"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Kudo For Me!

Well, I did have something here about how people at the Dean campaign liked my site but couldn't link to it due to some of the content I have here; but the comment was potentially trouble-causing and a direct quote is out. It's all good. They're an official thing, and this phenomena ain't exactly new, though it does stir up that old idea of mine to have an "official" blog or website or something... but then I think about what I wrote before, about identity, and I think, fuck it.

Surprising to me that it was the pussy thing on the left, and not something in here. Maybe they didn't know about that part. There goes the neighborhood, but the truth always feels better.

However, I did get another good Kudo. My man "The Girth" is off romping in Canada, and he met someone in Montreal who's seen my site. My ego is just about ready to pop.

Read More


Head, Water, Above

Just trying to keep it real. I'm busy and not really operating at 100%. The latest Strong Bad Email is a good one though. I just got a pair of hasslin' glasses similar to SB's Dangeresque shades.

Read More


This Vacation Is Over

Well, anything resembling vacation has now drawn to a close for me. The last of the monkeys left The Jungle (a.k.a. Luke'n'Kim's house on the Oakland/Berkeley border) this morning, and it's back to life, back to reality here in the Bay. I like the scenery here; the smell of the air, the palm trees. I bought some sunglasses and an old rusty french road bike -- the last of my disposable income for a while. The only missing piece is a coffee grinder. I have a big bag of beans courtesy of my mother, but the only means for preparing them in this kitchen is a mideval mortar and pestle set. Anyone who doubts the debilitating addictive force that caffeine can exude should have seen me this morning, pesling away to get my AM fix.

And so the Summer of the Hassle rolls on; hopefully on smoother tracks now. Last night watched films and ate pizza; kind of a suitable comedown from the past three weeks frenetic pace. The 25th Hour (a.k.a. "Spike Lee Loves America!") was enjoyable, with some really stellar moments. Lee does have an amazing appreciation for, understanding of, and ability to convey the spirit of New York City. The movie caused me to miss it quite a bit; the energy, the jive, the fact that it's the capital of the world, that it is the fucking future writ large: steaming, humping, race-mixing, debauchering, loving, nurturing bitch-goddess and everything. I think she's due for a big comeback in the next few years -- a little less yupification and a lot more community, please.

It made me think a little about 9-11 again, which I haven'd done in a long time, and I hit upon what might be a good meme for describing terrorism and how to combat it; imagine terrorism as a really really egregious hate crime. Think about it: Al-Qaeda blowing up the World Trade Center has a lot more in common with KKK-people burning black churchs than it does with the Nipponese attacking Pearl Harbor. It wasn't a tactical act of war, it was an act of symbolism, though nontheless deadly or tragic in its direct consequence. Pearl Harbor was about the destruction of a fleet and a strategic oil reserve and emperial dominion over the Pacific rim. The attack on the WTC was a massive, homicidal "fuck you!"

The means of addressing and preventing said events are very different, and they also map with the analogy. The threat of invasion by foreign power can be deterred and contained though having a strong defense network; terrorism (be it the international or local church-arson variety) cannot be addressed in this way. In fact, it cannot be defended against in any conventional fashion short of instituting a complete police, and planting the seeds of a guerrilla/civil war. A free society is forever vulnerable, which is what makes freedom so valuable and precious. It don't come easy, and if you want to keep it you have to be strong enough to know that bad people will be able to get to you no matter how many walls you build. If you doubt this I invite you to examine the measures Israel has taken to defend itself from terrorism through conventional means. Ain't working so hot, eh?

The only way to be safer from terrorism is to make sure people don't feel like doing it; to make sure that people don't really want to burn down black churches or symbolic skyscrapers, and that even if they do it is such a universally dispised act that there's nothing to be gained by doing it. We were very close to that with 9-11; but the actions taken by this administration since then have squandered the opportunity to cement world opinion against any such acts. Perhaps all is not yet lost. Perhaps we can change our tune nationally and plead temporary insanity due to extreme grief and stress. Perhaps we can come clean to the international community and really get down to the business of dealing with out issues.

Terrorists (like church-burners) need to be hauled before the light of justice so that all can understand and agree upon their guilt. It is the only way to eradicate them as individuals without prepetuating the crimes they commit. We must create a global legal framework that unites the entire civilized world, every nation and every people, against terrorism, but here's a free clue: unilateral invasion of unrelated nations isn't it. What the US has done in Iraq vis-a-vis the "War on Terror" would be like the NAACP and the FBI teaming up and going down to the South in response to a church burning and busting every hunting club, shitkicker bar and antique shop that might have any confederate-era paraphernalia. Sure you're nominally going after mostly "bad guys," but in doing so with little specific just cause and in an agressive and indiscriminate fashion, you only inflame the issues you seek to address. Such beligerance invites reciprocity.

Maybe I'll develop that a little more later. There are some flaws (e.g. the power dynamic doesn't map), but I think the core notion might be a keeper. Anyway, Spike Lee loves New York City, as do almost all free people in the world. As do I. I'm glad to be here in California, but I'm ready for another go-round when I return.

Read More


Laps of Luxury

Arrival in the Bay Area feels princely. I slept last night in a real bed for the first time since leaving NYC. I took a lengthy and hot shower. I shaved. I put on some nice clothes and I'm going to a wedding party where there will be amazing amounts of free food and bevvy; out for a jaunt in Oakland I am. Still frustrated at times, but feeling better and better now that I've Named the Beast. Yessir, it's 2003 and this is the summer of the hassle.

Read More


Before I Hit The Road

Some quick hits from the Politx:

That's what the world looks like today; teetering on the brink. I'm off to California to try out new things. Let's not forget that necessity is the mother of invention.

Read More


On The Road Again

I'm about to jump in a car bound for the East Bay. I'm feeling better about life in general after venting a little bit to a couple of different lady friends. It's ironic that I've been so frustrated by my friend's communication breakdowns, and that in the midst of all my frustration I've not been able to talk to them about it. "It's like raaaaaaain, on your wedding day..." Ok, let's not start that shit.

So life is still pretty beautiful and all. I'm still pretty lonely most of the time, but today it feels more like that warm comfortable melancholy rather than a swirling, sucking eddy of dispair. Everything moves in waves, and this one will turn itself around in time.

Read More


Wayward Sons

Yesterday in a bit of personally chilling news there was a SAM (Surface to Air Missile) attack on a C-130 cargo plane in Iraq. This is the type of bird my good buddy in the Air Force flies on. According to the news reports there was only one missile launched, which is a good thing. As my friend explained to me in the interview he gave, C-130s are quite versatile and maneuverable (in spite of an enormous wingspan) are very capable of defeating a single missile launch; they can change direction and speed rapidly and release a countermeasure (e.g. a flare to distract the missile), which is usually more than enough to save their skin.

The problem arises when there are two SAMs in play. Once the plane has used up all its forward energy banking and/or changing altitude, the turboprop engines take a while to get the velocity back. In the few minutes after taking evasive action, the crew is highly vulnerable to a second attack as they have little airspeed to maneuver with.

Though this was the second attack of this nature, I dearly hope that these are isolated incidents. For me, the stakes have beeen raised.

Read More



Here's something great by way of Salam Pax (the O.G. blogger from Baghdad): Ishtar Talking, a blog by a young(?) woman in Iraq. She writes in arabic and Salam translates for us puny monolingual Americans. The tone of both their writings lately is not so hot. They sound defeated and this is bad. Salam's voice was to me a beacon of hope for that country, representational of a goodness and desire for a better life that just might turn our bumbling occupation into a firtile event. Sadly this seems to be slipping away.

As for me personally, I'm better than an hour ago. The midday heat did something to my bones, something good. I've lost touch with my body lately, lost touch with some basic good things. Maybe I'll take a yoga class down there in the Berkeley. Definitely need to ride more bike.

Read More


Breaking It Down

I'm sitting here in a bunker-like office at the U of O -- a little spot with a desk lamp and ethernet my mom hooked me up with, used to be a bathroom but now it's an intern pen -- kind of holed up with myself. It's lonesome in this town, nothing doing and nowhere to fit. Every place that's going-on is another scene, and I'm just blowing through. Never been much of one for the scene anyway.

I've been mulling over a lot as of late. Feeling pretty vulnerable these days; raw, lonely, confused. I suppose that's part of being on the rebound. Am I on the rebound? I don't really know. I'm on something.

I know things move in cycles and I know what this one feels like. Rewind 18 months and press play, click here and read up. Nice to know could turn a phrase back then. But what the hell is going on with me right now?

I know that looking women in the eyes is hard, pretty much no matter who they are. I know that when I was out at the Country Fair this past weekend I had some major issues with opening up. There was this almond-eyed beauty I kept seeing, some kind of mythological creature, and it felt like high school in a real bad way. I put off weird vibes these days. I'm afraid of touching people. I'm sexually repressed (again). I have a lot of unaddressed/unaddressable needs. I feel tired a lot; physically, mentally, emotionally. I know I feel like crying still and I know I'm not really letting that happen. I know I can't keep doing this for very much longer.

I know that I miss Sasha, but I don't know if that's just because I'm super lonely or because of something greater. I know that I feel kind of like a looser; that I have a hard time having fun; that I don't know where the dream is leading me, or if there even is a dream anymore. I kind of want to cram it all and go back to New York now, but I know that's not really a possibility.

I know I need to make a break. I'm going outside for a while to warm up and think some sexy thoughts.

Read More


The Bigger They Are...

One of the unfortunate casualties of the past's years politix -- especially the war --has been my trust in the mainstream media. It started with the hyping of the 9-11 anniversary, the lack of any real investigative reporting or even independent thought; it went on through the undercounts and newsroom spinning of the peace protests; it crested with the jingoistic blindness of embedded reporters and the ceaseless repetition of the CENTCOM party line. The beast has been sick for some time, but it's now too malignant to even pretend that anything is ok.

Like most of you, I don't feel too suprised at the news scandals that have popped up over the past few months, the shoddy reporting, the page 10 retractions. It seems clear now that most people in positions of power -- and even a good chunk of the rank and file -- within the newsmedia are simply corporate hacks, people who over the years have rendered themselves utterly devoid of spirit or higher purpose. They are an industry, just like any other, and as such almost completely without human value. Just like the corrupt and hollowed-out cancer that is the music business, the current newsmedia structure exists only because of size and seniority. It's a legacy, and not an especially functional one at late. It will either regain its purpose or it will crumble, but frankly I've already moved on.

So I now glance at the NYT only once every few days for local stuff and maybe a column. I get my political opinion from places like Daily Kos and Billmon and I take my news straight from the worldwide wires, usually via The Agonist (for foreign policy focus) and Google News.This weekend while I was offline and doing me own thing, the WMD scandal went from simmer to low boil. Today I decided to pop my head back into the mainstream and see which way the wind's a-blowing. It looks like the worm is turning.

Today's Paul Krugman column starts connecting the dots in a way that looks truly frightening for Team Bush:

So the Iraq hawks set out to corrupt the process of intelligence assessment. On one side, nobody was held accountable for the failure to predict or prevent 9/11; on the other side, top intelligence officials were expected to support the case for an Iraq war.

There's something intuatively right here, something about the half-assed bullshit quid-pro-quo cronyism that pervades corporate America and the current White House team; it seems very plausable that the Bush Squad agreed to shield the intel bigwigs from any responsability for not preventing 9-11, then turned around and leaned on them to provide the cover for Operation Iraq. Not that such explicit words would have been recorded or even exchanged, but there would have been an understanding. The poor intel suckers were so spooked about being held accountable for our national tragedy they rolled over in fear, they gave up their professional obligations, their purpose, and became a part of the Bush industry. That or they saw a path to personal gain, a chance to climb the ladder by doing the boss a favor, a chance to hit the big time. Whatever the reasons, they sold out.

What happened man? It used to be about the intelligence!

Now as the mid-level CIA people, the ones who actually work on things, are beginning to leak en-masse, the Republicans are circling the wagons in a partisan effort to keep the hearings closed and protect the president. People smell the wind changing, the blood in the water. Press conferences are becoming less and less softball affairs; anchorperson hacks are starting to test their claws. These people are sharks and egoists, and they're getting ready to tear apart the monstrosity they helped construct a last desperate bid to retain a scrap of their original moral legitimacy. There's sacrafice in the offing. Some will survive; some will truly change; some will be left to the annals of history. Something big is going to happen.

Read More