From Bob's archive: Jogo on the left's old neighbourhood... or a new neighbourhood
This wonderful photograph is a perfect accompaniment to the very strong article [by the New Centrist] you linked to.
I've seen it before on zombietime.com, which you should visit sometime. For fun, click now on this.*
Today, in front of my local Trader Joe, there was a table and a big sign that said "Impeach Cheney." There was literature being given away, and I suppose there was a petition to sign. But the outreach had nothing to do with Cheney (impeachment is ridiculous), but rather with Lyndon LaRouche*. And the poor stupid SUV liberals of Encinitas were gathered round, thinking only of Cheney and how awful he is, not realizing that the magnet that drew them there was worse than Cheney.
The New Centrist, yourself, the Eustonites, the bloggers-after-your-own heart, all these fellows, are waging an important struggle to reconfigure or shift the center of gravity of the Left. The battle needs to be fought, but it may have already been lost. I and my friend John Seward have taken another approach -- perhaps not the best one -- and simply abandoned "the Left" as our home, while not completely abandoning, even cherishing, certain emotional, ethical and philosophical currents that continue to connect us to the Left. It is as if a bunch of terrible people have moved into the neighborhood, rendering it unfit for (our) habitation. And yet the old neighborhood is ... well ... it's still the old neighborhood and the pickle man's stall is still there with its wonderful, evocative smells. It's hard to resist that smell. And mmm, those pickles are crunchy and delicious, and you can't find pickles like that anywhere else.
However, at a certain point, the conflicts that divide the Left will have (or perhaps already have had) the effect of tearing the Left into pieces: /this Left/ and /that Left/. At that point, I ask: why continue to identify yourself as Left? Why not do as The New Centrist has done and move your community to a new place? When Hell's Angels, winos, whores and crackheads have taken over the neighborhood one can find oneself huddled in one's apartment, reading books and making nice dinners for a few friends, reluctant to take the kind of evening walks one used to do. And I won't put up with that. But I LIKE my evening walks in the neighborhood. Perhaps, think I, if I help create a new neighborhood I might have new neighbors: people who would not have lived in that old neighborhood: people I might not have met if I, and they, had remained in our old neighborhoods. And if the new neighhorhood is a nice one ... well, others might move in.
And here's a thought: perhaps that new neighborhood already exists, though it has no name. Perhaps that's the neighborhood where millions of people actually do live, but they don't quite realize it yet.