I was at the library today, idly looking through the "new non-ficition" shelf. There was a copy of "Get Your War On", a collection of the low-tech social commentary cartoons. I have only seen a small subset of the strips, so I checked out the book. When I got home, I realized that my library stocks a book out in the open that, on its back cover, talks about the voice in our heads that many of us have "which simply cannot fucking believe this fucking shit". No black tape over the bad words, no having to ask at the front desk for it. It is nice to be treated like an adult.
If you want something about The Current Situation that is achingly personal, read this. A short excerpt:
Human emotions are enormously complicated. Everyone knows that about herself. Everyone sees that in her friends and family. Why don't we carry that knowledge into our reading of the news? Why, when we read about people in other countries, do we expect them to be less complex, less human than we are?
It's an invasion. Iraq didn't start shooting first. If they had, our allies who have borders with Iraq would have welcomed us; they didn't. If we were really a liberating force, we would have seen by now many pictures of Iraqi's cheering for us in their cities. The closest we see is Iraqis surrendering, and we don't even see many of those.
Vocabulary is important. Twelve years ago, we didn't say that Iraq went to war with Kuwait; Iraq invaded Kuwait. What we are doing now is an invasion.
I don't have anything useful to say. Yes, I'm concerned about the war. Yes, I can say something that hasn't been said before or point the folks who read this blog to some interesting war-related tidbit on the web that they haven't seen. But I don't feel that either of those are useful right now.
The odd thing is that I have had a few non-war things I wanted to post, but as I started, I thought "but this isn't as important as the war" and stopped. Nice double-standard, there.
I was just sitting here working away, and I saw what I thought was someone walking in my backyard, near the small goldfish pond I installed many years ago. After a moment, I realized it wasn't a person, but a 4-foot high blue heron. It was watching me warily, not moving much, and I certainly wasn't going to move to get a better view and possibly scare it away.
Herons and egrets are my good luck symbols, which is really odd, given that I don't believe in luck. But whenever I see one, I feel fortunate, and often have a feeling that the time just ahead will be better than it would have been if I hadn't seen it.
After about a minute, it dunked its head into the pond and came out with a goldfish the size of my hand wriggling in its beak. It took two or three good swallows to get it through its long neck, but a fish I put in there many years ago obviously was now a mid-morning meal for a majestic bird.
And a few minutes later it flew off, first to the roof of the house behind mine, then off to the west. 'Bye, and thanks! I feel better already.
Because "false information was recklessly included in the search warrant application", two judges have thrown out evidence in many child porn searches. The police lied in order to get search warrants, and the judges acted correctly, because many of the people who were subjected to the search should not have been. The fact that many men who should be jailed won't be should be a good lesson for the police: if you don't act within the law, you won't get what you want. Isn't that what we are all supposed to be learning? Via Politech.
If you loved Tom Lehrer, you will love the recent interview with him from the Sydney Morning Herald. I have now lived in Santa Cruz for ten years but have never ran into him (as far as I know). If I did, I would hopefully not become a babbling goof saying how much I loved his stuff as a kid and during college (even though that is completely true). Via Follow Me Here.