Mar 17 2009
We’ve been watching this for a week, and today it happened: the Seattle Post Intelligencer, after 146 years of publication, has silenced its presses. There will be some sort of online effort; Hearst is a big company, and MBAs will no doubt be called in to poke at the corpse and apply the art of marketing galvanics to the still limbs; but the PI, the paper I grew up with, is gone.
Jan 19 2009
Finally, someone spoke for me. You know how it is, if you’re at all a news junkie. Face after face, article after article, and yeah, you agree, or no, you don’t. That’s mostly true, gee I wish more people got it. And on one goes. And then, you’re tripping along, and something just…gets you.
Bishop Eugene Robinson’s pre-inaugural invocation got me. He said some things I wanted to hear someone else say. Which make me feel less like the fat kid at the wall, watching everyone dance. Now…just for context. If you asked me if there is a god, I’d tell you, flat out, no freakin’ way. If I go to a ceremony or a ritual, it is probably wiccan, and reclaiming wiccan, at that: I don’t think I have to believe in any of it to know there are parts of ourselves which are connected, which express and experience faith at levels which don’t have much to do with absolute fact. But…even so, I’d say that an invocation beginning with “god of our many understandings” was off on both number and gender, since to the extent I entertain religion, it is in a polytheistic and wiccan frame.
Dec 22 2008
I'm sitting in a cozy little study on Seattle's Capitol Hill. A warm halogen desk lamp, four computers, several piles of books, a shelf full of my favorite and beloved tomes beside a comfortable chair. A pot of earl grey. Outside, it looks kind of like this:
Well, OK…exactly like that, since I just took it five minutes ago from the window above my right monitor. It is cold as hell and the snow just won't stop, which is unusual for this part of the world. Everyone I talk to has gotten sick of the holiday magic of it all, and just wants it to go the hell away. I have gone from resenting the impact on my daily habitrails, to taking eight perimeter laps around the park you see…exactly 5.3 miles. It makes my teeth hurt, but it's better than letting the carbohydrates win. And it's a thrill to see the vast machine of the city come to a softly falling halt. Anyway…that's only part of what this is about.
Nov 08 2008
Over the last few days, the blogosphere has been abuzz with the idea that we should be asking the Obama administration to reflect the progressive wishes of his supporters (or conversely, letting us know that those were all used up at the ball, and it is back to pumpkins and mice). As a cynical outlier on the queer edge of queer and the socialist edge of left, my wishes might as well be for glass slippers and don't seem worth stating except as a general plea for solidarity and recognition from other lefty types (waving frantically with big grin). My wish is for a commons, for a shared floor for society, for social justice in the positive sense; and for a society which does not disintegrate around me, in the negative.
I did start thinking that there are some smaller things we could fight for. Levers of modest size which because of their length or tensile strength, would bring greater change. Here's my list…
Nov 08 2008
Our host asked us this morning to come up with something in terms of a vision. A floor! I said. Some base level below which we don't allow people to fall. On reflection, I thought that perhaps we are unlikely (at best) to provide a real social safety net. What we need, I think, is something to restore a sense of fairness in society. A badly missing sense of fairness, the idea of a commonweal, the kind of justice that begins with economics and ends with fair laws for everyone, because people no longer feel they are engaged in a vicious, social darwinist experiment.
This is my half-assed shot. This isn't much more than an off the cuff Quote For Discussion, except I'm quoting myself, so it's not as interesting. It doesn't deserve any recs! But I hope you'll read it, and think about it, a little 🙂
Oct 13 2008
I read this in a doctor’s waiting room when I was all of 18 years old, in 1982. The year before I had seen Sizwe Bansi is dead in Ashland. Nothing on earth had moved me like that. The idea of a writer who could do such a thing – such bloody, piss covered, vibrant madness and craft — Athol Fugard, I thought, was my hero. Indeed, I doubted he walked, if asked then I am sure I would have insisted the man simply floated, perhaps propelling himself with soft jabs of a pen. So, sitting there…when I saw this in the New Yorker…an interview! – I had to read it. I am now 44; I think of it almost every day.
Sep 05 2008
I just read Starhawk's letter from the Republican National Convention protests…the one for the first. It's of course avaliable on her website, but both her site and the letter are avaliable on the orange satan:
I was inspired by the diary to go look up the poem…which I'd read a long time ago, but was much too young for (even though I last read it only a couple years ago). As society changes, and I think about the discussion with NLinSP on here the other day, about radicalization and violence…this resonated.
Aug 30 2008
Like everyone else, I've been mesmerized for the last few hours by the spectacle of Sarah Palin's selection as John McCain's running mate. A few known facts about her are repeated…over and over. And over. But there's something I'm starting to see…and it's really pissing me off. So you get…more outrage. Our currency and gift.
Aug 12 2008
What I want to accomplish here is to hijack the idea of the pony party for one meme. Namely, all this shit in Georgia is how my generation grew up thinking WE WERE ALL GONNA DIE except for the ones fighting over dusty cans of radioactive tuna fish. Like, pretty much everything has been wargammed from here out to the end of the world: there's no cause to worry. So. Something catharctic, celabratory, something nobody recommends, ok?
On to it…