About 400 protestors marched on downtown Denver yesterday. I’m planning on being at a candlelight vigil tomorrow night in Huntsville AL. We’re entering the fifth year of the Iraq War, the fifth anniversary of the war. “Anniversary” seems such an unfit word with all its trappings of celebration. There’s nothing to celebrate here. The front page of The Sunday Denver Post announces a lead article by Kevin Simpson called “Revived protests seek firm footing” and the top quarter of the paper is devoted to news on Iraq and on protests. There’s a picture of a scarf-clad woman protestor with a white band around her forehead and tucked under her aqua scarf: the band has the word “PEACE” in capital letters black-inked in. Two-thirds of the visual space of the front page, however, is taken up by an article with the title “A world of charm & contradiction,” and tells us that “In Oklahoma, the pageant circuit is queen — and an industry.” The picture of five competing teens in the Miss Broken Arrow Outstanding Teen contest is three times the size of the head shot of sixteen-year-old Amina Khan, the anti-war protestor.
Kevin Simpson’s article raises some excellent points (it’s also well written). And I want to talk about those points later, but I’ve got to get to my WAT meeting where we talk about how to set up a writing retreat that builds a community of teacher-writer-scholars who use technology in teaching writing. So the quotation from Colorado state senator Mike Kopp, who presented a pro-war position at the downtown rally yesterday, is particularly appropriate: “My sense is that (the anti-war movement) is small pockets inflamed by the blog world.” Hmmm. I’ll talk about this later, because it’s part of a central point Simpson makes in his article.