Loose Ends at Year End

ACORN International Community Organizations International Community Organizing Economics Human Rights International

 Marble Falls     The end of every year always finds me with contradictory feelings, and I don’t think that’s something that just happens to me.  On one hand, I’m ready for a new year.  There’s excitement over new projects, a clean slate, a quick restart after the slow walk of the last year’s passing.  On the other hand, there are the things half-done and postponed from the last year, the hours that tick off on the final days of a vacation, and my lifelong dread over time slipping away.  This year end seems particularly uneven as the pandemic, that we are all so eager to dispatch, continues to drag on with new horrors, twists, and turns.

            Only weeks ago, I was whining about the frequency of virus testing as I bounced between the UK, France, Honduras, and Canada for the first time in almost two years.  Now, tests seem almost impossible for many to get, and the notion of getting on a plane overseas or anywhere else, if it’s not canceled, seems like fantasy.

Here’s a good example of the fool’s bargain that work and travel have become.  An email came over the transom a couple of days ago from a young man who wanted to organize an ACORN affiliate in Australia.  Wow, how exciting!  We’re talking early in the new year.  To jump start it forward, what are the chances in pandemic time that they would allow me to visit, meeting with people, and push the work along?  Little?  None? Your guess is as good as mine.  How frustrating!  Over the last year, our biggest failure was our inability to successfully launch the ACORN Tenants’ Union in Atlanta.  Zoom organizing committees for a new organization just don’t work.  Stabilizing new organizers on the doors is a mountain to climb.  Are these reasons or rationales?  I’m not sure, but they aren’t satisfying whatever they are.  It’s all hard work, made harder.  Fighting with one arm tied around our back, and now one leg hobbled as well.

            As we look at national and world politics at year’s end, what a fresh hell confronts us daily.  In the USA, the excitement of Biden’s commitments to lower income and working families in 2021 carried me along to a new evaluation of the forever Senator and VP.  Now, we’re mired in the quicksand of division in and outside the party, praying for a deal at almost any level that moves the needle forward, where only months ago we were eye to eye with a gamechanger.  I’m tired of January 6th, Elizabeth Holmes, Epstein, opioids, Trump, the Supreme Court, Elon Musk, Facebook, Apple, and Jeff Bezos.  Play something new on the radio please, not the same old rotation!  Not that looking abroad is a happy dance with endless reports on Russia, Turkey, North Korea, China, oh my god, China, Myanmar, and don’t start me on India, Africa, the Mideast, and Afghanistan.  And, climate, please, please, let’s stop talking about it, and for god’s sake DO SOMETHING.

            With a smile on my face, I often advise our team to “practice revolutionary patience,” but, truth to tell, it’s not my best virtue.  Bottom line, I’m sick of 2021, so, 2022, bring it on!  At least, there’s a chance it might turn out differently.