Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want all to thrive in

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Don't Say Nothin Bad About bush...

Elko is one of the last towns east in Nevada – a growing gambling town that now boasts of casino’s, restaurants, and yes, Starbucks! I stopped at the Albertsons, the only grocery store I can find, to see if they had any organic food.
            No organic food but many folks approached me in the parking lot and shook my hand, exclaiming how excited they were to see the truck.
At the gas station, I pulled alongside a pick-up truck that has survived many of these cold winters, with two young white people lounging in the bed. They smiled shyly and asked me if I painted my truck. The CodePINK alert side was facing them. I asked them if they heard of CodePINK, which they hadn’t. I started to give them my cp origins spiel: “Do you remember when bush started his scare tactic thing, ‘we’re gonna be in code yellow, code orange, code red?’”
They shook their heads in unison. Well I just got to the ‘code orange’, when this grizzled, wrinkled, old toothless skinny white man pops up in the front seat of the truck, sticks his grey head between the sliding window and shouts: “ Don’t you say nothin’ bad about bush!”
The kids flushed bright red as I asked him “Why the hell not? I can speak the truth, can’t I?”
He turns swiftly back into the cab, bumping his head as his passengers and I feebly attempt to hide our laughter, revs the engine and takes off so fast I think his passengers would have flown out if they hadn’t been seated with their feet braced against the tailgate!

You're a bunch of crazies...

While I was taking a break at a Nevada rest stop, a white male approached me and told me he loved my truck. We began talking, as we stood on the sidewalk in front of the walkway to the bathrooms. He identified himself as a Viet Nam war veteran who was presently living in Montana. He said at first he supported the cry to war, when he was caught up in the grief and horror of 9/11 – and when he was surrounded by neighbors, friends & family who were on that war path also. Then he began having conversations with the people important in his life and he realized he didn’t feel the way they did.
He recognized the blanket hatred of Iraqi’s as so familiar, so similar to the blanket hatred he was supposed to feel for the Vietnamese. He said he was traveling now to California because he came to realize – at 58 years old and during this time of u.s.ofa. invasion and occupation of Iraq – that he was not living the life he wanted to live, and he was not getting the support in Montana to live the life he wanted to live. He said he’d lived in California for a few years after the war (against Vietnam) and he wanted to return to that way of life.
As we had this conversation, I noticed a late model Nevada pick-up truck highly decorated in decals of flags, god bless america, and something about guns, pull up and park close to us. An older white man was scowling about, slamming car doors, and grunting audibly but incomprehensibly. When he saw he had our attention, he hurled something like “you’re a bunch of crazies” in our direction.
The male I was conversing with immediately pulled himself up and began to defend himself, identifying himself as a Viet Nam war vet – which the other guy says he was too. My initial relief at this younger fellow taking on his peer leaving me free to observe, was soon turned into dismay then horror as these two began talking with disgust about how “They just didn’t bomb enuff in north Viet Nam to end the war immediately and here they are doing it again.”
I said loudly and probably equally as disgustedly, “That is precisely what is wrong with you men and your inability to solve any problem without increasing your violence. It is wrong to bomb people. Period. It is not human, let alone xian which I see you both are.”
I walked away as quickly as the older man got in his shiny new truck and peeled out (shamefully I hope) of the parking lot. The other fellow raced over to me, apologizing for his succumbing to the camaraderie of military buds.
Later he was to shake his head, holding his beard, while he wondered aloud why it was so easy for him to fall back into that military bull shit.