Saturday, October 21, 2006

This Shit Is Just Not Fucking Helpful.

I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Edwards, wife of presidential hopeful and former vice presidential candidate, John Edwards. She always impressed me as down-to-earth, strong, interesting, fun -- the kind of woman that I'd enjoy having in my circle of friends. In fact, I like her a lot more than I like him -- he's never impressed me all that much and, after the way that he folded in his debate with Snarly Dick, I'm not eager to see him as the Democratic candidate for president.

So I am pretty fucking disgusted to see her pull crap like this:

"[Hillary Clinton] and I are from the same generation," she said of the senator and former first lady. "We both went to law school and married other lawyers, but after that we made other choices. I think my choices have made me happier. I think I'm more joyful than she is."

Sweet Hathor on a Honda. How many times do we have to go through this? Elizabeth Edwards ought to know better.

The women's movement is all about giving women more choices in their lives and about supporting them in those choices. It is not fucking helpful to have women, like Elizabeth Edwards who have chosen (or who are forced by economic or other circumstances) to stay home and raise their children, criticize women who have chosen (or who are forced by economic or other circumstances) to raise children and work outside the home. Similarly, it wouldn't be helpful for women who work outside the home to criticize women who stay at home with their children. This should not exactly come as news to anyone with a third of Elizabeth Edwards' obvious intelligence.

Engaging in idiotic speculation about how "joyful" another woman is or isn't about the choice that she's either made or had forced on her does nothing except to divide women, to play an "us against them" game that only has one winner -- the patriarchy. I've got no goddamn idea who is "more" joyful; joy isn't, IMHO, a zero-sum resource that diminishes in one woman's life when another woman gets a big heaping helping of it. Nor is it a constant; there are days when I love my life so much that I can hardly breathe and there are days when I'd like to rip the universe a new asshole.

If Elizabeth Edwards wants to help her husband run for president against Hillary Clinton she'd better fucking find a more helpful way to do it than by insinuating -- as, let's admit it, she was clearly and calculatedly doing -- that career women like Hillary Clinton are cold, "joyless," frigid bitches. And I don't give a flying frap if she called Hillary Clinton up and apologized afterwards. She knew what she was doing when she did it and she's being sent out to do it because if her husband did it the whole world would call it unacceptable.

Elizabeth, don't demean yourself like this again. I mean it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

What Jamison Foser Said

The Bush administration and its congressional enablers have been shockingly inept, criminally incompetent, and, in many cases, simply criminal in their handling of everything from Iraq and national security and the hunt for bin Laden to Hurricane Katrina to the budget. They have auctioned off legislation to the highest bidder, and shunned any vestige of oversight and accountability.

And they've gotten away with it in no small part due to a political media that can be counted on to repeat -- perhaps, as Edsall says, unwillingly and unknowingly -- bogus GOP storylines almost without fail.

Saturday Goddess Blogging

Ix Chel (pronounced e'shell) is a wonderful Goddess, often associated with creativity. Wikipedia says that:

In Maya mythology, Ixchel or Ix Chel was an earth and moon goddess, patroness of weavers and pregnant women.
One myth states that the sun was her "lover," but that her grandfather was very upset with this and he threw lightning at her out of jealousy which in turn killed Ix Chel. In the story it stated that dragonflies sang over her for 183 days and then she awoke again only to follow the sun to his palace. But the sun soon after too started to become jealous of Ix Chel, thinking that she was having an affair with the morning star, who was the sun's brother. The sun threw her out of heaven and then persuaded her back home, but soon after her return he became jealous again. It is said that Ix Chel became annoyed with the behavior of the sun and so she went off into the night and remained invisible whenever the sun came around. At her new place in the night it is said that Ix Chel spent the nights nursing women of Earth through their labor (during the stint of their pregnancy and birth)

But I like this version, better:

As an ancient fertility goddess, Ix-Chel was responsible for sending rain to nourish the crops. When fulfilling that function she was called “Lady Rainbow”. She helped insure fertility by overturning her sacred womb jar so that the waters would flow.

Though sometimes depicted as a goddess of catastrophe (the woman who stands by as the world floods), many of her myths show her in a more benevolent light—as a goddess who refused to become a victim of oppression.

This was a woman who, when faced with adversity, took charge of her life and turned it around!

Ix-Chel was almost too beautiful, this girl with opalescent skin who sat in the skies brushing her shimmering hair for hours on end. All the gods were captivated by her. All but one, that is.

Kinich Ahau, the Sun God, seemed immune to Ix-Chel’s charms. Yet he was the only one she really ever wanted. For years she had longed for him as she watched him glide across the sky in all his golden splendor.

But the more Ix-Chel followed him around, the worse the weather on earth became. As she chased after him the tides would rise, creating floods that inundated the fields and caused the crops to die. So enamored was she, that Ix-Chel did not even notice the havoc she was causing.

Like many moon goddesses Ix-Chel was a fine weaver, and it was the beautiful cloth she wove that finally captured Kinich Ahau’s attention. Soon they had become lovers.

Ix-Chel bore the Sun God four sons. They were the jaguar gods and could creep through the night unseen. They were named for the four directions, and each one was responsible for holding up his corner of the sky.

Unfortunately Ix-Chel’s love affair with the Sun God drew the ire of her disapproving grandfather. In his anger he struck Ix-Chel with lightning, killing her. For the next 183 days she lay lifeless as hundreds of dragonflies surrounded her body and sang to her. Waking suddenly, she returned to the palace of the Sun God.

Their relationship was turbulent—Kinich Ahau had a suspicious nature and was often consumed with jealousy. To make matters worse, he also had a fiery temper. Suspecting that the innocent Ix-Chel was having an affair with his brother (the Morning Star), Kinich Ahau threw her out of the sky.

Ix-Chel quickly found refuge with the vulture gods. Hearing this, Kinich Ahau rushed to plead with her to return and promised never to treat her so poorly again. Little time passed before he became jealous and abusive again.

Finally Ix-Chel realized he was not going to change. She decided to leave him for good. Waiting until he fell asleep, she crept out into the night, taking the form of a jaguar and becoming invisible whenever he came searching for her.

Many nights she spent on her sacred island (Cozumel) nursing women during their pregnancies and childbirth. Ix-Chel, like other moon goddesses, governed women’s reproductive systems so it was quite understandable that she would become the protector of women during pregnancy and labor.

The small Isla Mujeres (“Island of Women”) was devoted to the worship of Ix-Chel. Comfortable with all phases of life, she was honored as the weaver of the life cycle. She protected the fertility of women and was also the keeper of the souls of the dead.

Ix-Chel encourages us to acknowledge the negative forces affecting our lives. And she prompts us to assert ourselves fully in the face of physical or emotional violence that would diminish our sense of self.

Amy Sophia Marashinsky wrote:

Ix Chel

I weave strings of energy
into the web of creation
Where nothing was before
out of the void
into the world
I spin them into existence
Out from my mind
out from my body
out of my awareness of what needss to be
Now there is something new
and all life is nourished.
G. Felix Allen, Jr.

Time for him to go

The Forests Of The NIght

Wow. Even before you see the credits, there's only one poem that this, via Miniver Cheevey, could possibly be illustrating.

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies 5
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 10
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp 15
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee? 20

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Why Women Need To Cast Circles

The body is the image relator. In ritual, we embody and activate images of the arhetypal, the eternal feminine, the Goddess. Images of power, of transformation, of harmony, and of duality. One woman empowering another. The crucial exchange of gifts. I cross the circle to give you something; you cross the circle to give her something. And so on until we have all chaged places. Power held is powerless; power given is power for all. In feminist ritual we maintain a center of which we are all aware. It is our collective heart which beats there. We hold together, our center endures. Even the most painful separation, the dispersal which is feared but necessary, cannot disconnect us from the ritual circle. Once that circle is created and affirmed, chance is subdued. We survive. We thrive.

by Kay Turner from "Contemporary Feminist Rituals" in The Politics of Women's Spirituality, ed. by Charlene Spretnak
.Comptine D'un Autre Ete

So she left and never looked back.

And Suddenly It Is Evening

Everyone stands alone at the heart of this earth
Stunned by a ray of sunlight.
Suddenly, it is evening.

Salatore Quasimodo
Translated from the Italian by J. Ruth Gendler

Oh, This Could Be Ugly. I Hope.

Tax-cutters are calling evangelicals bullies. Christian conservatives say Republicans in Congress have let them down. Hawks say President Bush is bungling the war in Iraq. And many conservatives blame Representative Mark Foley’s sexual messages to teenage pages.

With polls showing Republican control of Congress in jeopardy, conservative leaders are pointing fingers at one other in an increasingly testy circle of blame for potential Republican losses this fall.

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ohhhhh, ah, Goddess, yes, yes, yes, yes, ahhhhhhhhhhh.

~Looks up surprised~ Oh, did I orgasm like that in my out-loud voice?

What Athenae Said

I've said this before and i'll say it again. I'm going to start a new blog called "What Athenae Said." Every day, I'll just link to what Athenae said.

She writes so well that it's even difficult for me to be jealous of her.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Man, I Am Tired Of This Bitch

Sally Quinn is a nasty bitch, a creepy little non-entity who slept her way to comfort and influence. Sally Quinn is a dark-faced little gorgon, with the breath of a poorly-bred carrion bird and the conscience of a psychopathic incubus. Sally Quinn has the morals of an immoral succubus and the manners of Baphomet on a bad day.

From today's WaPo

Don Rumsfeld is the shrewdest person in Washington. He understands better than anyone that somebody has to be in line to take the blame when things go wrong. So far he has been willing to do so. But not much longer.

The drumbeat to get him out of the Pentagon has reached deafening proportions. Republicans and Democrats, the generals, the media, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Andy Card, the first President Bush, and even Laura Bush all want him gone. Until now George W. Bush has resisted all of the pressure to get rid of his defense secretary. But those in the know say that the president may have reached the point where he realizes that Rumsfeld has outlived his usefulness.

Still, the president must be aware on some level that once the pugnacious, outspoken and flak-attracting Rumsfeld leaves the stage, the focus will be on the president. Whether Bush realizes it or not, this is about a scapegoat.

In the Bible, the high priest would transfer the sins of the people onto a goat, and, as it was written, "the goat shall carry all the sins of the people into a land where no one lives, and the man shall let it loose in the wilderness."

(The word for scapegoat in Hebrew means, literally, "into hell.")
[See? Sally stoops to conquer; explaining to the morons who she's never met at Citronelle for lunch and who must, therefore, not know, what a scapegoat is! And they say that Medusa has no manners!]

Rumsfeld has seen others take on the role of scapegoat. Look what happened to Nancy Reagan. When she was first lady, she rightly realized that Donald Regan, the chief of staff, was causing her husband enormous damage. What she hadn't realized was that Regan was filling the role of scapegoat for the president. When Don Regan was finally fired, Nancy herself was made the scapegoat. She then took the brunt of criticism for the errors of her husband's administration.

It is hard for the American people to turn completely against the president. It seems tantamount to patricide. We're much more comfortable being able to blame someone else for the president's mistakes. Laura Bush will never be the scapegoat. For now, it's Rumsfeld.

Listen, Little Miss Marduk, the American people have, in fact, turned completely against the Bush junta. You may have married Daddy, but the rest of us aren't looking for a big pappa to make our delicate bits wet, just a competent, caring human to work for us. That's likely why you weren't able to get the rest of us to join you in a smelling-salt and Grey Goose cocktail when Bill Clinton got a blow job. And it figures you'd write paeans to Laura I-Killed-My-Boyfriend-Now-Let's-Have-A-Cig Bush. You're collaborators of a feather, aren't you?

Now shut the fuck up and take Rummy with you. You're not shrewd, you're not scapegoats, you're just plain, old disgusting goat fuckers. And Ben Bradlee can take that lack of a final comma any way that he likes.

New Yorkers, Be There Or Be Square

Reminder...tonight is the night! A special birthday EP release show - come hear songs from my After The Fall EP (MAAT Music, 2006) and new ones which are getting GREAT reviews…

“When I first heard Amy sing her new song, "From Here", I knew that she had arrived! It's brilliantly crafted, with a tag and melody that haunt you....The story draws you in immediately, and the journey gets to the tagline effortlessly at the end of each chorus, yet it means something new each time. To hear her sing this song, you know that Amy has come into her own, with vocal stylings and dynamics that hold back just enough to keep you hanging on every word. This song has a very appropriate title, because to me, it defines a new phase of Amy as an artist, starting right ‘From Here’.” - Lorraine Ferro, NAPM, SHOF

thurs oct 19
8pm, $5
the bitter end
147 bleecker

Signed EP copies will be available...I look forward to seeing you tonight! Make sure to tell the door you’re there for Amy’s show...

*afterparty*...join us after the show at the Sullivan Room (a few blocks away) for birthday cake, drinks & dancing with DJs Dustin Cook & Kevin Graves...everyone at my show receives FREE ADMISSION and 2-for-1 drinks from until 11!

P.S. I just put up another new song from a recording session this weekend on – have a listen and let me know what you think!

Amy Clarke
MAAT Music © 2006
ScorpFaery Productions
Santorum Ducking Global Warming


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Keith Olbermann: King George

I really hate Bush.
TWU Guys on Bush

He gave you nothing!

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

From the WaPo, which, inexplicably published this article in the Religion Section, instead of the Treasonous Bastards Subverting the Constitution Section

Kuo tells a story about meeting a member of the review panel at a party. He says she giggled as she recalled, "when I saw one of those non-Christian groups in the set I was reviewing, I just stopped looking at them and gave them a zero."

Someone please subpoena this had-an-abortion-now-want-to-criminalize-abortions piece of shit and get him to name this cunt. Then, let's try her for treason. It's a capital offense, i believe.

Jim Webb's Favorite Poem


by: Hamlin Garland (1860-1940)

Do you fear the force of the wind,
The slash of the rain?
Go face them and fight them,
Be savage again.
Go hungry and cold like the wolf,
Go wade like the crane:
The palms of your hands will thicken,
The skin of your cheek will tan,
You'll grow ragged and weary and swarthy,
But you'll walk like a man!

G. Macca Felix Allen, Jr.'s favorite poem is apparently: Can't take the heat/Smell my feet/I'd like something good to eat (preferably a ham sandwich or Mom's pork chops).

There You Go Again

Unlike the Merkins in Kkkkarl Rove's world, I don't have amnesia. Nor, does my brilliant friend Elizabeth, football fan and Eagles blogger extraordinaire. So when Elizabeth called to tell me that all of a sudden the Bush junta is releasing information with absolutely no credible purpose other than to scare the bejebuz out of Americans, now, just before an election, where Diebold is Bush's obi Wan (as in, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope."), we both agreed:

This is the Summer of 2004 redux.

Remember how every other fucking week Tom Buttface Ridge would parade out in front of the cameras (and if he didn't do it fast enough, John NoBreasts Ashcroft would knock him down racing to the microphone) to announce one bullshit "threat" or another? Terrorists are going to blow up your Memorial Day picnic! Terrorists are going to float explosives inside beer coolers in the hope that you'll fish them out of the drink looking for beer and then BLAMO! your fishing boat's a gonner! Terrorist are going to put poison in swimming pools! Terrorists are going to slip microscopic bombs inside baseballs and then when the batter hits a triple, POW! no more American pastime! Terrorists gonna getcha, getcha, getcha. Then, immediately after the Bush junta stole the 2004 election, the terrorists miraculously laid off, the threat level dropped from orange to yellow, Ridge and Ashcroft blessedly disappeared from the evening news, and Ridge eventually admitted he had no idea why he was always being sent out to issue terror warnings.

Ridge may not have known, but everyone else did. Rove had studies showing that warnings of terrorist attacks bumped up Bush's numbers and Rove had to keep the election close enough to steal.

This is easy for me to say because I'm not a football fan, but every redblooded American ought to stay away from footballs stadia this weekend. The one thing the Bush junta can't stand up to is pressure from their corporate masters. In a few days when the up the stakes and issue vague warnings about, oh, I don't know, airplanes, Halloween candy, shopping malls -- take your pick -- Americans should boycott those as well.

Fuck this fucking shit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why Women Need The Goddess

At the close of Ntosake Shange's stupendously successful Broadway play for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, a tall beautiful black woman rises from despair to cry out, "I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely." 1 Her discovery is echoed by women around the country who meet spontaneously in small groups on full moons, solstices, and equinoxes to celebrate the Goddess as symbol of life and death powers and waxing and waning energies in the universe and in themselves.2

It is the night of the full moon. Nine women stand in a circle, on a rocky hill about the city. The western sky is rosy with the setting sun; in the east the moon's face begins to peer above the horizon. . . The woman pours out a cup of wine onto the earth, refills it and raises it high. "Hail, Tana, Mother of mothers!" she cries. "Awaken from your long sleep, and return to your children again!"3

What are the political and psychological effects of this fierce new love of the divine in themselves for women whose spiritual experience has been focused by the male God of Judaism and Christianity? Is the spiritual dimension of feminism a passing diversion, an escape from difficult but necessary political work? Or does the emergence of the symbol of Goddess among women have significant political and psychological ramifications for the feminist movement?

To answer this question, we must first understand the importance of religious symbols and rituals in human life and consider the effect of male symbolism of God on women. According to anthropologist Clifford Geertz, religious symbols shape a cultural ethos, defining the deepest values of a society and the persons in it. "Religion," Geertz writes, " is a system of symbols which act to produce powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations"4 in the people of a given culture. A "mood" for Geertz is a psychological attitude such as awe, trust, and respect, while a "motivation" is the social and political trajectory created by a mood that transforms mythos into ethos, symbol system into social and political reality. Symbols have both psychological and political effects, because they create their inner conditions (deep-seated attitudes and feelings) that lead people to feel comfortable with or to accept social and political arrangements that correspond to the symbol system.

Because religion has such a compelling hold on the deep psyches of so many people, feminists cannot afford to leave it in the hands of the fathers. Even people who no longer "believe in God" or participate in the institutional structure of patriarchal religion still may not be free of the power of the symbolism of God the Father. A symbol's effect does not depend on rational assent, for a symbol also functions on levels of the psyche other than the rational. Religion fulfills deep psychic needs by providing symbols and rituals that enable people to cope with crisis situations5 in human life (death, evil, suffering) and to pass through life's important transitions (birth, sexuality, death). Even people who consider themselves completely secularized will often find themselves sitting in a church or synagogue when a friend or relative gets married or when a parent or friend has died. The symbols associated with these important rituals cannot fail to affect the deep or unconscious structures of the mind of even a person who has rejected these symbolisms on a conscious level especially if a person is under stress. The reason for the continuing effects of religious symbols is that the mind abhors a vacuum. Symbol systems cannot simply be rejected; they must be replaced. Where there is no replacement, the mind will revert to familiar structures at times of crisis, bafflement, or defeat.

Religions centered on the worship of a male God create "moods" and "motivations" that keep women in a state of psychological dependence on men and male authority, while at the same legitimating the political and social authority of fathers and sons in the institutions of society.

More here.

Why I Love Derrick Jensen

Via Counterpunch:

It should be obvious to everyone that bad things are happening, even if you "don't believe" the facts about global warming. Just common sense tells us that we are going to run out of oil - civilization is going to crash- you look outside and the seasons are not what they were 20 years ago. So why speed it along? I think what people are themselves resembles: okay if it is going to happen anyway, I might just as well sit back and enjoy my Budweisers. So why take it down now?

Jensen: Because it is systematically dismantling the infrastructure of the planet and the sooner it comes down the more that remains for the humans and non- humans that come after. Even from a purely selfish perspective, if someone were to have "brought it down" 200 years ago, then people in the East would still be able to eat pastured chickens - if it happened 50 years ago, people in the West would still be able to eat Salmon. There are going to be people sitting along the banks of British Columbia 40 years from now saying "I'm starving to death because you didn't take out the dams that were used to create electricity that were used to change phosphates into aluminum beer cans," and that's inexcusable. So that's why we have to hurry it along. Because everyday more of the ecological infrastructure is being destroyed. From a more moral perspective of course the reason to do it is because those in power have no right to drive us down to extinction.

There's something else. People say "what do you mean" when you talk about "bringing down civilization." What I really mean is depriving the rich of the ability to steal from the poor and depriving the powerful of the ability to destroy the planet. That's what I really mean.

Engel: Why do you so few people resist, unlike in the 1960s or 1930s?

Jensen: If your experience is that your water comes from the tap and that your food comes from the grocery store, then you are going to defend to the death the system that brings those to you because your life depends on them; if your experience is that your water comes from a river and that your food comes from a land base then you will defend those to the death because your life depends on them. So part of the problem is that we have become so dependent upon this system that is killing and exploiting us, it has become almost impossible for us to imagine living outside of it and it's very difficult physically for us to live outside of it. Also, one of the smartest things the Nazis did, according to Sigmund Bauman's "In Modernity and the Holocaust," was to make it seem in the Jews's rational best interests not to resist: "do you want an ID card or do you want to resist and possibly get killed? Do you want to live in the ghetto or do you want to resist and get killed? Do you want to get on this cattle car or do you want to resist and get killed? Do you want to take a shower or do you want to resist and get killed? Every step of the way it was in their so-called "rational best interest." We see the same thing happening today. People will keep suffering all these indignities because if you resist there is the theater of terror to keep you silently, submissively in line. Put you in your place, where you belong.


New U.S. Pan's Labyrinth Trailer

Pan is an interesting god. I've never known him to confine himself to a labyrinth.

My Ethereal Self Spent All Day Sobbing On The Meadow At Runnymeade. But My Body Should Have Been In The Streets. So Should Yours Have Been

What a sad, sad day for America, for humanity, for the Western World, for the humanism born, most recently, of the Renaissance. Fittingly, in Washington, D.C., it was a dreary, rainy, cold day, with grey skies. We are already so close to retrograde Mercury as to make almost no difference. My dreams last night were of evil people, regularly administering drugs to make people doubt their own sanity, of evil rituals involving swords and not-yet-dead bodies in coffins.

As is often my wont when things are just too much to bear, I buried myself in work, allowed the mundane to achieve irrational importance, spent my minutes and hours fixing footnotes, checking arcane rules in FRAP, organizing logistics for filings likely to become unnecessary. Oh, and I tried to talk D-i-L into going into the woods with me for a few days; lately, I've been craving woods the way that a thirsty woman craves water. There wasn't anything else that I could do. Alone, I can't be the rioting in the street that today's events demand of all sane people, although the Goddess knows that I am about ready to go stand all by myself outside the WH with a sign that say, "Will riot for habeas." Because I would. I can't imagine how I'm going to explain to my ancestors that, on the day when habeas corpus was stolen from Americans, I stayed inside a warm office and debated trial strategy.

T. Thorn Coyle writes about today's evil, insisting that all we need to do is to continue to tend our own gardens (well, perhaps I'm being unfair; perhaps what Thorn means is that all that we CAN do is to tend our own gardens, but I think she ignores the value of rioting in the streets):

[2006/10/17 5:01 pm]
Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

This bill provides legal protections that ensure our military and intelligence personnel will not have to fear lawsuits filed by terrorists simply for doing their jobs...
This bill spells out specific, recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes in the handling of detainees so that our men and women who question captured terrorists can perform their duties to the fullest extent of the law. And this bill complies with both the spirit and the letter of our international obligations. As I've said before, the United States does not torture. It's against our laws and it's against our values.
- George W. Bush on the Military Commissions Act 2006

Evil walks among us. How have we come to such a pass?

May we shed light in these times where shadows are seen more clearly than the sun itself.
Walk in love. Please. Walk in love.

Do not become that which you resist - Victor H. Anderson

If you are angry, let your anger burn cleanly. If you are despondent, try to take hope. Find something to do that will help our culture, our society, the world. Someone asked me today "How do you deal with the frustrations of it all without getting overwhelmed or depressed?" First off, I only read the BBC news twice a week instead of daily. Daily is too much. I do my work to the best of my ability and try to grow as a human being. I make attempts toward the evolution of the species. And I volunteer feeding people once a week. That last keeps me sane in the midst of the turmoil the world is in. It is tangible. I go in and scrub pots and clean tables and know that at least some crazy, or poor, or addicted people got fed in San Francisco. Every little bit really does help. What can you do? Any attempt at rehumanization in the midst of dehumanization adds weight to the balance of love. Find that something and commit to it.

Meanwhile, Impeach Bush Now.

(as Miniver Cheevey says today: "these men have a date with the Hague.")

[2006/10/17 9:37 am]
Tired of religion and politics? Here is a wee slice of culture (that, come to think of it, includes a lot of hot sex, so I guess we're back to religion after all):

Shortbus by John Cameron Mitchell is a beautiful movie. Touching, gorgeous, sad, funny and human. Not perfect, but beautiful - just like a lot of us are. The closing scene made me so happy I wanted to cry.

Thorn also points to Miniver Cheevey who quotes Dibgy.

Jason, at the Wild Hunt, reminds us that Pan's Labyrinth is coming in a few weeks, just when we're likely to really, really need it.

At times like this, I do think that we need to be out in the streets. We need it not only for the way that it can, in unanticipated ways, change the government. We need it for what it can do for us, for the way that it can affirm for each of us that we are the kind of people who will do what is needed to protect liberty, that we are the kind of people who will woman the barricades when it's necessary, who will leave the comforts of our interesting jobs, who will leave our Lazy Boys and plasma screens and DVDs behind and GO OUT INTO THE STREETS. We need it so that we can explain ourselves to our ancestors when we are standing on that bleak meadow waiting for the ferryman. We need it so that we can explain to our children and grandchildren what we did in the Runnymeade Wars. We need it because we are a manifestation of the Goddess, because it's all real, it's all metaphor, there's always more.

And, at times like this, I believe that we need to do our work, to, as Thorn suggests, do the Great Work. We need to hold our families and loved ones close. We need to read fairy tales and see fairy tale movies. We need to bring our financial lives quickly and ruthlessly in order. We need to manage our own health as a crucial resource in the campaign for liberty. We need, says my Taurus moon, to clean our homes, throw out the trash, and make some soup. And, we need to, as that poor, misguided misogynist from Galilee once suggested, feed the poor, clothe the naked, heal the sick.

The madmen in the WH don't define us. They can't limit us. They cannot make us less than we are. They do not define the nature of the universe in which we live, nor do they limit the wide, wide sphere of our souls. We are free, even in their jails.

So mote it be. For Runnymeade!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Vote for Jim Webb

He's a Republican; but he's not a racist piece of shit.

Oh, I Cry. Oh.

Every day is a god, each day is a god, and holiness holds forth in time. I worship each god. I praise each day splintered down, splintered down and wrapped in time like a husk, a husk of many colors spreading, at dawn fast over the mountains split.

I wake in a god. I wake in arms holding my quilt, holding me as best they can inside my quilt.

Someone is kissing me -- already. I wake, I cry, "Oh," I rise from the pillow. Why should I open my eyes?

I open my eyes. The god lifts from the water. His head fills the bay. He is Puget Sound, the Pacific; his breast rises from pastures. His fingers are firs; islands slide wet down his shoulders. Islands slip blue from his shoulders and glide over the water, the empty, lighted water like a stage.

Today's god rises, his long eyes flecked in clouds. He flings his arms, spreading colors; he arches, cupping sky in his belly; he vaults, vaulting and spread, holding all and spread on me like skin . . . .

The day is real . . . .

The day is real . . . . I stand and smooth the quilt.

"Oh," I cry. "Oh."

From Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard, pub. in Changing Light, ed. by Ruth Gendler

Make An Effort To Remember. Or, Failing That, Invent

The simplest and most basic meaning of the symbol of of Goddess is the acknowledgement of the legitimacy of female power as a beneficient and independent power. A woman who echoes Ntozake Shange's dramatic statement, "I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely," is saying "Female power is strong and creative." She is saying that the divine principle, the saving and sustaining power, is in herself, that she will no longer look to men or male figures as saviors. The strength and independence of female power can be intuited by contemplating ancient and modern images of the Goddess. This meaning of the symbol of Goddess is simple and obvious, and yet it is difficult for many to comprehend. It stands in sharp contrst to the paradigms of female dependence on males that have been predominant in Western religion and culture. The internatially acclaimed novelist Monique Wittig captured the novelty and flavor of the affirmation of female power in her mythic work Les Guerilleres:

There was a time when you were not a slave, remember that. You walked alone, full of laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollectio of it, remember . . . you say there are no words to describe it, you say it does not exist. But remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, faiing that, invent.

From Why Women Need The Goddess: Phenomenological, psychological, and Political Reflectionsby Carol P. Christ, pub. in The Politcs of Women's Spirituality, ed. by Charene Spretnak

Well, That's Odd

In 1984, George Orwell foresaw a future where "history" was constantly being re-written to conform to the latest political needs. Here's an excerpt.

But to trace out the history of the whole period, to say who was fighting whom at any given moment, would have been utterly impossible, since no written record, and no spoken word, ever made mention of any other alignment than the existing one. At this moment, for example, in 1984 (if it was 1984), Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.

The frightening thing, he reflected for the ten thousandth time . . . the frightening thing was that it might all be true. If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened-that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.

Orwell had no idea.

Several times recently, I've gone a-googling for pictures of Republican Mark Foley, ex-Congressman from Florida and the focus of Mastrugate. Almost every single picture of Foley with any other Republican, especially if the picture was posted on a Republican web site now no longer exists. It's as much a piece of 1984 as was Fox's "mistake" of repeatedly listing Foley as a Democrat in the days following the revelation that he'd been sending wildly-inappropriate e-mails to underage D.C. pages.

I simply note this because, on occasion, when people are pulling a heist, I believe there's some merit to having someone willing to call out, "Hey. These guys are pulling a heist."

See for yourself. Type "Mark Foley" into the Google search engine. Click "Images." The very first thumbnail picture is of Mark Foley with two other men from March 15. The web address is:,%2520DR%2520and%2520Rep.%2520Mark%2520Foley%2520(FL-16)%252003.15.05.jpg&imgrefurl= But when you click on the picture, you get this:

The requested page could not be found

If you arrived here by selecting a link provided by a site other than the U.S. House of Representatives, please notify the originating site of this error.
If you arrived here by typing in a specific URL, please make sure the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are correct.
If you arrived here by using a bookmark or favorite link, please make sure the link is current for the 109th Congress.
Go to U.S. House of Representatives Home Page.
View list of Representatives by Name or State.
Send a message to the Web Comments Administrator. Please be sure to include the URL or specific information to assist in the research and correction of a problem.
Use the SEARCH in the above right to search the entire U.S. House of Representatives Web site.

Similarly, this link: to the St. Lucie County Republican Club appears to have been scrubbed of the picture depicted in Google's thumbnail showing Foley shaking hands with someone.

This link: which should show a picture of Foley now leads you to vacancies in Foley's office.

Earl Pomeroy's webpage ( is at least more honest. When you click on a thumbnail picture of Foley, you now get a message that says: 404

The page cannot be found

The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its
name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.7

You get the idea. In fact, there were quite a few more of these about a week ago when I first noted the problem but didn't have time to blog about it. So, I advise you, as those being fucked have always been advised, to lie back, relax, and think of England. England on a bright cold day in April, [with the] clocks . . . striking thirteen. [A day when] Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

[A day when the] hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats.

If Clinton Had IMed Monica, You Know They'd Be Calling For His Castration

My brilliant friend Elizabeth sent me this article by Dan Savage about the weird Republican response to the whole Mark Foley Mastrugate scandal. Savage begins: You know how after each Bush-administration scandal—male prostitutes running amuck in the White House, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.," domestic spying—you sit there thinking, "Shit, if Clinton had done that he'd be impeached!"

I felt something similar this week listening to Republicans attempt to excuse or minimize the Mark Foley scandal. When White House spokesman and former Fox News hack Tony Snow dismissed the conversations as "naughty e-mails," or when Matt Drudge called the teenage boys "beasts" and accused them of egging Foley on, I sat there thinking. "Shit, if I had done what Foley did, I'd be in prison!"

He goes on to note that, given his line of work, he often gets suggestive e-mails and pictures, not to mention offers of sex, from readers who may well be in their teens. And what do I do with these e-mails? I delete them. Responding—to say nothing of taking any of these kids up on their offers (offers most would surely withdraw when they saw me in person)—wouldn't be right. Because the last thing gay teenage boys need in their lives, in my opinion, are gay middle-aged men. He notes that, of course, if someone turned up e-mails or IM chats in which I asked a kid to measure his cock for me—or asked him for details about his masturbation habits, or whether I made him horny, or if he just came—I don't think Dennis Hastert, Tony Snow, Matt Drudge, and Rush Limbaugh would launch a cover-up to protect my skanky ass or, failing that, rush to my defense, pointing out that it was just, you know, a few naughty e-mails or the fault of some dirty-minded teenage beasts. They would call for my head.

Me, I'd just attribute that to the fact that intellectual honesty and consistency were two of the first concepts that these folks repudiated when they decided that they could "create their own reality." That's the point we're reallly making when we say, "If Clinton had done that . . . ." But Savage has another explanation, one that my own orientation probably prevented me from seeing off the bat: So why would they bend over forward to accommodate Foley?

Because, in their eyes, Mark Foley was doing everything right. The religious conservatives in the GOP's base don't seriously believe that gay men can become straight. (Wanna stop a straight person from making the ex-gay argument? Ask him if he'd let his daughter marry one.) What they believe in—what they demand—are closeted homos, homos like Mark Foley, a single man who refused to answer direct questions about his sexual orientation. (Has any straight man ever refused to reveal his sexual orientation?) The religious conservatives in the GOP's base want all gays to be like Mark: deny who we are, live our lives alone, refuse to answer any questions about our sexuality. To them, Mark Foley was a good, closeted homo, deserving of every consideration.

The GOP was willing to cover for Foley because Foley, by being closeted, covered for them for years. So what if closet cases act out in sexually inappropriate ways? A few raped altar boys and skeeved-out pages are a price the gay-haters are only too willing to pay if it means fewer out homos.

Savage may be right.
Asylum Street Spankers Video

Must Watch. Hat tip tip to Ann at Eschaton.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Witchy Ferrets

Oh, Athenae?

Hymn To RA

The truth of what we call our knowing is both light and dark. Men are always dying and waking. The rhythm between we call life. In the night I turn and face myself, the many howling, laughing, pausing in the body of one. Some miracle is about to happen. Some new man unseen wishes to rise and speak. I walk in the dark feeling darkness on my skin. Dawn always begins in the bones. The light stirs me to rise and walk. Lightly I step around the sleeping forms, the bodies of the other selves still dreaming. Nothing has disturbed my inner quiet. I am restless, an animal sniffing the wind. The shape of truth is coming.

Death matters, as does life. As it ends it begins again. Knowing that is both my comfort and fear. Perfection is a long road; I shall never see its end -- the ribbon of life winds back on itself. At dawn the threads of time unfurl, sunlight streams across the sands. Time reaches in both directions, knotted in the golden orb of the moment. The eye opens, the navel yawns and takes the world in its belly. Beneath him the snake feels the movement of earth. Everything else is sky. This moment is eternity.

The light I call genius, noble being conversant with gods. He goes out, hears the hum of the world, beings of light muttering in every stream. In every rock and tree he hears god songs. Then he returns and tells me what god said. I flow like blood from the god's wounds. I am the god's life made visible. I am how god comes to know himself, his ears, his hands, his eyes. The dreaming selves stir in the dark and follow the distant song of the lyre. We enter grace and beauty. I am Osiris shining.

From Awakening Osiris circa 1600 BCE/Translated from the Egyptian by Normandi Ellis. Pub. in Changing Light ed. by J. Ruth Gendler.

I love this ancient discussion of dreaming. I'm often amazed at the things that my dreams tell me. Lately, I've been working with a conception of the self based upon Feri teaching; one part that I've found difficult to work with is the notion of our godself (called in Feri The Sacred Dove) as a light existing just above our physical, sticky, and ethereal self. Last night, I dreamed that I was in bed talking to a very kind, helpful person through a circular disk in the ceiling just above my bed. I was investing a lot of energy in making sure that my (now long-dead, but, of course, still alive and threatening in dreamtime) mother didn't learn about this source of aid and encouragement. I woke up going, "What was that about?" Miss Thing came up to me as I was pouring myself a cup of tea in the bright Autumn sunlight and brushed against my leg. It's often her way of saying, "Cripes. I feel so sorry for you that I'm going to just give you a clue. Oh, shit, look, here's the message, OK?" Because she's a cat, it takes just a brush against my leg and a flick of her tail for her to do this. Oh. Yeah. Now I get it.

Sometimes I believe that my main purpose in life is to laugh at myself and how difficult I can make things for me.

From "The Voice Of Women's Spirituality In Futurism" By Baba Copper in The Politics Of Women's Spirituality

An example of visionary fiction in which ethical concepts are stretched by both poetic and linguistic means is The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You. In this fantasy about a simple [sic] society in which dreams and rituals focus the life of the people, Dorothy Bryant introduces the concepts of "nagdeo" and "donagdeo." "Nagdeo" is that which is good. "Nagdeo" is that which is good, whole, positive, or constructive, but the opposite is left undefined, as if it could not be conceived fully.

These two words are woven into the reader's expanding understanding of the spiritually integrated culture of Ata. "But each person finds for him[sic]self what is donagdeo. To force anyone to do or not to do something is also donagdeo. Nothing is forbidden. Nothing is taboo."

Two utopian visions of female-named futures that embody much of the feminist ethic are Herland, written in 1915 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and The Wanderground, written in 1978 by Sally Miller Gearhart. Both books recognize women's need to acknowledge that we are nature's creatures and are dependent upon Her complex well-being. In modern terms, Herland is a labor-intensive, low density agrarian village society of "people highly skilled [have feminist authors never learned when to hyphenate? sigh!], efficient, caring for their country as a florist cares for his [sic] costliest orchids." Wanderground is more "primitive"; there the women rely on highly developed [again!] psychic powers for communication, transportation, and other needed technologies. Life in both worlds is communal and nonauthoritarian, with the mechanics of decision-making shared or rotated. In both, age is respected and acknowledged for the accumulation of experience it represents.

The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You completely changed my life for the better. Are there books that have done that for you?

Sunday Akhmatova Blogging

How can you bear to look at the Neva?

How can you bear to look at the Neva?
How can you bear to cross the bridges?
Not in vain have I been known as the grieving one
Since the time that you first came to me.
The black angels' wings are sharp,
Judgment Day is coming soon,
And raspberry-colored bonfires bloom,
Like roses, in the snow.


Raspberry-colored bonfires in the snow -- now that's good.

Tips For The Coming Carbon-Poor Era -- And Other Things

The evening of the 2004 election, Son, D-i-L, and I sat down in front of the tv set with pizza and wine and got ready to celebrate. I had some very nice champagne chilling for later in the evening. We watched as the results came in. Then, all of a sudden, we saw film of reporters trooping into the WH and heard the announcer saying that this had never happened before, but that they were being invited up to the family quarters where Bush was watching the results come in. I took one look at Bush's face and knew right away that the game was up. He'd heard from Karl that their Diebolding in Ohio and Florida had worked and would throw just enough votes their way for them to pretend to have won. It took a few more hours for the "results" to be official, but there wasn't any doubt in my mind. If you, too, often "read" people's faces and body language fairly clearly, you know what I'm talking about.

I remembered how, shortly after her unflattering Bush biography had come out, Kitty Kelley had been asked what the Bush WH thought might happen if they lost the upcoming election and she basically responded, "They don't. They don't imagine for even a minute that they're not going to win." At the time, I remember thinking that they were either the best poker players in the business (all politicians believe that they need to act as if they are going to win in order to get those voters who like to be on the "winning team") or they know something about the voting machines that no one else knows. On election night 2004, I had my answer.

Over the past few weeks, I've wondered at Rove's inability to control the press; the more times Americans hear that the Democrats are going to sweep the upcoming midterm election, that Republican voters are less likely to even show up than Democrats, that even previously safe, incumbent Republican seats are now up for grabs, the more difficult I'd think it would be for the Republicans to steal this election in plain sight, especially without some October or early November "Surprise" that could be spun as having flipped just enough voters to make the theft credible. But I still don't expect the Republicans to allow Diebold to allow the Democrats to obtain a majority in either, and certainly not in both, houses. There are two reasons for this belief. First, they can't afford to allow the investigations that Democratic control of Congress would ensure. Second, why should they? They've gotten better and better over the past six years at stealing just enough votes in just the right voting precincts to ensure that they win. Why would they give that up voluntarily? They're not going to spend more years in jail for stealing one more election than they would for having stolen the last three, so why stop now?

So you can imagine how I felt this morning when I read this:

Amid widespread panic in the Republican establishment about the coming midterm elections, there are two people whose confidence about GOP prospects strikes even their closest allies as almost inexplicably upbeat: President Bush and his top political adviser, Karl Rove.

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill are bracing for losses of 25 House seats or more. But party operatives say Rove is predicting that, at worst, Republicans will lose only 8 to 10 seats -- shy of the 15-seat threshold that would cede control to Democrats for the first time since the 1994 elections and probably hobble the balance of Bush's second term.

In the Senate, Rove and associates believe, a Democratic victory would require the opposition to "run the table," as one official put it, to pick up the necessary six seats -- a prospect the White House seems to regard as nearly inconceivable.

The Mark Foley page scandal and its fallout have many Republicans panicked, but Rove professes to be taking it in stride. "The data we are seeing from individual races and the national polls would tend to indicate that people can divorce Foley's personal action from the party," he said in a brief interview Thursday.

The official White House line of supreme self-assurance comes from the top down. Bush has publicly and privately banished any talk of losing the GOP majorities, in part to squelch any loss of nerve among his legions. Come January, he said last week, "We'll have a Republican speaker and a Republican leader of the Senate."

The question is whether this is a case of justified confidence -- based on Bush's and Rove's electoral record and knowledge of the money, technology [!] and other assets [coughDieboldcough] at their command -- or of self-delusion. Even many Republicans suspect the latter. Three GOP strategists with close ties to the White House flatly predicted the loss of the House, though they would not do so on the record for fear of offending senior Bush aides.

Of course, the WaPo, like the rest of the MSM and the entire Democratic leadership refuse to acknowledge the (you should pardon the expression) elephant in the room: Diebold. The shy reference to "technology" is as close as they're going to get. Bush isn't delusional (about this, at least) nor does Karl Rove have some psychic ability to predict things no one else can see. The Bush WH is confident that they'll win because they know that Diebold will ensure that they win. My guess is that they'll allow a few seats in both Houses to flip over to the Democratic side, but that's all.

Then, the talking heads will blather on about how voters just didn't like the mean, negative campaigns that the Democrats ran (you know, those same voters who were, supposedly, flipped by the Swift Boaters) and about how maybe now the Democrats will learn to be more like Republicans. The DNC will blame the nasty bloggers and rowdy netroots and promise to rid the party of our noxious presence. And on it will go. Conservatives will crow about owning the next 100 years and the Dobsons and Fallwells will rush for the cameras, trying to convince people that the Republicans own them big time. No one will dare to suggest that the Republican Party has become the party of voter theft. That just wouldn't be civil.

It's a great racket. Steal stuff in plain sight and count on the fact that if your theft is brazen enough, everyone will be afraid to point out that you just stole.

On another subject entirely, did you know that if you soak a big branch in water for a day or so, and then take an oil-soaked rag and wrap it around the top of the branch, you can light the rags and make a nice old-fashioned flash-light kind of a thing that will burn for a long time but not burn your hand? Also, on yet another unrelated subject, a pitchfork is a wonderful tool to use in the garden. It's especially good for burying manure underneath the garden soil in order to get a new gardening start in the Spring.