When Madonna said, “Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,” she transformed a story about hundreds of thousands women and men protesting peacefully around the world into a story about a celebrity threatening terrorism. Yes. She followed that line with a chant about choosing love, but she served up an insupportable soundbite on a gold-plated platter.
I realize the hallmark of great American comedy has been the outrageous. The National Lampoon magazine cover with a gun pointed at a dog with the headline, “Buy This Magazine or We’ll Shoot This Dog.” But I can’t subscribe to jokes at the expense of Presidential kids. I didn’t like it with Chelsea Clinton or the Obama daughters and I can’t stomach it with President Trump’s 10 year old son. The SNL writer who tweeted about Barron has apologized, but some damage is impossible to undo.
All I’m saying is, if you want to take off the kid gloves, leave the kids alone.
Finally, I attended the Chicago Women’s March last Saturday on a day when the sun shined on a quarter of a million women and men who managed to gather downtown to show their solidarity for women’s rights. The mood was positive. Peaceful.
And when the crowd swelled to over 5 times expectations, no one was really too concerned that it was impossible for most people to actually ‘march.’ There were kids with signs and their moms and grandmothers. There were chants and conversation.
People were chanting, “What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like.” It was too crowded to move forward or backward and that irony was not lost on me.
Now my participation elicited a handful of opposition commentary on a facebook page. I am, apparently, a “libtard,” a casual sobriquet that weakens the seriousness of the name-caller. This is who I am. I volunteered as a 15 year old Moratorium marshal in 1970 for an anti-war protest in New York’s Bryant Park. My rock and roll heroes have been the people with strong opinions. Dylan, Marvin Gaye, The Jefferson Airplane, Springsteen, The Clash, Patti Smith, Steve Earle, James McMurtry. My lefty tendencies run deep, right down to my pitching arm. I worry about the environment and civil rights. I do not share Piers Morgan’s belief that white men have gotten a raw deal. My mother marched in the very first ‘Women’s Equality Day’ on August 26th, 1971 with my dad. When it came to women’s rights, she was fierce. Wish she could have been there.