Calla Jones Corner
The author lives in Montecito.
I was in stitches watching Kamala Harris’ visit last month to a black woman’s crochet shop, in Alexandria, Va.
“There she goes again,” I laughed to myself. I was reminded of our now vice president’s visit to a black woman’s dress shop in South Carolina during the Democratic presidential primaries. Ms. Harris, in front of a mirror twirling in a coat as many colors as a coterie of sycophants, applauded for the cameras, insisting the item was made for her. Kamala bought it, like she does most fawning flattery from the left.
That was before Kamala withdrew from the primaries due to lack of financial and political support. The party had decided that being California’s first black attorney general, who had put a record number of young pot-carrying black men in prison, wasn’t as funny as she seemed to think during an embarrassing TV interview. Suddenly, Kamala was unelectable. Maybe America should have paid closer attention.
America has its own Madame Defarge. She is dressed in a dark pants suit, sometimes still hiding behind a black mask, looking over Mr. Biden’s shoulder, counting her stitches, always making an enemies black list, anticipating the moment when her feeble boss literally falls on his face. At least, Hillary’s most noticeable symbol of female strength changed her ubiquitous suit color daily. Maybe Kamala’s chameleon coat purchase was more than a fashion statement.
Here she was again. This time, she was insisting she had crocheted more afghans than she could remember since her mother insisted she put her “hands to work,” while sitting in front of the TV, awaiting “fweedom.” Flashing across my mind came the canny Madame Defarge, the Parisian tricoteuse, in “A Tale of Two Cities,” sitting in front of her wine shop, stitching the names of her intended victims of the French Revolution into her patterns.
I admit I consulted Cliff Notes to recall all the themes and symbolism Charles Dickens was weaving into his novel. Change, retribution, class conflict, fate, sacrifice, violence, oppression, social injustice, reversals of roles and revolution — they’re all there in “A Tale of Two Cities.” It’s been half a century since I had to read what was required for my generation.
It’s been even longer since I heard about “Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors” in Sunday school. The tale, recorded in the first book of Genesis, is about arrogance, vanity, jealousy, betrayal and a bratty kid who ignites a powder keg of emotions with historic consequences. I see our vice president reflected in the colorful tale. When we have a president who doesn’t mention God in a speech on National Prayer Day, I wonder if children are even learning biblical tales now?
Is insertion of Cancel Culture and Critical Race Theory into future generations’ education, robbing them of a literary structure that has enhanced an understanding of humanity for centuries? You bet! Were I a teacher asking a university student to write a paper about the relevance of “A Tale of Two Cities,” a story about the deceptive Trojan Horse in “The Odyssey” and another story in the Old Testament in our vice president’s sudden rise to her powerful position, most students wouldn’t have a clue. Just like our childish, churlish and clueless vice president.