Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We're back, and changing things up

People often ask me where I find the crazy things from the Internet that I post or send on all the time. The answer is simple. I found them on the Internet. One of the great things about the Internet is that it makes it fairly easy to disseminate information to large numbers of people. Chances are that I didn't get something from the source, but from a link posted on a webcomic, message board, or blog that I frequent. So read blogs and join message boards, I guess. Except don't join message boards.

Anyway, I've been thinking for some time of using this blog as a place to share not only the strange and wonderful things that I find from time to time, but also the places and people that I regularly read and enjoy. I'll be talking about why I like them, of course, and maybe also pontificating about why I embrace the Internet despite being technologically semi-literate.

I'll do that shortly, but today, I want to talk about rain.

People often claim to love rainy days, because they are contrary or moody or poets or whatever, and because sunny days are for jerks, but let's face it, we all privately like sunny days, even in Houston, where the sunlight adheres to your skin and the heat clings like caustic oil, because sunny days are pretty and sparkling and the people look brighter and more pleasant and less harried. Sunny days are better than rainy days, because you can go places and do things with people. Rainy days are for brooding introspection. Some people stand on top of things in the rain and scream dramatically, but I prefer to do my top-of-the-bus screaming when pollutants aren't soaking into my face, stinging my eyes.

Today, however, was a perfect rainy day. It started storming shortly after I got inside for work, and continued for several hours, pouring and cracking and booming, which I could enjoy from inside, where thunder storms are meant to be enjoyed from. When I left work, it was just sort of a light rain, non-vision obscuring, heavier than a drizzle, maybe, but sparse and easily navigable as if it were only raining because, in Houston, it never stops raining, if it can help it. When I was walking through the parking lot and there were no other people, except for one Muslim girl with an umbrella in the distance, and everything was quiet except for the rain on the cars and on the pavement and the very distant, wet sound of traffic I almost wanted to stop walking and just stand there, foolishly, maybe lifting my face a little and letting the smog-laden drops land on my face like an idiot in an inspirational film. Instead I kept walking, turning my head this way and that like I was looking for something. I imagined a man stepping out from behind a car, and I would stop, and we would watch each other, caught in that moment of dramatic rainfall, not the kind of heavy downpour that heroes and villains fight in, but the subtle, quiet precipitation that necessitates no dialogue and no last minute revelations. The man stepping out from the rain is the revelation. Him seeing me, that's the revelation. And if we fight, it will last seconds, and one of us will fall down and be still and it will take half an hour for him to soak through and for the blood to wash away. But we might not fight. Maybe he's a warning or maybe he's just going to shoot me, and the loudness of that shot would be so much more out of place than the siren I heard in the distance as I walked to my car, looking this way and that, but the shot would be just as poetic, through the contrast, the loudness of the shot and the quiet of my body on the pavement. It was that kind of rain. A rain with possibilities. No man appeared, however. I just drove home.

Now there is a blog. I haven't settled on a schedule for updating this thing. Tomorrow may be too soon, but next week will probably be too late. Sometime before this weekend, perhaps, we will discuss something from the Internet.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Let's Celebrate

Hello, again. And hurray! Things are fucked, but at least it's the same state of fucked as before. In Texas, anyway.

That's what we want when we vote for a conservative incumbent, isn't it? We want things to stay just the way they are, because a) we're unjustifiably comfortable or b) we're afraid of change. It fucking terrifies us. If we're one of the comfortable ones, we're afraid of upsetting that balance, losing what we have. If we're uncomfortable, we're afraid of things becoming WORSE. People will start marrying horses while gay men abort baby Bibles in front of schoolchildren. It will be chaos.

Still, approximately sixty percent of Texans who voted thought that someone other than Rick Perry should be governing. Fools. Dreamers. Thank God for the sensible ones who opted to be predictably Republican.

In conclusion, things ain't getting better here, but there's little chance of 'em getting worse. Cheers!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A gift, to make up for being away so long

If you don't think it's amazing, I'm afraid there may be no hope for you.

Corrupt the Youth, crossposted

Corrupt the Youth

I'm starting this at five minutes to five in the afternoon. I may spend all day writing it, with breaks to eat and work on my Chinese, all the while listening to music. Part of my first paycheck may go to a Polysics album.

I'm here in a spirit of sharing. These videos moved me.

Perversion for Profit
The thirty minute video is cut up into two bits. Then somebody else cut it up even more.

Do you ever feel like we're sliding backward culturally? Like we missed the xenophobic Cold War atmosphere of paranoia so much that we had to create a new one. I'm sure I'm not the first to think so. Probably a pundit somewhere has said so, but what do I care what they think? I don't know them.

I suppose people always have to find something to struggle against, whether it's some form of corruption or entrenched tradition or terrorists and supernatural threats. As if life weren't hard enough without the Devil.

Where was I? I was initially going to write about things that are bothering me, current eventswise. Israel demolishing southern Lebanon, for instance, flattening towns Hezbollah moved out of weeks ago, annihilating roads that were only being used by refugees. Long term strategic plan: leave no place intact in southern Lebanon in which Hezbollah could possibly hide. And the U. S. would look hypocritical to criticize this method, even if we weren't supplying them with bombs, because Israel's rationale for invasion is too similar to our own. And this makes me feel like burning flags.

I suppose there are other things like the fact that I have no faith that the government, or at least this administration, will ever tell me the truth or that they even give a damn about me, for that matter. It is probable that they are abusing their powers in ways that they will never be indicted for, in ways that I may never even completely understand. But anyway, as I said, this is where I began in my thoughts and I'm not feeling equipped to editorialize on current events. Editorials are supposed to propose solutions and I'm not convinced that there are any. This story, most likely, ends in bloodshed and a ball of fire.

I'm thinking more generally.
Comic Arguments

I guess I just feel like I understand less and less the mindset of people who seem to believe that change is inherently bad, that it's favored by anarchists and deviants determined to rock the foundations of traditional society.

Which they are, I mean, that's what anarchists do, but you act like it's such a bad thing. I mean, in a lot of ways, traditional society really sucks.

I'm not into starting revolutions, but I hope one day to be accused of corrupting the youth. The problem with revolutions is that too many people die unnecessarily, just like in counter-revolutions and U.S. covert operations overseas. I think education is a better path to world shaking change. I have dreams of turning wide-eyed Texas teenagers into sarcastic, chain-smoking agnostics. I'd like to turn a vacuous sorority pledge into a girl who causes gasps of shock or outrage at the poetry jam. I'd kind of like to be responsible for some spiritual carnage in this world, and I realize that that may make me a bad person. Fortunately, depending on who you ask, I don't have plans to become a teacher. Well, it's fucked anyway, God help 'em.

Arguably, I haven't said anything at all of substance in this blog. I'm hoping that the next one I write is offensive and meaningful in all the right ways.

I'm out of photos. I have one more, and it's my favorite, so I don't know if I should share it. I'll think about it.

We took some excellent pictures of her in her Audrey Hepburn sunglasses, but she ate them. Because they were just that cute.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

It's less meaningful, but it feels good

Iraqi Screen paints a bleak picture, but not as bleak as some. Most Iraqi perspectives I've seen are pretty depressing; overwhelmingly they are characterized by fear. Not hopelessness, no not that. But definitely fear. I'm starting to believe my friend who says, "There is no good news in Iraq." I don't believe our troops are over there on a mission of mass murder, don't get me wrong. But that doesn't stop Iraqis from sometimes feeling that they have as much to fear from "trigger-happy", "smart"-bomb dropping American troops as they do from roving sectarian death squads.

I remember reading somewhere in Kevin Sites's articles from Afghanistan about a commander in Afghanistan who had also served in Iraq, saying that he in some ways felt that Afghanistan was the real battle. He really felt he was accomplishing something there. I wonder why more Americans didn't think that? I wonder why so many felt that we had to invade Iraq in order to somehow make America more secure?

When has an obsession with "security" ever led to good things?

How many people who complain about only hearing bad news from Iraq actually give a shit about how Iraqis feel? Or how many have been killed because we haven't realized you can't kill "terror" with bombs?

In one of Kevin Sites's articles from Iraq, he quotes a soldier as saying that the war in Iraq won't be won with guns. Well, at least somebody realizes it.

I wonder when we'll get the real story on what's happening at Guantanamo Bay? And how many people will dismiss that story as liberal propaganda? And how many more just won't care?

I'm a little disgusted, but I'm not pessimistic. Pessimists are people who believe that things can't change without becoming worse. Pessimists are conservatives.

Healing Iraq has a whole bunch of links to Iraqi blogs, and a much more moderate tone, if you're interested in that.

I've been updating more personal blogs at this location, also, if you are interested in that.

I'm petered out. What is there to say? This is why I used to not concern myself with the big picture: nobody gives a shit.

Stand Up (Let's Get Murdered) - P.O.S.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Headlines: U.S. Tells Iran to "Suck it"

I just finished finals, so I'm not really in any mood to rant about this, but I'm going to give it a try. Recently, Iran's President, an archconservative who, arguably, was elected in response to our asshole foreign policy, wrote a letter to President Bush. This if the first correspondence between the U.S.-Iranian Presidencies in twenty-seven years. An unofficial translation may be obtained here. How would our President respond? True to form, his administration dismissed the letter as irrelevant. However, Bush still claims to support a diplomatic solution to Iran's continued pursuit of a nuclear program. Basically, he's saying he'll listen to Iran when Iran says what he wants to hear. Or, as Iranians are coming to understand it, Bush's concept of diplomacy involves Iran unconditionally surrendering to the demands of the West, specifically, the demands of America.

Granted, the letter is quite possibly nothing more than a political maneuver intended to paint the U.S. as the bad guy in this tense situation. However, it seems to me that the only way it could do that is if we rejected it outright. Which we did. Because we're morons.

What would we have lost by responding to this letter? What prevented us from using this as an opportunity to open a direct dialogue with the Iranian President about the nuclear program, besides our President's inability to pronounce the word correctly? And for that matter, why not take the opportunity to answer some of those questions, to address the people of Iran directly? I guess he figures since he doesn't have to answer to the American people anymore, he certainly doesn't have to answer to the people of Iran. I can only imagine that he's equating President Ahmadinejad with Saddam Hussein, which is a terrible mistake. In so many ways.

Anyway, enough for right now. I'm curious about Iran, and thankfully, Yahoo links to a series of articles by a guy who travelled to Iran looking for just the kind of information I most want to know. Kevin Sites in the Hotzone is a series of articles straight out of the conflict zones in the news today: not only Iran, but Haiti, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and so on. His articles on Iran are dated from January of this year, and give you some perspective on life in Iran. The difficulty facing an Irani metal band in a country that bans Western music, for instance, or the steps being taken to combat drug abuse and HIV, which so often go hand in hand. There are some disturbing similarities between our country and Iran when it comes to dealing with HIV. While these articles may or may not shed some light on the current situation or on the President's letter, I found them very interesting. I wish there were more of them.

I guess there's no reason the President should listen to what a hardline religious zealot has to say, but by that reasoning, why should anyone in the world listen to President Bush?

Oh, right. We already have nukes.

Monday, May 08, 2006

It's Moments Like These

Improv Everywhere infiltrates Best Buy

Extremely excellent. Glorious. Makes me proud to be an American, where national paranoia and uncontrolled consumption of high dollar electronics make events like this possible.

I have some suspicion that my friend Trouble won't like this as much as I do, because she's a conservative, and conservatives don't like people who don't follow the rules, who shake things up for the sake of shaking them up...unless those people are President Bush. Ha! Or, you know, soldiers or cops or whatever. Rumsfeld. People with guns? Seriously though, skip over her politics and read about her personal life. When she goes digging into her past, she comes up with some truly beautiful things, tells some excellent stories, and shows what a remarkable person she really is.

Anyway, that's all I have tonight. I ran out of poetry and my brain is offkilter, scattered and weird. I thought about quoting some of the things I said to people, ideas that were haunting me, divorced from their cerebral context. I decided that I prefered them as they were, free floating, living or dying according to their importance to the listener. Things are more beautiful when they can die. There's a thought for art, religion and relationships.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

To the girl I will never see again

I often find myself sad
After seeing a stranger,
And thinking to myself,
There goes another person Ill never know.

I cant explain just what it is that attracts me
to a particular person.
It may not be a physical attraction,
though it often is.
Maybe a girl has an interesting haircut
or freckles
or a scarf wrapped around her head
framing a perfect pretty face.
Those are interesting to me, although those qualities
in themselves
arent enough to make me feel like Im losing something,
Something precious.

People I see in passing
may, in fact,
be someone I could talk to,
someone with something to say,
someone worth a damn.
And I know
I know
looks are deceiving
and sometimes I look for the quiet, unobtrusive ones
the ones nobody else looks to for wisdom,
and wonder if they have a quick and ready laugh
nobody has discovered yet.

You see the problem is one of time.
I approach and talk to a man because of the way he walks
or a girl with elegant eyes
or a graceful, regal nose
and maybe we become friends.
Maybe we never speak again.
How well can you really know someone
In the time you have left?

Maybe I am sad because I spend so much time looking
and no one has yet found

Terrible Secrets

The Ice Age is Now and Forever

True faith, I am convinced,
Happens in a moment,
Like lightning striking
Blue-white out of a tumultuous sky,
Or like madness,
Taking us
In the snap and surrender
Of a world-weary mind.

They are exceptional, the truly faithful.
Like the mad.
Like the sky-struck.

The rest of us, the earnest seekers,
The doubters, the restless spirits,
Ride upon a glacier,
Huddled against the cold.

Some are convinced that we are not, in fact,
Moving at all; others shiver and dream
Of the day when the glacier might rumble
Over the northern cities and into
The sunlit lands.

We are moving and we don’t see it
Or feel it. This
Is not a ship; there is no one
At the wheel. We slip,
Unheeding, over smaller catastrophes.

The Terrible Secret
I wish I could make you sleep a little less well

Lying awake one night,
Unable to sleep,
I discovered a terrible secret.

And that secret was this:

There is only a certain amount of sleep in the world
And a certain amount of love.
So every time you love someone with all of
Your heart,
Somebody else loves their loved ones
A little less.
But they sleep well,
To make up for your restless nights.

And I fell asleep.