An Interview With Howard Zinn
We’re fooling ourselves if we think that, because we don’t have a totalitarian system or a military dictatorship, we have a real democracy with free elections. How hypocritical it is of the United States to demand that other countries have free elections, when we ourselves have elections that are not free.
However hateful they may be sometimes, I have always loved the movies. When I began reading and studying history, I kept coming across incidents and events that led me to think, Wow, what a movie this would make. I would look to see if a movie had been made about it, but I’d never find one. It took me a while to realize that Hollywood isn’t going to make movies like the ones I imagined. Hollywood isn’t going to make movies that are class-conscious, or antiwar, or conscious of the need for racial equality or gender equality.
At first it was just another dream that floated out of the sixties, a time of many dreams. There were dreams of peace, of social justice, of people working together and living together and sleeping together and getting high together and making music together. Our particular dream was to move to the country and produce radio.
Back home Nimbus curls up beside Cirrus on the sofa. Norma heads out to the garden to do some weeding. I put on a fresh pot of coffee and open the Sunday newspaper. I’m still on page one when the phone rings. It’s my daughter Sara. There’s something she needs to tell me, she says, her voice a little unsteady. She pauses. It’s about Mara.
But adrenaline, my old friend from early motherhood, has come back to me, and I have taken up with her. I let myself be seduced by her charms, grab her hands for a tango, even though I know her game, the way she sticks around just long enough to see me through everyone else’s crises and then splits when I really need her.
I have many memories of my grandmother, and I hate them all: Sleepovers at her house with my cousins. Trips to Sunset Beach. The sickroom smell of Kool menthols. Vodka bottles in the toilet tank. My father’s old board games in the closet. A worn, overstuffed recliner that had belonged to my grandfather.