Friday, November 26, 2004
The Great Song of Indifference
I'm in Toronto though so to join the protest I have to leave town at crack o'clock, drive 5 and a half hours to the town that never wakes up, and join the rest of the outsiders.
Except, I'm an insider now. I'm trying to change the system from within. Having more success at it than I ever did from without. Those fences work you know, especially with all them big burly human blockades surrounding them, and the perpetual stream of consiousness tear gas flowing like leftover chili, burns the eyes. They swing big sticks too, and by now they probably have tazers, and guns that shoot bullets of rubber and lead [do they still use lead or are they, like the pencil people, worried about lead poisoning?].
I don't wanna give the impression I'm scared or anything, it just doesn't seem to fit. My schedule I mean. Because after the 5.5 hour drive and then about 5.5 hours of protesting, we'd have to drive 5.5 hours back. And this is a Wednesday, you see, when he visits. That means missing work that day. And a 16.5 hour day without enough sleep. It's just hard to even imagine what with so much to do at work, so many projects I care about, that do more to change the world than standing around getting gassed ever will. Do I sound like a sellout?
I'd love to go, and all, it'd be fun. I miss protesting, it's a tremendous team-building exercise. Corporations should do it, send their people out teambuilding at a protest against their competitors, good for the team and the public image. Shell could send their marketing team down to Esso to talk to passersby about the damage Esso is doing to the environment.
Anyway, what I meant to say was that protesting is a great bonding activity. You really get close to the people you're there with. It's like war but you don't have to kill, and the odds of dying are low, relative to war. And you're united in cause, in righteous outrage.
Goddamn Bush, we should be outraged shouldn't we? What right does he have to fuck the world the way he has, the motherfucking rapist. He should be protested everywhere he goes, Canadians should take a stand against the earthfucker, the peacefucker, the brownpeoplefucker.
Unfortunately he won't ever listen, it won't make a difference to him or his hawks (I shouldn't even call them that, hawks are beautiful animals and you don't ever see hawks committing genocide do you?), it won't change the world. But it feels good, it feels good to do the right thing, to be on the just side. But you gotta question that feeling, like this: isn't that how Bush probably feels too? Anyway, protestors aren't out to kill. They just want to express their anger, express their dissent, their strong disagreement and dissatisfaction with America's choice for world dictator.
Empires rise and fall - America's due for a major collapse. So are the rest of us. Bush is accelorating the process. As the fire consumes us I want to be able to stand up and say "hey, I did my best to stop this."
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Roll the Drums
as they poured down into the fold
Two by two four by four patternally
they moved in perfect time
To watch their perfect crimes
was like watching rivers eternally
He watched from hills afar
their spilt blood their caviar
and he longed for their fraternity
Though poets lauded him
for drumming his own tin
he tired of being solitary
So alone he trained by night
forging skill and forming might
manifesting his artistry physically
He danced his fists through the air
sweat fueling the anger that flared
as physicality erupted violently
His training was private and hidden
until he was ready to enlist unbidden
Months later he marched to them confidently
told them "I want to be one of your numbers"
But he was known best for long slumbers
and they laughed at him derisively
They laughed hard and laughed long
while he waited patiently for their calm
then issued his challenge insightfully
"If three of you will gather round
and with all your efforts bring me down
you can exclude me forever decisively
"But if I can beat all three
you'd be wiser to welcome me"
They accepted his offer hesitantly
His was no easy task
they wanted to kick his ass
and they worked at full intensity
But when the rubble was cleared
he stood alone with their blood smeared
across his chest symbolically
The other three lay dead
their drums pounding in his head
drowning the morning's serenity
Because he had killed their brothers
they had to welcome this other
who had proven himself maniacally
But looking at what he'd done
he knew he could never be one
of these men who'd forgive his heresy
He returned to his solitary hills
with all the blood ever spilled
on his conscience eternally
They went back to their march
their murderous art
equal to his living externally
Anyway I went on Salam's blog (dear_raed.blogspot.com) and it seems he went on hiatus in April of this year. I read some entries that came after the book and it's still great stuff, my favourite being about how he's personally reconciled previous internal conflicts about being too Western for an Iraqi, being "in the middle." And about how, being a middle eastern man he feels the need to pull out all the many varied aspects of his identity (educated, fluent in Arabic and English, queer, etc.) in order not to be "painted into a corner" by the Western way of looking at people, i.e. mideastern men are Muslim terrorist wife-beaters, period.
As someone who strives to avoid labeling people, and therefore tries hard not to jump into identity games or proudly self-identifyin any way, it offered a lot of insight as to why people do that. It is kind of akin to me belonging to all the traditional power groups (white, male, straight, christian-born, middle class), and therefore making special efforts to prove that I'm not so oppressive. It's weird that we have to do these things to prove ourselves, but we do.
Anyhoo, I was disappointed that he stopped blogging for so long, and I'm really not sure why. But, that's obviously his perogative. It's just a bit of a bummer to discover you're a fan of someone and then just then they stop producing.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Huntington on the organized violence of The West
--Samuel P. Huntington
[Samuel P. Huntington is a pseudonym for Albert J. Weatherhead III, University Professor. and Chairman of the Harvard Academy of International and Area Studies. ] He wrote The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (1957), The Common Defense: Strategic Programs in National Politics (1961), Political Order in Changing Societies (1968), American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (1981), The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (1991), The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996), and Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity (2004).]
Post-election Bob Dylan Blues
I can't believe
You had the nerve to tell so many lies
All those false strands
somehow you never got stuck inside
your web of evil axes
That's your power
traping prey for poison
Playing games over the ocean
as the innocent die in the suction.
[3 guesses who i wrote that for]
And this, written during an exciting meeting on how to get Canadians to do something about climate change:
Let's go on the web
that's where it's at
dress a local celeb
up like he's a sheep
ranting but staying on message
this will save the world
this will save the day
practitioners training NGO's n LPC's
you may ask 'what's it got to do with me?'
And here's something I wrote some time ago:
Ashraf is the right man for the job
because he knows how to multi-task
He's got 3 degrees but
minimum wage is all he asks
Lotta unfinished poetry lately, I blame Bob Dylan's book, but it was a damn good read.
Here's another oldie but goodie, and it's complete - it's a Haiku (Canadian English version with no reference to nature or season), so it's short, I churn these out like butta (or buddha):
Lotta ill lookin'
people on subway - seven
Yep, I'm a freakin' genius, let's face it.
That's all for now - burn in hell George W., burn in hell.