Tuesday, February 28, 2006

the heat is up

Kudos for Deeyah, for her courage. In these days of Identity soups , free soup kitchen in France which delibaretely uses pork to keep the islamic hungry brethen away(via An Unsealed Room) and National Pig Day over at Tammy Bruce's blog (no link from here), it is easy to loose it. Deehya sings about women's oppression in Arab countries, using rap or hip hop, a medium that hasn't been too kind to women, and in some instances downright mysogenist. What is important is her message and her courage though, for we have to remember Theo Van Gogh's brutal murder for his documentary which basically conveyed the same message.
These are confusing times. And dangerous!
On a lighter note, on the front range we are having a mini summer with temperatures above 70F after a week of sub zero cold. What a place!

Monday, February 27, 2006

old tyrants

I gave to the mass of the people such rank as befitted their need,
I took not away their honour, and I granted naught to their greed;
While those who were rich in power, who in wealth were glorious and great,
I bethought me that naught should befall them unworthy their splendour and state;
So I stood with my shield outstretched, and both were sale in its sight,
And I would not that either should triumph, when the triumph was not with right.
Solon circa 350 bce

Sunday, February 26, 2006

old age in the mirror

It isn't new but it could be a trend. Communal senior housing is what I hope for if I live long enough and the New York Times has an interesting article on it.

Via Abrupto:
As A Beauty I’m Not A Great Star
As a beauty I’m not a great star,
There are others more handsome by far,
But my face, I don’t mind it,
Because I’m behind it,
’Tis the folks in the front that I jar.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

abortionist contorsions

These are dangerous and fearful times we live in. South Dakota is about to outlaw abortion. What they are aiming for is a new Supreme Court hearing which will overturn Roe V Wade. No matter how you look at it, no matter how you feel, the reality will again be what Dr. Mildred so apty describes in Our World (via Super Baymama and Molly Saves the Day):
"If you saw the distress of the women who wanted abortions and saw the morbidity and mortality rates from illegal abortion and the number of unwanted pregnancies, it was obvious that something needed to be done. No amount of proselytizing or theorizing about the sanctity of unborn life was going to change that reality."
Part of me still believes that it won't get overturned. That the social consequences will be too drastic, and that the judges take into consideration the social upheaval resulting from certain decisions that they might take.
Following Bill Bennett's faux pas on abortion and crime I looked up the study he based his comments on and although having a hard time swallowing the research it is there for us to see. What kind of impact will a ban on abortion have on women, mostly poor women.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Queen Christina of Denamark

Quotations from Queen Christina of Denamark:

Letter to Descartes: If we conceive the world in that vast extension you give it, it is impossible that man conserve himself therein in this honorable rank, on the contrary, he shall consider himself along with the entire earth he inhabits as in but a small, tiny and in no proportion to the enormous size of the rest. He will very likely judge that these stars have inhabitants, or even that the earths surrounding them are all filled with creatures more intelligent and better than he, certainly, he will lose the opinion that this infinite extent of the world is made for him or can serve him in any way

I say this explicitly, that it is impossible for me to marry. That is the way it is for me. The reasons for this I will not tell. I have frequently prayed to God, that I shall get that mind, but I have not been able to get it...My temper is a mortal enemy to this horrible yoke [marriage], which I would not accept, even if I thus would become the ruler of the world. Which crime has the female sex committed to be sentenced to the harsh necessity which consists of being locked up all life either as a prisoner or a slave? I call the nuns prisoners and the married women slaves.

We triumph over our passions only when they are weak.

I support Denmark

Not being able to be in Washington I put up the flag of Denmark to show my support. Christopher Hitchens' article in the Slate is a must.

denver is beautiful

Cycling around Denver, to relieve stress and to enjoy this beautiful city on the front range. Life is not all politics and angst. There are also blue skies, the fresh cool air that comes down from the snow capped mountais in the distance.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

historical context

In The Nation online edition an article by Robert Scheer and about David Irving's conviction for denying the Holocaust caught my attention. I do not think incarcerating people will lead us closer to the truth, nor will it help eliminate hatred, although one has to account for the context the laws were implemented in. To deny the Holocaust is to deny a whole historical reality of anti semitism, that can be easily verified by the many documents in existence. And so although it would seem easy to defend absolute free speech as an absolute right, my God! 6 million people were victims o a horrifying extermination because of their collective identity. The association draw to the cartoon controversy seems at first basic and clear, but when further analysed becomes much more complex.

women's what?

Although this story is a few days old it is too "good" to pass up. Apparently, some fellow by the name of Travis Frey has been charged with kidnapping, assault of his wife of 9 years. It appears that he drew up a contract (the Smoking Gun) which she never signed but handed over to the police. This was called a "Contract of Wifely Expectations" and in it he stipulates among other things where she could shave, how she was to walk around the house and that as a wife she "be subservient, submissive and totally obedient." It is worth it to check out the comments area. It appears that it is unclear whether this was a typical SMBD agreement of gentlepeople. Which leaves us with that old nagging question about whether sexual politics and feminism have a place in the "bedroom".
The comments are in the Dayly Kos where I inicially read the story.

Onto another subject, a multi tasking doll to be used as a role model, I suppose (via Feministing)
Remember the slave in the kitchen, lady in the bedroom and whore in the bedroom recipe? Strong as ever!

Maybe we should send some over to Europe, which according to the Internation edition of News Week has a lot to learn from corporate America on the rights of women. The scary thing? They have a point!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

of dogs and men

As I glance at the papers today a few questions linger on my mind.:
Two stories in the Washington Post caught my eye. The first one is about tonight's presentation of a documentary, "Dealing Dogs" which tells the story of a six-month undercover investigation of a kennel that sells dogs to research labs.

The other article caught my eye, because it brings up an issue that i've often wondered about. How is it possible that a state which has such severe laws on drug use, can then turn around and justify applying a fatal dose of barbiturates to a death row inmate due to have been executed last night in California. In "Anesthesiologists Delay Calif. Execution", the dilemma of the health professions is superficially explored.

Monday, February 20, 2006

cowboys and cotton

All this stuff about broke back mountain great and funny. Glenn Campbell's 70s hit Like a Rhinestone Cowboy, must have been one of the percursors.
But while I was looking for an image because obviously i have nothing to do I found this great store with fabrics with great western imprints. Now there's something I'de like to buy even if I have no use for them

Swift, Marx and Orwell as bloggers...

Another week full of resolutions and revolutions I'm sure! Abrupto directs my attention to a very interesting article in the Financial Times on Blogs and blogging. It's big media's perspective and well written. Its importance in the countries of media censorship is I think underplayed. It's good read. It mentions Marx, Orwell and Swift in one article. Any medium that contributes to that can't be all bad....

Sunday, February 19, 2006


It is worth reading. And so is this!
What a predictable, sick world that manifests so much hatred. My idea of moving to a small town is more and more appealing as the world gets more and more appalling.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

black and beautiful

it is always healthy to get away from the the black hole of current events and look to our past to find inspiration. this from that great woman Sojourner Truth :
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

Friday, February 17, 2006

meme-ry 1

In the New Yorker about the Shakers, their aesthetics and their politics...
As Downing documents, its latest incarnation has been the Zen experience—which is uncannily like the Shaker experience, and which also involved the implantation of a slightly misunderstood alien dogma, and an immense outpouring of American spiritual yearning, a taste for commercial prosperity on the part of its leaders, and an inability to figure out what the hell to do about sex. As the Shakers made a revolution in American objects, American Zen made a revolution in American cooking, giving vegetarian food dignity. And, when the communities went into crisis, first the plates, and then the food, were what was left.

There she had a vision that she was the second coming of Christ; she also began to believe that sex was the root of all evil. The idea had a genuine edge not so much of feminist rage as of women’s pain: she had lost her four children to illness, and came of age in a working-class world in which constant pregnancy was a prime source of suffering. Her anti-sexual ethic was not so much anti-pleasure as anti-pregnancy.

fodder for thought!!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

our world

One of my favorite places in the blogosphere is ABRUPTO where the author has been running a series of photos on work conditions throughout the world.

Because that's how I feel today:


words and music by Woody Guthrie

Chorus:This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valleyT
his land was made for you and me
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me
(this part of the song sadly gets censored out more often than not...)
As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!
In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

What a genius woodyguthrie ! How true his words ring today still...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

the tribe

animal rights

Just checking on different post, a habit that is quickly becoming a well...the next step up on the addictions theory of escalation, anyway, as I was saying checking on rebecca's pocket and this fabulous article about the Battery Hen Welfare Trust. I remember i used to vacation in Southern Portugal, where i'm originally from, where a bunch of english folk run donkey retiment farms. Gotta love those english...


Went a feeding the ducks and got to watching them behave and got to thinking...
how much importance we give to weight differences...
how much importance we attibute to coloring and socially imposed aesthetics...
how we are so caught up in the minutae gender differences...
how so many of the gender differences myths keep rearing their ugly heads...
how human beings pay such lip service to it...
and to what end...

Monday, February 13, 2006

current events ....

From the Koran: "Do Not argue with the followers of earlier revelations otherwise than in the most kindly manner-unless it be such of them as are set on evil doing- and say: "We believe in that which has been bestowed upon us, as well as that which has been bestowed upon you: for our God and your God is one and the same, and it is unto him that we [all] surrender ourselves."

and from Iranian philosopher Ali Shariati: "As you circumambulate and move closer to the Kabah, you feel like a small stream merging with a big river. Carried by a wave you lose touch with the ground. Suddlenly, you are floating, carried on by the flood. As you approach the center, the pressure of the crowd squeezes youso hard that you are given a new life. You are now part of the People; you are now a Man, alive and eternal...The Kabah is the world's sun whose face attarcts you into its orbit. You have become part of this universal system. Circumambulating around Al-lah, you will soon forget yourself...You have been transformed into a particle that is gradually meltingand disappearing. This is absolute love at its peak."

Different strokes for different folks I say!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

the eye of the storm

How insignificant our petty squabbles must seem when looked on from outer space. how much more majestic the eye of a storm...

and yet, to us simple mortals caught in the routine of daily life, all is important; the fact that we are capable of lifting ourselves out of this miserly state, that one day we will be able to leave this all behind to explore uncharted lands is a factor of hope; even knowing full well, that our human condition will follow where ever we go...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

poetry for the ages

because I'm a feminist and have been too absorved by other sillinesses
today a poem:
My Sisters, O My Sisters
Nous qui voulions poser,
image ineffaceable
Comme un delta divin
notre main sur le sable
Anna de Noailles
Dorothy Wordsworth, dying, did not want to read,
“I am too busy with my own feelings,” she said.
And all women who have wanted to break out
Of the prison of consciousness to sing or shout
Are strange monsters who renounce the treasure
Of their silence for a curious devouring pleasure.
Dickinson, Rossetti, Shappho – they all know it,
Something is lost, strained, strained in the poet.
She abdicates from life or like George Sand
Suffers from the mortality in an immortal hand,
Loves too much, spends a whole life to discover
She was born a good grandmother, not a good lover.
Too powerful for men: Madame de Stael.
Too sensitive:Madame de Sévigné, who burdened where she meant to give.
Delicate as that burden was and so supremely lovely,
It was too heavyfor her daughter, much too heavy.
Only when she built inward in a fearful isolation
Did any one succeed or learn to fuse emotionWith thought.
Only when she renounced did Emily
Begin in the fierce lonely light to learn to be.
Only in the extremety of spirit and the flesh
And in renouncing passion dis Shappho come to bless.
Only in the farewells or in old age does sanity
Shine through the crimson stains of their mortality.
And now we who are writing women and strange monsters
Still search our hearts to find the difficult answers,
0Still hope that we may learn to lay our hands
More gently and more subtly on the burning sands.
To be through what we make more simply human,
To come to the deep place where poet becomes
woman,Where nothing has to be renounced or given over
In the pure light that shines out from the lover,
In the warm light that brings forth fruit and flowerA
nd that great sanity, that sun, the feminine power.

In “May Sarton - A Self-Prortrait”, W.W. Norton & Company 1982

muslim cartoons

this cartoon issue has unraveled me more than I wish or thought possible. Am I being easily manipulated or is this issue really worth the anxiety it has generated. Will have to think it through. meanwhile will keep checking other bloggers. I am for the total freedom of press and totally support whoever decides to publish any cartoon on any issue.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

a poem ..untitled

My significant other is a poet. This is a poem about work. Not about the kind that we like to do and that we willingly stay late for, but the repetitious monotonous type most people have to endure;

Won’t you come help us and work for a bit?
We’re building a mound and digging a pit.

We’re digging a pit and building a mound
We’re digging a pit down into the ground

Is there a chance that the mound it will fall?
Then fill up the hole and thus bury us all?

The boss knows the answer,
and he’s on the ball.

Will the mound fall?
I don’t know I don’t care.
in time they will move it from here
unto there.

The work is important
the wages are fair
so put on these new boots
and cut off all your hair.

If you won’t help us
you’re lazy and mean
we’ll throw you in prison and
dress you in green

If you get buried
insurance will pay
for your family’s loss
so it’s really OK

One thousand years later
your bones will be found
under ten tons of dirt
in a hole in the ground.

by Dan Mage , 1996

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Islam and censorship

It is utterly infuriating that the basis for publishing an article or not should be fear. I understand respect, deference and good ol' common sense. I do not understand fear and censorship. I will not publish any defamatory cartoon to give examples, although examples abound. The virulence of some of the images published in middle eastern newspapers shocks me, a well weathered cynic, but does not drive me to burn their flags or declare fatwas. Is it not sufficient that i have to see images and read about Islamic women's condition, now we have to kow tow to the scissors of their censors. Enough!!!!

On another related topic:
Why is the relationship between this this administration and the english language so bad? Is it in deference to Bush's well know and documented difficulties?To give an example of what could perfectly construe a Bushism:
"Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images, as anti-Christian images or any other religious belief," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

of true beauty

Truly cold and clean and beautiful, this mountain town I visited on the weekend. Once up there, who cares about the world's chagrins and the constant battering of melodrama heaped upon the internet surfer. my dream and my ambition goes toward a peaceful life up in the mountains. I can be effective and create beauty if surrounded by the thing itself. I will strive and work to that goal of living with the clean crisp air that comes with 8,000 feet.
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