It's always weird being out of town on a Thursday, when The St. Louis American hits the streets. I identify strongly with the print edition, which I edit - the website, not so much. Like a lot of smaller newspapers, we went online with a template we bought, and no one is ever that excited with a template, including our online team, who do a great job with the hand they've been dealt.
But I'm miserable when I don't work on an edition of the paper. It always feels like losing an opportunity to make a difference, personally. So I worked as much on this edition of the paper as any other, despite being on vacation. I even was phoned into all of the editorial meetings. The biggest difference was not getting the pleasure of holding the physical object in my hands this morning and paging through it.
The state primary on Tuesday was the big story, and I'll stand by my analysis of the outcomes of the statewide races. I was most pleased, personally, with the victory of Clint Zweifel. In fact, I wish he were running for governor, rather than state treasurer, and that Andria Simckes had won the nomination for treasurer. As for Jay Nixon, well, we are talking about Missouri, which means a guy like me is not going to get anywhere near anything he wants.
I'm also very pleased with our publisher for running with my idea for our editorial, which calls out a large number of unnamed male politicians and operatives (black and white) who underestimated the women candidates in this election cycle. This Missouri Democratic primary was something of a battle of the genders. It kind of underscored the Obama/Hillary thing, which seems - unbelievably - to not be over yet.
I do wish Hillary supporters would get behind Obama, and as a journalist I may be driven to play hardball tactics toward that end. But the male undervaluation of women is so pervasive that - as desperately as I want to elect Obama as the next president - in a way I can't quite blame women for playing endgame politics on this one. I just hope they don't, because I don't want to be on the other side of that endgame.
The person mulling this over, mind you, is a white guy who identifies, not only with black folks, but with black womenfolks. Of all the novels I have read that made the most sense to me - I mean, that most helped me to spec out my own identity - first on the list would be Sula, by Toni Morrison, which is basically about two black women. I'm secure in my masculinity, and I've noticed that I'm not black, but the dialectics of identity and consciousness set forth in Sula were a revelation to me, about me.
And I've been running around for fifteen years in a band (Three Fried Men) named from a phrase in a book by another black woman, Zora Neale Hurston. Go figure.
That said, I'm not particularly idealistic about woman. They seem, on average, every bit as dangerous and flawed as men - and equally powerful, in their own ways, which is why they are just as dangerous. I've often said: If women ruled the world, there would be less war, but more suffering. That's a joke, but I think Rodney Hubbard, Tony Condra and Mike Roberts Jr. know what I'm saying today.
That photo is of my heroine Zora Neale Hurston at the 1937 New York Book Fair, from The Library of Congress.