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Little Miss Useless

Salon.com, they of the premium subscriptions, made a great do about the rehiring of columnist Anne Lamott last year. Who’s Anne Lamott? Exactly.

Lamott’s recent column Hard Rain, if you can read past the slightly terrifying author photo, is a rambling shipwreck of basement prose that illustrates how one woman – who is not at all atypical of the modern San Francisco Democrat – thinks.

[M]y friend, who is usually a crabby optimist like me, is terrorized [by the Republican government]. She’s not worried about Catastrophic War-Lite in the Middle East, she is trying to imagine the end of life as we now know it, under an endless, paranoid right-wing government.
She is talking about life in shelters, and caves.

Uh. Huh.

Like everyone I know, I stepped up my do-good efforts as the dread threatened to overwhelm — I spoke out against the war, went to demonstrations, sent money to environmental groups, signed petitions, went to visit old people in convalescent homes, flirted with old people on the street, read the Nation and Salon, sent more money to the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Clowns without Borders, Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance, the Global Aids Interfaith Alliance, to anyone who will help kids and poor people. And I planted bulbs, which is a form of prayer.

Note that apart from “visiting old people,” Lamott does nothing altruistic. She gives money to altruists. Surely some of that Nation-reading time could be spent tutoring a kid? My ex is a Republican, and she had the heart to work at an animal shelter AND tutor a high school student. When she wasn’t trying to put Anne Lammott in a cave, of course.

As the threats from Korea mounted, I rented the movie “Independence Day.” I wanted to see what it takes to mount an effective resistance against an alien takeover, because this is what the current administration feels like to me, a hostile alien government. And according to the movie, it turns out that we who oppose the war in Iraq have everything we already need. We have a great cause — world peace and freedom … Maybe goodness would prevail, maybe not, but as Molly Ivins wrote years ago, freedom fighters don’t always win, but they are always right.

You know who was right? The Khmer Rouge. My goodness, they were such freedom fighters. And so very right!

Then I heard at church that the Marin Interfaith Council was sponsoring a peace march on the solstice.

That’s just the best sentence ever.

Two thousand of us gathered, and we milled around together until night began to fall. Then we lit our candles and began to march, and talk and sing. I said I was hungry, and someone gave me a hard butterscotch candy. This is so biblical, I can hardly bear it. I couldn’t see the front of the line, it was so far away, and I couldn’t see the back. It looked like a Dylan concert.

Any of these are nominees for second place.

Seriously, I feel much better about my own intellect knowing that there’s an Anne Lamott.

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