June 20, 2013

Netroots Nation opening night: Howard Dean, the Tech Museum & magical thinking

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 12:58 am

Photos of Dean, etc. are at

Today, when I drove down to San Jose to attend the opening night of the Netroots Nation bloggers’ convention, you would think that I was getting ready to go off to the moon or something — not just 40 miles away. And when I got down there, all I wanted to do was take a nap — I had jet lag?

But my hotel had a refrigerator so I went off to Trader Joe’s to stock it with kale-cranberry salads and yogurt and tortilla chips.

At 7:30 pm, it was time to go off to the Tech Museum. Howard Dean is going to speak? Really? I love Howard Dean. He’s my favorite. Imagine if he had won in 2004 instead of just having Bush and Diebold steal the election. We would all have single-payer healthcare right now, and one out of nine American bridges wouldn’t be about to fall down because all our money is being spent on bombing Syria, etc. instead.

“When’s Howard Dean gonna speak?” I must have asked at least a hundred people. Lots of shrugs.

“I don’t know.”

“He already spoke!” finally said the 150th person I asked.

“What did he say?”

“I don’t know,” she replied. The Tech Museum has a lousy sound system. But finally I found someone who had heard what Dean said.

“He said, ‘We are the change.’” Really? I coulda said that.

But there sure are a lot of people here at this opening night. Plus there was lots of free food and I got to tour the Tech Museum and get my photo taken in a fake astronaut suit.

PS: How will change for the better ever come? Here’s my latest theory: Magical thinking.

“But, Jane,” you might say, “magical thinking changes nothing.” Yeah it does. Just ask the GOP.

Inside each of our rational adult selves, there appears to be a very small, very scared kid. And the best way to reassure this small, scared little kid is to tell him or her some magical-thinking fairy-tale stories. A little kid can’t tell the difference. A little kid actually thinks that magic works.

So you tell the little kid inside all of us some magical fairy tales. That’s what the GOP does. Big Bad Wolves and ogres and stuff. it’s Fox News’ bread and butter.

Magical thinking.

“We are the change?” Sure. Why not. Progressives could use some magical thinking too.

PPS: Human beings only really thrive when they have problems to solve. So here’s a problem to for us to solve, a Big problem to solve: World peace.

“Once upon a time, there was a little girl with a problem….” Fill in the blanks about how she solved it. Super powers? Magic wands? Or just being the change that we want to be.

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