May 8, 2008 World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Moonalice poster by Chris Shaw
According to Moonalice legend, the Philadelphia branch of the tribe organized itself as a matriarchy centuries ago. The tribe didn’t know much about biology and nothing about estrogen. They just knew that putting woman in charge meant less war and more hemp production. And so it was until the Revolutionary War, when a bunch of very bright young men took over. From that point on, womenfolk — as well as the entire Moonalice tribe — were on the defensive. A few brave souls in Philadelphia, beginning with Betsy Ross, stood up for the matriarch, but few people listened until the very beginning of the 20th century. That’s when Philly resident Anna Marie Jarvis lobbied successfully for a holiday to honor the matriarchy on the second Sunday in May. She called it Mother’s Day and dedicated it to peace and feminism. The first Mother’s Day was 100 years ago tomorrow. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way Anna Marie’s values were replaced by those of Hallmark. Peace and feminism gave way to cards, chocolates, and roses. We honor Anna Marie as she honored her mom, a Moonalice chief of great repute.