On this Super Tuesday morning, I woke up wondering about the Obama phemomenon. What is ‘it’ about him that so enthuses me, and so many of my fellow Americans? ‘It’ has to do with the heart, and the imagination, and the soul, and yes, love also. ‘It’ has been cruelly absent from American politics for many, many years. ‘It’ was very much a part of the identities of John Kennedy, and Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. ‘It’ belongs to the feminine realm. Oprah did not use the f-word in her LA Rally speech, but I am pretty sure that’s what she meant:
The fact that ‘it’, is absent from Hillary’s package, must be confusing for all the women yearning for a ‘she’ presence. The 100 New York feminist icons, who signed a petition to endorse Obama understand the difference. Same with Maria Shriver, and Caroline Kennedy, and Joan Baez. The feminine is a human value that transcends race, age, gender, occupation, and all the ways that one likes to classify humans. When ‘it’ is present, community, belonging, and harmony are restored. Which brings me to my next point.
In my mind, global warming is the symptom of a much deeper unrest. Nature’s way of telling us that we have gone too far with our dehumanized way of living. This morning the Associated Press released findings from a Nature Conservancy study on ‘Nature Giving Way To Virtual Reality’:
As people spend more time communing with their televisions and computers, the impact is not just on their health, researchers say. Less time spent outdoors means less contact with nature and, eventually, less interest in conservation and parks.
Camping, fishing and per capita visits to parks are all declining in a shift away from nature-based recreation, researchers report in Monday’s online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Declining nature participation has crucial implications for current conservation efforts,” wrote co-authors Oliver R. W. Pergams and Patricia A. Zaradic. “We think it probable than any major decline in the value placed on natural areas and experiences will greatly reduce the value people place on biodiversity conservation.”
“The replacement of vigorous outdoor activities by sedentary, indoor videophilia has far-reaching consequences for physical and mental health, especially in children,” Pergams said in a statement. “Videophilia has been shown to be a cause of obesity, lack of socialization, attention disorders and poor academic performance.”
By studying visits to national and state park and the issuance of hunting and fishing licenses the researchers documented declines of between 18 percent and 25 percent in various types of outdoor recreation.
This is no small matter. When people stop relating to each other, and with nature, relatedness and belonging, those two hallmarks of the feminine, start to break down and to create a vacuum. What happens next? Trash on top of Mount Everest, disrespect for nature, excessive focus on the I, at the expense of others, emptiness that no amount of goods can ever fill, logging of entire forests, covering of the earth with vast expenses of concrete, the illusion of man as ruler of the Earth, and last failure to listen to unmistakable signs that the Earth is heating too much, too fast.
There are signs of the feminine making its way back, though. The overwhelming response of the crowds to Obama is one. Let us see tonight, if they really meant it.