Game over, US won

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Doc wrote today:

We’ve won in Iraq. The citizens of Bagdad are elated. Nothing like a toppled statue to make a conclusive point.

The sounds I heard coming from Cheney this morning were very encouraging. If we do what he says we’re doing, maybe we can restore some level of trust in an Arab world that’s still very skeptical.

Right now I’m just looking forward to the day when some Las Vegas theme hotel has a headless statue of Saddam outside one of its bars

Well, hmm. Hmm.

To which I then responded with:

Let’s see – over 3000 Iraqi dead, several journalists dead or injured, battles raging all over the country, just starting to see the so-called terrorists activities start, Arab world furious, and the United States beat a tiny, ill-equipped people, and has forced them to scramble in the dirt for food and water.

Cheney basically saying that we’re occuping the country, but the UN can handle all those rag tag people that are hungry and thirsty. We’ll take care of the oil and the wealth.

Of course, we showed the world the chemical and biological weapons that made Iraq such an imminent threat. Didn’t we?

And best of all, all the webloggers don’t have to talk about this anymore – they can [go] back to talking about how great we webloggers are.

How humane.

How well informed.

Oh by the way, did you see this neat trick you can do in Radio?

A bit confused, Doc re-reads posting, and responds with:

Ah fuck.

Trying to make sense of this, I go back and re-read my post and realize there’s yes-I’m-still-peaceblogging paragraph missing.

O well.

For what it’s worth, here’s just one chunk of what Cheney said:

“Exactly what it will look like is something the people of Iraq are going to have to determine. I think it would be a mistake for we, as Americans, to say, well, look, here’s a cookie mold, this is how we do it, this is, therefore, exactly how you have to do it. I don’t think that will work. I don’t think that takes into account their unique culture and historical experience and so forth. They’re going to have to work it themselves and figure out what makes sense from their standpoint, given the social organization and the way their society has functioned in the past. And it’ll be a difficult task. But they’ve got some very able people already engaged in thinking about those kinds of thoughts and issues.”

For now I’d like to take him at his word. Let’s see what happens

I then see the following paragraph in the posting:

Later I’ll get around to blogging more about what the Mayor of Hiroshima has to say about our successful new National Security policy. And the fine time Mike Hawash is having, enjoying his protected American freedom in jail.

I think about what Doc says – let’s see what happens. Already happening:

“Where is General Garner now?,” Chalabi said in an interview with CNN from his base in Nassiriya. “People are hungry, their supplies are going to run out. Why are they not here? Why are they in Kuwait?”

Chalabi, who earlier said he was to meet U.S. officials and Iraqi politicians on Saturday to begin planning an interim authority for Iraq, also said members of President Saddam Hussein’s Baath party still posed a danger.

“The remnants of the Baath party will continue to pose a threat…as long as there is no electricity, security or water,” Chalabi said in the interview monitored in London.

“They are rapidly trying to ingratiate themselves…and try to bamboozle the American commanders into cooperating with them. The ‘de-Baathification’ process must begin here,” he said.

Doc and I might not always come from the same direction, but we’re both saying the same thing:

What makes anybody think this is all over because a statue gets pulled down?


Photography Writing

Expect Nothing

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

Alice Walker, “Expect Nothing”



Dear Trolls

Ducks say hi.



‘ware strangers

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

One of the most upbeat, nicest guys in weblogging is Joey deVilla, otherwise known in blogging and P2P circles as AccordionGuy.

Joey’s too nice a person to have this kind of problem. Glad am I that he escaped intact, but sorry am I at his disappointment.

I’m also thankful for Joey posting his story. As we put more and more of ourselves online, we should keep in mind that strangers as well as friends read what we write.

And not all strangers mean us well.


On Poetry and Pictures

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The rest of us watch from beyond the fence
as the woman moves with her jagged stride
into her pain as if into a slow race.
We see her body in motion
but hear no sounds, or we hear
sounds but no language; or we know
it is not a language we know
yet. We can see her clearly
but for her it is running in black smoke.
The cluster of cells in her swelling
like porridge boiling, and bursting,
like grapes, we think. Or we think of
explosions in mud; but we know nothing.
All around us the trees
and the grasses light up with forgiveness,
so green and at this time
of the year healthy.
We would like to call something
out to her. Some form of cheering.
There is pain but no arrival at anything.

Margaret Atwood, “The Rest”


I started pairing my photographs with poems I found on the Internet as a way of playing with the mood of the photograph, and to discover new poems and new poets. It is fast becoming a favorite hobby, and is very effective at relieving stress, anger, and sadness. (Which is why I found myself spending a lot of time with it the last few weeks.)

I’ll look at a photograph and write down my first impressions of it: what it means to me, why I like it or not, and what I was trying to say with it when I took it. From this, I’ll gather select keywords and use these to search for a poem at a site, such as Plagiarist or the Academy of American Poets. I’ll wander about through the results until finding the poem that best connects.

For instance, the Margaret Atwood poem was, fortuitously, in the list that resulted when I searched for the keywords for the photo of the fence. Since I had recently been exposed to her work, hers was one of the first I read, and it felt right for the picture.

When searching for poems for my second photograph, below, another Atwood poem appeared, which clearly demonstrates something. When I find out what it is, I’ll let you know. Regardless, I fell in love with this poem and it was the perfect one for the photograph.

Now, if people ask, “What does the photograph mean?”, I can answer, “Read the poem”. If they ask, “What does the poem mean?”, I’ll answer, “Look at the photograph.” I no longer have to explain myself, and can hold my inner thoughts secret, in plain view.

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and as you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

Margaret Atwood, “Variation on the Word Sleep”