Archive for April, 2002

Israeli arrogance

Monday, April 29th, 2002
Israel says it will only cooperate with a UN investigation if the following demands are met:

? Military and terrorism experts should be made full members of the investigating team

? The Israeli government should decide who the investigators can talk to and which documents it can review

? The investigation should not reach any conclusions

? The evidence it gathers cannot be used in any war crimes prosecution

Israel’s demonstrated arrogance and disrespect for international law is tantamount to an admission of guilt.  What is it that the US does not want to see here, since we seem to be ignoring the blatantly obvious?  Are we in denial that the US favorite in the Middle East has become a monster?  If they were strangling the flow of oil to the West, instead of strangling the life out of an insignificant nation, there would already be US troops in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. 

The truth is that we do not care if Israel commits war crimes against Palestinians. 

Apartheid in the Holy Land

Monday, April 29th, 2002
Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

A synopsis of Dr. Tutu’s remarks from his keynote address Occupation is Oppression, given in Boston at the Ending the Occupation conference on April 13, 2002, can be found at the Guardian.  Also check out this article in The Christian Science Monitor.

suffer the little children

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2002

Tell me please, once again, what exactly it is that makes these children evil.  Objectively speaking, I think it is grossly unreasonable of us to expect that these children will do nothing during their short lives in response to these injustices. 

If we want to continue to do nothing about the crimes committed against them, we should by the same token do nothing about the crimes that they commit.  This is absurd, to be sure, but it is certainly less absurd than what we do currently: cultivate for only one group of people the humane compassion that is rightly deserved by all people.

server logic

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2002
generating page(s)…

Look familiar? 

I hate to complain (no, that’s a big lie, I love to complain, so here goes…).  I’ve been watching the above little graphic for an hour.  And during that time I waxed reflective about the magic of push-button publishing.  You see, Blogger has several (at least) major pieces behind the magic.  For example, there is one piece which keeps a database with all my precious irreplaceable pearls of wisdom.  This is where they go when I push the ‘Post’ button.  There is another piece that takes those posts from the database and transfers them to my web-server, which was originally the most fascinating aspect of Blogger for me.  It was cool to do something on a blogger web page, and have the results emerge on my website. 

That’s the gimick that got me hooked, and before long, I was assimilated into the blogger community.  However, as I am wont to do from time to time, my affections eventually wandered; I began seeing Greymatter in furtive little trysts, and adolescent explorations.  We met in the safe and hidden confines fo my webserver, ftp-ing the nights away.  I revealed nothing to my faithful friend, blogger.  But it didn’t work out.  Greymatter is one hot piece, (of software), but things got complicated, and I guess I wasn’t in it for the long haul.  The mysterious ones are the most attractive, but they require the greatest committment.  I just wasn’t at that place with gm.  Except for just one more fling I had with gm, it has been blogger and me for the past two years.

It wasn’t really one thing only that led to this.  It never is.  There’s a malaise, a general lack of novelty, a challenge, passion, and payoff that is just not there anymore like there was when me and blogger began.  It’s not actually over yet.  Though I no longer love blogger we are, you might say, still co-habitating.  But I am seeing another program.

MovableType, apart from having a cool name, isn’t ‘out there’ as much as blogger; he stays home, on my server.  He’s more accessible than Greymatter.  He does it for me.  With blogger, depending on what interface I am using?editBlog page, the blogThis popup, or the API products, to name a few?there is at least two servers involved in that process apart from mine, more likely there is a chain of blogger servers, any of which can (and do) go down from time to time.  And when a server goes down on me, it is nothing like when that happens in a human relationship.  It does NOT make me happy.  It really comes down to simple logic (don’t we always say that when we are about to break someone’s heart?).  The fewer opportunities for failure between me and a published page, then the more likely I can publish when I want to. 

If, or when, I finally do leave blogger, those will be my reasons.  I will miss the tempermental servers; I have grown kinda fond of their antics.  And I will miss the connection to the blogger community, though that will turn out to be, I think, less of a loss than I now anticipate.  I won’t be gone and neither will they, but still, moving-on is hard.  And if there is any consistency to my fate, once it is over for good I will realize like a hundred times before that I was nuts to leave, and that it was the best thing I ever had.

little tiny screams and moans

Monday, April 22nd, 2002

It is truly cuckie here.  Cold like winter, and wet, well, …like winter.  Isn’t this after easter already?  I mean, didn’t I see pastel bonnets weeks ago?  I know I saw bonnets…  It. Is. Not. Supposed. To. Be. Cuckie. At. The. End. Of. April.  (!)  Jeesh.

And this bronchitis…  I try to take a nap, and with every exhalation, I hear at the very end, tiny old men, in my chest?hundreds of them?making little tiny screams and moans.  They sound so sad.

I can’t even focus on a blog entry.  I sat down hours ago to record the tremendously insignificant events of my day.  A simple task.  Instead, I ended-up with that flag rant!  It was like, my scanner just d-r-e-w my face to its glassine surface?and to the impossibly bright light thereunder?as inevitably as gravity draws a meteor to its brilliant demise.

So, I went to my bankruptcy hearing today.  It is called a ‘meeting of creditors.’.  It seems to me that there are never any creditors at these things.  There were at least five bankruptcies being processed in the hour that I was there, and not one creditor.  Not that I am complaining.  But I wish I knew that earlier.  I was a wreck worrying.

It’s a slick process.  One guy from the US Bankruptcy Court, the Trustee, is there sitting in the front of a big room at a huge table.  He has a tape recorder, and a cell phone.  He asks if you have read this or that form, and asks if you understand it.  He does this for about a dozen forms.  One scary thing: He asks if you have read the notice on the door of the hearing room, and do you understand it.  That notice, in giant red letters, says something about firearms and weapons not being allowed in the hearing room.  I don’t know what I would have done with my sawed-off had I inadvertantly brought it.  There’s no court officers, and just this little guy at a big table with a cell phone.  I wonder if getting you on tape saying that you have read and understood the firearms prohibition somehow makes you more culpable than if you just walked in and blew someones head off without making any such statement. 

He then rattles through a pro-forma interrogation of the petitioner, and schedules the case for discharge of debts two months later.  There’s no robes, and not even many suits.  It was scheduled at 10:30 AM.  I woke up sick as hell, crawled there, sat waiting for my lawyer, and trying to keep quiet the old-man chorus in my chest.  My lawyer was representing three of the five petitioners at the 10:30 session.  Bankruptcy law is apparently a brisk business. 

I walked home, changed clothes, and shivering, I put on my little cap and sat down to write a simple blog entry.

Flag

Monday, April 22nd, 2002

This is my answer to all the blind American nationalism.  I have nothing against generic nationalism, the gentle kind, sans bloodlust.  But blind nationalism ala USA says I’m better than you because I’m an American.  I find that nauseatingly juvenile.  Maybe I’m just being contrary, I mean, some of those cheap, shredded, filthy plastic flags that hang pathetically off nearly every car antenna were put there by moderately well-intentioned people.  Placed with the same ubiquity and ‘mindfulness’ as the antenna standard are the flag bumper stickers and flag window decals, which number at least twice the population of this country.  Where is the nationalism in flying a disgracefully neglected, dirty, torn US flag?as do most of the businesses where I live?  It seems everybody wants to appear patriotic; perhaps this obsession with patriotic appearances is ebbing.  One can only hope.

Maybe it is just a matter of taste, but I am gagging on the overstatement.  This flag saturation is pernicious; it seems to implement the particurlarly emetic slogan of George Bush, “You’re either with us or you’re against us,” implying that my choices are to be either an American, or a terrorist.  It implies that I, flagless, possess suspicious intent, questionable patriotism, and perhaps I even have treasonable designs.  As a mere mark to signify one’s concurrence with the prevailing tribal mood, I suppose it works.  But this mindless flag-plastering fails miserably to promote anything, least of all the flag.  The US flag symbolizes a living nation that has historically defended the individual’s freedom to act contrary to the majority’s sentiment; it represents a brave nation that more often than not, and at grave cost, has sought justice; and despite everything, the United States flag flies over a young nation that once made a revolutionary assertion to the world: human rights preempt state’s rights.  The flag represents things about my country which I describe now more with hope they might resume, rather than assurance that they persist.

These US flags, in their proliferation, seem to represent something warlike, inhumane and divisive.  I won’t sport one.  I’m not with you, Mr. Bush.  But I am not against America. 

Dear Diary,

Sunday, April 21st, 2002

Hi. 

Hello.  So, you’re going back to work today?

Yup.  It’s hard to go back, after so many days off, but it’s only for today.  Then I work Tuesday and I’m off again Wednesday.

They’ll want you to work OT on those days off.  Everybody is sick, the place is falling apart…

No.  I’ll Just say no.  I may be going back, but I am still sick.  Hell, I was wheezing and gurgling and coughing constantly; I couldn’t even breath enough to keep my lips from turning blue two days ago.

You thought you were going to die, didn’t you. 

Yah.

You’re still scared of it, dying I mean.

Hell, I could die any minute.  I just don’t want to die not being able to breathe.

You just don’t want to die.  And it’s not because you want to live, it’s because you’re scared to die.

Well, …yah.

Work on that.  It’s no way to live life.

Yah, I know.  Hey thanks, I gotta go.  See ya,

joe.

webserver stats

Saturday, April 20th, 2002
 
reqs: search term
----: -----------
  10: story
.  7: true
.  2: with
.  2: sister
.  2: is
.  2: aids
.  2: chainlink
.  2: burgwinkel
.  2: fence
.  2: bike
.  1: children
.  1: dildo
.  1: why
.  1: seat
.  1: of
.  1: brother
.  1: aunt
.  1: joe
.  1: living
.  1: that
.  1: dealing
.  1: in
.  1: firefighter
.  1: sex
.  1: semen
.  1: all
.  1: chocolate
.  1: masturbate
.  1: caffeine
.  1: sugar
This week’s search terms, courtesy of analog.  (Strung all together, it’s quite a story!)  

the insignificance of killing boys

Saturday, April 20th, 2002

This line was tagged onto the very end of an article in The Guardian. 

Elsewhere in Gaza and the West Bank, the Israeli army shot dead seven Palestinians, including two boys, nine and 14, during a curfew, and two gunmen said by Israel to have been trying to infiltrate a Jewish settlement.

Say what you like; it was accidental, the boys shouldn’t have been where they could get killed, or children can be suicide bombers, too.  Select whichever line suits your audience.  The fact is that young men and boys are the targets in Israel’s crusade to dominate Palestine.  Especially boys.  Israel has been cultivating a taste for homicidal rage within the ranks of its military for decades, and it is using those killers now to quash any base for future dissent from or resistance to their almighty will.  Why is it virtually always Palestinian boys that are killed this way?  I don’t know why the girls are not savored targets, as are the boys, but I suspect in the Israeli military’s cold calculations, the girls don’t count as much. 

Apart from and exceeding the outrageousness of Israel’s boy-murder spree, is this world’s blas? lack of interest in the news of such atrocities.  Sure, Baby Bush is calling for an investigation into the alleged crimes at Jenin.  Big deal.  His call is disingenuous; Bush seeks only to rehabilitate the image of his most significant ally in the Middle East.  And I fully expect the investigation will distribute the blame (if any) not based on real proof or the real culpability of the parties, but instead will dole out the blame in exact inverse proportion to the amount of power each party holds.  The powerless Palestinians will be blamed the most for the Jenin massacre; the hot headed Israeli’s will get a little blame; and the Americans, of course, will get none.

And after all the posturing, theatrical incredulity, and histrionics, we tack on to the end of the story, almost as an insignificant aside, they murdered two more little boys.  And now for the weather…

Grief
Palestinian Usaid Khalid bursts into tears as he mourns for his brother Ihab, killed during the fighting with Israeli forces. His body lies in the yard of al-Baik mosque, which has been turned into a makeshift emergency hospital in the old city of the northern West Bank town of Nablus\; Monday April 8.
Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis, AP ‘,CAPTION,’www.guardian.co.uk’, LEFT);” onmouseout=”return nd();” onclick=”window.open(‘http://www.guardian.co.uk/Guardian/gallery/image/0,8543,-10304389890,00.html’, ‘GuardianUnlimited’, ‘width=525,height=525,resizable=no,scrollbars=no’);return false;”>

It is all business as usual, imperial egos, money and power.  And though it feels like it will never change, it will.  Indeed it will.  Not in our current lifetimes, certainly, but when humankind grows-up a little more, and a little more, and a little more, things will be better.  I understand well the despair and rage of suffering beneath cavalier cruelty and breathtaking injustice.  And when facing one’s own destruction at the hands of another, ignored by a world that apparently could care less, I know how tempting and seductive it is to choose to go out in a blaze?or an explosion, taking some of that world along?rather than die quietly. 

I don’t know what part is played by such outrageous passions in the growing-up of the world; and it is not our place to know.  But it is our place to care, and care deeply, tearfully.  We should not ignore our anguish at these events?but I believe we will.  Until another life.

breathing reX

Saturday, April 20th, 2002

Woke up feeling pretty good, thought the bactrim the doc gave me yesterday was kinda miraculous.  When I went to work it all came back, so I stayed for an hour gurgling and coughing incessantly, then came home.  Ate.  Slept, a little.  Spent hours reading the archives of reX.’s raMbles…, and now I am here.

I love reX.

The chest cold, now anchored firmly in place, is beginning to take the defensive and no longer commandeers every breath I take.  As its tribute, it now demands only two or three minutes of uncontrollable coughing out of every hour, instead of the 20-minute episodes it demanded yesterday.  My head, however, is behaving somewhat like a baggie full of jello with great globs flopping either this way or that, depending, I surmise, on nothing less fickle than my position relative to the direction of the earths rotation.  In one instant my sinuses feel like cathedrals and my hearing is so acute that I can follow a conversation in the street a block away.  The next instant I am deaf, and The Blob has grown to fill all the cathedral space, and is threatening to invade the town.

I told them not to expect me at work tomorrow.  I can say, like president, Jr.?except I have justification?that this will be a long term proposition.  I may try to return Sunday; that would make for only four missed work-days.  Or I may set my sights on Tuesday (I have Mondays off) and make it an even week.

And allow me to suggest that you visit Front page to the life of the boi on the cam’,CAPTION,’www.rexsworld.com’, LEFT);” onmouseout=”return nd();”>reX’s site.  The cam on the life of the boi’,CAPTION,’www.rexsworld.com’, LEFT);” onmouseout=”return nd();”>webcam is interesting, but he writes with absolute sincerity and brutal honesty.  Much of what I discovered in his archives touches on familiar names, themes and images from the year and a half during which I was obsessed with him daily, even hourly.  But even for the uninitiated, reX tells life of the boi on the cam’,CAPTION,’www.rexsworld.com’, LEFT);” onmouseout=”return nd();”>a story, in days, of joy and tragedy and love and heartbreak and hope.  Above all else reX is delicately sensitive, and exquisitely humanitarian.  I don’t know what he gets from putting up on the web his cam images, his voice and his words, but he cannot possibly have any idea how much he gives to us by doing it.  Personally, I am moved to tears, as well as inspired by great gusts of hope, over and over again by his faithful sharing of his life.  I love reX dearly?and we have yet to speak.

phantom updates

Friday, April 19th, 2002

I’m tweaking my template (even still), and blogger apparently pings weblogs.com for each tweak even though there is no new post.  Sorry if you have come here seeking newness and been disappointed. 

letter to Israel

Thursday, April 18th, 2002

Excerpt from the Independent News:

I emphasise that I and the vast majority of Palestinians support Israel’s right to exist in safe, secure borders. This must be alongside a sovereign Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital. You have a choice to make. Either security and security, or military occupation.

Amid the ruins of Jenin, the grisly evidence of a war crime

Thursday, April 18th, 2002

Independent News

bronchitis

Thursday, April 18th, 2002

Been coughing and wheezing for five days.  Deep down in my lungs I can hear the fizzing-gurgling of stuff that shouldn’t be there.  It seldom emerges, even after an hour of deliberate effort to tear it loose and spew it out.  Because of the concurrent head cold which I am also enjoying, each rib-cracking cough of my chest cold makes my head feel like the homerun ball at the end of a slugger’s bat.  I am up to about 50 grand slams today; there must have been thousands yesterday.  I start the day with a swig of cough syrup and 7 ibuprofen.  Please write and tell me how foolish I am, how I should not even be allowed to have medicine if I am not going to follow the rules and make nice, how I deserve to be sick, to suffer and to die because I do what I feel like doing instead of feeling like I am told to feel, how commie, liberal, terrorist, pinkoe fags like me…  Well, you get the picture.  And really, don’t get your panties all in a bunch; I have an appointment with the doctor in an hour.  Maybe he’ll give me some psych meds, too.

I thought that I was all better when I got up today.  Tuesday night, my coughing and wheezing woke me from a sound sleep several times. ; Not so last night.  I woke with nary a gurgle.  Considered calling the doc’s office and cancelling?too late for that, I decided.  Then I began rehearsing how I would explain my lack of distress during the appointment which I so urgently requested yesterday.  But soon the hack woke up too, and I was barking all over the house, and collapsing into a kind of combat crouch which I have developed for these episodes of sustained, explosive coughing.  So, we’re off to see the wizard…

cry

Thursday, April 18th, 2002

And this (from days ago?I have to stop reading sites in reverse!) is so very sad.  You made me cry.  Again.

There are many trite things available to say; none of them help.  Cry.  Break stuff.  Make the neighbors wonder if you’re not unstable.  Then laugh at the neighbors, and go buy better stuff. 

Oh, and get drunk.  (Was that trite?  I’m sorry if it seems so, but I really mean it.).  Margarita’s or Martini’s, vodka Martini’s.  Mmmm, I’d forgotten why I like tragedy so much.