Friday, May 07, 2004
Who the hell can explain Mitt Romney's mind? After backing off on the residency requirement for the last two days, he fired off a sharp defense of the 1913 law when a couple of legislators began the process of repealing it. Maybe he's bonkers--he's certainly homophobically obsessed. The letter he sent out to the other 49 governors urging them to tell their gays and lesbians to stay home and not attempt to come here to get married has been received coldly in some state capitals. A number of governors wrote back telling him to keep his nose out of their citizens' lives.
Our administrative assistant came up to my office yesterday, depressed and wanting to talk. The subject was the revolting sadism shown by the Army and CIA to Iraqi prisoners of war. What had really hit her was that women were among the abusers. She is a very sharp young woman out of Wellesley College who uses our part time position as her "day job" while she acts and directs for local theater companies. Her husband is German, a post-Doc here at MIT in physics. She told me that he goes home for visits or on business and Germans are shocked that he would live here or want to associate with Americans--and YES, I am fully aware of the historical irony of Germans looking down on us for moral lapses.
I reminded her of the old saying that the female of the spcies is always the deadlier, and we spoke of my belief that the veneer of civilization is sometimes very thin even in supposedly "advanced' or "enlightened" nations. I think we will see more of this sort of thing in many areas because we have degraded our educational system and ruthlessly eliminated the arts from so many school systems. I believe we're in very big trouble here because of the Bush War, bankrupt financially at home and bankrupt morally in the international community. It's going to take us decades to recover from this--if we ever recover.