The rally of May 14th was either 20,000 or 7,000-10,000 protesters depending on which resource you turn to. The day’s weather was less than ideal: a stiff wind, sometimes a cold drizzle. Standing around in wind and rain is worse than snow, and we did have a 90% forecast for rain. Thus, much respect is given to the people who made a long trip to be there.
For me the big deal was a much smaller set of people than the thousands.
I met up with some twitter pals at the rally who made long journeys- from Oak Park, Appleton, Waukesha, Eau Claire, and even Vilas County!
I’m still kind of amazed at the reach of blogging, and the radio show, facebook, and twitter. I know this stuff WORKS – – we are reaching each other – – but maybe too much of my cultural DNA is locked in Clark County where we had a party line phone we shared with the neighbors, those dusty gravel roads, and 3 channels on the Zenith. (Well, on a clear day we had 3 channels.)
I even ran into a fan of this blog from Massachusetts who was in town for her daughter’s graduation. Marlene treated me like a rock star. If I could bottle that kind of feeling, I know I could get through not only this whole Wisconsin movement but my whole life. Thank you.
Anybody’s thanks for what goes up here is very humbly accepted because it’s the retweets, the facebook likes, and the mentions that are the big deal. Basically, I’m not the big deal. We are the big deal.
The last time I was a “rock star” I was a bumbling 14 year old, and I almost died from having all of the attention. I did the fast leg of a 1 mile relay at some big division meet and it tipped our points into a track meet win. Because I was so shy, I had to turn into a machine to perform, and that made for a lightning fast quarter mile. I’m not as shy now but I’m definitely not a baby-kissing back slapper either (and I damn sure can’t run a fast quarter mile anymore). I’m probably more like the readers: hoping to be a piece in this big fight for Wisconsin’s future.
The backlash we need to deliver against Walker’s regressive takeover must be more complex than 4 kids running a quarter mile each. What we do have is a diversity and number of engaged people that is staggering to comprehend. So if I’m limping on one leg of this race, you can pick up the speed, and I will return this favor for you later. Keep your game face on and picture the win as a team. That’s how Wisconsin people can win. Probably that’s the only way to win: in togetherness. In solidarity.