Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, January 08, 2005
As we amazingly approach the 3rd anniversary of this blog, I offer a flashback to my online beginnings through a poetry contest on the sadly vanished Media Horse site:
with apologies to Lewis Carroll
And the slithey Roves
did spin and simbol on the tube,
All cheney were the Patrilogues
and the Corpgrafts outre.
Beware the JabberJock the son
his cause to smite install'd perchance.
Beware the Rumrum urge to fun
with handshakes from the past.
He took his Nato sword in hand,
a long viagred foe was sought
and putin'd he by a crawford tree
and wondered what was thought.
As in oafish thought he brood
the JabberJock with tie of blue
came whiffeling to the UN too
with Guernica wrapped and tame.
Forty one plus two
boo hoo boo hoo
the Nato blade went eurothwack
He's left no cred that grimacing head
can liberally yell attack.
An hast thou slain the ultra hawk?
Scooter yer clubbies via rightish blog
raptures the way
frist lott delay.
And the slithey Roves
did spin and simbol on the tube,
All cheney were the Patrilogues
and the Corpgrafts outre.
Friday, January 07, 2005
After a swarm of readers descended upon this blog Monday and Tuesday, I began to feel the waning of the blogging Muse coupled with the familiar revulsion from a too deep immersion in the cesspool of mainstream media.
While I greatly appreciate visitors to this site, the mundane and balancing chores of life, symbolized by my rapidly dehydrating Christmas tree, beckoned.
Certainly, excepting the tsunami disaster about which I can offer nothing except continuing shock, these last few days have witnessed no shortage of blog worthy trivia.
For example, I had no idea, prior to yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, that our mas macho President’s confidant and Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales spoke with a lisp.
The hearing, partially televised by C-SPAN, also afforded the opportunity to realize that creepy porn-fixated Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback has an almost completely square head.
I was also faux-stunned to discover that intrepid girl reporter Diane Sawyer is going “without sleep” and snacks as she faux-bravely toughs-out the Asian disaster aboard an American battleship.
If only all those dead people, the tasteless ABC report seemed to suggest, could have been a little more like our Diane perhaps things would have been different.
Fleeing my highly radioactive television, I did saddle up the old and more heavily shielded Dell for brief Googles of “Ahmed Said Ahmed al Ghamdi”, the Mosul Mess Tent bomber, and discovered right wing iconoclasts, The Weekly Standard and Frontpagemag.com, had joined the mostly leftist and mid-size media ranks by publishing the January 6th New York Post story whose details still have not graced the nation’s airwaves or major papers.
Major media also neglected to mention the missing 380 tons of al Qaqaa HMX and RDX explosive in reporting the massive roadside bombing, yesterday, that killed 8 US servicemen and tossed a Bradley armored personnel carrier into the air.
The increasing and deadly attacks are allowed to be softened as “acts of desperation by the insurgents” that are in the President’s whacky and self-serving description a mere “handful” of “democracy-haters”.
Then, of course, there was the festive but curious news of Tucker Carlson’s metaphoric kneecapping and the cancellation of CNN’s lengthy experiment with pointless name-calling.
The murk cleared, somewhat today, as tiny gender-neutral screamer Armstrong Williams was dressed in sackcloth and paraded, on the hour, by the co-conspiring and neo-penitent Time-Warner subsidiary for sins staining an assortment of inside the beltway souls.
In the spirit of full disclosure I must admit that I, once upon a time long ago and far away, briefly met the then still on the make Mr. Williams.
I wasn’t his type.
But, I guess, it is CNN and Mr. Williams' curious behavior, from his eye-shifting morning performance with the aging Bill Hemmer (is it me or has his beauty mark drifted) to the teary late afternoon capper sung to Paul Begala’s tunelessly false bon homme, that has propelled my fingers toward the light blogtastic.
Methinks somebody’s protesting too much about one little worm in a stinkingly rotten, worm-packed apple.
Could it be that a busy executive someone with a wet prognosticating finger got early wind that Armstrong’s lucrative propagandizing was going public and so tried to pre-empt collateral damage by directing the knee-cappers to the Carlson residence?
Likely, we will never know.
It remains darkly humorous that elements of the perverted American media can blithely and repeatedly ignore treason and danger to the American people and her troops but sensing danger to her own fat flanks this free-lunching modern hydra can still spin the illusion of dramatic action.
It is not good enough.
I want diverse and lengthy pundit show trials and lots more tears than the miserable two or three squeezed out by Mr. Williams this afternoon.
I guarantee huge ratings and tons of book deal and movie of the week synergy.
Why a clever corporation could even generate a total immersion computer game: Pundit Hunt new for X Box!
Photos: ABC, AP, senate.gov, WETA
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Stephen Schwartz , an opinion columnist for the New York Post, advances yesterday’s identification of the Mosul Tent Bomber.
Not only was Ahmed Said Ahmed al Ghamdi a Saudi national and cousin to three of the September 11 hijackers but Schwartz, this morning reports the cowardly bomber was the eldest son of “Sayyid al Ghamdi, former head of the Saudi diplomatic mission in Sudan, a country ruled by an Islamist regime that once played host to Osama bin Laden himself.”
Middle Eastern news accounts, yesterday, while not identifying Ambassador al Ghamdi reported him saying that his son Ahmed had stayed on in the Sudan after his own diplomatic mission concluded and that “the son then cleaned out his personal bank account and told his father he was headed for Iraq to kill Americans.”
The Post goes on to report that the information office of the Royal Saudi Embassy in Washington, big surprise, did not respond to their calls.
A Google, today, shows that editors at the Army, Navy and Marine Times considered the bomber’s identity important enough to print the original Associated Press account but the story has still, to the best of my knowledge, not cracked the self-important façade of big print or television.
I’m grateful to Richard Cranium of Philly’s The All Spin Zone for linking to yesterday’s post and for his comment on my still almost blushingly virgin comment area.
Postings may be somewhat infrequent as Santa brought some excellent reading material this year including the best Science Fiction novel I’ve read in years, Julie E. Czerneda’s Survival.
Santa also added to my gay studies bookshelf with Meredith Weatherby’s translation of Yukio Mishima’s 1951 (first English publication in 1958) autobiography Kamen No Kokuhaku or Confessions of a Mask and C.A. Tripp’s long anticipated The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln.
I have been fascinated by the lives and actions of both men for most of my life and for what I had once thought were different reasons.
Mishima first came to my attention in my 16th year through TIME magazine’s coverage of his takeover of the University of Tokyo and the ceremonial seppuku performed by himself and his boyfriend atop the University’s administration building.
A Japanese Catholic, Mishima’s fascination with motorcycles, leather, certain images of Catholic saints and ancient Japan, along with his dramatic death, heightened my own fevered teen interest.
Growing up in the bluegrass state, perhaps in part, explains my lifelong interest in Kentucky’s only and America’s 16th President.
I’ve always found it difficult to look at a photograph of Lincoln.
I get chills.
I know this sounds strange but as a child, raised on stories of his restless spirit walking the White House, I wasn’t afraid of boogiemen haunting my bedroom; I was afraid of opening my eyes to see Lincoln’s sad face staring at my child’s bed.
Hey, I’ve never made any claims to normalcy!
Our greatest President has long intrigued this humble blogger and it will be highly interesting to read that, perhaps, we have more in common than just being awkward fellows from Kentucky.
Another hero, Gore Vidal, has written a web-only essay, Was Lincoln Bisexual?, about Tripp’s Lincoln book and I recommend it to your attention.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
The Saudi owned newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday after 4pm Eastern Time published the identity of the Mosul Mess Tent Bomber.
From L to R, Saeed, Ahmed and Hamza al Ghamdi
The bomber, Ahmed Said Ahmed al Ghamdi, was a Saudi medical student and cousin to three of the September 11th hijackers, Ahmed al Ghamdi, Hamsa al Ghamdi and Saeed al Ghamdi.
Ahmed and Hamza were aboard United Airlines flight 175 which crashed into the World Trade Center south tower while Saeed was aboard United flight 93 which crashed, following a passenger revolt, into a Pennsylvania farm field.
Curiously, not very many American news organizations, including that avowed enemy of “ill-informed rumor-mongering” bloggers the New York Times or its slightly less delicate cousin the Washington Post, find this info nugget newsworthy this Tuesday morning.
A Tuesday morning site search of the gray lady reveals a straight Associated Press report published only on the web and not linked from a headline on their homepage at 4:47 pm yesterday.
Of course, with no prior information and no revealing headline link from their (snort) “all the news that’s fit to print” homepage, how could one possibly find this online only information?
A site search of the Washington Post reveals no such story.
By 8 pm Eastern yesterday the information had appeared in several Arabic, European and Asian publications.
Also by 8pm yesterday the, to me, stunning information was appearing on select local TV news web pages, some local newpapers and, even on that icky purveyor of crap, MSNBC.
But, this morning, published information that a cousin to three of the September 11th hijackers strapped with metal projectile-laden high explosive was able to enter a secured military facility in a war zone doesn’t appear to be news to the two main American arbiters of the day’s news.
To Rupie's credit the story does appear in the, uncomfortably growing in my estimation, New York Post.
Photos: der Spiegel
Monday, January 03, 2005
An Australian soldier distributes water in Banda Aceh
This morning several of our more visible media institutions resemble the fat, over jeweled and panicked frozen pie buyers I described in Saturday’s post.
Selfishly unable to face the uncomfortable questions about our belief and technological systems engendered by a disaster unparalleled in modern human history, as my fat ladies were unable to cope with clogged checkout lines at the grocery, these fat, panicked pinnacles of allegedly western thought wrap themselves in delusion and pitifully hunt for intellectual scapegoats instead of reporting, as do other media institutions, the hideously slow and possibly failing pace of the global relief effort.
It appears, from a cursory read of today’s New York Times, Washington Post and other select foreign and domestic press that the mounting clamor from humanity’s global family to further intensify efforts to assist the millions of tsunami victims is being muted before the American people with a sugar-coating of good news spin lest the eagerly sought cash bonanza and/or domestic agenda of the big corporations and the Bush administration be sidetracked from Denny Hastert’s quick and deadly January/February congressional coup de grâce.
Or, perhaps, in the words of this morning’s NYT blog scapegoat snipe hunt, I’m simply engaging, and who should know better than our dainty Times, in “the blogosphere's tendency toward crackpot theorizing and political smack down.”
Maybe I should let you, dear reader, be the judge.
While UN officials are reportedly “optimistic” that initial relief supplies and volunteer aid workers are arriving, according to the London Guardian:
Aid workers across southern Asia faced a logistical nightmare in distributing hundreds of tons of emergency supplies. "It's absolute chaos," said Titon Mitra of Care International, which is running 14 survivor camps in Aceh.
According to The Scotsman:
United Nations chiefs have admitted that, a week after the Asian tsunami disaster, the supply chains to deliver vital aid to millions of desperate survivors are still not in place.
However, back home at the New York Times, the kind people who brought you “cakewalk”, “nuclear Iraq”, “bold Bush” and “waffling” Kerry, skies, excepting those dark and malevolent blog clouds, are sunny with headlines like:
Disaster’s Damage to Economies May Be Minor
Relief Effort Gains as Aid Is Reaching More Survivors
Aid Workers Bring Order to Generosity
Now even my tinfoil hat isn’t so tight that I cannot admit these headlines are technically true. Simply more than one survivor seeing a doctor or getting a bowl or rice allows the Times to proclaim “Aid Is Reaching More Survivors” while minimizing quotations form UN officials and aid workers.
My tinfoil chapeau, technically a comfortable fit, is merely wondering what motivates our slightly soiled gray lady.
At the Washington Post headline skies are only occasionally sunny:
One Week After Tsunami, Signs of Renewal in Asia
Distribution System Is Not Working
Other bloggers greater that I, and that’s not saying much, have posted about major media’s curious fudging of the amount of the President’s initial aid offer.
I, personally via the toob, heard the $15 million figure within a day or two of the December 26, 2004 disaster; a figure one commenter on the Atrios site compaired to New York City snow removal rather than appropriate for a disaster of this magnitude.
Despite my lying ears, major media has been reporting the President’s initial offer as “$35 million generously multiplied to $350 million.”
Is it “crackpot theorizing” for bloggers to wonder why the media does this?
Is my “tinfoil hat” making me wonder why $300 billion and our vast military logistics machine, most specially in light of the tsunami disaster, is being squandered in Iraq?
Is it a “political smackdown” to suggest that a more massive United States effort in this heavily Moslem part of the world could help us win the war on terror?
As an ordinary person with little to offer but my own thoughts, I’m wondering why.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
One Ringy Dingy!
The Secretary of State, giddy with the thought of the private sector cash he'll amass this new year and two or three killer Slippery Nipples, shows off his feminine side at Times Square's New Year's Eve festivities.