Sunday, April 04, 2010

What to wear

Oregon spring is fickle. Some days are warm and sunny with the promise of summer, then the weather turns to cold, rainy, and windy and you feel betrayed. This year has been no different than others. We had some really nice days during March where the temps got up to 70 degrees. Then some Pacific storms came in bringing in cold air from up north and socked us. The mountains got more snow and people grumbled about the rain and wind. I got sucked into Mother Nature's temptation of the warm weather and reprogrammed my thermostat, only to be rewarded with 30 degree nights that froze our collected keisters off. It's hard to roll over in bed when you're plastered with cats trying to suck the warmth out of you.

But the days are getting longer and the spring colors are making the neighborhoods bright and cheery. It's a good time for working on a colorful sweater. I mentioned in my last post I had started working on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Adult Surprise Jacket. It's coming along very well. I'm nearly done with the sleeve section. I try to get a stripe done each day but of course there are the longer stripes that sometimes take two days to complete. It will be a great spring and summer jacket.

Yesterday I went with Agent D to view "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers." For those of you who were either not in the US in the early '70's or not yet born, Daniel Ellsberg was an employee of the RAND Corporation who was active in the decisionmaking on Vietnam in the mid '60's. He and others compiled a history of US involvement in Vietnam that came to be known later as The Pentagon Papers. These documents were rated top secret and contained incriminating evidence showing how deception upon deception had been made to Congress and the American people. Ellsberg at the time (so he claims) was just doing his job but had a crisis of conscience. The story of his involvement and subsequent leak of the Pentagon Papers to the press is told in "The Most Dangerous Man In America".

I went to see the movie partly out of curiosity and a desire to fill what was a hole in my understanding of that time period. When the Pentagon Papers were released to the press, I was just a kid, ten or eleven years old, with no true understanding of the implications of his act. I had heard of Ellsberg and the papers. But the movie helped fill in holes in my understanding. My political beliefs had already been molded in some ways by the Watergate scandal. I feel more how important it is for Americans to not take everything we are told as the absolute truth. It is easy to be swept by idealism and jingoistic rhetoric. I'm still one for seeking out nonviolent methods of resolving conflicts but understand that this is a very difficult goal to achieve. It's important for those of us who live in this country to do what they can to find out as much as they can from different sources and work to preserve our fundamental right to know.

1 comment:

Tiggywinkle Knits said...

I forget that you're enough younger than me not to have lived through this stuff! I was in high school during VietNam and a senior during Watergate and remember much of it. I saw Nixon's resignation while at work - standing in the lobby of the hotel where I worked, watching with staff and guests to what we knew was history.

Along the same vein, if you haven't seen it, is a '96 movie, "The People vs. Larry Flynt" with Woody Harralson. Love him or hate him, what Flynt did was landmark - he challenged the government on censorship and the right to free speech and won - and preserved what is probably our most important human right.