Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Perception Creates Reality

I note that my posts of late have been very upbeat. There is plenty in Joy's life, in our lives, to feel upbeat about! Joy has continued to do some amazing things as spring transitions into summer. Here's a sequence from just yesterday morning that I snapped while she was playing independently with her musical gears-toy, experimenting all-on-her-own with placing things on the central gear to see them spin.

A stack of gears that she built herself:

The bouncy-ball she got at the drugstore the other day:

Her echo-ey microphone:

These are true stories that we tell, that encourage us to keep going -- despite the fact that she's pulled enough hair out of another patch on her head to make us consider going with the buzz-cut again. And the fact that she's been apparently-randomly refusing food, and making those protests by suddenly spit-spraying large mouthfuls right into our faces.

Here are some more lovely true stories from yesterday morning, as we went to the Capitol Square once more to protest the impending disastrous budget bill:

I found myself being interviewed by a reporter for our local paper, who was intrigued by my "Budgets are Moral Documents" sign. Here's the interview as it was happening...

I got a chance to put in a plug for community long-term-care:

[JoyMama] pushed her daughter in a stroller and carried a “Budgets Are Moral Documents” sign. She said her family would be harmed by proposed cuts to state funding for the long-term care of people with disabilities.

“We keep hoping folks who have acted as moderate Republicans in the past will listen to their consciences,” she said.

Then Rose found, to her delight, a group of protesters hula-hooping for justice! An intern from a local paper filmed her and Twittered the video out into cyberspace -- Rose is the one on the left doing the stand-on-one-foot tricks. (Sorry 'bout the ads.)

Then around the corner came a stream of educators marching against the education cuts in the budget -- and who should be leading the march but Joy's special education team! So Joy and I left Rose with the hula-hoopers
while we made a circuit of the Square in the company of Joy's beloved teachers.

It was a beautiful day. It was good to be with sincere, creative people, determinedly protesting the trainwreck of a budget and other legislation that is being crammed through double-time, in a little-used procedure called "extraordinary session" that has NEVER been used to passed a budget before.

And then we learned that, late in the day, amazingly-coincidentally in the nick of time, the Wisconsin Supreme Court (along partisan lines) had overturned a lower court's ruling that the so-called "budget repair bill" violated the state's open-meetings law. The conservative members of the supposedly-non-partisan Supreme Court, bought and paid for by floods of corporate campaign cash, argued that the courts could not make the legislature abide by laws governing its own procedures unless those laws were part of the Constitution. And the open-meetings law is just a statute, not part of the Constitution. [I think I'm understanding this right. It's very tangled.]

How did we come to this?

Well, perception creates reality. And the wealthiest corporate interests of this country have bought the perceptions of anyone who gets their information from Fox News, or right-wing radio, or conservative campaign commercials. They've ridden those perceptions to electoral victories that then allow them to pass rapid-fire, coordinated, cookie-cutter corporate-written legislation via the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

And they've effectively spread the lie that the coordinated propaganda and fear-mongering over at Fox News is somehow equivalent to how the rest of the news networks run...

I am still hopeful about the recall elections in Wisconsin, that we can flip the state senate this summer and temporarily stop the bleeding. If you are at all inclined to contribute to this effort, you can do so via the Act Blue fundraising page.

But I am feeling very low right now about the powerful, incredibly wealthy forces that brought us to this point, and the alternate propaganda-reality that they have created.


Suze said...

I, too, am feeling low and frustrated. I've been reading Howard Zinn lately, and my outrage is renewed as I learn how, contrary to popular perception, this country was founded by people who were interested in keeping power and wealth concentrated at the top, giving just enough rights and concessions to people at the middle and the bottom to keep them (us, I should say) complacent. I was just reading on a local news source comparing this recent movement of protecting labor rights and social services to the civil rights movement of a couple generations ago, and I don't think that's an exaggeration.

I think I'll take my kids downtown today for the sing-along in the Capitol. It's been too long since we've been there.

JoyMama said...

Interesting that you should mention Zinn -- here's my current Facebook status:
"Note that throughout history people have felt powerless before
authority, but that at certain times these powerless people, by
organizing, acting, risking, persisting, have created enough power to change the world around them, even if a little." - Howard Zinn

It's from a longer piece at

Zinn's People's History is an eye-opener -- my dad taught it in his history classes for years before I got around to reading it!

Enjoy the sing-along, and raise a solidarity peace sign for me...

Suze said...

Alas, we didn't make it today :( Got behind on some tasks this morning and had a full, scheduled afternoon. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Friday...

Also, I love that Zinn quote.

Bethany said...

I love that spinning gears toy that Joy is playing with! That was always a great teaching tool in my classrooms (I had it switch adapted as well). How creative of her to experiment with different things spinning on the center gear, something I had never considered!!
I wish I could say that your budget issues were rare but Michigan is basically pushing through the same type of budget. I wish I had access to protest, and am so thakful for those who do so. I love the hula hoop protest and how Rose jumped right in!!