/***********************************************/ /* HEADER */

It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

My Photo
Location: Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

100 things about me

Powered by Blogger

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A few snaps from a Sunday afternoon walk around town


A city that takes beauty seriously

On a beautiful Paris winter day, Flame-Haired Angel and I took a walk around some of the scenic parts of the city, breathing it in as we wonder how much longer we'll be here.

When we came toward the end of our walk, we crossed into Place de La Concorde. I almost laughed aloud when I saw the image below.

It's scaffolding, but with a printed scrim draped over it so no one is offended by the eye-sore of the work-obstructed facade.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What we're afraid of

Traveling in the UK on business, I was surprised, over several nights, at the amount of TV air time devoted to global climate change.

After 6 years of institutional US Federal Government encouragement to fear terrorism and not worry about global warming, wouldn't it be interesting if people really ended up fearing the latter more?


Sunday, January 07, 2007

The hand of the artist.

Well, not so much the hand as its trail. Click here.

Been meaning to post this for some time. Just mesmerizing.


Wife-beating and Islam

I'm posting this because I stumbled across it (nod to aberrant news) and it shocked me. On reflection, however, I suppose that any orthodox Jew -- and therefore many fundamentalist Christians, as well -- would sound just about as nuts. Stoning and whatnot. The Old Testament was a real go-getter.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Time for the father to chat with the son

by Garrison Keillor, from the Baltimore Sun

As the new Congress convenes today and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ascends to the rostrum, you have to wish them all well. These are the kids who got up in school assembly and spoke on Armistice Day and were captains of teams and organized class projects to do good works, a different breed from us wise guys who lurked in the halls and made fun of them, and in the end you want them and not us running your government. Yes, they had serious brown-nose tendencies and a knack for mouthing pieties, but you could count on them to do what needed doing. They were leaders. They weren't going to swipe the lunch money and buy a keg of suds.

You wonder, however, what this earnest bunch can do when things are so far out of whack as they are in Iraq. The gangland-style execution of Saddam Hussein was visible reality, a token of the bloodlust and violence that swirl around Iraq, where our forces are mired, sitting targets, aliens, fighting a colonial war in behalf of a Shiite majority that is as despotic and cruel as what came before, except messier.

Meanwhile, in Washington, memoranda are set out on long, polished tables, men in crisp white shirts sit at meetings and discuss how to rationalize a war that was conceived by a handful of men in arrogant ignorance and that has descended over the past four years into sheer madness.

Military men know there is no military solution here, and the State Department knows that the policy was driven by domestic politics, but who is going to tell the Current Occupant? He is still talking about victory, or undefeat. The word "surge" keeps cropping up, as if we were fighting the war with electricity and not human beings.

Rational analysis is not the way to approach this administration. Bob Woodward found that out. The President Bush who burst into sobs after winning re-election when his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., said, "You've given your dad a great gift," is so far from the President Bush of the photo-ops as to invite closer inspection, and for that you don't want David Broder, you need a good novelist.

Here we have a slacker son of a powerful patrician father who resolves unconscious Oedipal issues through inappropriate acting-out in foreign countries. Hello? All the king's task forces can gather together the shards of the policy, number them, arrange them, but it never made sense when it was whole and so it makes even less sense now.

American boys in armored jackets and night scopes patrolling the streets of Baghdad are not going to pacify this country, any more than they will convert it to Methodism. They are there to die so that a man in the White House doesn't have to admit that he, George W. Bush, the decider, the one in the cowboy boots, made grievous mistakes. He approved a series of steps that he himself had not the experience or acumen or simple curiosity to question and that had been dumbed down for his benefit, and then he doggedly stuck by them until his approval ratings sank into the swamp.

He was the Great Denier of 2006, waving the flag, questioning the patriotism of anyone who dared oppose him, until he took a thumpin' and now, we are told, he is re-examining the whole matter. Except he's not. To admit that he did wrong is to admit that he is not the man his daddy is, the one who fought in a war.

Hey, we've all had issues with our dads. But do we need this many people to die so that one dude can look like a leader?

The earnest folk in Congress are prepared to discuss policy issues, to plant their butts in hard chairs and sit through jargon-encrusted reports and long, dry perorations thereupon. They're trained for that. That's one good reason they're there and not you or me. But to address the war and the White House, you're talking pathology.

It's time for 41 and 43 to work something out, and they can't do it by way of James A. Baker III or Brent Scowcroft. Pick up the phone, old man, and tell 43 you love him dearly and it's time to think about sparing the lives of American soldiers, many of whom have sons too.

(Thanks to Sandy and smirkingchimp.com.)


Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year's Lizard-lutions

If we want 2007 to be a good year, we'd better gecko-ing.


Written on their holiday faces

This was the year that all the photos we received enclosed in Christmas cards started showing middle aged people.

I can't decide whether or not it's a good thing that the division is already so clear between those who are going to age gracefully, and those who must resign themselves to years of creeping physical tragedy.


Taco Bell Cannon


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Intense flame

The Flame-Haired Angel metamorphosis.