails, because what is going on in Washington is so much against all you believe in, and you feel these are such dangerous, historic times that it requires a united, large-scale response and you know you must be part of that, I
encourage and salute you and say bravo, hurrah and huge thank yous. And watch
You have been successful to an unprecedented degree. Much of what Trump has tried to push through, in his inexperienced, ham handed way, has been stopped in its tracks by your massive response. But we all know there’s a long, long road ahead.
The same is true locally, in the last couple of years. We would have the massive, traffic-choking, little-green-space Hines Project sitting south of Olympic if you had not become activists who spent countless hours going door-to-door, getting the thousands of signatures that made the City Council back down. You almost did it with LUVE, but the organized opposition that $1 million plus can buy could not be overcome. Likewise it helped return four incumbents who, individually and collectively have done much good for our city but in the final accounting have said yes to every oversized project that came before them. They must be judged on their vision of a high and wide urbanized Santa Monica that most residents here do not want. (I mean, why would we? When it only benefits the bank accounts of an inside few, most of whom don’t live here and don’t care what their developments leave behind?)
LUVE will rise again. Everyone knows it. Plans are already being worked on. But between activism both local and national, you’ve got to pace yourself. Maybe even drop into a monthly meeting of the Activist Support Circle to see if there’s anything you can glean. Politics does make strange bedfellows.
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TX
Going to a Superbowl party.
No! Charles! You have friends who would miss you! Didn’t know you had a death wish…
I thought I’d be okay. After all, it was Austin, suburbs actually, the blueberry floating in the bowl of red Texas chili. Liberal university music town.
Well, yes and no on the liberal assumptions. Just like you have raving Righters in SoCal, Austin is not entirely blue.
As we walked down the block to join the party, my sister-in-law cautioned me that getting involved in political discourse at this friendly neighborhood event might not optimize my good times. Since I don’t like football anyway, and my only hope for enduring this game was my dislike for the too-often-champs proven cheaters Patriots owner-coach-star quarterback Trump boosters, and rooting for their comeuppance, I nodded my understanding and steeled myself. I bribed my faint heart with the dicey allure of yummy artery-clogging goodies.
“They’re good, friendly people,” she said, and they were. “But this is still Texas. You’re going to find some Trump supporters.”
As we turned into the yard a bright red Trump sign on the lawn jumped out at us.
“Maybe 50 percent,” she revised upward. By the time we got to the porch she recalculated, “maybe 75 percent.” By the time we got inside and she surveyed the room, she whispered, “make that 95 percent.”
The first dialogue I overheard inside was, “Can you believe that? They’ve got Turkish Airlines sponsoring this thing!” Response: “Yeah, well, they’ve got to fly the terrorists in some way, right?” I heard several speculate, “I wonder what political statement Lady Gaga will make?” (during the halftime show), but it was left at only that question, no nasty follow-through expounding on the multitudinous sins of Lefties. Unfortunately, Gaga accommodated that crowd with nothing very controversial and a song with “Texas” in the lyrics. Her sales shot up afterward 1,000-2,000 percent, and tickets for her upcoming tour go on sale Monday. No Beyonce, this time. Missed opportunity, Lady.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Why would you ever miss the annual all-things-Scot celebration of Ploughman Poet national hero Robbie Burns (“Auld Lang Syne,” “Tam O’Shanter”), when it’s right here at our venerable Daily Pint on Pico? Traditional Robert Burns Supper fare and fanfare: after the solemn procession around the room with the haggis held aloft on a silver tray, preceded by a bagpiper, there was a reading, in full Scot dialect, of Burns’ ode “To a Haggis,” and at the proper moment in the verse a large knife was plunged into the delicacy, spurting, steaming and releasing the juices (this is GOOD haggis, and that is NOT an oxymoron), preceded by bowls of an incredibly tasty Cock-a-Leekie soup (Keith’s secret recipe), and followed by Scotch eggs and Orkney Clapshot. All on the house. Proprietor Phil McGovern was dressed to the nines in a kilt equivalent of a tuxedo. Tanked up young kilted Scotsmen grabbed the mic and sang loudly. Scotch ales on tap that you won’t find anywhere else. It was Saturday before last. I warned you. What did you do that night that was more fun than that? Mark your calendar for Jan. 25 next year, the 222nd anniversary of his lamented passing.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way
the wind blows.” — Bob Dylan (“Subterranean Homesick Blues”)
(Dylan as a songwriter and this lyric in particular are the most frequently quoted in legal opinions and briefs by judges and lawyers)
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 31 years and wouldn’t live
anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at