Friday, March 21, 2003

Something anything else...

Let me...entertain you...

Ah, forget it. Lost my mojo for now. I did some sexy dancing for my husband (OK it was very stupid, ridiculous dancing) today to entertain him. He was very tired this morning and he needed to wake up so I tried to make him laugh. He did not laugh but stared at me uncomprehendingly and said 'you are funny' in this robotic voice.

I may have thrown my neck out.

Sorry I cannot dance for you since this is the only entertaining I am currently capable of.

I do a great impersonation of the girls who dance in Elvis movies, or in the background when the guys from Hawaii Five-O go into a go go dance club..

My mind isn't working well. If I am overdoing it by being boring...well, that's my excuse of the week: I want to be boring. I am trying to fail socially and alienate others.
I failed to get a complete grip...

I'm having the experience that everyone said they had when the Twin Towers were bombed: I'm questioning my life and seeing that very few things matter very much. I guess the terrorist attacks disoriented me but did not dramatically alter my ordinary outlook. Now when I think of some unknown number of people wondering if they will survive and waiting to see if they make it through the night--all life seems so valuable--any death so horrible.

I'll probably end up pregnant and unemployed. Since everyone else quickly forgot the shift in their priorities after the terrorist attacks in New York I'll then probably think: How the hell did this happen? Still, at the moment anything but life and death seems so absurd.

We listened this morning to the BBC world report. Subhy Haddad was speaking. The thing that strikes you is how different his tone is...a tone of solemnity. Yes, shock maybe but he still answers questions. He reports but when you hear his reports then you hear the other reports differently: The other reporters seem so facile, this journalistic disengagement or even muted enthusiasm. (I won't even begin to describe what Rumsfeld sounds like.) When you hear an Iraqi report the others seem to do something that you could almost compare to acting--all plastic pretense. I suppose that is necessary in some way--you cannot have journalists experience things from the inside. You could hear Haddad's voice and know that his city was being destroyed and his children are afraid. Even the reporters inside Baghdad seem more disengaged. And so--although journalism might tell us something true--it also obscures some basic truths.

I get my news these days from Sleeve Notes.

This is the pathetic last resort...something you can do...

Give money to Iraq through Oxfam

In fact, I think at this point the U.S. should pick up the damn tab. (Well, OK this is what El Chico just said to me.) In fact, I'd say give to Afghanistan first and then to Iraq. My politically cynical husband claims that you should not give money to NGOs for disaster relief and he is very skeptical of "this disgusting sinkhole for expired drugs, corporations dumping their trash from huge tax write offs..." and "it serves as a support function for military invasions." "If Bush wants to blow up Baghdad he should supply the damn water."

This is way too purist for me. Where is the money for Afghanistan? They don't have oil. There is no flood of corporations waiting in the wings. Yes, there should be more than humanitarian relief and NGOs in the end. But what else is there? Give them some damn money.

Maybe Salam Pax has a view on this. Besides having the novelty of being the Iraq blogger he has such sharp observations, such great writing. Even now while he's waiting for the bombs. You really can tell that he would be the guy able to show you just how absurd everything you just said truly is.

This country--because of its calculation that 1 American life is worth 100,000 Iraqi lives (and that may overestimate the value given to an Iraqi life)--is now doing things that could kill this man. Isn't it strange to think that you go to someone's blog hoping he is still alive?

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Getting a grip...

I should mention that this "raging psychopath" as so well described on sleeve-notes is purely a product of my imagination. I do recall the 'bad relationship obsession' from some limited personal experience...but mostly it is an elaboration, a pastiche of every bad relationship story I've ever heard. I could never be so self-destructive as to date someone as insane as this administration.

My very sane and kind husband has been trying to help me by concealing news from me a little but it is difficult not to look. In a way I guess it is less rubbernecking than hope--some kind of hope that things are not as bad as I imagine. This is the strangest thing of all--my imagination is so full of vivid and terrible images. When awake there are awful pictures in my mind and when asleep strange nightmares.

We often joke around that Bush and Co. are like Darth Vadar "I WILL BRING OOORRRDDEEER TO THE GALAXY!" So my nightmares are a combination of Star Wars and war movies I've seen and whatever I think Bagdad looks like. Modern cinder block torn to bits much like Warsaw in the movie The Pianist I saw last month.

This is what it looks like in the movie.

I suppose if I watched television or had television my mind would be filled with less of a movie-inspired montage of this sort? The idea of it makes me queasy so sitting and watching it is out of the question. Are they even showing it--the smashing up of streets, homes, and all the rest? Of course they are, I guess. Is everyone out there watching it? Isn't it making you sick?

So...just as one has to take control of one's life when one is married to the crazed madman who takes the schoolbus full of children hostage I should also strive to return to something resembling sanity--being consumed with fear, frustration, rage, nausea does no good. It's sort of self-indulgent, in fact.

Of course I've been writing many screeds and rants in my spare time. Being considerate and not posting them.

What will be useful? Going to protests won't change things, but I'll keep doing that. Giving money to anti-war causes, opponents that seem effective...That kind of thing. Please go to sleeve notes and look at the plan to make corporations in charge of rebuilding.

Maybe one could--right now--start an 'Iraq fund.' How silly that sounds, I know. Ultimately, we should try and give money to any decent NGOs who are willing to subvert this corporate plan and go to Iraq and do something to benefit ordinary Iraqis--when the keys to the kingdom are handed over to some oligarchy which is amenable to U.S. corporate interests.

Afghanistan could use some of your money also. In fact, Afghanistan could use all of your money.
check out Oxfam

Oxfam UK is asking for donations for Iraq.

Oxfam International

Oxfam has had the guts to oppose the war and to fight to get the U.N. involved in rebuilding Iraq. (Unlike Amnesty which will not take a stand. Do they only care about people in prison? And no other human rights abuses? Very strange.)

Some stuff from Human Rights Watch I don't know that much about HRW. But this is a start.

All these plans are so little but I am also little and this is the best I can come up with. If you think of anything better, let me know.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Some analogies

Earlier I was explaining how rather than self-congratulatory obsession about this insane situation I really realized that it was quite similar to a bad relationship. I couldn't shut up about the war. It was like dating someone who lies to you, who you are fighting with constantly, who you can't quite get away from somehow. You bore everyone, you think of it morning and night. "I can't believe he said...but then I found out...and he lied to me! Rehearsing the reply to the last argument because you know what was said simply wasn't true.The country you live in has turned 'bad' on you just like a lover who cheated. The country you live in is wild, dangerous, out of control. It's an alcoholic on a bender, it quit its job, ran up its credit cards and passed bad checks. The cops are looking for it. The neighbors all know. People are looking at you funny. You have nothing to do with its madness but because you are with it--you must share the stigma.

You are married to it and divorce is not available. Its bankruptcy destroys your credit. Its cruelty destroys your peace of can't see past the mess it got you in to the future beyond the wreckage. All you know is you will clean up the mess you didn't make. All your yammering does nothing to change it. You go on and on because that's all you know to do.

Today was different. Today was like when you are forced to behave normally but something horrible has happened. Like when someone you love is very sick or you found out they died and you can't believe it. You are too sick to eat and you can't cry. There's no point--that isn't the way to relief. It seems as if everything is warped, distorted. Behind every surface of daily life there is something so wrong...How can everything go on as normal?

(Your crazy husband has comandeered a schoolbus. He's taking hostages. Now you know: From now on you are the one married to that lunatic. And it was an arranged marriage, too. You had nothing to do with it. Your only hope was to have run away a long time ago.)

And everything that would matter, a little bit, ordinarily, appears ludicrous, stupidly insignificant. It's seems stupid to care about the daily elements that make up your life. Not that you could anyway. You will go through the motions and maybe your life will be normal again and you can forget but it is so hard to see how.

I'm saying is this is how it is, not how it should be. It's not healthy. It's not laudable. It would be absurd to say you are patting yourself on the back for your incipient nausea--how could you believe anything but: It does nothing. It is pointless to grieve for what's lost forever. It is maybe embarassing emotionality...It is not the American way. The American way is to go back to work a week after your mother dies, to never cry in public, to be productive in the face of any loss. The American way is to eschew tragedy. I suppose...all things considered...that's wise. That's the smart thing, I suppose.

There are so many little and big evils, tragedies, injustices. Is the idea: What's another one? There's no reason. There's really no reason. Simply: It is here and it is now.


No Business as Usual!
No War on Iraq!

Tuesday, March 18:
Emergency Convergence in New York City
in Union Square at 5 pm

George W. Bush has promised to unleash an all-out war
against Iraq, possibly as soon as Wednesday, March 19. We
join with peace-loving people all over the world in
challenging this 48 hour war ultimatum. At this critical
moment, we urge all people of conscience to oppose this
illegal war of aggression by participating in the
following actions:

1) Tuesday, March 18, 5 p.m. Emergency New York City
convergence at Union Square

2) Wednesday, March 19: Walkout! No Business as Usual!
Converge and demonstrate on the day of the Bush ultimatum.

*New York City, March 19: Converge at 12 noon at Union
Square. March and converge at Times Square at 5 p.m.

*Washington DC, March 19: Converge at 12 noon on the north
side of the White House and stay there all day until a
march at 5 p.m.

*San Francisco, March 19: Gather at 5 p.m. at Powell and

*and at central locations in cities and towns around the

3) Saturday, March 22: New York City march, 11:30 a.m.
Assemble at Broadway, between 41st and 36th St.

If war has begun, there will also be a March 22 regional
demo at the White House in Washington DC at 12 noon, San
Francisco, Los Angeles and in other cities around the

If war is launched, no business as usual that day.
Converge at 12 noon and into the night.


Initial Endorsers:
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
The Greens/Green Party USA
Not In Our Name Project
NYC Forum of Concerned Religious Leaders
New York City Labor Against the War

All other organizations and coalitions are invited to join
this call!


Email circulated by:
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

New York 212-633-6646
Washington 202-544-3389
Los Angeles 213-487-2368
San Francisco 415-821-6545

To make a tax-deductible donation, go to

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Never mind...

I'm no good at being mysterious...I'm a very obvious gal...So obviously, we are doomed, y'all.

Just thought I'd be the first to let you know. I usually come up with a 'motto' for each year. One year it was "Ohio! It's not that bad!" One year it was "I had my fun and now it's over." This year I forgot..."Fuck! We're all doomed!" That's an OK motto for this year--or will do until something better comes along.

That's it for today. These are my thoughts: Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

This could have so many interpretations. I leave it up to you. However, as a hint--think of last words...Think of: A piano, you are standing underneath it, hear the cord snap. (Or it could be a safe.) The rumble of an avalanche and you are standing at the bottom of the mountain. Steep grade. Loss of brakes.

OK, yes. That's it for today. Still, the interpretation of anything is always up to you.

Sunday, March 16, 2003


I often have this feeling of edginess. Not the kind of edginess that makes you snap at people but the kind of edginess that makes you think the world is about to come to an end…

Oh, I forgot—the world is about to come to an end. At least as we know it. Well, but I’ve always had the edginess even when things shouldn’t look quite so grim.

Didn't you know? A talking carp recently foretold the end of the world...

Dread is an odd feeling. A sort of thought like ‘I must do something!’ but not quite knowing what to do I make lots of tea. I pace around, I wander the aisles of my grocery store looking for answers.

I realize there’s no reason for anyone to care but my own deep pessimism confirms this one odd fact which is: It’s very possible to be an idealistic pessimist. It is very possible to wish, with all your heart for a fair and just world or merely a world where people are a bit more sensible and perhaps kind—and also assume that you and everyone else is utterly doomed.

They aren’t mutually exclusive—a belief in doom and a belief in a better world. I’m not quite sure how to explain this. One is about ideals—what should be and what one hopes will come and the other is about predictions—what one expects. I’ve often been called cynical, which seems very strange. Also ironic, sarcastic. A lot of words that seem to apply much more to someone who wears a lot of black and lives in New York City.

I’m not cynical if that means—I think nothing has any value. I’m into love, peace all that stuff. Beauty, truth. The poetry things.

Whenever I say ‘New York City’ I always think of the Pace Picante commercial where the two white hicks are appalled that their Pace comes from New York City. “New York City!” the say in their southern-ish twang which is probably supposed to be a Texas twang. Of course, they are worried about the authenticity of their picante sauce while they probably voted for the English only amendments, against bilingual education and have perhaps beat up a Mexican or two.

I guess that’s the kind of thinking that gets me called cynical.