There were only a few types of doors. The desperate poor resented the intrusion by the bourgeoisie into their jealously guarded space, and were further insulted by another invitation to privileged society commercially rescinded. They would see a cultural foreigner, an unfamiliar creature from another world, divorced from adult responsibility, unconcerned with clipping coupons and the price of gasoline. Shame at their capitalist impotence was palpable. (This was Geneva, NY.) The conservative right happily welcomed the chance to grapple with their ideological adversary, all don’t-tread-on-me, drowned-in-a-bathtub outrage. Bored by their static companionship, their eyes lit up with righteous disagreement. (This was some nameless suburb of East Rochester.) And finally, there were the guilt-stricken bourgeosie, eager for absolution from their industrialist sins. (This was well-heeled Brighton, and would be Ithaca too.) All were amazed at the left’s effrontery. Imagine the nerve, they would mutter inwardly. To approach me on my own property! As if this has anything to do with me! Few saw a person. Most were culturally embedded enough that they saw only a symbol.
But gripped with unwavering optimism, blind to their own inconsistencies, the group would ramble on. Selling indulgences, leaving a path of literature in their wake, pressing each with empty words of solidarity. Stranded thirsty by secularism, they did not see their proselytizing ancestors, nor their distant cousins across the sea. The religious parallels were unheard of. Ignorant of their brethren, they remained numbingly American.
Poor scattered people! All aching for community, for social intimacy, for release from paranoia and anxiety. Many contributions were fed as much by loneliness as by contention. So the organization was sustained by the same qualities it represented against.
Man, I miss Morocco... But I will be in Turkey soon. Close enough for now. I almost made it to Tetouan, but I can count Bursa on the Matt-map.