Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Bully One. Pulpit Zero.

My wife has been calling me every half hour from the anti-Schwarzenegger demonstration in front of the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. She says it's exhilarating to be part of a crowd of nurses, teachers and public-sector workers who are there to remind the governor there are no stunt men in politics. But as long as there are chauffeured limos and back doors, I suppose Schwarzenegger needs a stunt man the way the Invisible Man needed a stand in. No governor in sight, my wife said. He's inside with the demonstrably rich and the impudently powerful. I can imagine them staring at Schwarzenegger and thinking my god this man is my own personal wet dream.

If no governor, there are a good number of cops, however. My wife said it was frightening when the police began to put on their riot gear. My wife said she has no idea why. A few speeches, a few chants. Maybe some of the teachers are using their outdoor voices, but that is the extent of the aggression in the crowd. I'm proud of my wife for going. I suddenly wonder if the duties I thought I had to attend to were duties at all. Thank you, Malcolm Gladwell and The Tipping Point. At some point one person too many gets sick and equilibrium is overcome and a plague ensues. Therefore and by analogy, the idea of the individual in the crowd is dignified, the particle becomes a catalyst.


Time for a plague of noise, of determination not to shut up. All this I believe, but from another point of view I'm just talking out loud till my wife gets home.

1 comment:

B. Wieder said...

Yeah, but we've all seen the size of Arnie's back. It's gonna take a LOT of straws.