I don’t know. I suppose time passes and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Monthly Archives: February 2006
After a long day working at the PC, I realized that it was hot in the room, so I opened the window to the darkness. Beyond the glass in the night, wind in telling gusts and cool mountain air, drawn down suddenly tonight from the snow-capped rockies, that smells like nothing else on Earth. Only if you were born and raised at altitude can you appreciate the scent. It smells like spring, summer, fall, and winter all rolled into one. It smells like dewdrops would smell at sunrise in March, if you could inhale them. It wakes you up immediately, makes you ten years younger instantly, makes you want to be alive, erases every bit of cynicism.
It is, quite literally, the cold breath of the mountains come only once in a great while and without warning, agless and inscrutable, and it has wrested me in the space of a moment from the clutches of ennui and brought me back to life. At this moment, beside this window, with the night running its hand through my hair, I want time to stop forever.
The writing is on the wall. We are leaving Iraq shortly after having taken a stable, educated nation and destroyed it utterly, costing hundreds of thousands of lives in the process — a number which will only increase across the coming decades that will pass before the area recovers, if it ever can.
Short years ago Iraq was the most modern and educated nation in the region, ruled by a secular government, possessing a higher literacy rate than our own, opposed to Islamic terrorism and so industrialized as to be an equal trading partner to much of Europe. After destroying the Iraqi economy through needless sanctions and killing an entire generation of men, we have now finished the job, smashing every last bit of infrastructure from electronic and information means to fuel distribution systems. More to the point, even houses, walls, and roads have not been allowed to remain. As arrogant, corrupt superpowers have been historically wont to do, we have beaten a proud, first-world nation back into the stone age by force, murder, and mayhem, have decimated every community, every family, and every service beyond repair, and have taken care to ensure that we leave the hapless population in a descending spiral of meaningless but inevitable civil war that they neither desired nor sought, but which they cannot now avoid.
And thus, with the job well-done, we are happy to leave. It is beyond shameful or embarrassing. It can only cause one to despair for being complicit in such a crime against humanity — in a moral sin on such an epic scale. But leave we will, and we will blame the armageddon we have wrought on Iraq and its formerly educated, modern people on these very people themselves, even as we leave with impunity and return to our comfortable lives to watch from afar as hundreds of thousands more helplessly die in the engineered maelstrom that we have left for them.
And from that very same distance, we will plan, prepare for, and carry out — again, the writing is on the wall — similar invasions of Iran and others. Tower of historical conservatism Bill Buckley has recently argued that this proves nothing about the larger moral framework of the neoconservative movement, only that some populations are too barbaric to be turned to democracy, and that they thus deserve what they get. In short, it does not matter if Iraq is utterly destroyed, since the destruction of Iraq is a fitting punishment for such a society, unable or unwilling to embrace its intended role as a political or economic colony of the United States capitalist “democracy.”
The neocons and indeed the traditional conservative wing as well have misappropriated the term. The very nature of democracy is that it should proceed from the preferences of those that constitute it, not from massive infrastructure corporations and hedge funds that line the pockets of a global elite that own everything, unbeknownst even to much of the population that man their factories and office buildings, much less from functionaries that proceed mechanically from this übermarket and its barons and who create reigns of terror in its service in order to frighten populations into embracing the spread of global capitalism.
The slogan which silently underlies the entire American project at this point has been seen before in our history, though now it refers to economic and military subservience in a neocolonial economic world built by, dominated by, and sucked dry by the amoral elite of the military-industrial-übermarket complex. Nations would do well to hear it well and prepare, lest they face, as have the Iraqis, either absorption or destruction:
“Join or die.”
See also here, and note that nearly everything this administration has touched — from juris prudence to economic policy to domestic policy to environmental policy to national education to the military and treasury themselves, tools of destruction that they are — has turned to dust. If we are lucky enough to survive it intact, this presidency will go down as the most fatally incompetent and misguided in history. But it is equally as likely that we will not: that George W. Bush and the neoconservatives that have manned the PNAC and the Carlyle Group have actually brought about the beginning of the end of the history of the United States of America.
Anyone interested in knowing how the west really feels about “democracy” need only to look at Palestine, where a government fairly elected with a popular mandate greater than any that can be claimed by the governments of the west is now being ostracized, called illegitimate, undermined and threatened with removal, and/or ordered to ignore the popular will and adopt west-friendly policy initiatives in order to survive. Thing to note: the west does not care at all for democracy. It wants dominance, by which it can extract resources and cash from all other peoples. Period.
Just brilliant. Funny as hell.
Liminality: it makes shredded wheat soggy.
There is a roaring in my ears, and I am less and less able to tune it out.
The British government is so much more advanced than ours, and their politicians so much more intelligent and well-spoken, that comparing theirs to ours is like juxtaposing Napoleon Dynamite and Cornell West.
Every phone call ends the same. Ugh, dread.
A stack of vouchers
be angry with comrades of your choosing
who will not be permitted anger in return,”
only nobody is accepting them
despite your best efforts to spend them
and once you realize it,
you throw them as hard as you can at the bitter sky,
swearing and feeling tears press
against the backs of your cheeks, hot,
while you bite red grooves into your tongue.
One-by-one the little squares of integrity and indignation
flit down into gutter mud,
to take their places amongst the fallen.
The greatest talents in the world lie silently outside the cones of bawdy light cast by the pedestrian buzzing of incandescence.
Stop, thief! I would have my pound of flesh!
Somebody wanna explain to me what I’m doing here?
None of you know what you want. I worry a lot about my sisters. Women in general seem confused.
You want to be independent and autonomous, but you don’t want to be alone.
You want to be “out there,” a jet-set star, but you also want intimacy and familiarity.
You want to not need a man, but you can’t stand not having one around.
You want a gentle, nonviolent guy, but you want him to stand up for you.
You want a strong, dominant male, but you don’t want to be dominated.
You want men to be more feminine, but you’re only attracted to men that are strong and dominant.
You want men to do what you want, but afterward you can’t respect those who do.
You want to be left alone and not harassed, but you feel insulted if you don’t draw a crowd.
You want to be seen as feminine, but you want to “out-male” the men at their own game.
You want lots of men on your plate, but you want each one to love only you.
You want to be more sexual than Madonna, but as revered as Mother Theresa.
You hate standards of beauty, but you want to stay young forever.
You feel inadequate unless you’re a revolutionary, but you don’t want people to dislike you.
You want your life to be complex, but you’re sad and ashamed when it gets the better of you.
You want to be understood, but you hate it when men say things like these.
You want to be independent and autonomous, but you don’t want to be alone.
Sometimes I feel sorry for women, but I try not to, because I know that pity is also insulting.
We’re all confused in modernity.
I wish I could be as happily selfish as other people.
indy 500 §
Looking out the window I realize that it has snowed for at least 24 hours and I haven’t ventured out into it for more than a moment — certainly not to recreate. How is this possible?
I am noticing that cameras have become a strange sort of extension of myself and that without one I have trouble justifying any sort of movement at all, beyond hunting, gathering, and shitting. It’s a strange sort of addiction to have, and it presents a strange set of symptoms. More to the point, it’s entirely wasted on me, considering the degree to which I am actually a working photographer at this point in my life (more than many but much less than many more).
There were on the order of 500 automobile accidents in Salt Lake City and surroundings during the last 24 hours. It’s the music of winter, a hum and a sensibility I’ve not felt in a long time. It is devilish seductive, all this snow and cold. I can’t believe I haven’t spent more time in it.
Things finally begin to coalesce on the income/employment front, after a very uncertain and shocking half-year during which nearly everything I’ve touched has fallen apart. I’m not by any stretch out of the woods yet, but I do appear, at the very least, to be on the verge of escaping the bear trap that has been bleeding me dry.
Speaking of blood, there are some from which I’d like to draw it.
The older I get, the more I realize that hate seems to be a nominal component of nearly every kind of relationship. Not to descend into an oh-so-deep pop-Zen wank session, but it does strike me just now in my life that love is not love and hate is not hate, but rather that both are binary subcomponents of human interaction without which the other is entirely undefined and, more to the point, unable to elicit any reaction whatsoever.
Either sans other is not, as one might suppose, the purer form, but is rather simply boredom.
I HATE THAT. This yin-yang shit makes life too God damn complicated and, even moreso, too damn hurtful. I’ve been alive almost 30 years. Christ. That’s got to be worth a bonus of some kind, or at least an “alive person of the month” plaque that comes without concomitant raise.
I miss nobody in particular. But I miss them very much.
Conductor, when you receive a fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare:
A blue trip slip for an eight-cent fare,
A buff trip slip for a six-cent fare,
A pink trip slip for a three-cent fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
Punch, brothers, punch with care!
Punch in the presence of the passenjare.
Punch, Brothers, punch.
There are truths on this side of the Pyranees which are falsehoods on the other…
Nobody in the world knows what I am doing right now, or what it is like to be me. Nobody is keeping up on me, and nobody cares enough to know at the day-to-day level. I am alone once again after a few years of being not-so-alone.
It’s my personality type, in part, I know. Little tolerance for creatives, charismatics, apathetics or compassionates have I. And little tolerance for my at times hermit-like social skills have others.
There are times when I dislike having anyone at all in my life in any role whatsoever. I get tired of grappling with people, their needs, and their failure to dead with my needs. I’m a very useful sort of animal on my own. Why should I be bothered to try to nurse companions along?