Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Should I Give a Shit?

Anna Nicole Smith has fled this mortal coil to take her place amongst the choir invisible. May the Lord take pity on her and grant her eternal rest.

I think that that is just about enough to say about Anna Nicole Smith on a day that boasted headlines like Hamas and Fatah agreeing to a unity government, Israelis and Palestinians hurting each other near the temple mount because of disagreements over archeological excavation, George W bracing for the stern talking to he is about to get from Congress when they debate the non-binding resolution criticizing his decision to deploy 21k more troops to Iraq (I can imagine Cheney yawning long and wide while Pelosi and crew waste their breath), and finally, in New Orleans, a story about a woman giving her 17 year old son a semi-automatic pistol and instructing him to assassinate a kid in the neighborhood who had bested him in a good, honest, fist-fight.

This is the world I live in.

Yet, CNN, the BBC, and all my other favorite haunts have big splash stories about Anna Nicole Smith and her impending autopsy. The exception, of course, to that rule was Al Jazeera which made me consider that the muslims definitely have good reasons for distrusting western "progress" and "journalistic freedom." No, Al Jazera's big story today had pictures of human beings being carried to safety from gun fights, people standing around in shock after having watched their buddies gunned down by their American "allies" and the burning aftermath of a rocket attack in a market in Mogadishu.

Yet, Anna Nicole is big news...

People wonder why American teenagers can't find Kashmir on a map but even when kids do attempt to indulge journalistic media, they are handed platters of shit, adorned with birthday candles. Anna Nicole Smith was a working class girl who shook her money maker for the right guy, in the right place and at the right time. In a way, she represents a good, old fashioned, working class hero in the sense of Liza, the Bowery Gal. Yet, in another more practical way, she represents just another distracting, bullshit, example of ADHD at work in the shaping of our cultural consciousness. Do I need to be kept abreast of the coroners reports on Anna Nicole Smith? No, I don't.

She died of complications due to her taking barbituates (or tranquilizers) and drinking alchohol. I haven't read the story, and in any event, the story on the autopsy findings haven't been released yet but, from what little I know of Anna Nicole Smith (I never paid attention when she was alive), she was known for popping pills and for going out in public drunk off her ass. The smart money says: pills and booze. You see, I fall guilty to the same impulse to indulge this bullshit distraction! I know there is more important stuff that I could be occupying myself with, that I SHOULD be occupying myself with but, no. Anna Nicole Smith...

Why? Why should I give a shit?

New Orleans, LA

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What can I say? I'm Psychic...

Forgive me a moment of self-indulgent patting myself on the back. But, I don't write in over a month, the first time that I do write, I feel compelled to make snide comments about the strange quiet in the media with regards to American deaths in Iraq and the next day....WHAM!


That is the cover story on the BBC for their "Americas" section on the news site that I have linked to the right for your convenience. Can I call 'em or what? The force is strong with me, if I do say so myself.

Let me say this: I love the BBC. I love the BBC because if you do a search for news stories on February 4, 2007 on CNN, Fox or ABC you will not find that story.

In contrast, Fox's top story is about the ruthless effectiveness of our allies in the middle east, the Israeli's (read: our team is better than their team).


CNN's top story is about Jesus-freaks in Florida praying over the wreckage of their church, destroyed in a freak touch down of tornados (read: only God can save us from the effects of climate change and the associate wrath-of-God-type weather we're about to get hit with since our environmental policy is being set by polluting corporations with more wealth than the Pope).


ABC's top story is a feature on what a tough talking, logically minded, patriotic team player John McCain is. Let me say this about John McCain: once upon a time, McCain had an itsy-bitsy-teensy-weensie-bit of credibility with me...at least as much as John Kerry did. Then, McCain stated playing suck-up to the weirdo Christians because that's what the GOP electoral sorcerors told him he had to do in order to be competetive in the next Presidential election. At this point, more than anything else, McCain seems to be, in simplest terms, bought. He is not his own man anymore and you can tell.


McCain makes a good point: obstructing the President's agenda without a solid alternative is useless. And so our troops will continue to languish amidst a collective lack of imagination that illustrates that for however lame, ignorant and pathetic W and Co. might be, the democrats are equally, if not more, contemptible for offerring nothing more than a pretense of alternative and thus our erstwhile republic devolves into little more than bad theater.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Look at the Monkey; Look at the Silly Monkey

Why does military recruitment material these days look so much more like Tampon advertisements than calls to arms? Stemming the flow of the blood of patriots into the sand...hard work these days in Iraq, that model democracy that so recently proved to the world just how effective W and Co.'s policy adventures in the Middle East have been through its ability to have elections and prosecute, and ultimately hang, its former dictator, Sadam Hussein.

Yes, yes...very effective, indeed. Who even pays attention to the Iraqi sectarian violence body-count anymore? US war deaths have been described as being "around 3000" for a while now, but Iraqi deaths...why do I feel like it has to average around 50-70 or so a week? I admt, I don't really pay a lot of attention to the specifics of the Shia/Sunni grudge-slayings but I know in the countdown to Ashura, there was a lot of weird, apocalyptic-violence and what-not, including a guy who claimed to be the Mehdi (Islamic Messianic figure) getting gunned down by Sunni/Al-Queda type guys. But, I havent heard any reports of Americans getting whacked out lately.

Spring is already here in New Orleans. Last week there were a couple of days that I would describe as cold, but the week before that, there was one day that I think may have crept into the 80's. Flowers are starting to bloom, and I expect to have to run out and get a couple of summer shorts soon. Mardi Gras parades start this week, and tis the season for debutante balls and Senior Proms and for military recruiters to launch their predatory program for the duping of unsuspecting pre-college freshmen.

The military recruitment literature is covered with images of kids jumping high into the air; the sky, brushed beautifully with cirrus clouds, features prominently on the front cover of the little pamphlet. Compared to the Tom Clancy, sleek and slick shit they were passing out to kids at the end of the Cold War when I was a senior in high school, this recruitment material looks like they are trying to sell kids on an image of suburban recreation rather than a gritty truth of waking up every morning afraid of suicide bombing jihadis taking a massive shit in your morning cereal.

Showing the face of a guy on patrol in the Sunni Triangle with that look in his eye that lets you know that he is so fucking scared, that anything that moves suddenly, man, woman or child, is going to get all shot up...I guess that's not what they want the prospective recruit to focus on though. Look at the monkey, they say.

Look at the silly monkey.