Encouragement for the underachiever from an underachiever

Someone just told me I was a good writer. He actually said a great writer but we don’t want to get carried away here. Let that be an encouragement to the slow learner & the underachiever never to give up on themselves or be daunted by discouragement.

After I learned to read in the 1st grade with the wonderful Miss Johnson, school was all downhill for me. From the 2nd grade to college, I was completely lost & just didn’t get how to learn that regimented way. I always felt I came in at the middle of the play. I was also helping my mom with childcare. So I flunked my way to graduation thinking myself a failure but just loving to learn.

When I was in the convent, they wouldn’t send me to college because they said I wasn’t smart enough & would instead be trained for institutional cooking. When I left that prison & applied to public university, I was matriculated in the dumb students college on probation.

But I loved writing & researching so I would study writers I liked to see how they constructed sentences & what was the architecture of written language. I learned my preference was for brevity, clarity, lack of pretension & attempts to razzle-dazzle. I never became good at college because it’s not my style of learning. Though I’ve written hundreds of things, I never thought of myself as a writer but as an activist who used writing to educate & build movements.

I tell this not for purposes of self-aggrandizement but so that young people who flounder as I did will know not to give up on yourselves but to try to find how you can also serve. Now I think of myself as a writer but with a sense of deep gratitude that I can use it to make the world a better place.

Ajamu Baraka, the savant Assadist

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party candidate for Vice President, who often waxes indignant for Assad & Putin, is up in arms to deny the gassing of civilians. He’s not a man given to investigation but is another who considers himself a “political savant” & gropes his way through complex political issues ending up railing at paper tigers.

Showing just how unsteady his visceral gropings have proven on Syria, our man vituperates: “…keep your simplistic pro-Assad charges to yourself. This is not about any personalities but the soul of the US.” He of course meant anti-Assad but when you grope your way through things, words get mixed up too.

We’d like to ask our man Baraka if he thinks the well-documented, not viscerally ascertained reports of tens of thousands of Syrians arrested, tortured, murdered, forcibly disappeared, incarcerated are simplistic & personal charges against Assad or do they have a political character? Does the carpet bombing of civilians have a political character or is that also just personal?

This political fight is not about the soul of the US. How US-centric can you get to make such a claim? This is about the struggle of Syrian working people against dictatorship & whether you stand with them or with Assad.

Baraka is another one of those who claims if you’re against Assad’s dictatorship then you support US intervention. Nice try. Big fat lie. He ought to try less following his instincts & more cracking a book.

The gassing of civilians & the shameful attempts to portray it as fake news take their toll on us, especially in the absence of international solidarity with Syrians. You get intolerant in periods like this & don’t want to put up with equivocations, crazy-pants stuff, misanthropy, or passive-aggression. My posts get more sarcastic with those who concede ground to Assadism. Sorry about that.

We could avoid the conflict instead of wading into it, but if you’re a movement builder duking it out is part of the process. Posting kitty pictures isn’t my schtick. I do know that as unpleasant as political conflict is, it is also one of the best ways to unravel the complexities of political situations. That’s the premise of debate.

I’ve known people who don’t have the stomach for dispute, back off & roll their eyes at those who brave it. You’ll find in the long run that the issues & complexities went right over their heads. They never learned a thing. The tragic ending of the story is that some of them are in the Hands Off Syria Coalition today. See what I mean?

It used to take me weeks to recover from disputes. Now it’s just several miles around the town on a lovely day. But sorry if you catch me before the walks & if my tongue is sometimes too acerbic. Of course if you don’t dally with Assad, you’ll never find it directed your way. So that’s that. Heart emoticon