Monday, September 26, 2005

Mystify Me


* Start of a new term, I'm twitchy in anticipation and foreseen pressure

* Vestiges of a beautiful weekend ... remnants of leisure in the serene air of an unseasonably temperate day

* Support from unexpected sources--kindred spirits justify expression

* Fighting with only words in an attempt to reconnect people to their humanity

* Encountering the stonewall of privilege, elitism and rigidity

* Seeing the word "gay" once again used as an expletive, wielded as an insult against an invisible concept of "normal," feeling ill at the nasty judgmental side of society.

* Disenchantment by noon--we are islands of compassion

* Intersections of hope, nostalgia, despair, visceral reaction to music, poetry, individuality all meeting at the pinpoint of my mood

* * * *

In the midst of the confusion I've experienced over the unbridled anger, apathy, and vitriole from the right-wing response to Hurricane Katrina (see, Been Away post), I feel vacuumed dry emotionally. I'm posting there as Lilly if you check it out.

I only feel like getting lost in music and sunlight today, so I'll leave you with:

Mystify - INXS

All veils and misty
Streets of blue
Almond looks
That chill divine
Some silken moment
Goes on forever
And we’re leaving broken hearts behind

Mystify me
Mystify me

I need perfection
Some twisted selection
That tangles me
To keep me alive
In all that exists
None have your beauty
I see your face
I will survive

Eternally wild with the power
To make every moment come alive
All those stars that shine upon you
Will kiss you every night

All veils and misty
Streets of blue
Almond looks
That chill divine
Some silken moment
Goes on forever
And we’re leaving
Yeah we’re leaving broken hearts behind

You’re eternally wild with the power
To make every moment come alive
All those stars that shine upon you
And they’ll kiss you every night

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Blogging, Reading, Saying

Most successful blogs have an identity. They run the gamut from socio-political orientations to photologs to fanciful, imaginary worlds. I participate in several blogs as a regular comment poster or as a guest author (if you care about the environment, please visit Radical Noesis listed on my sidebar, if you are galvanized by social issues check out Uncommon Thought).

If there is a heart to my blog, it is meant to be an exploration of the signifed as expressed through my favorite signifier--the written word. I stray here sometimes, but I want to send out (on a semi-regular basis) a dialogue about literature and what is being artistically expressed, via words, in today's print media.

To honor that intent, I often weave written passages I've lifted from literature with either something happening in my life, a current event, or a pop-cultural trend. I hope if I have any regular readers, they share my passion for both classical and current lit.

Today I'll keep my entry pure. I'm reading
Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, a novel I recommend to anyone who has, or can appreciate the dynamics of, a dysfunctional family (and its metaphorical relevance to society as a whole). I was moved by this section:

"One by one the lights of St. Jude were going out.
And if you sat at the dinner table long enough, whether in punishment or in refusal or simply in boredom, you never stopped sitting there. Some part of you sat there all your life.
As if sustained and too-direct contact with time's raw passage could scar the nerves permanently, like staring at the sun.
As if too-intimate knowledge of any interior were necessarily harmful knowledge. Were knowledge that could never be washed off.
(How weary, how worn, a house lived in to excess.)"

I feel that way, sometimes, about this my formerly beloved United States. As if I have sat at its table, trying to partake in the feast set before me, but only able to gag on the spongy, overcooked vegetables.

When you're in California ...

Wear your sunglasses! This is a shot of (left to right), my bro, Holly, me and Aaron. We're on the grounds of our oceanside hotel at Mandalay Beach, Ventura.

The concept of Califronia Dreamin' was resonating that day.

Friday, September 02, 2005

In the Wake of a Long-Anticipated Disaster

I'm too angry and disgusted to speak about the results of Katrina and the inexplicable incompetence of our Federal Response yet. After the tsunami, I wondered how a disaster of similar proportions could be handled here. Now we know. The bottom line is resources, where they were and how our former surplus has been squandered in a never-ending war that which has helped create another extremist Muslim state ...

I am too sad for the people, traumatized, virtually abandoned throughout the formerly vibrant city of New Orleans. Sometimes it feels like we are coming undone, that our American party of consumption and indifference is being crashed by the reality of the waning days of empire ...

I will reflect my bitterness by posting a sardonic letter composed by Michael Moore. Yes, it is skewed, yes it points blame--but this kind of neglect, or lack of preparation and foresight by entities that are supposed to exist for these situations (and I'm sure much of it boils down to funding), in my opinion calls for such finger-pointing:

"Subject: Vacation is Over... an open letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with? Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news.

Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her! I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this! You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.

Yours, Michael Moore"