Just like everyone else I have a theory about What It Means, but I also have a story and a cool picture to illustrate.

Vancouver’s Roots ‘N’ Wings choir performing on Jan 21, 2017

We go to a few choir concerts, since my wife sings in one and is part of that social network. On January 21st in a two-choir show, the second half featured Roots ‘N’ Wings, an all-women ensemble. They opened with just a few singers on stage, then the rest came up the aisles, singing Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around (one of the Freedom Songs), some with the hats, some with signs.

The crowd came alive, on their feet, clapping and yelling, singing along. The choir fed on it and five minutes of pretty pure ecstasy ensued. My heart was instantly full.

Earlier that day, my wife and daughter were in the local march; I was proud of them. I didn’t go because I wanted to be part of those powerful sea-of-women’s-faces visuals by not being in it; anyhow someone had to clean up and make dinner.

What the march meant · I think it’s obvious. A bunch of reasonable people, led by women, needed to shout out and reassure each other that they weren’t crazy because they were horrified at a nouveau regime that’s crude, threatening, ignorant, oligarchic, reactionary, childish, corrupt, bigoted, thin-skinned, offensive, and oozes appallingly bad taste.

That’s about all the marchers had in common; the hardass rhetoric coming off the main stage was interesting and had its moments, but I bet very few of the marchers have even heard the word “intersectional”. Likely nobody will remember the rhetoric, but everyone will remember the clever signage, massed pink, glowing faces, and astonishing absence of violence or vandalism.

Hall of shame ·

  • The new management of the Executive Branch of the United States Government.

  • Twitter, for studding the #WomensMarch stream with deplorable hate-spewing trolls; they’re still there now. I mean, really, Fuck Twitter.

  • Those trolls. My quip: They were grumpy because their Mom was off marching and couldn’t fix a sandwich for them and bring it down to the basement.

Thanks! · For that much-needed reassurance that it’s perfectly OK to have strong negative feelings over behavior which is crude, threatening, ignorant, oligarchic, reactionary, childish, corrupt, bigoted, thin-skinned, offensive, and oozes appallingly bad taste.

What next? · I dunno. Nor does anyone else. In the United States, the forces of decency and sanity suffer from a leadership vacuum. You can get along without a coherent ideology, but you need someone to rally around and vote for, and I don’t see who.

For the next few years, resisting the the hamfisted guttersnipes of the GOP will be useful and reasonably rewarding — the evidence suggests they lack the competence to get much done. But America needs an alternative.

Anyhow, thank you to the Women’s Marchers; I know I needed the reassurance. You’re not crazy. I’m not crazy.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Peter Black (Jan 22 2017, at 22:56)

Sorry, it's a minor point given the importance of the topic, but did you mean venial or venal? Seems Important given the difference in meaning.


From: Willow Hovingh (Jan 23 2017, at 06:28)

Maybe, as you say, not many of the attendees had previously heard the word "intersectional," or thought about it.

But they've certainly heard it now. Maybe a few (or a more) will think about it and look up what it means. In any case, they've participated in an event that had intersectional feminism as an organizing principle. If some of them pick that up and run with it, that's a good thing.


From: John Cowan (Jan 23 2017, at 11:13)

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."

My grandson and I have a regular Saturday play-date, but the marchers were coming home around the same time as we were, so we went around to various sign-holders and Dorian asked them to show him their signs. Most of them were great — I remember particularly "A woman's place is in the revolution".

One woman, however, was holding her sign backwards. When Dorian asked her about it, she asked me, "How old is he?"


She turned it around: it read "C*** POWER", and she said "It's not really appropriate."

I replied, "He's too young to be offended, and I'm too old, but we support you anyway."


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