It’s not a job I’d wish on anybody, but let’s pretend for a moment that you’re the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Your paper has a very bad image problem–it spent 2005 running articles on the joys of L.A. nursing homes for geriatric communists, and praising North(!) Korea. Needless to say, the paper is hemorrhaging red ink.
But it’s a new year. Plenty of time to make a fresh start. So how do you jump-start things in 2006?
Update: Related thoughts from Neo-Neocon, who profiles Joan Baez, yet another member of the left permanently stuck in 1972:
The article quotes Baez during a recent Somerville, Massachusetts performance:
“When did we get so old?” she cried, to huge cheers.
Well, speak for yourself, Joan, I’m nowhere near as old as you. So there!
But on a more serious note, my answer to Joan might be: when we stopped changing and learning. When we got stuck in a 60s mentality that didn’t take into account new information. When we placed on our cars bumper stickers such as yours, reading (according to the Guardian article): Iraq is the Arabic for Vietnam
Ah, Vietnam! Those were the days, my friend, we are determined that they’ll never end. Here’s Joan again:
If they’re honest with themselves, says Baez, veterans of the peace movement, of the war itself or of any great struggle for social change must admit that for all the woes they suffered, there is a terrible anticlimax when it ends. “Afterwards looking back, it is inevitably the high point of your life. You know that from soldiers, who tell their story over and over. I’ve heard that even the Vietnamese were depressed.”
Even the Vietnamese were depressed. But maybe, just maybe, they–unlike you, Joan–were/are depressed not because the glory days are over, but because the Communists won.
Update: In sharp contrast to the Joel Stein, Greyhawk of The Mudville Gazette looks at Kay Lebowitz of the Maine Troop Greeters:
Kay Lebowitz, 89, has such severe arthritis that she cannot shake hands. So she hugs every Marine and soldier she can. Some of the larger, more exuberant troops lift her off the ground.
“Many of them tell me they can’t wait to see their grandmother,” she said. “That’s what I am: a substitute grandmother.”
“When the flights are going over, it’s heart-breaking,” Lebowitz said. “But when they’re coming home, it’s heart-warming.”
Read the rest.