Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bagdad Burning:

I came across this earlier on Moorish Girl and it was so heart wrenching that I had to repost it here:
We woke up this morning to news that men wearing Iraqi security uniforms walked in and detonated explosives, damaging the mosque almost beyond repair. It’s heart-breaking and terrifying. There has been gunfire all over Baghdad since morning. The streets near our neighborhood were eerily empty and calm but there was a tension that had us all sitting on edge. We heard about problems in areas like Baladiyat where there was some rioting and vandalism, etc. and several mosques in Baghdad were attacked. I think what has everyone most disturbed is the fact that the reaction was so swift, like it was just waiting to happen.

All morning we’ve been hearing/watching both Shia and Sunni religious figures speak out against the explosions and emphasise that this is what is wanted by the enemies of Iraq- this is what they would like to achieve- divide and conquer. Extreme Shia are blaming extreme Sunnis and Iraq seems to be falling apart at the seams under foreign occupiers and local fanatics.

No one went to work today as the streets were mostly closed. The situation isn’t good at all. I don’t think I remember things being this tense- everyone is just watching and waiting quietly. There’s so much talk of civil war and yet, with the people I know- Sunnis and Shia alike- I can hardly believe it is a possibility. Educated, sophisticated Iraqis are horrified with the idea of turning against each other, and even not-so-educated Iraqis seem very aware that this is a small part of a bigger, more ominous plan…

Several mosques have been taken over by the Mahdi militia and the Badir people seem to be everywhere. Tomorrow no one is going to work or college or anywhere.

People are scared and watchful. We can only pray.
From Riverbend. Link VIA.

This Post Will Change Your Writing.

Last night I was writing, or rather tapping my hands against my keyboard to simulate something kind of like writing. It was almost successful. I got one full page that I didn’t delete and for now that’ll just have to be my minor achievement. When you stop writing for a while only to start writing crap, it’s not exactly inspiring.

When I was short of ideas I came up with a list of things to get writing:
  • Steal someone else’s ideas.
    Plagiarize. Okay, we could argue about the legality of it, so long as you don’t get
    caught. (If it makes you feel guilty you can always change the setting, character names, century and the title, and slap your name on it and call it a “homage.” As long as you change some of the scenes you’re okay
  • If you’re writing non-fiction, LIE.
    You might make it on Oprah. You might not but it’s definitely more interesting than reading about your life as a privileged white male, who probably just experimented like most suburban kids.
  • Come up with a gimmick.
    Do something weird and kooky for a year and then write a book about it. I’ve decide to spend a year cleaning porta-potties. The book will be titled “My Year in Filth.” I’m a creative genius.
  • Write books that encourage other people to be Kooky.
    Such as This Book will Change Your Life: 365 Daily Instructions for Hysterical Living, which has instructions like write a serial killer and includes the prison addresses, or Astonish Yourself!: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life, which changes your perspective with experiments such as shouting your name repeatedly or drinking a glass of water while taking a piss. You’ll be as entertaining as a coffee table book (which means for all of five seconds people look at them) but it’ll sell, especially to impressionable youth.
  • or Become famous.
    Anyone can publish anything as long as they’re famous. Ex:
    Nicole Richie, Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton’s Dog, Dennis Rodman (he’s got two), Ethan Hawke (which may or may not be worth reading), Hilary Clinton. I’m patiently awaiting memoirs from one of the Olsen Twins, Lindsey Lohan, and Dick Cheney.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Two Month Hiatus

Okay. So that little tid-bit, the post below, first thing I read this morning. I’m so behind the blog I’m not sure I even know what a blog is. This isn’t really a blog it’s more of a web archive. It’s a historical relic of what a blog used to be. I think I was upset by the whole is “Is Blogging Dead?” thing that I kind of gave it up for a while. I didn’t want to be one of those literary bloggers that don’t blog about anything even remotely literary, or wouldn’t stand the test of time. So maybe I’m not a literary blogger. I’m a blogger who likes books, and occasionally politics, and writing about whatever else catches my fancy. Read it or not. NO pressures, man, no pressures.

I don’t know. I got so caught up in the blogging about something, so I started blogging about nothing. Yep. I’m young easily led astray. I have my excuses. It’s been a long two months. There was the transit strike, no linking required if you lived in New York. The family visiting. Helping a friend’s near-divorce-like experience. The day job promotion. The aforementioned friend’s betrayal (with me being the bad friend sited as the reason, of course. Who knows maybe I am an awful person). Fill the blank parts with ten books or so, another ten movies watched by way of netflix or in the theaters, and you have my past two months. I know. Not so exciting but worth filling in anyway.

It’s a curious thing to lose a friend, especially when the friendship is already waning. It’s coming, and you can feel it coming, but you just sit and watch it happen. I knew things were strained. I knew it had to happen. It still hurt like hell, especially when the person in question doesn’t have the guts to tell you how they feel. They don’t even have the respect to just let things die. Instead they have someone else call you and say you’re a bad friend, or say you’re a bad person, or unsupportive. Despite the number of times you opened your home, gave them a shoulder to cry on, did your best to behave as selflessly as possible, even after they involved you in endless amounts of drama, flaked on you numerous times. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

It’s not the first time I’ve lost a friend. It is the longest time I’ve had a friend, only to find out that we’ve grown at a completely different speed. That they’ve became someone you don’t even recognize anymore, a vision of your former self. A person you’ve forgotten.

She had a new boyfriend. She told me that part of the reason she liked him so much was that he didn’t care if she drank all the time, or that he didn’t care if she did hard drugs at 5pm in the evening, which amazed me. Precisely because she has, she had, no idea what love is, because caring about someone also means caring about their well being, and that doesn’t mean he should have been judging her actions. But someone who loves you would care about you enough about your well being to stop you from being self destructive. It has nothing to do with judging but everything to do with love.

Sadness is realizing that me without you, finally makes sense.

Welcome Back

Curious George co-writer Alan Shalleck found dead, Police are treating it like homicide. The 76 year old writer was found covered in trash bags, where he’d been for more than 24 hours, so the neighbors thought he was trash.