Tuesday, October 30, 2001


happy birthday Lily
Happy Birthday
to My Granddaughter Lily

Monday, October 29, 2001

i watched the news tonight - oooooooh boy.

rumsfield was saying that al-queada was lobbing explosive projectiles thru the air in afghanistan along with us and the taliban.

is this really true?

a military type on PBS was saying we are doing well militarily, getting our high tech death traps finely tuned in a new situation.

does this sound like germany in spain 1939 testing toys for the big one on one of the poorest countries in europe?

a military type last week allowed as how the taliban were tougher than he thought.

tougher than he thought maybe but the rest of us recognize that one of the poorest peoples in the world with one of the shortest lifespans in one of the most hostile topographies on the planet who defeated the english empire, the soviet empire, have never lost a war to the outside, including against genghis khan and the mongols, probably have the edge in how to win militarily on their home ground.

a nation-state like ours needs to retaliate aginst an attack such as sept.11. but adding one more layer of devestation to the afghan people is not retaliation. it is fantasy, although i'm sure it plays well in the boardrooms of the powerful. the source of the attack is various rivers of big oil money. if we want to bomb the source we should bomb saudi arabia and pakistan. see America Strikes Back - The Dumb War: It's time to bomb Pakistan.

another interesting statement by rumsfield was to the effect that terrists living in this country will be expelled if their visa is even one day out of date.

isn't that like announcing that any murderers living here better watch out, we'll throw them in the jug for jaywalking?

the ossified, hierarchical bureaucracy that our government has evolved into, run by the best and the brightest (= richest) cannot see beyond their world. they are provencials in an international setting. they don't speak the language. i say again put them all on the street with no resources for a week and we'd have a better chance of dealing with a very dangerous and nasty situation. the people running the war don't (usually) lie, they just don't know any better.

tomorrow i think i'll skip the news.


Sunday, October 28, 2001

the other day in a frenzy of misdirection i went through all of the books in the house: i found lots of surprises. one was "the city in history: its origins, its transformations, and its prospects" by lewis mumford. so now i have to do what i set out to do when i put up the list of books you see on the right: review them, comment on them, say something about them. a self imposed bit of "fun". i couldn't do it without the book because i can't remember what it says.

here is something i picked out at random from the book, in an early chapter on the agricultural revolution:

"...the specialized worker, a magnified hand, or arm, or eye, achieved excellence and efficiency in the part, to a degree impossible to reach except by such specialization; but he lost his grip on life as a whole. this sacrifice was one of the chronic miscarriages of civilization: so universal that it has become 'second nature' to urban man."

pretty cool, huh?

dark waterfall>
<br /><strong>dark waterfall
todays pic

Saturday, October 27, 2001

heard an articulate young pakistani man on the radio today. member of a band, forget the name, sufi rock. he spoke of a poem by 15th c. poet. a striking line goes something like this:

"when you come to the place of five rivers, choose one. then live it."

the penultimate word is probably the key. altho "choose" is necessary to live i guess.

stop me before i paint again
we all have our bad days...some of us have worse

Friday, October 26, 2001

what a beautiful fall day. spent most of the morning with book cover project, realbasic project, archiving information about this new to me programming language, then drove to pick up laundry. in between all this i was trying to finish one so-so watercolor and rescue another in deep trouble. after lunch i took a walk and it was great. the weather of the year, brisk, windy, leaves blowing all over the place, deep blue sky absolutely transparent air and dark dappled shadows flitting about. and the whole time that deep high lonesome sound above and all around my head, like i'm suddenly home in 3 diminsional deep space after too long in two. i love fall.

it's 10:45 in the evening, i'm still archiving. ready for bed. and the funny thing about the day is i never spoke to a soul except mavis at the laundramat and she didn't have a lot to say.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

email from friend barbara:

"Having checked your blog recently, I feel I should say, don't worry about the war - the future will unroll as you walk and you can only affect the parts you step on as you go."

i guess my concern about the war is not about the war. it is about what the war is a symptom of, what the consensual reality is, and what it portends for the future. and what i might be stepping in tomorrow. if i don't trip over my self first.

thought for the day
Thought for the Day

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

nice essay on weblogs and why they might be a way to balance overwhelming incoming corporate data. includes some nice touches about what it does for the doers. weblogs: a history and perspective: by rebecca blood. "We are being pummeled by a deluge of data and unless we create time and spaces in which to reflect, we will be left with only our reactions. I strongly believe in the power of weblogs to transform both writers and readers from "audience" to "public" and from "consumer" to "creator." Weblogs are no panacea for the crippling effects of a media-saturated culture, but I believe they are one antidote."

garish guardian of gimme
Not Much Left at the End of the Day

Monday, October 22, 2001

just when i was running out of things to write i found this tucked away on my hard drive. can you spell "doggeral"?

In the tower of hunger the mice buy. the cats dream of fur. tails twitch with each foreign heartbeat. nothing is lost. eyes like lightning hand over the cheese. as twilight lands, a large cloud shaped like my brother pauses at the gate. the cadillacs are dead, the motherboards conspire. mornings are a vague notion in the land of mice. cats just say no. i leave the rest to you, whoever you may be on top of the hidden mountain, fiddling with the remote control of life and zoning out when it rains.

Friday, October 19, 2001

i was awakened last night around 4am, about an hour before i fall out of bed anyway, by my old friend curly who seemed to be lost in oak creek colorado. these type of inibriated calls are rare in my present life, but i woke up, coffee was happening, my head was hummin, the birds were asleep, so we sat (at least i did) and talked.

curly was disturbed by a number of things, but the main message he delivered was "it's time to say the unsayable." (since the sayable seems a little used and abused at this point). so here is his list of the unsayable which if said (and heard) might give us a little breathing space. (have you ever tried breathing in a little breathing space?)

1) shooting missles into children's bedrooms is a no-no. likewise workplaces, playgrounds, and bluegrass festivals.

2) taking land from a people because God said it was yours is to be discouraged. north americans got away with it from the indians, and the israilis got away with it from the palestinians. each transgressor needs to apologize. curly said give it all back but as a rwealist of sorts, he amended this to give them a lnd, aroof over their heads, aviable way to eat, sleep, and dream.

3) the nation-state is not the only viable organization of a people, even though it is the current style. a people that have not evolved a nation state from, say, an obscure ottoman back-water province like palastine have a right to their homes and farms which their ancestors lived in and which their children would like to continue continue living in. a home.

4) islam is made up of about a billion people, or, if you're like me, a billion souls. it is more than a religion it is a non-monolithic culture with it's own values (which incidentally are more about peace than ramming airplanes into cities). the atlantic pennensula that extends from asia contains technologically advanced peoples who do not have a clue about this culture. muslims do have a clue about our culture. they speak our languages, attend our schools, live in our cities. we do not return the favor.

5) this results in a perochial, provencial view of islam by the west that does little justice to that culture, it�s history, it�s advances, and it�s values.

6) the few experts we have in islam, those who have lived there and speak the language and know a jihad is not a holy war but an individual struggle of the human being to find and foster his higher self (a "struggle) have been decimated and driven from positions where their experience could help our culture. the reasons for htis are manifold but all settle nicely around the fact they are not great admirers of john wayne. the same thing happened pre-viet nam when those familiar with that turf were driven from the state department by McCarthy and the �who lost china� hysteria of the 50�s.

7) in the bumper sticker mentality we have grown used to (McDonalds and the repupublicans (oh what the heck, democrats too) are all hugely proud of them selves when they can "stay on message.") doesn't matter what the message is as long as it's short, snappy, and repeated ad nausium for at least one news cycle.

8) our allies in the middle east include some of the most degenerate and corrupt money grubbing powers the world has ever seen. the suadis. the pakistanis. the sultan of brunei. the united arab emerites. we backed the taliban. we back anyone who will allow us to not be completely cuttoff from oil and mony.

9) the people who have to scuffle in those places do not like it, nor do they like the american government backing and supporting these powers. (kinda like we do isreal).

10) Dissent does not equal anti americnaism. dissent does not equal �i don�t like their methods but thier goals are legitimate. dissent = we�re walking into another debacle becuase we don�t know the territory.

Curly hung upright before his cell phone staticed out. he was heading for the canadian rockies to stay he said.

i'm tired and grumpy and going to draw on my imagination and create an image: here it is: i call it "dazed and confused one more time".

my kind is going...

then i got anemail from old friend geoff commenting on "A British View of the US/Bin Laden affair" by Andrew Sullivan in the London Times, a piece that more or less said the rage of america has been awakened and is gonna KICK ASS: no more mr.nice guy. and that this justifies our existence. letter follows:

"The notion we must die for our beliefs has two (at least) aspects: One, offensively committing suicide to inflict damage to the other side, and two, defensively submitting to murder to first, end the cycles and second, if there is no relief from principled example, to escape this horrible world. Religion teaches we are wrong to kill. I am unaware of any spiritual systems that condemn a person for being killed. Our west point friend and the British view (which I must say, was not anything I
feel in retrospect that I had to read, as pitched in the forwarding message) astonish me without ringing any tone of truth. Are we not all in agreement that we are embarked on the wrong path? Will we not lose a great deal and gain really nothing even if our government (first court appointed in history) entirely succeeds in its plans? Is it not much more likely that embittered, lunatic terrorism will end if we pursue some other, more promising road?"

i might add that the monoculture this age has been veering towards is now in full flower, and that any questions regarding what we can and are doing to prevent explosives going off in peoples homes and workplaces quickly are shoved into the catagories of "liberal", "pacifist", not to mention "traitor". one thing all the peoples of the world seem agreed on: "they" are evil and we're not.

i'm tired of this shit: we don't need to bomb one of the poorest peoples in the world who have never lost a war, including against the mongols. our high tech fantasies probably work better in watts. our weapon of choice against the 3rd world should be our strength: money. let's buy'em and turn the country into a theme park.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

for all the deluge of mediased news (if that's not redundant), there's a whole lot going on today that the public is unaware of. read this interview: AlterNet -- Susan Sontag, "The Traitor," Fires Back for a refreshing view on how difficult it is to think today. from a woman i have greatly admired every since i read "illness as metaphor". one of the great observers of out time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

back to politics i can't help it, the fuse is lit. check out semour hersh in this week's New Yorker:"a slow degradation of the system due to political correctness". the system he's talking about is the system we are using to keep the saudis our allies. they are more corrupt than batista, marcos, and allende's killers. and the arab on the street knows it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

the reality behind reality is what i find interesting. that's why it's so hard for me to make sense out of "politics". i'm not even sure how it's spelled. F. Breudel wrote a book with the intriguing title "the structure of everyday life". that's what interests me. the structure is changing. an example is the phrase

Shop Till You Drop

last year it meant go crazy with credit cards, buy stuff recreationally, go to the mall and surround yourself with the commercial.

today it means do your patriotic duty until you lose your gasmask.

hop till you flop

Saturday, October 13, 2001

i give up, here's some stuff about the new realpolitik of the day. the fact that being a member of the american middle-class, not to mention a plutocrat, means maintaining a certain kind of blindness has caused and continues to cause a lot of this stuff. kind of like when we walk by a homeless person without registering that the operative word is �person�.

Our Friends Are Killers, Crooks and Torturers
"Almost four weeks after the crimes against humanity in New York and Washington, we are playing politics on the hoof and allying ourselves to some of the nastiest butchers around." remember trujillo, batista, chang kaishek, marcos? well the new bunch is more powerful, richer, more vicious, and we�re still supporting the bad guys to oppose the worse guys. we made the taleban.

Tariq Ali: The Pakistan Maelstrom
pakistan, more guns per person than even america. screwed up by 30 years of looting and exploitation. our ally?

�straight talk to your readers, many of whom I gather have been in denial about any connection between U.S. support of Israel and Osama bin Laden's declared holy war against the United States.�

Friday, October 12, 2001

another place another time
another place another time

"anthrax...smokem out...they don't like freedom...more of our troops lost 9-11 than in the entire gulf "war"...they are cowards...why do they hate us..."

stay tuned for some answers. they won't make any sense. it has to do with language.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Do the Homeless Live in the Homeland?

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

well had a visit from old friend john r. this evening. we calculated that we had known each other about 40 years on and off. someone who knows me as a snapshot of my present persona doesn't know much. can we stretch the context of talking to a stranger to conversing with a being who has had multiple lives, experiences, forgotten loves, immaculate frustrations, many lifetimes since last birth? maybe.

it's happened to me about 3 times. each time was on a transcontinintal bus plowing thru the dark american night (many years ago there was a dark american night, not sure about the present). don't remember what was said.

stage stag
the man who thought his head was a picture

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

i dunno, bloggerland is awfully slow today. so i am unable to truncate bad vibe message of a week or so ago.

today i�m scattered, and so are my thought-crumbs. shattered. nothin but a blue vacuum looking at me like i�m a blue vacuum too.

current events aren't current and they're not events. the only events today are the little metaphoric electrons and their ilk doin the dance of the flashing glimmers. humans don�t do this dance. well maybe they might do it once but that�s the last dance.

current events are a product. a brand name. a logo. gang colors. revolt into style. in the land of the bored meaning is ignored.

�Not always was the soul identical with the brain. When the body becomes a cave of fantasy pocked with the glowing eyes of myriad animal images, biography might then repeat collective history and my angry soul would be today in my stomach and tommorrow in my skin. the soul could stay in motion.� (puer�s wounded wing by randolph severson).

if that doesn�t make any sense how about this:

the idea of young american men stumbling about in the harshest landscape darn near in the world in the dark lugging enough high tech equipment (all miniturized of course) to feed an afghan village for a year (i�m sure it could be sold at the local back street) and not having the least glimmer of what the humans whose land and way of life is up for grabs are about is catastrophic. you ain�t seen nothing yet. wait till the glitches, software bugs, the higher ups covering their asses, the endless meetings in expensively paneled board rooms where the truth is not allowed all pile up in a collision in a land where the empty evening breezes say more than a thousand MTVs.

americans are temporal provincials. rubes. they have no idea of what it means to live as a human in another place and time. sure PTA meetings are a force for the good, but in other places and times there are other pieces of the Good (probably needs to be capitalized) at work. the watchword for the next few years might be:

It's differant

but it doesn't matter

Sunday, October 7, 2001

ignore previous message. so much vitriol and anger. didn't know i had it in me.

message is so stale because i've been in chapel hill where eric my oldest son landed with little advance warning. so spending time with family.everything is as ok as it seems. meanwhile, with no reference to the personal, just the plain old world out there, the word of the day is:

Give War A Chance