Some Dissident Praise for Kalilily

The following is why blogging keeps me blogging.

I got an email today from a Dr. Lilian Friedberg which said:

Hello Elaine,
I recently discovered your website, and was so delighted (and sincerely impressed with very good content) that I mention it in my most recent column, “Voices of the Peoples” at the ClarkPost. Here is the URL, this month’s column is called and includes a paragraph or two about your site: The Death of Democracy in America: The Foundering Fathers and the White Roots of Peace

I do hope you’ll understand my discussion of your site in the appreciative and playful spirit it is intended. It is a wonderful place to visit.

Another dissenting Crone,
Lilian Friedberg, PhD
Cognitive Dissident

Dr. Friedberg’s piece is long but worth reading for the well-researched perspective she gives not only on the death of democracy in America, but also on its origins and the misconceptions most people have about its development.

Of course, to me, the best parts are what she says about Kalilily, which I post here with a big dissident smile on my face:

To my cognitively dissonant delight—one ray of inspiration did appear on an otherwise dim string of search results which led me to the weblog of Elaine of Kalilily, Self-Proclaimed Resident Crone of Blogdom, who also describes herself as a “True Blue American,” and whose blog entry for November 5, 2004, “My Blue America,” glimmers with subtly placed signs of hope. The real gems are buried in the links she supplies: truths debunking myths of Puritans fleeing religious persecution only to export it to the colonies in the form of domestic tyranny abroad, truths about witch-burnings, and about the foundational principle of genocide underlying the birth of this nation—on a link that’s worth singling out here, since it’s rather cleverly cached behind a hyperlinked reference to the military that benignly obscures the page’s content.
Genocide and The American Indian Peoples

Nor did I leave Kalilily’s site without finding the scoop I was looking for on the founding fathers, in particular as they relate to the third part of this essay, The White Roots of Peace—but we’ll return to that in a moment.

Emoticons cannot express my response to the quality and truth content of these treasures on a site that looked, at first blue blush, to be an exercise in kitsch- and cupcake-artistry. Just goes to show, never judge a blog by its clip art.
About the time I hit the genocide link, I went back and, with a quizzed “who-the-hell-is-this-person” look, and clicked on the “ABOUT ME” link. Voila!: My faith in the American people restored. At the risk of offending the self-proclaimed Crone of blogdom, I must admit what first came to mind: “Well, I’ll be damned,” I thought, “it’s just a little old retired grandma sitting there raising hell at the keyboard!” (That wouldn’t be an altogether fair assessment of a rather accomplished career woman and crafty writer who truly has earned her Crone-Coronation, so I invite the reader read site the rest of the story, which includes a great pic of the author.
Rest of the Story

And it was on Elaine of Kalilily’s site that I found one of the spokes in the wheel I was hoping to “uninvent.”

The people of the Six Nations, also known by the French term, Iroquois Confederacy, call themselves the Hau de no sau nee (ho dee noe sho nee) meaning People Building a Long House. Located in the northeastern region of North America, originally the Six Nations was five and included the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas. The sixth nation, the Tuscaroras, migrated into Iroquois country in the early eighteenth century. Together these peoples comprise the oldest living participatory democracy on earth. Their story, and governance truly based on the consent of the governed, contains a great deal of life-promoting intelligence for those of us not familiar with this area of American history. The original United States representative democracy, fashioned by such central authors as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, drew much inspiration from this confederacy of nations. In our present day, we can benefit immensely, in our quest to establish anew a government truly dedicated to all life’s liberty and happiness much as has been practiced by the Six Nations for over 800 hundred years.
The Six Nations and the Oldest Living Participatory Democracy on Earth.

[UPDATE: After contemplating the Dr.’s reference to “cupcake artistry,” I decided to clean up my kitsch and make my site look more the way it did when I started — not so clip-arty. Less is more, right?]
And so, on this second day of a new year, with a week facing me probably filled with rounds of doctor’s visits trying to figure out what’s going on with my mom’s swollen lips and with trying to get ready to go out and stay with my daughter later in the month while she recuperates from some surgery (now, that I don’t mind doing because I get to be with my toddler grandson) — as I sit here feeling sorry for myself for missing what’s supposed to be my Golden Years — I get the message. Thank you, Dr. Friedberg.
Blogging keeps me going. Keeps me golden. At least it keeps my brain from getting too tarnished.
Much of my original interest in the the legacies left to this country by the Six Nations was stirred up while I worked in the New York State Museum, where the histories of the Hau de no sau nee are preserved and revered. It was there I learned about the status and influence that women, especially older women, held in those Native American communities. Among all of the important democractic legacies of the Six Nations that our American system has discarded is the fundamental role of the Clan Mother, the Crone. Dr. Friedberg explores those legacies in her “Death of Democracy” article.
If you want to read more of what Dr. Friedberg, my newly discovered “sister-in-croney-dissidence.” writes, check out the following:
Election Results Challenge Our Faith in America and Its People
An Open Letter to the NYT (and by Implication) the Rest of the US Media Who Are Trying to Whitewash the Election Scandal
Worse than Watergate? Yep. Worse Yet. Worse than Hitler
I Love the Smell of Cold Turkey in the Morning: A Week in the Life of

God Bless America! Letters from the Heartland: Open Letters to George W. Bush October 14 – Nov 3, 2004
And, speaking of “golden,” I thought these were supposed to be my Golden Years. Right.
Great op ed piece in my local paper today by Silvio Laccetti, a professor who wrote the piece for the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. I can’t seem to find it anywhere else on the web, at least not yet.
Here are just some excerpts from “A Sandwich Generation Reaches Its Golden Years:”
We are the smallest generation. Once called the silent generation, we are the pivotal generation of the last 60 years. We are the rock ‘n’ roll generation, born from 1940 through 1945. My generation. This New Year, 2005, the first of our number arrives at the golden age of 65.
Sandwiched between the greatest generation and the baby boomers, we occupy our own high place in America’s social history. We have served as foundation builders in key areas of American life, and we have cemented the social structure of the last 35 years. Our generation is recognized by many names.
Of course, as the rock ‘n’ roll generation, we discovered and popularized the music that radically changed popular culture. In the early ’50s, proto-rock ‘n’ rollers found the moondog music of black artists on obscure R&B stations. “Rock” became a cultural attitude, infusing the arts, theater and even politics. We were the first modern generation of rebels, albeit rebels without a cause. We said rock ‘n’ roll would never die and, for better or worse, it hasn’t.
Clearly, my generation is also the atomic generation, closely identified with the 1950s and their epochal changes. Domestic joy and tranquillity contrasted with apocalyptic visions of annihilation.

Because we passed through so many mini-revolutions, we were also the cement that binds much of our society together. We went from the 78 rpm record to the DVD recorder disc, from the typewriter to the Palm Pilot.
Forty years later, it’s 2005 and most of us are staying alive (oops). Thanks to new attitudes toward seniors and second careers, and with continued help from medical advances, we remain an undeniable part of America’s future. As veterans of four decades of change in which America became the sole world superpower we still have much to contribute. We will not fade away.
Yup. There’s a dance in the ol’ dame yet.

1 thought on “Some Dissident Praise for Kalilily

  1. Oh Elaine! I am covered in goosebumps and my eyes are brimming with tears. I am so relieved and proud and what-the-hell-took-so-long kind of astounded that your writing and character caught the attention of the venerable Dr. Friedberg.
    Don’t put your dancin’ shoes away yet, honey! You ol’ dame, you…
    Good on you. GOOD ON YOU! Mwah! Happy New Year!
    (See? I tole you, kept tellin’ you, you are an inspiration, a never-ending source, our conscience that whispers loudly to get off our backsides and think and do and behave ourselves the way we know we should, the way we were taught — to be activists, damn it, NOT to lay down or roll over, play dead, face the wall … but to rise up and shake our fists, shake our booties, shake up the world. The fat lady hasn’t even begun to run out of air yet, thank the Goddess.)

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