Apparently some evil imp surreptitiously cracked my skull open without my being aware of it and proceeded to fill it with a hornet’s nest, pop rocks and cola, and a vibrator left on high speed. So while I mewl softly in a darkened corner, here are some things I’ve enjoyed reading recently for your entertainment.
You’ve been gone so longWhere ya been for so long?I went to places unknownRented a roomAnd I forgot my penShook my twinAnd I had to find the feeling again– Spoon
If passage of this bill helps a single person anywhere, then it was worth passing in whatever form possible.
I’ve heard intelligent people I respect make arguments both for and against this bill, and while I don’t exactly find it encouraging that even many supporters are reduced to pinning their hopes on some future fixes that may never actually materialize while grumbling about how much the bill reeks at present, I’m at least willing to entertain the possibility that I might be missing some important perspective here.
For now, I’d just like to suggest that Tom may want to raise the bar a little higher than that, seeing as how almost any political action you could name, no matter how atrocious, has helped someone, somewhere, at some time. I think I can pretty well imagine what he would have made of some Bush administration flunky using this standard to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Tomorrow will probably be thunderfuckingly stressful, assuming all goes according to plan.
But today…today, I got to sleep in. I had a good workout while watching my boys Liverpool defeat Everton in the Merseyside derby. I got some writing done. Listened to a lot of music. I have some more football games recorded to watch in a little bit. A bedside table filled up with books to read. And looking at Natasha Wescoat’s Jeweled Trees series of paintings has cheered me up and made the neverending whiteness outside seem a little less bleak.
Sometimes you just have to recognize, yo.
Easily up over my knees already, and we’ve still got all day to go. It’s been nearly fourteen years since we’ve gotten this much snow.
We were friends and have become estranged. But this was right, and we do not want to conceal and obscure it from ourselves as if we had reason to feel ashamed. We are two ships each of which has its goal and course; our paths may cross and we may celebrate a feast together, as we did – and then the good ships rested so quietly in one harbor and one sunshine that it may have looked as if they had reached their goal and as if they had one goal. But then the almighty force of our tasks drove us apart again into different seas and sunny zones, and perhaps we shall never see each other again; perhaps we shall meet again but fail to recognize each other: our exposure to different seas and suns has changed us. That we have to become estranged is the law above us; by the same token we should also become more venerable for each other – and the memory of our former friendship more sacred. There is probably a tremendous but invisible stellar orbit in which our very different ways and goals may be included as small parts of this path; let us rise up to this thought. But our life is too short and our power of vision too small for us to be more than friends in the sense of this sublime possibility. Let us then believe in our star friendship even if we should be compelled to be earth enemies.
E. and I aren’t really friends anymore. Not in any meaningful sense, anyway.
Nothing dramatic; out with a sigh, not a bang. And it’s been that way for a long time; the only thing that’s changed is my resigned acceptance of it. Still, even acknowledging that non-event feels like the thudding reverberation of a heavy door being closed.
She was probably the closest I came to experiencing an Epicurean ideal of friendship — not that I haven’t known other people with the same qualities I loved about her, and not that she was perfect in any way —just that we managed to be perfect friends for each other during an all-too-brief window of time, and while we were so young, yet.
I’ve spent years looking back to that time as if it were the rule to our relationship and not the exception.
I didn’t know then that finding people with the time and inclination to talk about anything and everything from trivia to urgent questions of life and death while listening, actually listening, and responding as if it all mattered deeply, would be so exceedingly rare. Maybe it’s just the unscarred optimism of youth that’s impossible to recreate with other people, the blithe cheerfulness of having seemingly limitless time and potential ahead of you rather than behind. But those hours of conversations with her have turned into biannual emails around birthdays and holidays, sometimes with years in between, the sheer gravity of all that lost time bearing down with a despairing futility upon any attempts to revive the vitality of the old connection.
What Barry said. I haven’t had time to say anything about the subject until now, so I’m glad he came out of hiding to say it himself (and better than I would have, too).
I know that most of the comments directed at celebrities, especially those seen as freaks in some way, are just like so much of what people say: thoughtless, knee-jerk verbal impulses. But in this case, it bothers me more than usual.
My first serious girlfriend in high school was molested by her father from roughly age 4 to 14, and I was the first person she told about it. A month later, she had a fight with him and finally got angry/brave enough to tell her mom. The family, of course, was divided, he eventually spent a year in jail, and she spent a little time in a mental hospital. Some of our limited free time after school was spent with me driving her to her group therapy sessions; not exactly the kind of storybook romance kids dream about. As one might imagine, her sexuality was very confused and painful for her, and judging from what I heard from mutual friends in the years that followed, my armchair analysis would be that she saw sex as a means for gaining affection while also being angry/repulsed by the other person for wanting her in that way. I heard recently that she had a few kids and ran her own independent business, so I assume she’s achieved some semblance of normalcy in her life, but it wasn’t easy, and it could have just as easily turned out differently. That lesson has always stuck with me, and probably has a lot to do with why I still maintain a mostly liberal outlook despite a natural tendency toward misanthropy and pessimism. So many people would have turned out differently if only they’d had a fair chance.
And so a lot of people now justify harsh judgments of Mackenzie Phillips because she was a “junkie” who “consented” to an incestuous relationship. They ask why she had no moral compass while ignoring the fact that she had been blindfolded and spun ever since she was small child. In such dizzying circumstances, she never once had the kind of clear mind needed to give informed consent to anything. John Phillips never gave his little girl the moral guidance that is a child’s birthright. Instead, he made sure that she felt complicit in her drug abuse and sexual exploitation, assaults and rapes. That’s what mega-perps like John Phillips do. They turn children’s lives into unspeakable hell and then instruct their victims to blame themselves for their pain. The rest of the time they make sure that their prey understands just how unspeakable everything is. And they do this while counting on the average person to snicker away from such situations with seedy little jokes rather than summon the courage to confront the unspeakable. Because of such societal cowardice, John Phillips was able to hide in a bright spotlight.
Oh-ho! Must he, now? (Or what? You won’t vote for him again?) Yes, I’m sure he’ll get right on that, given his appetite for confrontation and his steadfast refusal to be bullied by people who think anyone to the left of Mussolini is a communist (though, goodness me, wouldn’t it be fun to see the apoplectic reaction from the right wing if he did.)
I remember people being optimistic that another charismatic young Democratic president would free Peltier. I was at a concert/rally back in 1994, where the excellent band Red Thunder performed. I didn’t really believe anything would come of the trip up to D.C. the following day, but at least one cool thing occurred: a kindly, elderly man came up to my table, shook my hand and thanked me for coming, asked me my name, where I was from, and so on, before introducing himself as Dennis Banks. (I believe I responded with something brilliant like, “Ah gur duh hoouh…”)
Haven’t washed that hand since!