March smaller, but very important

There were fewer than there had been two years ago, fewer than last year, but the 34 men, women and kids (three) at the Wilton Peace Action sister event – one of an estimated 350 nationwide – for the third Women’s March. The big one was in Washington but this smaller one in Wilton was just as important. Oh, there weren’t thousands of people there – not even the 300 folks who turned out in 2017 – but the people who did attend and stand in the cold in front of the town’s library are committed to change on several levels – how women are treated in this country, and around the world, perhaps foremost among them.

After the 2017 Wilton gathering, I said I doubted that anyone’s commitment would last long, but I was wrong. The folks in Wilton Peace Action might be few in number, but I’m impressed with their staying power.

I just wish more would join them.

• You would think that in a time when women are fighting to gain the respect they deserve that a local Facebook group would realize that calling itself a “B-wording” site is a bit misogyinistic. I don’t use the “B” word. I consider it the “N” word for women. Oh, I know the excuse the Facebookers will use: “B-wording” just means complaining.

But where did it come from? The origin is the “B” word that morphed into “B-wording” because, after all, who complains the most? Why “B” word people who certainly aren’t men.

If you use the “B” word in any form, you are disparaging women whether you mean to or not. There is no comparative word for men because for so long men controlled how we view people and what words we use to describe them.

The fact that some of the Facebookers are women is even more disturbing because they should know better. Some women, like some black people who use the “N” word, think they can coopt the word, make it theirs, to diffuse its power, and for them it might work but far too many people when they hear the word still go Pavlovian and react in a, “Yeah, they sure are,” way.

If you don’t find the word offensive, it’s because you’re not really thinking about it.

• So, Carol Channing died. I never saw her on stage, but I talked to her on stage. It was 1970 and she was rehearsing for “Four on a Garden” that had been adopted from French productions by Abe Burrows and I took the train from New Haven to New York and met her on the stage of the theater, and we talked for about half an hour about the play and the cast and Burrows and she just raved about everyone, but what would you expect her to say: “I hate my costar and Abe is a big pain in the patoot!”?

That wasn’t about to happen. It never happened. I interviewed of a lot of actors and no one ever said a bad word about anyone involved in any production.

But dig this juxtaposition:

Carol Channing died the same week as Mel Stottlemyre when it came time to read their obits, I read his, not hers. My only interaction with Channing was that day on stage. I had no interaction with Stottlemyre except I remember when he was called up by the evil Yankees. I was in the Navy, but no matter how far I roamed, I still hated the Yankees and Stottlemyre as rookie had a good year and even pitched three times against Bob Gibson in the World Series, but Gibson won out when the Cardinals took game 7, and that was good because the Yankees were evil.

Growing up in northern New Jersey you had three choices and you had to choose – Yankees, Dodgers, Giants. We were a Giants family thus the Yankees were evil and Stottlemyre was evil. Most evil of all were Yogi and Mickey because they were too good to be Yankees. Mickey should have been playing left field in the Polo Grounds with Willie in center and Yogi should have been catching instead of Wes Westrum or Ray Kaat.

But they were Yankees.

I’ll bet Carol Channing was a Yankee fan. Broadway? Sardi’s? The Russian Tea Room? Yankee fan.

• Maggie at Hampshire Hills convinced me to watch “Keeping Faith” on Acorn, and I don’t really like it, but I’m four episodes into a 10-episode season so I’m stuck and so is Kathy.

The story is riveting, but the series needs editing – There are too many long drawn out scenes of Faith being grief-stricken, Faith being furious.

There are too many flashbacks to Faith’s missing husband around whom revolves the central question: Is he dead? I dislike the character so much that I hope so.

The problem is, I’m only four episodes into the series and there are six to go and it’s driving me nuts with really awful music and characters I don’t like, so here’s the plan:

Faith gets a horrible virus and has to go into the hospital. Lisa becomes the lead character with the older of the two girls – Alys, 9 – as her sidekick and the younger girl playing a lesser part but still integral and we change the name of the show to:

“Keeping Faith in the Hospital.”

I’m liking it already.

• So I got a new music system – Como Audio, it’s called – and it is three radios that can be operated separately or linked and it’s very cool. It gets so many internet radio stations from all over the world that I sometimes just pick out one for the heck of it. I found Wyldwood, a Brit folk-rock station that is cool and I almost got Celtic Moon again but it’s still not available in the U.S., although it used to be. It was very freaky.

But the cool thing is the linking. One of the radios has a CD player and I can pop in some Miles and then link the other two radios and hear Miles in three rooms.

To quote Lenny Bruce, just because, “I knew Miles when he was still blocks. I knew Basie before he could count. Ain’t I wild?” That’s from Lenny’s Lawrence Welk bit that Welk didn’t like one little bit. YouTube it. Ain’t it wild?

• On a micro scale, the government shutdown cost Southwest Airlines the chance to have me use some of the points I’ve earned. My daughter and her boyfriend were flying to D.C. on my points for the women’s march but backed out because of all the hassles at airports thanks to Donald Trump and his apparent loathing for people who live paycheck to paycheck, for farmers, for air travelers, etc.

They were also put off by hints of anti-Semitism within the movement.

So, they didn’t go, and Southwest kicked back my points as a good airline should, and I will use them eventually.

And the wall? Read the stories about how drug lord El Chapo was getting his goods into the U.S. He had a submarine, for crying out loud. And a plane.

“Yeah, well, that’s why we need a wall.”

Right. The undersea-in-the-sky wall.

You know who a wall will keep out? Honest people, desperate to escape gangs, drug lords, poverty and corrupt public officials.

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