In loving, living memory, John Melançon 1928 – 2007
Evening in Boston with Manda, Dan, Shannon, and Kathleen, who probably still doesn't get what Noam Chomsky is all about since the format had no exposition, just Noam's latest thoughts on the election and questions, and the audio wasn't great.
Kathleen and I were coming directly from a first meeting with a new client in Harvard University referred to us (or I guess rather, us to them) by SCF. And with the meeting running long and the probably ill-advised choice to drive, and insane traffic as the police had shut down Soldier's Field Road (we followed several cars driving around their road block, which it turned out made at least one police officer quite angry but did get us moving after 20 minutes (honestly) crossing the Charles River. So I missed the reception but Dan got Shannon to take his picture with Chomsky, heh.
And Agaric's ad in the program book for the talk (a fundraiser for http://encuentro5.org ) was huge!
Enough with the Agaric.
Take on the talk: yes, the election should have been more of a landslide, but Obama would have won without the financial crisis timing I think. More to the point, the idea that an Obama administration can be made accountable to the legions of volunteers deserved more consideration; Chomsky's point was these volunteers are portrayed now as awaiting orders, and that that is the model of a dictatorship, not a democracy. I should have forced my way into the line of questions and asked "Do you see the people who have volunteered for the Obama campaign and learned so much about organizing and mad so many connections carrying on with bottom-up organizing, and what can people who may be involved in other activism rather than electoral campaigning do to forge a larger movement with these volunteers? At least one online gathering space for Obama supporters poses the issue as 'The Organizing of the President' – that's at http://narconews.com/thefield "
Chomsky's point was that if 9/11 were truly inside job and faked, even the incompetent Bush administration could probably have managed to blame Iraqis and Afghanis rather than Saudi Arabians and Egyptians.