burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness|
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Monday, February 17th, 2003
|Apparently we do do blizzards, however.
The entire campus shut down at 11:30. So no afternon classes and no work at the Museum for me.trijinx
if no one else is with me that really, we did this all the time in elementary school, this is what winter in New England is all about. Okay, so the snow blowing so one can't see is bad, and it's understandable that they want people who live out of town to be able to get home safely, but still. It's each individual professor's perogative to cancel class, but to shut down the entire campus? Sheesh, what kind of New Englanders are they?
I was going to go to a surprise birthday party
last night, i really was, but i decided last minute not to. Partly because i wouldn’t have known anyone besides the birthday girl herself
(well and laynamarya
, but i didn’t even know if she was going for sure).
I’m bad with the social when i actually have to expend effort. I still maintain that i will be dragging all interested parties to my former-roomie’s CD release party this Friday (Hopkins House living room, 7:30pm), though.
And this LJ party
thing really will happen. I’m thinking a Saturday night, after Spring Break. Al-Cap (a.k.a. The Biodome) sounds good, largely for my own convenience. This assumes there will be no more than about 40 people there at any given time. Also, food=good. Any suggestions? Should we just purchase chips and soda or what? Thoughts and/or suggestions of any kind relating to this event are welcome really.
I’m debating about whether i should go home for a Dar concert at the Orpheum Saturday April 13. My mom would pay for my ticket and we would go together, though i would pay for my transportation. I’ve seen Dar live twice and i haven’t been blown away, but i do really like the talking she does (largely about where the songs come from, and she has a new album out March 11). And i’m coming home for Spring Break (though i may be able to get a ride at least one way) and then the following weekend for BZ6
(which i think i should drag lilithchilde
to -- and yes, supposedly it will continue after this year despite Rich’s departure, so you’re allowed to not come this year).
|spamming for the enemy or something
There was, I thought, one slogan which was missing. There were quite a number which called for “Freedom for Palestine”; I looked in vain for one which called for “Freedom for Iraq”. I did not hear all of the speeches, though I watched Jesse Jackson on television. From what I did hear, none of the speakers expressed any wish to free Iraq, let alone proposing any policy which might help to achieve that.
In the case of Iraq, the issue of tyranny was passed by in silence. We all know that the apartheid government killed in hundreds, perhaps thousands, but Saddam Hussein has killed in hundreds of thousands. Indeed, the million people on the London march were a shocking image of the million who have died because of him. Nelson Mandela was unjustly imprisoned for decades; if he had been an Iraqi, and acted as he did, Mandela would be dead long since. Not a hero, or a President, but an unmarked grave in the sand. This great demonstration — and it was a great demonstration — was not assembled to support the liberation of Iraq, but to oppose it.
It will be said that this is unfair, that the demonstrators were opposed only to US action without the approval of the United Nations. But that is not really true. The main thrust of the demonstration, and most of the slogans, went against any war in Iraq, with or without UN approval.
The demonstrators were not people who had opposed Saddam’s refusal to disarm under the terms of the UN ceasefire in 1991. They were not people who had marched against Iraq’s treatment of the missing hostages seized in Kuwait, or of the Iranian prisoners of war, or of Iraqi dissidents, or of the Kurds and Marsh Arabs. All of these things had passed them by. When the United States decided to act to enforce the UN resolution on disarmament, or to remove the regime, then, and only then, they decided to protest. Subjectively the march was for peace; objectively it helped Saddam Hussein. He knows that; the march was shown for seven hours on Iraqi television.
Suppose that the peace demonstrators have their way. Vetoes will be passed in the United Nations. Under the pressure of public opinion, the Bush and Blair Administrations will postpone and possibly eventually abandon their attempt to enforce the UN resolutions, including Resolution 1441. Obviously that would be a victory for Saddam Hussein, giving him the glory of having seen off the power of the United States, not once, but twice. His influence would be at its height throughout the Arab, and the whole Islamic, world. Israel would be threatened, as well as Kuwait, but so would the governments of the other Arab countries.
-from "In all honesty, they were still Saddam's useful idiots" by William Rees-Mogg in The Times Online
The article goes on and says other interesting, thoughtful things, but i was struck by the similarity to something many anti-war people say:
It just gets me angry that it takes other issues, (i.e. oil and protecting Israel) for America to really "wise up" and actually recognize the injustice of Saddam, and "want to stop it." I don't really think that people's motives are that pure, and it makes me sad that they're not. America seems only to want to help and intervene when it benefits America. Otherwise, we look over others' suffering and pain, sweep it under the rug...
It’s sad that it takes interests other than those of the Iraqi people for non-Iraqis on either
side to care.
One should really read all of this letter to Tony Blair from an Iraqi exile
, but here’s a main excerpt:
Why is it now that you deem it appropriate to voice your disillusions with America's policy in Iraq, when it is actually right now that the Iraqi people are being given real hope, however slight and precarious, that they can live in an Iraq that is free of the horrors partly described in this email?
Whatever America's real intentions behind an attack, the reality on the ground is that many Iraqis, inside and outside Iraq support invasive action, because they are the ones who have to live with the realities of continuing as things are while people in the West wring their hands over the rights and wrongs of dropping bombs on Iraq, when in fact the US & the UK have been continuously dropping bombs on Iraq for the past 12 years.
Of course it would be ideal if an invasion could be undertaken, not by the Americans, but by, say, the Nelson Mandela International Peace Force. That's not on offer. The Iraqi people cannot wait until such a force materialises; they have been forced to take what they're given. That such a force does not exist - cannot exist - in today's world is a failing of the very people who do not want America to invade Iraq, yet are willing to let thousands of Iraqis to die in order to gain the higher moral ground. Do not continue to punish the Iraqi people because you are "unhappy" with the amount of power the world is at fault for allowing America to wield. Do not use the Iraqi people as a pawn in your game for moral superiority - one loses that right when one allows a monster like Saddam to rule for 30 years without so much as protesting against his rule.
|The Bostonians Book Second = finished
from "English Majors" (Saturday, February 8, 2003 Prairie Home Companion)
SS: Do you love me? (SUSPENSE CHORD)
GK: I certainly do. I love you with all my heart and all my soul, with every sinew of my being.
SS: I love when you say that. Especially "sinew". (BIG CHORDS, THEN UNDER…..)
TR (SOTTO VOCE): The clear statement of passion: it's no wonder most women prefer an English major.
SS: Sometimes I'm not sure how you feel.
GK: Sometimes my passion for you is so blazingly strong, I'm not quite sure what I would do if you were taken from me.
TR (SOTTO VOCE): An economist wouldn't know how to speak like this. But an English major does. The human heart ---- it's his specialty.
|oh Joe Millionaire
My door is open and a lot of people live in my hall, so the past 10 minutes or so it has been quite amusing hearing dramatic music and chorusus of college-age women screaming.
|"i am getting nowhere with [this] and i can't let it go and i can't get through"
A friend and i were talking a few weeks ago, about how some people really want to be able to put everyone into boxes. I thought later that i like the imagery of labels, like bumper stickers on one’s car, only these are labels one wears oneself. And you can choose which ones you wanna reveal (like shifting one’s clothes to conceal/reveal tattooes).
But anyway, what we actually talked about was transgenderism. Both our moms have problems with the idea, because they come from an era of feminism which asserted that people of either sex could have masculine or feminine characteristics. I have difficulty with it conceptually as well, but being here, i’m just like “okay.” For example, my parents and i went to the LBTA panel on Parents Weekend and Lee talked about “failing at being a girl,” but my mom and i often feel like we “fail at being girls” in many of the stereotypical senses. So how does one distinguish between not fitting into the gender stereotypes and actually feeling that one is in the wrong body? We didn’t have any answers. I brought up the concept of “transgressive exceptionalism” which i learned of in Queer Studies last year, the idea of identifying as “trans” just because “you’re so unique they don’t even have a name for you,” and how inclusionary terms like “queer” can become problematic when they become so “baggy” that they cease to mean anything. My friend said that there are some people who are just doing it to be cool or whatever, but there are some people who are real. I read Amy Bloom’s Normal
today, and while it doesn’t really provide any answers, besides that one just knows, i really liked this passage which opens her essay “The Body Lies”:
What would you go through to not have to live the life of Kafka’s Gregor Samsa? Not to realize, early in childhood, that other people perceive a slight, unmistakable bugginess about you, which you find horrifying but they claim to find unremarkable? That glimpses of yourself in the mirror are upsetting and puzzling and to be avoided, since they show a self that is not you? That although you can ignore your shell much of the time and your playmates often seem to see you and not your cockroach exterior, teachers and relatives pluck playfully at your antennae with increasing frequency and suggest, not unkindly, that you might be more comfortable with the other insects? And when you say, or cry, that you are not a cockroach, your parents are sad, or concerned, or annoyed, but unwavering in their conviction—how could it be otherwise?—that you are a cockroach, and are becoming more cockroachlike every day. Would you hesitate to pay thirty thousand dollars and experience some sharp but passing physical misery in order to be returned to your own dear, soft, skin-covered self?