Postings are in chronological order, with the most recent entry at the top.
re·cru·desce - to break out again after lying latent or relatively inactive
re´cru·des´cence n. - re´cru·des´cent adj.
confuddlement - I thought it up, you decide what it means
The world spins onward - Iraq, Liberia, North Korea, Iran, Hong Kong...
The thing about the world is - it's complicated. (And I figured that out all by myself!) It's like one of those brain puzzles that make you squint, because they tax parts of your cerebral anatomy that aren't used to being taxed. They make my sensitive cerebral cortex ache, as does running up against the limits of my knowledge which is what happens when I'm looking at the world and its affairs. I suppose I could spend my waking hours reading and learning about every corner of the globe and the histories thereof, but my partner insists that I need to do things like clip my toenails and go to work (she really hates when my toenails get too long)...
Considering this, there may be some wisdom in not paying attention to what all goes on in the world. Perhaps there is... but I know me, I'd peek - then I'd feel guilty and unwise and then I'd have to write bloggage on how I was an unwise guilty peeker and I just don't like the sound of that, so I'll need to try something else.
I could adopt a more Taoist-type outlook on the world, the "it all happens as it's going to happen so why get your knickers in a twist?" kind of view - I bet I'd have fewer headaches and my toenails would be in better shape if I did that.
It'd be like the pigeons. The pigeons on our porch are a given - an eternal constant, if you will. We can shoo them away, spray them with water, sprinkle pepper all over the place, destroy their eggs, twist and shout (have I mentioned that poison is illegal?) and they will always come back. Because no matter how disagreeable we make life for them here, if the woman who lives downstairs sets up nests and lets the disease carrying pestilence raise their offspring on her porch (you have no idea the number of synapses that I fried the day I learned that) - there is no way they will ever leave. As a matter of fact, they'll multiply. So I'm left with a choice, accept that pigeons are a universal constant, which I cannot control and can only marginally effect - or be pissed off all of the time.
I have decided to practice acceptance on the pigeons. I say practice acceptance, because I have discovered that - at least in my case - acceptance does not come easily. There are muscles involved - acceptance muscles - and you've got to work them out, build them up - until they're in good shape. Because, with little teeny acceptance muscles I'd have about as much chance at pigeon acceptance as I do making it through a presidential speech without drinking hard liquor.
This being the case, I must practice my pigeon acceptance. I do this by reminding myself - during moments of pigeon non-acceptance (like when I'm at the counter of the local gunshop asking, "Do you have something small? Something that wouldn't alarm the neighbors, but would take out a pigeon?") that I'm expending energy that would be better spent on a pedicure. The theory here is that over time, as my acceptance muscles grow, I'll be less agitated by the pigeons, less agitated in general as a result, and my toenails will be in great shape.
It's a theory...
One that fits into my previously mentioned Taoist-type outlook, or should I say my not-quite-Taoist outlook (because I really don't know anything about Taoism, except that it isn't pronounced anything like it's spelled) or should I leave the Taoists out of it altogether (I'm sure they'd be grateful) and just call it my Twistless Knicker World View?
However I call it, it's important for me to remember (so that I don't lose heart and give up and whatnot), that pigeon acceptance is to world affairs acceptance, what firecrackers are to dynamite. So I'm working my acceptance muscles out, but they won't be up to speed... probably for some time.
Note: Is there a rock group called Twisted Knickers? If there isn't, there should be. Any takers?
Excellent article: Intelligence Unglued by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (07.14.03): click here
I thought this exerpt from Intelligence Unglued and the section on The Games Congress plays laid it out nicely:
The fact that the forgery also crept into your state-of-the-union address pales in significance in comparison with how it was used to deceive Congress into voting on October 11 to authorize you to make war on Iraq.
It was a deep insult to the integrity of the intelligence process that, after the Vice President declared on August 26, 2002 that we know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) produced during the critical month of September featured a fraudulent conclusion that most analysts agreed with Cheneys assertion. This may help explain the anomaly of Cheneys unprecedented multiple visits to CIA headquarters at the time, as well as the many reports that CIA and other intelligence analysts were feeling extraordinarily great pressure, accompanied by all manner of intimidation tactics, to concur in that conclusion. As a coda to his nuclear argument, Cheney told NBCs Meet the Press three days before US/UK forces invaded Iraq: we believe he (Saddam Hussein) has reconstituted nuclear weapons.
And then there's:
Discussion of the administration's curious happenstance of collective amnesia: scroll down and click, Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction Update: Talk of the Nation (Audio, 7 min. 07.23.03): click here
Who's Unpatriotic Now? by Paul Krugman (07.22.03): click here
No big surprise, but it's ugly ugly ugly just the same:
A White House Smear by David Corn (07.17.03): click here
Creadibility - an important concept, no?
Passing It Along by Paul Krugman (07.18.03): click here
Cooking the books by Dan Kennedy: click here
Exerpt from Cooking the books:
Dotting the "i"s and crossing the "t"s is very important... sooner or later: Bush Stonewalling Will Bring On Probe by Thomas Oliphant (07.20.03): click here
Unlike Bush, Blair is eloquent and persuasive. But neither the British people nor the American people were told they were going to war to end Saddams horrendous human-rights abuses. They went to war because they were told that if they didnt, they were in imminent danger of being infected, gassed, or nuked. It wasnt true. And if Blair and Bush managed to convince themselves otherwise, it was only by ignoring the facts.
These exerpts concern the Jessica Lynch "story":
Article: Jessica Lynch Due Home After Media Hype on Heroism by Deanna Wrenn (07.22.03): click here for the whole article
"It no longer matters in America whether something is true or false. The population has been conditioned to accept anything: sentimental stories, lies, atomic bomb threats," said John MacArthur, the publisher of Harper's magazine.
and:"The failure here was that the news media got to thinking the government could be trusted to reflect reality," said Carolyn Marvin, professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication.
Good news and bad on the FCC front:
House votes to reverse ownership rule by Jonathan Krim and Christopher Stern (07.23.03): click here
"Republicans control this place and the last thing they are going to do is embarrass this president," said John Scofield, communications director of the House Appropriations Committee.
Nifty-keen, Ellen Degeneres has got a new show... or at least one is in the works (talk show type venture). Super. I'll be lookin' out for it. Now I just have to find my television again... I know it was somewhere in the front room... under something... maybe near the window... this may take a while.
It's been raining a lot in New England. This reminds me of this past spring when it was raining a good deal (the difference is in the details).
I was walking down the hallway of my apartment one day this spring and saw waves on the roof of my neighbor's house. I probably shouldn't have been as surprised as I was, it's a flat roof - slightly concave... and had been gathering water for a couple of days. But waves? That's a bit much.
And then I saw that there was a man on the roof pushing a broom. He'd been hidden, because of the angle I was approaching from. I felt somewhat better after spotting him. I mean, waves are all fine and good in their place, but somehow unnerving on the roof of a neighbor's house.
Maybe this guy can tell us what "confuddlement" means...
This is why I choose not to write on papyrus.
I mean, look what happened to Sappho, she's lookin' all moth eaten and ragged, no? Yes, that scrawl is by the lady of lady lovers herself. I swiped it from a cover of a Sappho book. It's a very scholorly text, that apparently takes the rolled eye approach to Sappho being a lesbian icon - "she wrote poems to men too", the author says... uh-huh, 'scuse my yawn. Why is it people don't get how starved minorities are to find even a glimmer of ourselves mirrored somewhere in sometime? We'll raise a dead greek possibly bisexual poet lady to the level of goddess if she freakin' puts "lips" and "woman" on the same bit of fragment... Okay, they weren't fragments when she wrote them (though that would make her a rather hip post-modern ancient greek lady... or a bit of a tease... or maybe it's the same thing...), that decay happened over time. One wonders how she'd be remembered now if that papyrus hadn't fragmented... would she have the same cache?
But it did fragment. And so we've got people makin' up stuff and imagining the life of Sappho, etc. Recently, I watched an interview of Erica Jong talking about her new Sappho book. She and Bill Moyers chatted for a good solid ten minutes and it was such a marvelous chat - mainly because they managed to do something I didn't think was possible - they talked for ten minutes about Sappho, passion, love, sex, fame and never once did they mention Sappho's sexual orientation. Now, I understand that serious discussions are above that sort of dirty business, but it's curious just the same - and down right hysterical. Such tawdry concerns... "This is a pure discussion, we're beyond the realm of the narrow confines of the culturally relevent and all that so cheapens modern discourse... We're talking about love, the power of sensuality to transform lives, not identity politics."
Regardless of her sexual orientation, Sappho wrote about women loving women - if these people are too preoccupied being learned to know how fascinating that is to us (homosexuals - people who were made invisible and voiceless for ages), then their eruditeness is lacking a significant portion of sense.
But just 'cuz Sappho wrote to women (hence the terms Sapphic and Sapphism), and the island she came from was Lesbos (hence the term lesbian...) doesn't mean that she ought to always be mentioned/bracketed within a lesbian context. After all, she did write poems to men too... And all of that lesbian stuff was probably a smear campaign orchestrated by a rival poet, who was probably the man she was writing the poems to, until she dumped him for a girl she saw bathing at the riverside...
I once came upon a translation of the Sappho fragments. I was a young page working in a library and I was in that ill used bit of the stacks where things dusty and poetic happened and I saw this slim volume that had the word "Sappho" on the binding. Being a young closeted lesbian I knew damn well who she was (though I have no clue how I actually knew... it's one of those apriori lesbain things perhaps... I think up to the point I came across the book, I'd heard the word "lesbian" spoken out loud maybe three times and there was no internet and homosexuals weren't all over television in an out and proud fashion - good information was a rare occurrance).
So, looking for clues about myself and this condition I had of glancing surruptitiously at Melanie Schmidt at lunch every day (she looked like a young Ingrid Bergman, I swear), I opened the book that purported to be by the woman I'd heard knew all about love and women loving women and was met with a curious finding - it was in code. Yes, code! There were some pages with as little as two words on 'em - and lots of blank spaces (this is how the fragments that remain of her poetry are translated). And here was me, looking for a user manual on all things lesbian. "Damn!" I said, "Nothing about this lesbian stuff is straightforward. It's all surruptitious glances, vague yearnings in Virginia Woolf novels and code! Bah! I suck at acrostics and I'm no good at crosswords, how the hell am I ever going to figure this out? And why does this lady write like Jonh Cage anyway? I thought his found words were supposed to be some kind of fancy new thing? He's just copying some dead greek lady."
I closed the book and continued to glance surruptitiously at Melanie over lunch. Until I had more to go on, information wise, I thought this the best course of action as it was the one that felt good (even if it was a tortured kind of good - but I was a sulky, pensive, overly serious adolescent so I couldn't aspire to a much better kind of predicament, really).
Yo! Here's a site that was designed for me! And nobody told me about it - what is up with that? This site is, well, fabu and they have a lesbian advice columninst called Mensa Girl (slay me). So here it is, the site for women who appreciate (...okay, lust after) brainy chicks - NerdSlut: click here - I'll probably never hear from you again...
They have a new Mensa Girl, but I liked the old one who burned out a while back. She was fun while at the top of her game and so I'd try her stuff first: click here
Also found dykewrite and am exploring there as well... click here and we may be downloading code simultaneously!
It's summer, I mean it's really summer! I can't tell you how badly I needed it to be summer. I've not really been in need of a season before - I've had a preference, yes, but not so much a need... Curious.
I've had that critical summer beach moment. Or maybe it's a water moment, not sure... but for me, it's being submerged in water and feeling so much removed from everything that is usual - and then surfacing in the water and looking back at the shore, bathed in gloriously warm sunlight (I like to swim in the late afternoon) and feeling a significant shift - an internal "ahhh", a smile of the psyche, if you will. Life is good.
And here is a poem that I believe all people whose attention is deficited to the point of disorder can truly appreciate:
The butterfly, a cabbage-white,
(His honest idiocy of flight)
Will never now, it is too late,
Master the art of flying straight,
Yet has- who knows so well as I?-
A just sense of how not to fly:
He lurches here and here by guess
And God and hope and hopelessness.
Even the acrobatic swift
Has not his flying-crooked gift.
To hear Graves read it himself (how freakin' cool is the internet?), click here and scroll down to Part 3
For more Robert Graves info than you could shake a stick at (if you were inclined to shake sticks at buttloads of information... which would be a curious kind of thing to be doing... not that I'm judging you or anything...): click here
For a quick peek at a few short poems: click here
Fun spoof preview of lesbian Dutch TV's fall season: click here
Hoo-ha! Heh. Another blow to the industry-owned FCC's decision to deregulate media ownership - the House appropriations committee (having been deluged with outcry type missives) says, "No, we don't think so..."
Keep up the pressure! Seems to be having some effect. Ha! Take that! And whatnot!
...gotta get that eye patch.
Congress closer to reversing media rules by Demetri Sevastopulo: click here
For those of us who've been astounded at the state of disarray in Iraq (I mean, they have wanted to do this for a very long time, oust Saddam I mean, so where the hell was their follow up plan? I'm sure the soldiers there would freakin' appreciate one), this article articulates how it may have come about - ignore the bad title though: article by Jim Lobe: click here
And now we get people in establishment journalistic venues actually questioning the process of how we got into the Iraq war... oh for Pete's sake people, it's a little late for that! And as this article I'm linking to argues - with Republicans in control of the House and Senate, not much is likely to come of any of the current revelations (besides G. Bush's panicked, "But God said so..." look). Remember how they dragged us through impeachment hearings because Clinton didn't quite technically screw an aid? What do you think they would have done to him if he'd fucked an entire country like Bush and the neocons have Iraq? Not to mention what they've done to our own country's credibility.
Pattern of Corruption by Paul Krugman (07.15.03): click here
Good one: 16 Words, and Counting by Nicholas D. Kristof (07.15.03): click here
Democrat Eyes Potential Grounds for Bush Impeachment by John Milne (7.17.03 07) :click here
It's the fourth of July! Whiz-bang! Gotta love a holiday celebrated with explosives, I do.
It's so nice to celebrate our independence. Let us harken back to those moments of origin... to that time when the French (remember them?) helped free us from the burden of taxation without representation. Ah, nothing like leaving an empire in style - the French know all about style and stuff like that (and if you're a young lady and don't tuck your shirt in and it's not nearly as tight as your skin they'll look at you funny - or at least they did several years back, for all I know, I may have started a trend there and women are wearing baggy, untucked t-shirts all over France now and older people are saying stuff like, "Zut alors! Look what ze Americans have done to us now! I can barely see her tits! Zis is criminal!").
Happy Independence Day!
Cape Cod vacation tally
|Mysterious bumps (not bites, not a rash)
|Scoped out by sporty statuesque blonde twenty-something
|Annoyed by sporty statuesque blonde twenty-something
|Stared at by inquisitive nine year old girl, three days running, at campsite
|Sighted a mat crochetted from Wonder Bread wrappers hung in a museum
|Sighted two eagles
|Ticks found crawling on person
|Tick spotted on tent
|Invented new tick checking game, "Nymph or speck?"
|Times walked up and down Commercial Street in Provincetown
Ume returned to the tent from the bathroom early one morning (it's a small hike across the campground). "Remember that white glowing thing we saw on the path last night when we came back to the tent from the bathroom?"
It had been dark and we enjoy walking in the brilliant starlight when we're out in the semi-nature of this delightfully wooded campground.
"Yeah," I said.
"I think that's one of your bras. I mean, I wouldn't have noticed, but it's one of the ones that... well, that does that nice thing to your cleavage."
In a flash I realized that it must be mine and that it must have gotten tangled in the shirt I'd worn to make the trek the night before. "Well don't just sit there woman, go get it!"
Another eventful vacation moment was when I finished my shower in the communal shower room (lots of showers separated into stalls with, yes, hot water! - swank!) and realized I'd forgotten my shorts in the car (I'd gone in in my bathing suit with a towel wrapped around my butt and was damned if I was going to have to put the suit back on). Decisions, decisions... The showers were adjacent to the recreation center (full, at that time, with boisterous teens), and I was parked in front of the playground - so waltzing out in my underwear was probably out of the picture. Besides, the shower stalls to either side of me were occupied by teeneged girls and I didn't want to be responsible for exposing them to a realistic body image - it'd warp 'em and whatnot. I mean, just think about it, if girls all over saw that you can be thirty-five and not be built of steel or skinny as a stick, but comfortably in-between, it might alter their brain chemistry or something. "But she doesn't look anything like the women in magazines... or like an actress... or like my mom... I wonder how she ended up looking like that... I'd better go throw up my lunch, just to be sure that doesn't happen to me..."
So I wrapped a towel around my ass and walked to the car. It's hysterical how social norms work, no? For some reason, it's fine to walk into a place wearing next to nothing (swim suit) and a towel. But it's somehow not quite right to walk out of the very same place wearing next to nothing (shirt and underwear) and a towel... Go figure.
We had a great time visiting our favorite haunts on the Cape. So much to see! I'm still reeling from the blur of beautiful stuff... This must be why I can't catch up with the rest of the stuff I need to do, I'm sure of it...
The photo place we use is going out of business. We asked if digital cameras were sending them under? No, it's not digital - they said that since Sept. 11, no one is traveling and taking pictures... How sad.