Archive for January, 2003

george

Friday, January 31st, 2003

This is doublespeak.  There is no need to consult your old tattered copies of 1984, just turn on CNN and watch with stunned disbelief as the president of the United States makes real Orwell’s 1984, by Eric Blair, aka George Orwell.’,CAPTION,’www.orwelltoday.com’);” onmouseout=”return nd();”> fictional nightmare

I don’t know who I am, or where I live, or what the purpose of my life is supposed to be, any more.  This is almost too tragic to be true. 

Almost.

big bully

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

In this article, John Moyers catalogs some of the most glaring deceits perpetrated by our servants in high government.  My problem is this:  What the hell is to be done besides the writing of Op-Ed pieces which merely chronicle the abuse?  Doing so does not even cover the story completely.  I realize there is a space and time limitation; not everything which is wrong can be addressed or digested in a 1000-word editoial.  But highlighting only the most prominent obscenities, like the breathtakingly Orwellian Total Information Awareness program headed by a convicted felon, or the blatant paying off of big business through refunds of the Corporate Minimum Tax, or the hijacking of the judiciary for political gain, or the naked adventurism of prosecuting a war for the achievement of very dubious objectives—these stories are only the whitecaps on the surface of a catastrophic flood, which has already washed-away many of the freedoms of people like you and me.  Highlighting these stories distracts us from recognizing the greater underlying disaster. 

Even now, when so much damage has already been done, still there are no demonstrations in the street.  As I sit and type, my country lies quiet; there are no bullhorns, no searchlights, and there is no sound of boots outside my door.  Some might say that my ability to say these things without arrest is proof that our democracy is viable, and that dissent is still protected.  I might say that it proves my point; that the government which strips our freedoms does so with the consent of the governed and therefore has no need to fear informed dissent. 

There is a catastrophic tide among us, sweeping the majority aside for the benefit of a few, and we are complicit in its success.  That disaster is the real story.  The population elected these monsters.  Citizens have tolerated their abuse of constitional authority with nary a whimper, often taking up the abusers’ cause and helping them justify their crimes.  In a call to a BBC radio program last week, a Colorado woman cited the September 11 terrorist attacks as justification to invade and conquer a sovereign nation.  Again.  Iraq has no more connection to the terrorist attacks than Germany; the al-Qaida cell in Hamburg helped plan the attack.  I couldn’t listen long enough to find out if she wants to attack Germany as well—I shut her off. 

They are Muslim.  They are Arab.  And they have the oil.  These are the reasons that the current Great Empire will attack them.  Iraq will never be able to damage us as much as we have already been damaged from within.  The land of the free and the home of the brave is neither any longer.  We have abdicated our freedoms either in favor of our 401(k) accounts and our personal wealth, or because we are too overwhelmed with poverty to care much about freedom. 

And brave?  We are bigger and stronger than any of our opponents.  Of all the bullies I have ever known, I don’t remember any I would call brave. 

accessory to murder

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

The current American elite is the Third Reich of our times, although this distinction ought not to let us forget that they have merely accelerated more than half a century of unrelenting American state terrorism: from the atomic bombs dropped cynically on Japan as a signal of their new power to the dozens of countries invaded, directly or by proxy, to destroy democracy wherever it collided with American “interests”, such as a voracious appetite for the world’s resources, like oil.

You and I are accessories before the fact.

war

Wednesday, January 29th, 2003

I am depressed.  The fresh-face and bright-eyes of youth have given way to hairy ears and bad skin.  My faith and optimism from another time is now dark doubt and cynicism.  I may have chosen incrementally to make it so, but I don’t like it.  The beautiful earth is more paved and more poisoned than when I came.  The vale and stream, mountain and forest where once I met the Spirit is inaccessible to me now.  The trees and rocks are still there.  The clear, cold streams still flow and the air, on good days, is still fresh and pure.  But the things I have learned in life have left me inconsolable even in the presence of the Spirit, even in the gentlest, most tender hollows of Spiritplace. 

I am a lover.  As my beloved physical life deteriorates, soon to hang in ragged shreds, it thus reveals an invisible structure that never decays, which has always supported all that lives.  There is a memory of the pure, unsullied flesh, but everything tells me to let it go, that it is not the true object of my desire for it will one day be gone.  I love eternally, therefore the object of my love, once found, will be outside of time.  It will remain after these rocks and stones have ceased their song.  It will remain when this dear earth and all its blue beauty exists no more. 

And so not only can I tolerate, but I can participate in all the follies that life presents, both those caused by me as well as those inflicted by others upon me, for they cannot obstruct my contact to what really matters.  There are no obstacles, only distractions.  I need to write this down, for in the face of the horrors in which I participate today, I need the reassurrance of these words. 

luminous awe

Monday, January 27th, 2003
I am not surprised you oppose abortion, Robert. But the thing is, from your name, I suspect you are a guy. And since you are a guy, I assume you have a penis. And sorry, but if you have a penis, as far as I am concerned, you don’t have a vote on the issue. 

I revisited Tim’s journal for the first time in a long time today.  The excerpt is not indicative of everything he writes, it just tickled my latent matriarchal tendencies.  Tim was responding to a venom-spewer’s remarks left in his guestbook.  For three years his online journal has often inspired very vigorous debates, absent vitriol.  Despite the intensity of the discussions he inspires, it seems hate speech is a fairly uncommon thing in Tim’s guestbook. 

I forgot how much I love this guy.  He’s not always right.  He doesn’t know everything.  But I thank god that he writes as much as he does—I would never know him otherwise.  He has a true heart and a brilliant mind.  Such things as trueness of heart are found mostly in mythic characters like Superman, and Robin Hood.  And brilliance of intellect is, unfortunately, often seen in service to some very dubious endeavors, like advancing arch-conservatism, or prosecuting various military agressions.  To combine the light of a true heart with the light of a great mind is to illuminate the face of God. 

Please go there and read a bit.  If I could quote the whole thing here, I would. 

cute

Thursday, January 23rd, 2003



death of a statesman

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003

My friends tell me to stay away from the political rants here, they tell me that they prefer my nihilistic laments.  Perhaps I whine more eloquently than I pontificate, therefore let me take care as I wax political, just one more time. 

Where are you?  I am seeking the statesmen, the men and women who are leaders by virtue of their character, their ethics and their ability, not by virtue of their office.  Where are the people of integrity and humanity, like Bill Bradley the ex-senator from New Jersey, or Tom Daschle the Senate minority leader?  Where are the leaders who have a conscience, like Mario Cuomo, the former Governor of New York?  And speaking of Governors with a conscience, where has George Ryan gone?  Did he just save the lives of three-score death-row inmates, and decide to call it a career, retiring to the summer home and the history books?  And dare I even mention as example here the name which inspires sprays of venom from at least half my friends—Bill Clinton.  Sure he was a lecher.  But he was also one of the most able politicians to occupy that office, and he was one of the most socially moral—not moral personally perhaps, but to the best of his ability he tried to do what was right for you and me.  And what the hell is Jimmy Carter doing in South America?  Has he abandoned us as hopeless already?  I thought I was the only one who had given up hope of resisting fascism in America. 

Where are you?  Any of you who have influence and connections in government.  Any of you who have experience in the manipulation of power.  Any of you who have positioned yourselves to make a difference in this world, unlike me.  Where are you as we march to war now for no good reason, but only because the monied elite wants the oil? 

North Korea is not just rebuilding its nuclear arsenal because it was bored.  Being paranoid communists, they are reacting to the bald-faced agression that the United States is exhibiting.  Personally I often find wisdom hidden beneath the facade of paranoia, and this case is no different.  North Korea is a fairly puny opponent for the US military.  And even though Kim Jong Il has many very real and verifiable weapons of mass destruction, and will be an opponent, soon, the rhetoric from the White House continues to focus on the non-issue of how Saddam Hussein is threatening global security with his non-existant weapons of mass non-destruction.  In an interview with the BBC today, US Under Secretary of State John Bolton said “The UN inspectors haven’t found much, but we know better.”  Saddam has the oil.  Bush baby would like to justify the military agression that will happen in a couple weeks, but it will happen, with or without justification. 

You see, daddy Bush blew it.  He should have taken over Iraq when he had the chance.  I don’t know why he didn’t.  Maybe he thought that if he left the tyrant in power, the monied elite would push him back into a second term as president and in return, he’d give them Iraq.  George Bush, Sr. is a far better administrator of black-ops than he is a politician, and the powerful knew it.  Nobody said much about it at the time, but former Secretary of State James Baker, quite remarkably, did not come back from his international diplomacy games to run the 1992 re-election campaign for Bush the elder, as many thought he would.  And Baker was ostentatiously non-vocal in supporting a second term as president for George H. Bush.  However, he did take charge of the Republican party’s legal team in Florida in the contest over the election of 2000—for Bush the younger.  The affirmation sought a decade ago by daddy Bush comes, finally, to his son. 

Wherever you are, my mythical statesman-rescuer, you cannot save America now.  Maybe I should just leave.  There is no clear reason to leave the richest, most powerful and most agressive nation on earth, but there is something uncomfortable in staying.  I might do something rash—like run for office, and that’s a joke.  So where should I go?  You know, North Korea’s rockets cannot reach South America.  Neither can Pakistan’s, or India’s, or China’s.  If you see Jimmy, ask him if he’ll give me a lift to Venezuela next time he goes. 

listen

Tuesday, January 21st, 2003

You know your mind and don’t take any bull. At your heart you are cynical, sarcastic and unique… and prone to pessimism. Don’t shut out other people. Don’t drown out what you don’t want to hear with your own talk. Listen.

Which monkey are you?

Another pointless diversion from Bijouriel

not about mary

Friday, January 17th, 2003

What happens to that space you occupied when you are gone?  That space defined by all the things you kept close, by all the people who stayed close to you, what becomes of it?  Loved ones may try to fill it, preserve its form and shape the way you left it.  They will visit it often–at first–to prevent it from appearing unoccupied, vacant.  Abandoned.  But they all have their own spaces to occupy.  When you are gone they will each still have their own assortment of people and things which they hold close–except for one.  And that break in the line of love that contains them will need soon to be closed. 

Tell me where you go, so I can stretch these ragged ends of who I was with you, to rejoin you, and become me again, and so we won’t have this empty space in place of you. 

[not about mary]

interval

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

Just out of bed, and it’s already after 1:00 PM.  Woke at 9:44 AM and then dreamt of what it would be like to get up so soon after going to bed (at 6:00 AM).  Woke again at 10:47 AM and it seemed like a moment later.  And I thought I would get up then—not bad, before eleven.  I might even get something done before work.  I woke another hour later feeling guilty for avoiding conscioussness so much, but also feeling helpless to prevent the recurring waves of blissful sleep from engulfing me. 

The truth is that I have very little to do.  Outside of work, it is as though I rebound from the repetitive crises and constant chaos there to a pattern of numbness when I am not at work.  I relish the isolation of home.  I shun the phone, the doorbell.  I resent the occasional necessary appointment, the infrequent need to leave the house for groceries, or once a month to pick up a prescription. 

But I know I am dead.  When I am at work, my life is the railing scream of a newborn, or the tantrum of a two year old.  Away from the imposed interaction of the job I become the terrified victim, pale and feeble, incapable even of the mere entertainment of my hopes, much less the achievement of their realization. 

And so now time is up.  I have to leave right now for work.  This is the transition point, the moment in which I transform my defenses from passive and hiding to angry and seething.  Here I shed the robe of the unliving to don the armor of the dead.  Perhaps in the naked moment between the two, something unexpected will occur. 

upon the end

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

So now what? 

You know, a bad movie can do some good things.  Especially, when one is as emotionally fragile as I, one may perceive profound movement of things ancient and unmoved, even in a bad movie.  Perhaps I am not as fragile as I am labile; emotions shunned create a resevoir that presses evermore for release.  It is like a thing called Vedic sex, a kind of intercourse consisting of fortuitous flirtation with orgasm, to the very peaks of potency’s release—but without going over.  Ghandi did it.  Some guy, the one who writes Tales of a Slut, he did it.  And now maybe I do it, sitting here, with my fingers delicately floating upon the surface of these keys, the little eager upturned faces of each lexical awaiting my intention.  No matter how I touch them—a tap, a stroke, a punch—it is always a depression. 

So now what? 

This vicious little presence in which we live, it has no end.  No kiss the girl, save the world, tidy little rescue from upon the flaming lips of death sort of ending, like in Armageddon, the movie.  It just goes on. 

It is bitter cold outside.  The sidewalks are like emergences from between great snowbanks of a universal subterranian serpent all lumpy with tumors and coated with glass.  It is nothing so sinister.  It is the unshoveled snow left by uncaring landlords, melted and refrozen a dozen times this week, and preserving in the beauty of crystalized water the dirt and the injuries of a thousand passing boots.  Cars whine helpless in the middle of clear dry streets, having been stopped with their wheels upon an emergent patch of this serpent’s back, the hard, undulating, impermeable ice. 

Yet nothing could be so impermanent.  This hard ice will immobilize a fifty thousand dollar SUV and break the hips of unwary pedestrians.  But it will be cloud soon enough, watching us from above as it floats by in the bright spring sky, and crying down upon us in its most tender incarnation.  With great crokodile tears, it will again beg forgivness from the earth, pleading as with a lover to be absorbed and consumed by its beloved, one more time.  The downpour asks to be accepted, but it will come and have its way no matter what. 

And so is life; now ice, now warmth.  Impenetrable hardness and seperation becomes indissoluable union.  The passion of a moment becomes the seperation of a lifetime.  I do not contrast the two things, I equate them.  A moments passion can compensate a lifetime of seperation, it is that valuable.  I know such an equation seems trite and shabby, and with our moralistic minds we grotesquely distort what value things may have.  At some other moment or at some other place outside of time we may know something quite different from what we know now—I have had glimpses of perception incongruent with the standard view which makes me think this way. 

I discard people.  I do things with my body not considered safe nor moral.  I am so reckless with opportunities for love that an affair is a rare and special thing if it even gets under way with me.  And always my affairs, the few that I’ve had, wreck themselves upon siren-bearing rocks where I have chosen to go—perhaps irresponsibly.  I have done it so much that I have formed an uncertain opinion that I fear intimacy.  But often I am queasy about how easy that explanation is, that I am afraid of intimacy; I don’t really believe it.  What if disaster on such shores were the soundest choice of all?  What if responding to the call to venture out of the safe channels was more noble than obedience?  How would I have ever known certain agonies?  And who am I to say they were not ecstasy?  When upon the mountain’s top, the distance between the sides—between light and shade, right and wrong, pain and pleasure and agony and ecstasy and life and death—the distance is very short indeed.  Upon the mountaintop. 

And I do not just discard people out of contempt.  I don’t know why I do it, but I am certain it is not contempt.  I think it may be love.  Yes indeed.  I think, once long ago, I fell in love with my own disassociation from this world.  My breath was taken by the view it gave; my soul was liberated.  I could see from a place unlike the place I held within the world.  The place upon this earth where I began, the spot on this planet where I gained knowledge, experience, language; it was nothing compared with that place, that startling vantage point to which that first lover launched me.  That new perspective stirred in me a vague and shadowed memory of another place I had been, a place beyond this world, outside of time, veiled by tears.  Lonliness is a small price to pay for the things that lover did to me.  He was my uncle, and I was three. 

How can I not say he was my lover?  It has nothing to do with the sexual organs involved.  It has to do with liberation.  A lover is one who launches us into places where we would not have gone.  One cannot take such a journey in ease and comfort, so a lover is also one who causes pain.  It has ever so proven in subsequent experience.  I daresay the poet would agree.  In this sense the lover is not the boy who gets me off, although he could be such a lover if he did more than make me come.  In the sense I mean it, the lover is the one who changes us profoundly, permanently.  We needn’t like the lover, nor must the lover like us.  Indeed, most of the people in our lives who affect us intimately are people we would prefer didn’t touch us at all.  But they do.  The black man touches the bigot; the privileged annoy the poor (and vice versa); the closeted boy is terror-struck by the flamboyant drag queens parading on the news.  We all touch each other, in very intimate ways. 

I can have you all as lovers—I don’t need good looks, youth, a big dick, or money.  I need only courage. 

What if agony is just agony?  Pain, just pain?  What if good and bad are real things, not just vague assumptions?  Does that make such experiences absolutely avoidable, doomed to never be visited by the light of a conscious soul?  Why should I leave orphaned these experiences that all others shun, for no good reason that I can see?  Is the joy of life not the joy of ALL of it, is it only the joy of a few subjectively preferred parts?  What if these opportunities with these things are the only opportunities we will have?  What if death really is The End?  Maybe it’s because I have already been run through, and have already gained an uncommon perspective on life that makes me willing to experience, or rather, unwilling to forfeit these so called ‘bad’ experiences in life.  Maybe I just want it all. 

Give it to me.  Baby. 

Too Much Coffee heroMan

Sunday, January 12th, 2003

Every day that we make the choice to get up and put some piece of ourselves out in the world, we make a difference. A small one, sure. Immeasurable, perhaps—but it does add up. The human race advances not usually in giant leaps, but rather in a long string of innumerable small steps. So to some degree, we each walk in the shoes of heroes.
from artist Kieron Dwyer’s article appearing in TMCM

a good woman

Saturday, January 11th, 2003

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She was influential, affluent, and a powerful symbol promoting peaceful resistance in a brutal place.  Unfortunately, Israel is not equipped to prevail in a confrontation with peaceful resistance, and so she was murdered.  Passive opposition is the only weapon possessed by the Palestinians which can defeat Israeli efforts to eliminate all of them, which, from my perspective, appears to be exactly what Israel intends to do.  Israel will not accept co-existence with any Palestinians—even those who resist them only peacefully—but Israel will gladly accomodate the wishes of every Palestinian who prefers martyrdom to peaceful resistance.  Israel knows how to kill a violent Palestinian, and apparently Israel thinks that by Part 1: Attention builds over a slain civilian, article in the Christian Science Monitor’,CAPTION,’www.csmonitor.com’);” onmouseout=”return nd();”>murdering a peace-activist grandmother in the quiet afternoon sun, that it will inspire violence among Palestinians who might otherwise be peaceful, thus driving them as fair game into its field of justifiable fire.

. . . This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their opressors as well.  The oppressors, who oppress, exploit and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves.  Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both.

from

‘,CAPTION,’a good book’, LEFT, BELOW, WIDTH, 200, HEIGHT, 244, CSSOFF, BORDER, 1, BGCOLOR, ‘#000033’, FGCOLOR, ”, FGBACKGROUND, ‘/img/pedagogy.jpg’);” onmouseout=”return nd();” href=”javascript:opWin(‘http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0826406114/qid=1017736956/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-7251953-3944749’, ‘bookPop’, ‘toolbar=yes,menubar=yes,status=yes,left=5,top=0,width=800,height=800,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes’);”>Pedagogy of the Oppressed

I don’t follow the tragic events in the Palestinian territories as closely as I could; it upsets me too much. I can only hope that a movement of peaceful resistance will not die but grow and flourish among Palestinians as a result of this good woman’s death, disproving once and for all the cynical expectations of their oppressors.

now or never

Wednesday, January 8th, 2003

I offer this as an amplification to the last entry.  No, there isn’t.  This is it. 

bourgeois discontent

Tuesday, January 7th, 2003


Woke this morning vastly earlier than usual.  Indeed, I was up today at the same time that on other days I am just lying down. 

The cab driver finally returned yesterday and confirmed what I had not dared to hope—that he had been coming here but always when I was somewhere else.  As his absence increases, so increases my certainty that he has finally recognized the absurdity of his attraction for me.  Then he comes again, and I am almost convinced that his eager zeal has indeed been long pending, the result of a slowly steeped and strong desire.  It baffles me.  And he put me on my back this time; the burning in my strained muscles is a warm reminder. 

He’d said the place was hot when he arrived, but I hadn’t noticed.  After he left I had to crank the heat and I put on a sweatshirt and hat, too.  Though I’d only gotten up at noon, by eleven-thirty last night I was back in bed and swaddled thickly, snoring with a National Geographic laying open in my hands.  I dreamt of confusion about the time, of places I could have known and I dreamt of experiences I haven’t had.  I woke often in the night feeling my exquisite weakness without escape into the depths of unconscious sleep.  And at 6:54 AM, as hints of impending light revealed the sky, and as the landlord-grandson sprinkled salt outside on the icy walk, I gave up my night’s endeavor to escape, and made this coffee. 

Fleeting thoughts of making improvments to my slowly shredding physique, thoughts of massifying my spindly arms with push-ups, or trimming my stretching abdomen with sit-ups—these thoughts pass swiftly through the space of my consciousness.  Memories of a younger body, which I must have once had, linger somewhat longer.  And everything creeps along inexorably.  Sometimes the Grand Procession is so slow it is dull.  Let the lifetimes come and go, the thousands of existences that have been and are yet to come, let’s get them over with and move on.  All the societies and the cultures traipsing tediously through their predictable courses, let’s just get them done!  Steal all the oil and burn it all up and let’s move on to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.  Why can’t we just shed the facades and the artrifices that bind us to this glacial pace?  Let the pretenses go.  Let the growling sex-fiends fuck.  Let the imperialist warmongers murder.  Let the saints love.  Let the blond landlord-grandsons all do their chores and go to school and make their fortunes and get old and die and come back and do it all again, a thousand times again.  And let’s get on to whatever happens next… 

There is something.  Next.  Isn’t there?