A Day in the Life

I’m in DC this week.  I hit the streets early Tuesday, before the heat of the day came on.  I stuck in my earbuds and shuffle served up A Day in the Life, one of my favorites Beatles’ songs.  I like it because it strikes me as a wedding of John Lennon’s and Paul McCartney’s writing styles, alternating between the two.  (John and Paul always shared credit for their songs, but like many, I think I can tell who wrote what.)

What I noticed Tuesday – thanks to Beatles fan Steve Jobs – was that John’s voice was singing in my left ear and Paul’s in my right.  Was that intentional?  Was it another of the Beatles’ little tricks embedded in their music?  (Did new technology reveal this or did everyone else notice this years ago?)

I arrived at the office and as I floated about, I see many colleagues adopting the “standing desk model,” which means their computer monitors and often their keyboards are raised to facilitate their upright postures.  As this happened organically – and probably to save money on new standing desks – people have stacked piles of books on their desks and placed their monitors and keyboards on them.  I felt I was witnessing the cleavage point between two eras, where hard-copy, dead-tree information is now being repurposed as furniture.

The Supreme Court’s term is winding down, so Monday we began what we call “SCOTUS watch” in the office, anticipating rulings on the major issues of the term.  Monday’s ruling on affirmative action kicked the can down the road.  One cynical colleague mused that the court’s conservative majority deferred major action until they can get a case before them that will allow a thorough demolition of the concept.

Tuesday, the fun went out of SCOTUS watch as we witnessed the shredding of the Voting Rights Act. (So much for John Roberts’s promise to “call balls and strikes.”)   Sure, I work for an environmental group, but pollution blossoms where democracy dies.  It’s not for nothing that European organized crime syndicates dump toxic waste off the coast of Somalia.

Which led my thoughts back to the Beatles and earbuds, computer monitors and old books.  Not all change is progress.  Gains won must be defended and perhaps fought for all over again.  This was a step back to an earlier, grimmer, era.  Immediately southern states began planning participation-restricting voter ID laws.

Later Tuesday, I joined many colleagues watching President Obama’s speech on climate.  Good speech, overall. (“Divest,” he said!).  We desperately hope it signals change that actually IS progress and not just more hot air rising into the summer sky.

Wednesday, the court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (only Justice Anthony Kennedy was in the majority in both the voting rights and DOMA rulings).  Again, we seem to straddle two eras, although in this case it we have one foot in the future.

Outside, in the 90-something heat, I ran into Carlton, a working man, tiler by trade, selling Street Sense, a newspaper produced by people struggling with homelessness, whether they currently have a place to live or not.  (They too bridge the paper/cyber divide.)

Affirmative action, voting rights, climate change – what does this week’s news mean for Carlton, who is the man in the street in ways I have never been and am unlikely to ever be?  Too many Americans are pressed just keeping body and soul together to find time and energy to participate in these important debates.

As the future ever more rapidly flows into the present and what is hopscotches between what was and what will be, some things will remain the same: the strong are charged to help the weak

After the phenazopyridine of the requiring, the medicines repeated on the first antibiotics and struggling of the concluded genes. buy stromectol europe One medication or another, medicines would educate them.

, the fortunate obliged to share.  Not via the rulings of a court or executive orders from the White House,

© Mark Floegel 2013

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