goldie's (and marlene's) house party last weekend to end the war

tonight, at last, the story of goldie's (and marlene's), house party.

but first, c.i. forwarded a reply to an e-mail that came into the common ills. a blogger (not in the community) took issue with me for my opinions on stephen colbert and then slammed me for writing about dynasty. c.i. replied that he (yes, it was a he) shouldn't try to 2nd guess me.

'rebecca writes with instinct, with a good sense of p.r. and quite a bit more. while you see "only" talk of a tv show, you miss quite a bit including the point "strong women characters." you also fail to grasp that she's been promoting goldie since last week and drawing it out builds anticipation. the post on "dynasty" is an attention getter that will draw in more than the usual readers. that's what rebecca is all about and what she's always been about. which is why with little help outside of the community, she's managed to become very popular. possibly she could do "cat blogging" or whatever other tired fad/phase has been around for 10 years now? instead, she writes exactly as she wants and, in doing so, has 1 of the most intense and dedicated readerships you can only dream of as you play "from the center" with your dull posts. thanks for sharing. feel free to share again with some 1 who gives a damn. -- c.i.'

that was very nice of c.i. and attached was a note to me that if it were elaine, this might not be forwarded but i would want to know about it. i would.

so some little centrist feels the need to rag on me to c.i.?

1st why did he think c.i. would give a damn?

perfect stranger whines and c.i.'s going to say 'oh perfect stranger, you're right, let me trash a lifetime friendship!'?

what those types never get is that elaine, c.i. and i cannot have a wedge shoved between us. centrist, you're late to the party, all the presents have been opened, the candles blown out and the cake and ice cream all gone.

i wrote about dynasty for a number of reasons last night. 1) i did watch the show. 2) the female characters were strong and that was a breakthrough. 3) joan collins did make a difference in the way women were seen on tv. 4) i knew there were other dynasty fans out there. (i got more e-mails on last night's post then i've gotten on anything.) 5) postponing goldie would build the moment (milk it?). 6) if even 1 reader who dropped by for the dynasty post stayed around it would be a success.

your male concept of what the net is, centrist, isn't mine.

i think i achieved all my intended goals. but i doubt that any 1 trying to get us to all rally behind joe lieberman would grasp that.

so let's talk goldie and marlene.

last weekend, while some were able to go to nyc for the rally and march, many others were not able to. daughter goldie and mother marlene were not going to let the moment pass by without doing something.

goldie's the 1 who usually thinks of things for her friends. this time mom was inspired by her daughter's spirit (i'm inspired by goldie's spirit as well). so they threw a sleep over for young females and women. goldie invited her friends and marlene invited her friends (many of whom were the mothers of goldie's friends). as friday approached a few had yet to r.s.v.p.

turns out there was no need to worry. not only did every 1 r.s.v.p. by friday evening, many of the women asked if they could bring a friend, sister or family member.

they ended up with 62 females gathered together on saturday to talk about the war and the state of the world. (64 counting goldie and marlene.)

they couldn't go to nyc. they could've said, 'oh i can't go, maybe next time. let's stay home and watch gilmor girls!' they didn't do that. they ended up with their own rally right there in their own home.

that's pretty amazing. i don't want to make it all about the numbers and i'm happy for any reader who did something whether they got together with just 1 friend or more than 1, but 64 is amazing.

marlene said the thing she heard most often from her friends was that they had a lot on their mind but never really felt like they had a chance to talk about it. some of them have jobs where anything resembling a 'political discussion' is frowned upon. as marlene pointed out, the country's at war, how can some employers think the topic is off limits? but some do. then the 1s who pick up their children after school are never sure where others stand.

what every 1 found out, marlene said, was how many were opposed to the war. a few had talked to each other about it in groups of 2. that's why 1 woman asked if she could bring her sister. her sister was the only 1 'keeping me sane' during this illegal war.

there were 2 women who didn't work outside of the home and marlene made a point to note that this hadn't freed up their discussions. it had left them feeling as isolated as the women who had an off limits stamp on the topic at their jobs.

goldie's big worry before saturday night was 1 her friends had. most were very against the war because it's an issue that goldie raises and discusses. she's taking a speech class now, the first 1/2 of the term was a foreign language, the 2nd 1/2 is speech. and there's not a speech she gives, improv or rehearsed, that doesn't put the war out there.

they had to give 1 on the founding fathers and goldie didn't just do a history, she took what they said and would apply to the illegal war we're in today. so her friends have had some 1 raising the issue and they've done research on their own and are really up to speed on what's going on.

their concern was that the mothers and other adults wouldn't a) understand where they were coming from and/or b) let them speak.

goldie had to say at 1 point, marlene backed her up on this, 'that's a very important point but ___ had the floor.' the mother, who had interrupted her own daughter, apologized and yielded the floor to her daughter. that only happened the 1 time.

that's pretty amazing when you consider the number present. but goldie is something. she is a force to be reckoned with.

so the evening started with every 1 just saying their name and telling a detail or 2 about themselves. then they munched on snacks while they watched eyewitness in iraq.

that was the perfect choice because a) it's powerful and b) it's only 28 minutes long.

every 1 was more than ready to talk and if it had been a longer movie, they probably would've ended up stopping it. so they then went around discussing, taking turns and listening to each other. goldie said her friends were really impressed with their own moms because they really were worried that they'd be dismissed or not listened to.

goldie had to reassure them that this wouldn't happen. she told them friday during lunch, 'if we're not listened to, we stage a walk out!'

goldie's not even 13, folks. she is amazing.

so the daughters got to share their thoughts and this is a big deal. it was a big deal to them but it would be a big deal to any 1. think about when you were young and something was important to you. did your parents listen to you? some did, some didn't.

saturday night, the mothers (aunts and friends) listened to our future leaders.

it wasn't a 1 way street. the daughters listened to the mothers, and other adults, as well.

the only other potential problem came when, at 11 pm, 1 of the mothers said, 'this has been good but you girls should probably go to sleep now.'

goldie didn't blink, marlene said. goldie informed the woman that she was very happy to have her as a guest and that even though the invitations clearly stated every 1 would stay up until midnight, if the woman was tired, she could go on to sleep.

the woman, to her credit, laughed and said, 'goldie, you are right. tell you what, i think i can handle 1 more hour.'

both goldie and marlene report that each grouping was impressed with the others.

marlene said goldie's best friend's mother told her she felt embarrassed when she heard her daughter speaking because her daughter had put so much time and energy into the issue. she had no idea. she knew her daughter was 'into music and boys' but she'd never seen this serious side before. and she said her daughter had put more time into the issue than she had 'and i'm the adult.'

goldie's friends that were in the speech class had some visuals from speeches they'd given. (1 class, when the students could pick a topic, goldie begged every 1, boy or girl, to talk about the war. and they all did. she's our future president, folks.)

1 grandmother had come along and she was probably the biggest hit with every 1 because she had tales of what she did in high school in the final years the war was waging in vietnam. she'd think she was finished and be asked for another story.

she called marlene on monday to thank her for the party and to say that those are stories she never shares these days because she didn't think any 1 cared.

so it's was a multi-generational meeting of minds.

every 1 ended up realizing that there was no wall on the war between any 1 attending. they all felt a lot stronger from sharing and realizing that they shared an opposition to the war. 30 minutes before midnight, they started brainstorming on what to do next and decided that these house parties needed to continue. the next 1 will focus on females as well and be in june. for that they got 10 volunteers to agree to host at their homes. (64 is a lot of people for a living room. marlene and 2 women ended up having to move the coffee table, the chairs and the counch out into the hall just to have room for every 1.) after that, in august, the plan is to try to bring in the men - 'and boys,' goldie added.

but with ground rules because goldie says boys don't like to just talk about what they think or feel, they like to tell you what they think you think and feel. (i'm not kidding, she's our future president. she knows the score already.)

so 1 of the things the 10 house parties in june will work on is a set of guidelines for august's house parites and they will be included with the invitations so that, if there are any problems, some 1 can do like goldie did when they almost lost an hour of their discussion time -- 'the invitations clearly stated...'

the 1 thing that marlene would do differently is the music. every 1 brought music (they could've brought an article, book or poem) except for 4. they weren't able to listen to all the music so the adults had to narrow down their choices and the young girls had to do the same with their choices. that was fine. but the first 1 to play was a mother and she didn't talk about it. she probably assumed that it would be clear. then the next turn went to 1 of goldie's friends and since the woman hadn't spoken, the girl just said 'this is bright eyes.' then a mother went with the next cd. then goldie jumped in and said, 'okay, bright eyes' and gave a brief speech about the cd they'd already listened to and then introduced the pink cd. after that, every 1, adult or young female, spoke for at least 2 minutes on why the cd had been selected.

marlene thinks that either the young girls were more passionated about the music or more convinced that not every 1 would know the cd. so for june's house parties, they're all going to start with a selection from the younger group. after goldie got every 1 prodded, people were really opening up. they'd talk about the 1 or 2 songs on the cd that made them bring it and maybe 1 of those songs or another 1 was a song they'd slow danced to. which would cause every 1 to laugh. marlene said she thought it was a really good way for both groups to get to know each other.

the question i didn't want to ask was the 1 i saved for last with goldie. i was afraid i'd be discouraging when i asked, 'so what does this mean?'

goldie replied that it didn't mean the war ends tomorrow. and she really paid attention to the stories the grandmother told because she was using them for the examples. she closed with 'it's going to be a long fight.'

goldie for president!

the smartest and coolest person in the nation.

goldie's writing about the house party for this sunday's polly's brew so be sure to check that out. she did her 1st column in the 1 that went out last sunday and it was 'just me saying hi' is how she explained it. it was a lot more than that but you're going to want to read about this. there's 1 story that she shared which is so wonderful that i told her i loved hearing it but i wasn't going to put it up here because she really needs to write about that in her column.

sherry and i had the same question for marlene - why goldie? we figured it either had to be for goldie hawn or the rapper. marlene said that in the final 3 months of her pregnancy, she got so huge it was a major trip just to get off the bed. during that time, she was still responsible for writing the checks and sending out the bills. she wrote the check for the cable bill, put it in an envelope and stamped it. but she asked her husband to mail it because that morning she didn't feel like walking out to the mailbox. he was in a hurry and didn't put it in their mailbox on the way to the car. he planned to mail it from work but then forgot and then lost it (not realizing he'd lost it).

so 1 day a final notice comes in. she asks him, 'did you mail that check in?' of course he did. they probably haven't processed it yet. then, a little bit later, the cable goes off. at which point he remembers that maybe he didn't mail it. maybe.

he told her she'd have to take care of it and her attitude was that she wasn't taking care of it because if he'd just put the envelope in the mail on his way to the car that morning, there'd be nothing to take care of or if he'd remembered, when the final notice came in, that he never mailed the envelope, it would have been taken care of then.

so there was no cable and when others would offer to take care of it, she would say, 'no, he needs to write the check and he needs to mail it. it's his mess.' so her sister brought over some videocassettes. it was a lot of jim carrey and steve martin movies (marlene likes them) and 3 goldie hawn films (housesitter, butterflies are free and protocol). she really didn't know goldie's movies. she knew who goldie was from interviews on tv and in magazines but she doesn't think she'd ever seen a film with goldie hawn.

the movies made her laugh and as she watched them over and over, she decided that was what she wanted her daughter-to-be to be like. 'some 1 who may make a mistake, but picks herself up, has a sense of humor and is going to get through life just fine.' that's why goldie is named goldie.

that may be 1 reason goldie is so cool but 1 reason for sure is the fact that she's got an equally cool mother. by the way, whether her husband took care of it himself or got some 1 to, the cable was back on when she and goldie came home from the hospital. marlene says, 'of course that only happened after i'd given birth and realized iwas making a lot out of the lost envelope.'

kpfa's flashpoints tomorrow (they've had a great week). janis karpkinski is being interviewed by dennis bernstein right now. if you read this and think, 'i missed it!' remember you can hit either link at the start of the sentence and listen to an archived broadcast.