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Above: Liberty Shafted, from my play Baum for Peace, about my own struggle to have my votes counted when I ran for Congress. Right: The Gingkos of Eureka Street, captured by my Crony in their full glory.
E.B. White said he had a hard time deciding which came first: saving the world or savoring the world. He chose savoring, as he felt there was no REASON to save the world if you didn't savor it.
Well, I've done a lot of the saving thing lately. And now my Crony is clamoring for a Ramble. And, dammit, I want to ramble too! So we'll do a bit of both today.
FIRST: EXPEL 126 TRAITORS -- Update
AND THEN: UPPER MARKET RAMBLE #2
ONE: EXPEL 126 TRAITORS -- Update
This is a campaign to hold the 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives, who supported the Supreme Court lawsuit to overturn the election, responsible for their actions. They tried to destroy our democracy and install Trump as dictator. This is treason and, according to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, they should not be allowed to hold office. The fact that they were unsuccessful is irrelevant.
I originally believed this campaign had to be done by January 3, 2021 -- to somehow prevent the 126 Traitors from being sworn in on that day. But I did not understand how things work in Congress. Expulsion of an elected member of the House, or even Censure, is a major endeavor and takes time.
And anyhow, this is the HOLIDAY SEASON, a time when most people happily turn to SAVORING the world. I myself am of the savoring kind, and long ago scheduled savoring activities with my pod-mate. Elizabeth and I are planning to celebrate Christmas in the Icelandic tradition, which involves reading aloud to each other from favorite books and eating chocolate. We're talking Major-League SAVORING here!
So we have TIME to work on this campaign. This is GOOD.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE IN THE CAMPAIGN:
HELP: Bloggelinis Laurie Graham & My Crony want to get involved. This is very exciting, to have such high-quality volunteers. I have not
called a meeting yet -- because of my various savoring activities.
Especially needed: Someone with social media skills.
CONTACTS: I have contacted Rep. Pascrell, whose idea it is to take action against the 125 Traitors. I did it through Facebook. His staff responded by asking me to tell them more about myself, which I did. I'm waiting for a response to what I sent. Of course, I want to join forces with him, if possible.
MORE KNOWLEDGE: Evelyn sent me the Congressional Research Office's pdf on expelling a Congressperson. It turns out you need a 2/3 vote to do that. BUT you only need a majority vote to censure. While censure is only symbolic, it is still considered a big deal.
PETITION: Laurie suggested putting a petition on Change.org. I have written the petition, but am unclear about how to complete the process. Ideally, results would be emailed to Rep. Pelosi, since she is the leader of House. But I have not found a way to directly email her. Waiting for clarity to go forward.
TEXT OF PETITION:
This is below. Please use it in full or part to write your own representatives. I have changed the pronouns from plural (we) to singular (I) so you can use it more easily:
Our democracy has been seriously damaged by the extreme actions of Republican politicians who tried to overturn the fair and honest election of Joe Biden as President. And so far, NO ONE is being held accountable for these outrageous acts.
Most shocking of all is the frivolous lawsuit initiated by the Texas Attorney General, which went to the Supreme Court. This lawsuit was signed by 126 Republicans -- the majority of the Republican members of the House of Representatives.
This lawsuit did NOT ask for a re-count or a re-do of the election in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. This lawsuit demanded that the Supreme Court THROW OUT ALL THE VOTES for President of the people in these states! It demanded that the Supreme Court allow the four state Legislatures to choose electors for the Electoral College. Since all four Legislatures happen to be majority Republican, they would have chosen electors who support Trump -- effectively trampling on the will of 20 million voters, the majority of whom chose Biden!
This lawsuit was thrown out by the Supreme Court. But that does not change the fact that it was an attempt to overturn a democratic election and install Donald Trump as dictator. Since democracy is the fundamental principle on which this country is built, ALL THE SUPPORTERS OF THIS LAWSUIT WERE ENGAGING IN REBELLION AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. THEY ARE TRAITORS.
As Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) says, "The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution expressly forbids members of Congress from engaging in rebellion against the United States. Trying to overturn a democratic election and install a dictator seems like a pretty clear example of that."
Democracy cannot function unless we hold our elected representatives accountable for their actions. The Constitution empowers the House of Representatives to do just that (Article 1, Section 5). I join Rep. Pascrell -- and the wise Founders of our country, who wrote the Constitution -- in demanding that these 126 TRAITORS BE EXPELLED FROM CONGRESS BY A VOTE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES!
TWO: UPPER MARKET RAMBLE #2
I love the poster below, but there was no Proposition Z, so maybe this is left over from an earlier election
It's kinda scary to think of a Prop Z, because it would mean that there were as many propositions as letters in the alphabet. I can feel a tad overwhelmed, with all the state props (they're numbered) and the city props. I confess, my focus this time around was TOTALLY on giving Trump the boot. Before I filled out my ballot, I just looked at the endorsements of the Harvey Milk LGBtTQ Democratic Club to find out how to vote.
This flyer.... moving.
For some reason, the last couple of days, when I read or hear about misfortune, I feel it in my heart. Mostly, it's just all too much and I put up a wall. But not now. Melinda Gates, billionaire philanthropist said, "One of the most important things I’ve learned in my work is that you have to let your heart break." I sure hope they found Pops.
This is the view from Market down UN Plaza to City Hall, which is a very grand Beaux-arts building.
Here we are again, on the right, being reminded of the former existence of theater. This is American Conservatory Theatre's (ACT) smaller venue. I think they should have at least put "entertainment" up there! Actually, these words are VERY humdrum, albeit true. How about "passionate" and "risky" and "boundary-breaking" and "inspiring" and "life-changing"?
Now it's Christmas Carol time. Even with the pandemic, there are LOTS of different Christmas Carols to zoom or stream. I saw it at ACT in 1984. They do it every year. It's their big moneymaker. I went with
my lover Margo and Robby, a gay man who was my friend's younger brother. Robby picked Margo and me up, and we drove downtown and spent an UNBELIEVABLE amount of time looking for a free parking spot. Robby was notoriously cheap, even though he had tons of money. He was a brilliant musician turned computer geek and made $90/hour -- IN 1984!! I was getting very upset because it seemed we would be LATE! It is very very rude to be late for one of these big theaters. People are NOT happy when you squeeze by them to your seat.
EVENTUALLY he agreed to go to a parking garage, but he was determined to find the cheapest one of THOSE. I was frantic. FINALLY we found what he deemed a suitable garage, on a very scary street, where I would have never parked if I wasn't with a man -- albeit a skinny gay boy. Phew!
As we were rushing to the theater, he told us that, since there were three of us, we SHOULD split the parking fee three ways. But, since it was Christmas, he would magnanimously allow us to pay only HALF of the fee instead of two-thirds! I don't know, of course he wasn't obligated to subsidize us in any way. But we were so poor at that time, and he had so much money... It was difficult to rejoice in his "gift."
So we get to ACT just in time, and we're sitting in the balcony watching a rather opulent production of Christmas Carol, and as I watch Scrooge "humbug" through life counting his pennies, I realize that I AM SITTING NEXT TO SCROOGE! A real-life, modern-day penny pincher who places, in my opinion, too high a value on holding on to his money! I'm watching Robby, wondering what he's experiencing, seeing himself onstage. I'm wondering if he'll somehow be changed through watching Scrooge change. Will he be shaken? Distraught? Outraged at the mockery and condemnation of a fellow miser? I envision so many possibilities for my miser being moved by witnessing this classic play about himself.
As we were walking back to the parking garage, I asked Robby what he thought of the production. It was clear from his response that it had NEVER crossed his mind that there was any resemblance between HIM and Ebenezer Scrooge!!
I was devastated. What was the point of theater if a miser could watch Christmas Carol and never recognize himself? What was the POINT?!? I decided that night that I was FINISHED with theater. It was a pointless activity. I would find another field of human endeavor that had more EFFECT on people! I was FINISHED!
But I got over it.
I saw another Christmas Carol this year, live streamed from Columbia, Missouri, where Elizabeth's son lives. Some friends of his were producing it. It was very simple and only about a half an hour and REALLY GOOD! Only three actors -- one played Scrooge and another man and woman played all the other parts and narrated. It took place in a large beautiful empty space with a beamed ceiling. Just a few pieces of furniture. A lovely violinist wandered around, accentuating emotions at times or simply creating transitions between scenes. It just really WORKED. I don't think I have ever seen actors play so many different characters without giving the audience even a MOMENT of confusion as to who they were. This was due to the clarity of the acting and of the simple and large accessories they wore for each part.
Greenhouse Theatre Project did a covid-compliant production. Everyone involved quarantined themselves for 10 days, then took a Covid test and then filmed the play in one night. The violinist wore a mask. Presumably she was not part of the quarantiine. The tickets cost $10 and they're streaming tomorrow, 12/23, probably at 5pm PST. Tickets & Info here.
Ahh! Now we come to this wonderful tiny tiny cafe on Market Street. It really is only as wide as you see. And the walls are covered with paintings of animals and Native Americans.
I wrote down the name and address and now I can't find it. It's across the street from the Civic Center Plaza photo, in a white building. Tiny tiny tiny. You can also sit outside.
Again, theater. The long-running production of Hamilton, an indomitable and astoundingly successful play. It seemed like it would run forever. And maybe it will, once we've conquered the virus.
Best breakfast in town?!? I tend to believe signs like this. I'll be back when it re-opens... if it survives.
I tend to have a very cynical response to ads like this. But I think I have to be optimistic to do the work I do in theater -- and in writing this blog. It's good to have an image that cracks open your perpetual gloom for a moment -- even if you reject it.
Here we come to the wonderful & wacky murals on this little restaurant.
Ooohhh, Patience Soup! Mmmm-mmm good!
The woman kneeling on the right was sorting through a box of lemons.
And just around the corner...
Now begins a very big mural with such a mixture of collage and stencils and photos and paper cuts ...
The black snowflakes are cut out of vinyl and pasted on. The small black and red figures are stencilled, I'm sure.
So. Eclair Bandersnatch, a name and talent to conjure with...
And one final long mural.. The Market Street Circle of Pandemic Love.
"HOW WE CARE SHAPES WHO WE ARE." You know, I didn't realize how the images connected to each other until I did this blog. I didn't read the text. I guess I was so close up and I was just trying to get the best photo.
Bloggelinis: There's more to come on Upper Market! Also more to come about the 126 Traitors. But then, you knew THAT!