Curtain Raiser

Far From Season Finale, Colltalers

Nukes are not the only way to blast us all back to the past; climate change could do it too. And rich Republican white males, going after a woman’s right to choose. Their hide is doomed, though: half of humankind is coming for them for some serious spanking.
But if in the U.S., all (pothole-filled) roads lead to Nov. 2020, in Brazil the opposition to Jair ‘Model T as in Trump’ Bolsonaro has gained a powerful focus: Brazilians are back in the streets, this time for saving something actually real, access to education.
Back to these in a few, but first two interesting developments last week: Austria’s far-right government resigned over charges of corruption – something to do with the Russians -, and San Francisco’s banned facial recognition technology by law enforcement.
It’s a big win for civil and privacy rights, and California’s capital Oakland, along other American cities may follow the Fog City’s lead. As for so-called rise of rightwing politics, the Austrians just proved that it’s neither doing that well, nor it’s above some old- fashion collusion. Nevertheless, populist demagogues are anxious to score big on this week’s European parliamentary elections.
Thursday and Friday vote may indeed consolidate their momentum, or leverage a curb on their grow. Some expect Brexit to be set by it, and for an increasing majority opposing the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, it’s the moment to seize the narrative.
If they do, it’s likely that British nationalists like Nigel Farange will follow P.M. Teresa May on their own way out, and a new referendum, or general elections, will be set. In many ways, though, the Brexit frenzy has ran its course and fulfilled its goals, seemingly, to demolish Britons’ confidence, and boost the U.K.’s irrelevance in the world. Thanks, Boris Johnson & friends.
No thanks to the Trump administration, though, for promoting the most brutal attack on women’s reproductive rights since a 1973 Supreme Court decision made abortion legal. To reverse Roe v Wade has been a common objective by both the GOP and the religious

right for years, and now, state by state, they seem to have it all aligned. But it won’t happen if women can help it.
If there’s a coincidence of interests by all rightwing forces in the world, it’s to oppress women back to a subservient role, with no saying over her own body and life. But that’s a story as old as the world, and in the end, progress and justice chase zealots back to their under-rock dwellings, while women, and us all, reemerge stronger than ever. It’s happened often and it’ll happen again.
In the U.S. specially, as most of its population can now be compared to the world’s poorest, it’s not even about choice, but the lack of it. None of those claiming to ‘value life’ are minimally interested in actually preserving it, nursing it, saving it. Beyond abortion, what they’re trying to deny yet again, is the sense of dignity, independence and agency, to mothers and children alike.
Deaths from childbearing, malnutrition, and lack of healthcare and education, have grown exponentially. But pretenders like them, wealthy enough to get wives, daughters, and lovers the care they need, are simply not in the business of giving a damn.
When Brazilians erupted in widespread, national protests a few weeks ago, many were not impressed. After all, similar numbers and noise were caused by successively waves of conservative-driven crowds, demanding all the wrong things for Brazil: the end of a constitutionally elected government, that of ousted Dilma Rousseff, and calls for military intervention and, yes, Bolsonaro.
Less than six months into his tenure, however, the country is in taters, in an economics nose dive, increased unemployment, and a sense, whether induced or not, that it’s gone beyond governability. No piece of meaningful legislation was passed, apart from that allowing more weapons, and those reversing social programs and security that previous administrations fought to approve.
Meanwhile, a series of scandals, many of which involving his family, and covering murders, militias, corruption, and personal vendettas, have ruined the president’s credibility. That besides the international fiascoes he’s been embarrassed by, including his latest, unannounced visit to former U.S. president George W. Bush, and the many political figures who refused to meet with him.
But this time it’s different. Progressive groups in Brazil have finally congealed into a big front, fighting a single, but crucial and all-encompassing target: to save public education of all levels, keeping it accessible to all, politically aware, and independent.
That’s a fight worth carrying not just on its own merits – Brazil’s literacy levels, about 90% in 2014, has been steadily declining again -, but also because it’s one that can be summarized in a few sentences. Unlike the cruel social security reform, for instance, which may pass on the sheer assumption that it involves too complex a theme to be effectively ‘sold’ to those it’ll affect the most.
As the initially student-led revolt gathers momentum, it’s expected that it’ll attract all segments of the working class, intellectuals, and, yes, left-leaning political parties. The issue has surely the potential to galvanize and restart a nation that, for over three years has been in frank decadence. Once a powerhouse for social reforms promoting the poor, its global profile is now fast receding.
Even ex-president, Michel Temer, instrumental in the coup that felled Rousseff, was sent to prison, a sign that the coalition that seized the country in 2016, is all but pulverized. And the new opportunists jockeying for power don’t have minimal qualifications to engage the country. Brazil faces the threat of authoritarianism, but students and their allies can prevent that from happen.
That’s why they march. And so will we, tomorrow. Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Women’s March and others are organizing nationwide demonstrations, and we should all be part of it.
Not because there’s no more Game of Thrones for us to live vicariously our own thirst for getting back at your enemies. Or for world famous Grumpy Cat having passed away, at the tender age of six, he of the frowned face fame who’s given us so much joy.
Even less for the specific reason that, comes Nov. 2020, another person must occupy the White House; there’ll be time for that. But because a woman’s rights is our right, and if you care about children, help those who bear them decide when they’re ready to have them. You’re welcome too if you won’t stand for another child’s death at the hands of immigration. Cheers Lady Liberty. WC


One thought on “Curtain Raiser

  1. Abortion laws. It’s not humane, which makes it immoral.


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