Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Run

A few students met me in New Haven for the 5K run for refugees sponsored by integrated refugee and immigrant services. They got lost on the way so began the race 40 minutes after I had finished. Even so, they sent a photo to show they did, indeed, run in support of migrating new Americans.

Over 700 runners ran to show support of the 28,000 relocated families in Connecticut. The first half of the race was completely uphill and the second half complete down hill. I climb well, but on the way down I got behind a man with too much cologne and a woman with too much perfume. That simply causes me to get a headache and to lose my lungs. We are running and sweating you really need to smell good?

And the rest of the day was spent prepping for the week, writing grants and trying to catch the Super Bowl as much as I could. I think my approaching 40 has me sentimental. The Clint Eastwood commercial, "It's half time America" coupled with Madonna putting on a half time show made me a little nostalgic and sad. I am not sure about the half time performance, but I will give her credit for trying to hold onto her youth as long as she can. In a weird way (not to be Chicken Little), it seems that both Clint Eastwood and Madonna - symbols of the United States during prosperous times - were both hanging on to what "once was" and is "no longer." Times change. I am not sure the U.S. has built a sustainable society: real estate, schools, higher education, bank bail seems the infrastructure may be collapsing. I appreciate the optimism they exuded, though. Rebuild. Reinvent. Try again.

I would love to see a resurrection of good times: industry, employment, happiness, work, and American pride, but I wonder if the nation is beat up. Actually, I think the nation is strong, but at some point people will begin to revolt against the inequities, the crazy abuse employers have on workers, and the high costs of everything - a family making over $65,000 a year should not have to struggle to find food and pay bills. Yet, this is what is happening. Not that I wish it, but the Berlin Wall fell when communism showed it no longer worked. I wonder if capitalism will follow. I do not think it will, but it might. With capitalism comes democracy. We desperately need democracy and to share our voices, otherwise only the wealthy are heard: GE's commercial and Madonna's "Like a Virgin" are only possible because everyday people invest in them as products.

It's just the Super Bowl. One commercial can fund an entire nation or at least be invested in closing the achievement gaps in the U.S. Nope. That is not the American way.

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