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Not An Auspicious Dream - nhpeacenik
nhpeacenik
nhpeacenik
Not An Auspicious Dream
On Christmas Eve I fell asleep after a comforting  night of singing with friends and dreamed an unsettling dream. I guess my subconscious had perceived that these pleasant local realities are dwarfed by a sequence of disastrous choices being made in the political arena, and cooked up something quite horrifying but almost plausible.

At the start of the dream, my daughter was traveling with me in a camper, and we had some adventures that I don't remember very well. At the end of the journey, we had stopped at U Mass Lowell to hear a speech by the Chancellor, Marty Meehan (in some sense my boss in real life), who has been announcing a series of grandiose building campaigns along with layoffs, fee increases  and program cuts in the actual academic work the University is supposed to be doing. Needless to say, I think he is making a lot of mistakes. I am also upset with the direction of the Copenhagen talks, the Afghanistan escalation, and the so-called health-care reform package. It feels like those in authority, even those I trust most, are all in the process of betraying us, at the urging of the big corporate interests and the military.

In the [dream] speech, Meehan said he was going to open a nuclear weapons plant on campus and sell weapons to the government to pay for the building programs. I was outraged; the US has more nuclear weapons that it knows what to do with and the genuinely humane  leaders of the world are trying to convince Pakistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea to surrender theirs. Meehan left before I could ask a question. My daughter  and I went back to the camper and lay down to sleep, but in a couple of minutes, in came Marty and lay down on a vacant bed across from me. I woke up before I could do anything, but the situation at the end of the dream  pointed to mayhem or murder.

The proposal for the University to go into nuclear weapons production makes a certain kind of twisted sense, since it recently shut down a minuscule research reactor and the containment building is still there. The University has bought a sports facility and a hotel recently and backs a proposal  to build a boulevard through an area where subsidized housing units now stand, further gentrifying the city. Why not get into yet another peripheral and largely destructive project fraught with corruption?

Of course it's not just Obama and Meehan, it's also my Senators and Congressman and the Democratic governors and legislatures of the two states where I live and work... they all seem to be cutting supports for necessary human services and making deals that enrich giant corporations, and at all levels, it seems like nobody cares what happens to poor folks (read: most of us), or  the future of the planet we all share. Maybe these realities are leaking into your dreams too? That  the dream version of Meehan came to rest in our humble camper with us points to the reality that we really are all "in the same boat". If I had been able to turn my dream lucid and stay in it, I would have conversed with him and convinced him to back down on this hair-brained scheme.

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