Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Lieberman Ripple

It is a beautiful afternoon, Madison is a beautiful city and the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood is one of our archetypical communities. For a number of years the neighborhood association schedules a Jazz In The Park day and so Lola and I decide to spend the late afternoon with some live music on the edge of Lake Wingra.

This near west side area is a Democrat enclave and I would not be surprised if Party membership is a deed restriction. These are the people who have kept Fred Risser in state government since 1956. Back in 1881 former Governor Washburn donates his Edgewood estate to the Dominican Sisters to provide Catholic educations. In 1945, in the aftermath of WWII, a number of Jewish settlers move to the area eventually founding Temple Beth El. Over time, non-judgmental community empowerment sets deep roots in the marsh lands.

This year, merely meters away from the Synagogue, clusters of citizens are proudly wearing their “Hands Off Iran” buttons. Then in the public remembrance of the late union activist and festival founder is a plea for the community to cherish the ideals of the ancient Greek city-states, where citizens debate and decide on the issues of war and peace. The thought crosses my mind that perhaps a Lieberman ripple is passing through Madison.

Then observing the men and women associating freely in shorts and summer wear, enjoying cold bottles of beer and sparkling wines, listening to music and playing with dogs, it strikes me that this glorious afternoon would absolutely be prohibited in Iran. Of course, we have our community and those far away Persians have their own cultural ways that should be respected. Besides, the park signs warn the serious approaching danger is foreign mollusks.