Sunday, December 14, 2003

The Streets Provide No Safe Passage (an IDM piece) 12.14.03

Now the walks are paved in slush and ice and rain and footsteps are held in this muck, craters leading towards the terrain; caught in time. The rain makes it hard to walk and ankle deep puddles reach from sidewalk to sidewalk. My boots are soaked and in the bathroom.

I suppose I should tell you, if you haven’t heard already, I got robbed Saturday night. Myself and the visiting Gully were down at the Bergen Street stop of the F, switching over to the G train, on our way up to Khadijah’s in Greenpoint. The L wasn’t working. Down by the turnstyles a pair of boys, young men, were at the gate. I think they were trying to convince someone to pay them to swipe people in, which doesn’t really make sense. But people do it. Gully goes through, I think nothing of these kids.

Until one grabs my hand and wallet—stupidly, stupidly out in my left hand—and says “give me your money,” in the dopey way kids do when they’ve hardly ever done it before. Though this kid must have been six-foot-two he had a little “can I do this?” in his voice, less than sure from what I saw from his eyes. Kind of like when I was walking in my neighborhood once, years ago, and some kid pulled a box cutter on me, to see my reaction. I stared at that guy and he and his (junior high) people kept going before I realized it was a box cutter.

But Saturday night, this kid gets my wallet out of my hand—I am standing there with my Metrocard in the other—and I’m like, did that just happen? Two more kids emerge and jet up the stairs; I reach for the kid yelling Give me back my Shit. And up the stairs in my boots, not gaining, missing on the first reach for that puffy diamond jacket, on the street, watching them race through the projects just a block from where I used to live.

That’s my station and I got robbed. Not that I could have done much to prevent it. Later on a cabbie asked me “how many were there?” And “what did you do?” And “did you kick them?” The same questions I asked. If I caught one I would have definitely been flying and would have seriously taken some shots, fuck the danger.

Gully was there, helped me call my bank (about the bank card) and the cops (who came quickly to file a report) and it was useful but I ain’t getting back my ID or my old WU ID or my credit card or the small amount of cash I had. Or the business cards. I just hope they don’t use my money and buy G-Unit CD’s or Jay-Z’s Black Album. Buy something good, you stupid fucking kids. Clothes. 40’s. Weed. Notebooks for school. Resume paper. A tie.

I also hope they don’t become rappers and I become the inspiration for their lines about being stick-up kids or “the hustle,” because that shit is mad, mad contrived and crazy tired.

This is the first time I’ve cussed in this web log in a very long time. But probably not ever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

No Shivers 12.10.03

I am studying for finals and not writing anything good about politics, chasing skirt, weekends out, music, short story clubs, my rappin' brother, the weather, def leppard, or jay-z. soon, my people, soon. i'll drink caffeine until i'm ready to drop and write some lunacies. kisses, folks.

additional: i am also trying to finish suzan lori-parks' book (getting mother's body) and then maybe moving onto cold mountain before the movie comes out, and then zz packer's short stories (drinking coffee elsewhere) and lauren weisberger's the devil wears prada. i am reminded of these because the last two are suggested by barnes + noble... and i was going to read them anyway.

additional: when i was not procrastinating of putting together my public finance notes, i looked at some emails that (unbelievably) i saved from an ex girlfriend years ago. after we'd "ex-ed." that is an interesting experience that causes me to remark on my growth and progress as a human being. and then i think, why the f*** would i look back at those messages? i've always believed that's the worst thing you could do.

i've got to say though, they were interesting and i was a little bit of a jerk.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

World press unconvinced by Bush visit from the BBC, November 22nd.

(commentary from world newspapers on W's European visit a few weeks ago)

Papers around the world see little reason for US President George Bush to return home satisfied after his trip to the UK.

Many believe that his visit served merely to underline the gulf between the US-led coalition and Europe's citizens.

'Unwelcome visitor'

Bush arrived as the guest of Queen Elizabeth but it appears there has been no more unwelcome visitor in the last 20 years.
India's The Hindu

The magician's magic did not work and the visit became a curse for him and his ally, Mr Blair.
London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi

Mr Bush has certainly been offended because he himself, who was supposed to fight against terrorism, has been labelled as the number one terrorist by Europeans.
Malaysia's Berita Harian

Bush's visit gave Americans a chance to contrast the warm official welcome given to their leader against the widespread unpopularity of his Iraq war in Europe.
South Africa's The Mail and Guardian

We should actually be grateful for Bush's visit to London: There could have been no better setting to display the mendacity and remoteness from reality that appears to prevail in the White House.
Germany's Die Tageszeitung

The fact that after two crusading 'wars against terrorism' the popularity of field marshals Bush and Blair... has slid dramatically is a matter of concern for them as well as for their distressed spin doctors, who are now under pressure to come up with a remedy.
Commentary in Greece's Kathimerini

Regrettably, Bush and his colleague Blair turned deaf ears to the chanting slogans of thousands of people and determined to tread the way of barbarism.
Pakistan-based Afghan newspaper Shahadat



The visit was going well. Mr Bush had given a good speech on Wednesday, restrained and balanced... Then came the carnage in Istanbul and the whole vista altered. The war on terror, in which he and his 'dear friend' Tony Blair believe so trenchantly, widened and deepened.
Irish Independent

Though Bush and Blair made a resolute promise to unflinchingly continue the war against terrorism, the terrorists showed that their war knows no boundaries.
The Times of India

If Washington's policy has managed to achieve something, then it is the fact that it has created what it was (supposedly) trying to prevent - it has turned terrorism into a real universal threat.
Commentary in Greece's To Vima

There can be little doubt that the two suicide bombing raids were timed to coincide with the visit of President Bush to Britain. No doubt this maximises the shock value of the attack, though it may increase the determination of Britain and the US, and their allies, to do something about it.
Australia's The Canberra Times

Al-Qaeda timed the Istanbul blasts carefully to coincide with Bush's visit to Blair. Bin Laden has chosen a new target and there's no guarantee that tomorrow it won't be Trafalgar Square or Downing Street.
Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda


Blair unrewarded?

In London, the president did nothing to thank Tony Blair for his unfailing support: he didn't make use of the visit to announce the abandonment of the protectionist measures on steel and he gave no guarantee to free the British prisoners in the Guantanamo 'gulag'.
France's Liberation

Mr Blair indicated that he did not expect any reward for his alliance with Mr Bush. This was wise because the British prime minister would not have won any concessions from Mr Bush on two important issues: the British detainees at the US base in Guantanamo and the abolition of the import surcharge on steel.
France's Le Monde

The emotional and political gulf between Tony Blair and Britain's anti-war party probably widened this week.
The Irish Times

Friday, December 05, 2003

Bling Flakes 12.05.03

Where does it come from? Is it because I’ve been shoveling snow and I am more tired than I thought I was? Is this simply a novel with actually good parts? Is it the public finance paper, the end of school stress?

Whatever the great big “it” is, it’s ticking me off, because I am all lathered up over a passage I am reading in Columbus Slaughters Braves. The book is about a guy whose younger brother is a baseball star. The older brother is of course in the shadows. Personally, I thought the first section was simply bland, kind of crappy, kind of heard-it-before, as CJ Columbus, the player, grows into his ridiculously mammoth talent (though a .380 average, in any year, gets you an All-Star start and this author can’t tell me no kind of different). None of the writing really inspired or made me think much of the author—

And then in part two I am reading about this fellow, half petty and half jealous, kind of lame, who has fallen into a swampmire post-collegiate marriage with his collegiate sweetheart; and they are out of place. Perhaps economically mismatched, perhaps she simply cannot take this brother seriously—but it’s depressing, it’s everyone’s worst nightmare, waking up next to a person who you are unable to communicate with and you’ve got a whole lot of life to go. And it’s real. I think I’ve had this conversation, or non-conversation, more than once.

But at least my little brother wants to be a rapper. Shorter career arc, and nothing I’d be envious of. I think.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Stories From the Big Chair 12.2.03

By this time next month? I think we will have the short story club ready to be in full swing. But I need your suggestions, your input-- you want in? I'm thinking monthly entries, less than 5000 words, perhaps with some postings about writing and such... but I don't know yet. It'll be like a writing clinic but I am thinking out the bugs. Erica, Anna, if you two read this (and anyone else with suggestions and/ or experience in writing covens) please hit me off with that hot info.

-Progress reports to come.-

Monday, December 01, 2003

How Was My Thanksgiving? 12.1.03

Well, I didn’t plan the Saturday gathering for Shiv. We ended up at the Upper West’s Evelyn Lounge and I don’t think I want to be there again. Of a crowd of stand-arounders and bad dance remixes of your favorite hits of two years ago, with a small bevy of ladies (Shiv/ Abberts/ Gabi/ Lisette) around me, I almost convinced a couple of guys to get in the dancing:

“I can’t dance,” one says.
“Get in here, man,” I reply, “why can’t you dance? We’re all doing it.”
“Well, look at the difference in pigment between you and I!”
“These girls [and this guy, being Silver] are paler than milk. That’s a bullshit excuse.”
“Okay, give me five minutes.”

But they never came back, they didn’t get in. I tried. The night was a success anyway, I suppose, the kids had a good time, we ended up at the ever-famous CafĂ© Lalo (yes where that scene in You’ve Got Mail was shot) as we always used to when we were similar sized but more bright eyed and I daresay punkier, and Shiv went back to SF with a smile.


The pumpkin pie went over well.


While I didn’t go out on Friday, and the Mississippi vs. Mississippi State football game for the “Egg Bowl” was nothing short of an atrocious mismatch, and Texas vs. Texas A & M wasn’t much better, I did get some rest and some reading done. I think that sums up Thanksgiving.