Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sonnet XXV, by Pablo Neruda

Before I loved you, love, nothing was my own: I wavered through the streets, among objects: nothing mattered or had a name: the world was made of air, which waited. I knew rooms full of ashes, tunnels where the moon lived,a rough warehouses that growled 'get lost', questions that insisted in the sand. Everything was empty, dead, mute, fallen abandoned, and decayed: inconceivably alien, it all belonged to someone else - to no one: till your beauty and your poverty filled the autumn plentiful with gifts.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Destructive Women and Little Men:

Masculinity, the New Woman, and Power in 1910s Popular Media by Carolyn Kitch, Northwestern University ABSTRACT: During the 1910s, the final decade of the suffrage drive, women's social, economic, and professional opportunities seemed to broaden dramatically at the same time that political leaders and psychologists decried the "feminization" of manhood. The spectre of a world in which domineering women emasculated powerless men inspired a visual motif that ran throughout popular culture: the pairing of large women and tiny men. Through humor, explosive notions were discussed but then dismissed. This rhetorical analysis, which draws on hegemony theory, explores the symbolic cultural work of such imagery in mass media, especially magazines, at a pivotal moment in American gender relations.

During the early decades of the twentieth century, American women's social, political, and economic opportunities seemed to broaden dramatically. More and more young women entered higher education and the professions (1), while Progressive-era reform work and the women's-club movement offered a chance for married women also to enter the public sphere.

At no time did lasting change in gender roles seem more likely than in the 1910s, the final decade of the suffrage drive. The vote was not the only potential gain for women during this era: radicals who called themselves "feminists" pushed for reforms in the institution of marriage, the American popularity of the works of Freud prompted a public acknowledgement of women's sexuality, and a new birth-control movement enabled women to express that sexuality more freely and safely.

The same period saw extensive public discourse on the role of men in American society as well. This national preoccupation with masculinity--what historian John Higham called "a muscular spirit" in America (2)--was a response partly to women's advances and partly to racial and ethnic population changes due to massive waves of immigration. New organizations such as the Boy Scouts embraced President Theodore Roosevelt's vision of the "strenuous life" to help boys and men avoid becoming "over-civilized." Experts in the new social science of psychology believed that athletics and outdoor adventure would help to remove young men from the "feminizing" influence of overbearing mothers and female schoolteachers. (3)

During the 1910s, Americans' hopes for, and anxieties about, changing gender roles were frequently debated in magazine and newspaper articles. These concerns also provided a recurrent theme for visual communication. The spectre of a world in which domineering and destructive women emasculated weak and powerless men inspired a distinctive motif that ran through various forms of popular culture: the pairing of large (though usually beautiful) women and little, often tiny, men. While this motif was always presented as a joke, it never was only a joke.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Erma Boombeck Writers' Workshop

CREATES WORLD’S LONGEST MAD LIB® Dayton, Ohio – Call me Ishmael. Or Marsha Brady. Or, maybe, Mr. Potato Head.
Using the literary classic Moby Dick, nearly 200 writers registered for the upcoming University of Dayton's Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop (www.HumorWriters.org) have created the world's longest ''Mad Lib®." A Mad Lib is a story with blank spaces where words have been left out. The leader asks the other players to provide words to fill in the blanks but doesn’t tell them what the story is about. The result is humorous story with lines such as, “Call me Mr. Potato Head.” Mad Libs is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc..
Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry will give the opening address at the sold-out writers’ workshop, which is held every other year to teach and encourage humor and human interest writers. The world record will be announced at the 5:30 p.m. dinner before his 8:15 p.m. talk on Thursday, March 23, at the Dayton Marriott Hotel, 1414 S. Patterson Boulevard.
A typical Mad Lib has 10 to 20 blank spaces and is played with three to four players. The Moby Dick Mad Lib features more than 1,100 blanks and is believed to be the longest Mad Lib ever created. The blanks were filled in by 197 attendees of the March 23-25 workshop.
“I think Herman Melville would approve of using Moby Dick as the base for the world’s longest Mad Lib,” said Tim Bete, director of the workshop. “After all, Melville wrote, ‘A good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing.’”
Some of the funniest lines in the Moby Dick Mad Lib include:
• “Tonya Harding, nevertheless, is a mighty pleasant rottweiler.”
• “My going on this whaling sissy, formed part of the sultry bobblehead of Antonio Banderas that was drawn up a long time ago.”
• “Fifty years ago did Viagra kill fifteen whales between a sunrise and a sunset. And that Brad Pitt -- so like a corkscrew now -- was flung in Microsoft seas, and run away with by a whale, years afterwards slain off the Cape of Blanco.”
The complete 36-page Moby Dick Mad Lib can be read at MadLib.HumorWriters.org. A blank version is also available on the site. “It's a fantastic thing to have if you’re going on a 14-hour drive with your kids and are worried about them getting bored,” Bete said.
Roger Price and Leonard Stern invented Mad Libs, now owned by Penguin Group (USA), in the 1950s. Price died in 1990, but Stern keeps the tradition alive by writing new Mad Libs.
Price and Stern are both well known for their comedy writing. In the1950s, Price developed cartoons called “Droodles,” which were turned into a television show. He also worked with Bob Hope on a newspaper humor column. Stern was a successful television writer, who worked with Jackie Gleason on scripts for the “Honeymooners.” He also wrote for the “Phil Silvers Show” and “The Steve Allen Show,” and he wrote and produced the original “Get Smart” television series.
Why create the World’s longest Mad Lib?
“We wanted to give workshop attendees something to write about and what could be a better cure for writer’s block than helping set a world record,” Bete said. “The attendees have an incredible combined vocabulary, suggesting words such as ‘bodacious,’ ‘flammable’ and ‘aardvark.’ And I think Dave Barry would agree that the “Bodacious, Flammable Aardvarks” is a great name for a rock band.”
Other speakers at the 2006 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop include USA Today’s Craig Wilson; Susan Reinhardt, author of Not Tonight Honey Wait Til I'm a Size 6; and Kristen Godsey, editor of Writer’s Digest magazine, among others. Workshop sponsors include AuthorHouse, American Greetings, Andrews McMeel Foundation, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Dayton Daily News, Dayton Marriott, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop Endowment and the University of Dayton National Alumni Association.
Humorist Erma Bombeck graduated from the University of Dayton in 1949 and credited UD with preparing her for life and work, for making her believe she could write. Her syndicated column, "At Wit's End," appeared in more than 900 newspapers. She wrote 12 books, nine of which made The New York Times' bestsellers list. Bombeck also appeared regularly on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" for 11 years. She was still writing her column for Universal Press Syndicate and developing a new book for HarperCollins Publishers when she died from complications of a kidney transplant on April 22, 1996.
“This is probably the first and last world record for the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop,” said Bete. “The largest simultaneous whoopee cushion sit is 3,614 participants and we can’t compete with that – but we could create a Mad Lib about it.”
To read the Moby Dick Mad Lib, visit MadLib.HumorWriters.org.
Download the blank Moby Dick Mad Lib (Word file)
Download the filled-in Moby Dick Mad Lib (Word file)
Try out Mad Libs on the Penguin Group (USA) Web site

Saturday, February 25, 2006

SydniesPetArtistry.com (Courtesy of Darlene)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Confucian Analects - 500 BC

Tsze-chang asked Confucius, saying, "In what way should a person in authority act in order that he may conduct government properly?"

The Master replied, "Let him honor the five excellent, and banish away the four bad, things;-then may he conduct government properly."

Tsze-chang said, "What are meant by the five excellent things?" The Master said, "When the person in authority is beneficent without great expenditure; when he lays tasks on the people without their repining; when he pursues what he desires without being covetous; when he maintains a dignified ease without being proud; when he is majestic without being fierce."

Tsze-chang said, "What is meant by being beneficent without great expenditure?" The Master replied, "When the person in authority makes more beneficial to the people the things from which they naturally derive benefit;-is not this being beneficent without great expenditure? When he chooses the labors which are proper, and makes them labor on them, who will repine? When his desires are set on benevolent government, and he secures it, who will accuse him of covetousness?

Whether he has to do with many people or few, or with things great or small, he does not dare to indicate any disrespect;-is not this to maintain a dignified ease without any pride? He adjusts his clothes and cap, and throws a dignity into his looks, so that, thus dignified, he is looked at with awe;-is not this to be majestic without being fierce?"

Tsze-chang then asked, "What are meant by the four bad things?"

The Master said, "To put the people to death without having instructed them;-this is called cruelty. To require from them, suddenly, the full tale of work, without having given them warning;-this is called oppression. To issue orders as if without urgency, at first, and, when the time comes, to insist on them with severity;-this is called injury. And, generally, in the giving pay or rewards to men, to do it in a stingy way;-this is called acting the part of a mere official."

The Master said, "Without recognizing the ordinances of Heaven, it is impossible to be a superior man.

"Without an acquaintance with the rules of Propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.

"Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men."


Thursday, February 23, 2006

In electronic age, Americans’ use of library services grows

National study finds Americans value, see future need for public libraries (CHICAGO) A new national study from the American Library Association (ALA) finds that Americans overwhelmingly are very satisfied with their public libraries, agree more public library funding is needed and believe public libraries will be needed in the future. Two-thirds of adult Americans (roughly 135 million people) visited their public libraries last year. KRC Research & Consulting conducted the study, which interviewed 1,003 adult Americans in a national random-sample telephone survey conducted January 3-13. The estimated margin of error is +/-3.1 percent. Libraries and librarians – as well as the services they offer – are clearly valuable to Americans. Findings show that: * Seven out of 10 Americans report being extremely or very satisfied with their public libraries – up 10 points from 2002. * More than 8 in 10 Americans (85 percent) agree that their public libraries deserve more funding – including 58 percent who strongly agree. * More than half of survey respondents (52 percent) believe $41 or more should be spent. Americans currently provide, on average, about $25 per year per person in local tax support for public libraries. * Ninety-two percent of survey respondents believe libraries will still be needed in the future – even with all of the information available on the Internet. * More than one-third of Americans put the benefits of libraries at the top of the public services list – as compared to schools, roads and parks – up 6 points from 2002. The more frequent the user, the more satisfied she or he is with libraries. In fact, Americans’ use of library services has grown in almost every category – from taking out books (up 14 points) to consulting with librarians (up 7 points) to taking out CDs, videos and computer software (up 13 points) to attending cultural programs like speakers or movie showings (up 8 points). Nearly all Americans (96 percent) agree that because public libraries provide free access to materials and resources, they play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed. “Because libraries offer free access to all — with help from professional librarians — they bring opportunity to all and are a vital part of a civil society,” said ALA President Michael Gorman. “Investment in libraries is an investment in education and lifelong learning.” Sixty-one percent of library users report using the computer in some way – including checking the online catalog, connecting to the Internet and writing a paper or preparing a resume – when they visited the library. African American and Hispanic adults are significantly more likely to use their public library for job searches or writing resumes than Caucasian adults. “Public libraries are essential components of vibrant and educated communities,” Gorman said. “There are more than 16,000 public libraries in this country. I encourage everyone to check out his or her local library in person or online. Your library card is the smartest card in your wallet.” Nearly two-thirds of Americans own library cards and report that taking out books and using computers/Internet are the top services they use in public libraries. The most frequent library users are women, younger adults (ages 25 to 44), college-educated adults and parents of younger children. Adults in the Midwest and West are more likely to have visited their public library than their counterparts in the South and Northeast. For more information on this study, please visit www.ala.org/ala/ors/reports/2006KRCReport.pdf. The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world with more than 66,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Horror of Fallujah, by Amy Goodman Democracy Now

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to another of Al Jazeera's most prominent journalists, Ahmed Mansur. He was in Fallujah in April of 2004 during one of the bloodiest assaults by U.S. forces in Iraq. He reported from Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. He was brutally beaten while covering the elections in Egypt just months ago. He's author of 17 books and is the host of a prominent talk show on Al Jazeera called Without Borders. We welcome you to Democracy Now! AHMED MANSUR: Thank you very much. AMY GOODMAN: It is good to have you with us. People in the United States have not heard very much about Fallujah, either what happened in November of 2004 or before that—April 2004. You are one of the journalists who were inside. What happened? AHMED MANSUR: A lot of things happened. I think all of the people around the world don't know, maybe only one percent about this has happened in Fallujah. When I was in Fallujah and Al Jazeera team in April 2004, I hoped that in this time thousands of journalists is there for every street, every house, everywhere to introduce some of the truth or part of the truth to the people around the world. I think I stay one week, but all of the things I did in Fallujah, all of the things I introduced to the world via pictures and reports, maybe one percent only from this things happened there. AMY GOODMAN: What did you see inside during that week that you were there, and what was the response of the U.S. forces to you reporting from Fallujah? AHMED MANSUR: When I try enter Fallujah, every road to Fallujah closed. I try from maybe seven roads going to Fallujah. Everything is closed. United States force was closed everything. But when -- I lost in hope to go inside Fallujah. But I have a chance. I saw someone come within desert -- desert between Fallujah and outside. I asked him: ‘Where you come?’ He told me, ‘I come from Fallujah this way. American forces don't know this way.’ I asked him to take me and my crew to inside. He refused in the first, but he agreed after that. We talked with him a lot of time. He agreed. Within 20 minutes we become inside Fallujah. It is good chance for us. And we are only our media team inside Fallujah. American forces, you know, don't allow to anyone to go out or go inside Fallujah, this siege around the city. It was there in Fallujah on this time more than 300,000 people -- women -- people -- this is population of Fallujah inside this. And after two, three days, everything become little—food and petrol, and everything for life become -- electric from the streets, and this is -- crafts destroy a lot of houses because a lot of people fight against the United States force. Around the city, they destroy everything. Everything was destroyed -- houses and a lot of things. Everything were introduced via pictures and report to the people AMY GOODMAN: Everything you filmed? AHMED MANSUR: Yes. Everything we saw, everything we can -- everything -- every places we can go. A lot of places we can't go because this is battle between -- this is guerrilla people and United States. In some parts of the city, we can't go. But every place we can go to this place we have pictures for children, women, old people, and houses destroyed and a lot of injured people and the people killed—everything were introduced by Al Jazeera. But I remember, this is third day for siege, family, 25 person, women, children, old people killed via rocket. The rocket destroyed the house, and all family killed, only one survived We have the picture and introduce it to the world. Everyone saw it. AMY GOODMAN: So, your – AHMED MANSUR: But it is only – it is only one case. You can imagine how a lot of people happening this on – more than [inaudible] houses on Fallujah. AMY GOODMAN: So your images were countering what the U.S. military was saying about only killing insurgents. Your pictures ran counter to that. They told a very different story. AHMED MANSUR: Yes, I think daily maybe we send from 30 to 50 minutes pictures from a lot of places from Fallujah. I have two cameramen and me. And we can’t go to everywhere, but when some people told us some rocket or tank has destroyed some houses, we try go to this place and take some pictures and send it to Al Jazeera. And this is broadcast to the world. I don't -- some of our cameramen went to some places and have some footage and some photo for this battle between insurgents and American forces. But this plane was destroy a lot of things, and rockets destroy a lot of houses and people. AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to Ahmed Mansur, one of the leading journalists of Al Jazeera, was there covering the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, covered the U.S. attack on Afghanistan, and then the invasion of Iraq, was in Fallujah in April 2004. I have a question to ask about a man, an Al Jazeera reporter, who is being held at Guantanamo, Sami al-Hajj. Now, do you know him? AHMED MANSUR: I know him like anyone. I don't meet him at all. AMY GOODMAN: You have learned that in the interrogations of this Al Jazeera reporter, they have questioned him about you? AHMED MANSUR: Yes. The lawyer told me, “They asked Sami about you one hundred times, more than one hundred times.” AMY GOODMAN: Sami al-Hajj's attorney told you? AHMED MANSUR: Yes. Not Sami al-Hajj. Sami al-Hajj told his lawyer, and the lawyer told me. I had interview with him. And he told me, “They asked Sami about you more than one hundred times.” I don't know why, but I think they angry, they very angry. The United States, they very angry with me from this Fallujah battle. When at April 8, this spokesman of United States forces, a general -- I remember him. I know him very well. He accused me on – lie, Ahmed Mansur is lie and all his report is false. Spokesman of United States Foreign Ministry talk about me a second time, maybe April 17, and told, Ahmed Mansur, all his words from Fallujah is false. So, I become a number one of – they maybe put me -- if Bush says that anyone not with us is against us, maybe they put me against them. But I was in Fallujah to introduce the truth to the people. This is my job, and this is my work. I introduce picture to people to see what is United States forces doing on civilian people in Fallujah. So I think they try to destroy me, destroy my job, destroy my life, because only I am only there. I don’t know why they ask Sami about me more than one hundred times. AMY GOODMAN: Ahmed Mansur, you also covered the elections in Egypt – AHMED MANSUR: Yes. AMY GOODMAN: -- this past – was it – November. Can you describe what happened to you? AHMED MANSUR: I should have an interview with – this is opposition leader in Egypt, Dr. [inaudible] I go down to Al Jazeera office to meet him outside. A lot of people come to me and shake hand me, and some of the people ask me photo, like any star working on TV. And another one come to me – I was talk Dr. -- to my guest on phone. I asked him why you are late? Someone come and asked me, “Are you Ahmed Mansur? I don't answer him. And I asked him to wait to finish my phone. After that, when I finish, he back again. “Are you Ahmed Mansur?” I told him, “Yes.” He began hit me on my face, and another one was behind me, butt me on my head, too, and they -- before he hit me, he told me, “Why you talk about Al-Qaddafi on your program, bad words about Al-Qaddafi?” I think it is message to [inaudible], who sent them to hit me. Within 30 seconds only, they hit me and run. AMY GOODMAN: So your face was very bruised. AHMED MANSUR: Yes. My face and my hair and my head, too. I stay maybe three weeks under treatment. AMY GOODMAN: And yet you went on the air? AHMED MANSUR: My program was after 20 minutes only. I go to my program and -- AMY GOODMAN: Completely a mess from being -- AHMED MANSUR: Yes, yes. I appear live on my program. I introduce -- complain to Interior Ministry. I told him this is two people try kill me maybe, because they strong -- too strong, and everything was blending very good. AMY GOODMAN: So you issued a challenge on your program that night and demanded that the Egyptian authorities investigate who beat you? AHMED MANSUR: Yes, they investigate, but everything is closed. Because I -- this is week after before this interview my guest should be Ministry of Parliament on the government. AMY GOODMAN: You believe that the Egyptian government was behind the beating? AHMED MANSUR: Yes. I don't believe -- I don't accuse anyone, but this is part of this story because some newspapers write about it, maybe some people don't like Ahmed and the government and they do that and this is some journalists around the world listen to Egyptian government asked him about this. AMY GOODMAN: Well, we're going to have to leave it there, though we will continue certainly to cover your story and to bring you tomorrow more on Al Jazeera. I want to thank you very much, Ahmed Mansur, for joining us. AHMED MANSUR: Thank you. *** Ali Fadhil is perhaps best known for his documentary film on the aftermath of the US siege on Falluja in November, 2004. In the assault, American and Iraqi forces surrounded Fallujah, expelling the city’s residents, bombing hospitals and shelling buildings. We broadcast excerpts of the documentary, produced last year by Guardian Films for Channel Four News. Whole neighborhoods were attacked and relief workers were denied access. When the dust had settled, 10,000 buildings were destroyed with thousands more seriously damaged. At least 100,000 residents were permanently displaced and over 70 U.S. soldiers were killed. The Iraqi death toll remains unknown, but is well into the hundreds. Ali Fadhil compiled the first independent reports from the devastated city, where he found scores of unburied corpses, rabid dogs and an embittered population. In a Democracy Now! U.S. exclusive, we air an excerpt of the documentary. It was produced last year by Guardian Films for Channel Four News, it's called "Fallujah - The Real Story." AMY GOODMAN: In a Democracy Now! U.S. exclusive, today we air an excerpt of this documentary. It was produced by Guardian Films for Channel 4 News in Britain. This is Fallujah: The Real Story. ALI FADHIL: Fallujah has been closed as a city for two months. Rahena is one of the first Fallujans to go back home since the Americans occupied the city. She wanted to show me what had been left behind. RAHENA: Look at it! Furniture, clothes thrown everywhere. They smashed up the cupboards and they wrote something bad on the dressing table mirror. ALI FADHIL: She doesn't speak English, so I explained to her what the words mean. RAHENA: I knew it. I knew those words were insulting. ALI FADHIL: Every Fallujan knows this song. It was written after the war and is full of hatred towards the Americans. It is impossible to live in the city at the moment. There is no water, no electricity, and no sewage. It's almost a city of ghosts. Most of the 350,000 people who used to live there now live in refugee camps. I wanted to get inside the city, but it was closed. So I started by looking for Fallujans in the surrounding villages and camps. I began my journey in Habaniya, 35 kilometers west of Fallujah. This place used to be a tourist resort. Saddam’s own son, Uday, used to come here for his holidays. People here are cutting down trees and making fires to keep warm. Abu Rabiyah has been living here for two months now. ABU RABIYAH: We’re meant to be the country of oil, aren’t we? But look at me. I'm measuring the kerosene for this lamp by the drop. We have no heat here. We're using wood for the fire. ALI FADHIL: These people are freezing. They have received no food aid for three months. They are meant to be voting on January the 30th. FALLUJAN REFUGEE: We won't vote. We just won’t vote. They must take us back to our houses first. ALI FADHIL: Inside one of the tents, I met Hamid Allawi. I asked him if he had received his voting papers. HAMID ALLAWI: No, I didn't receive them, and I don't want them anyway. None of the Fallujans here got their voting coupons. ALI FADHIL: Suddenly, we were told that some people were unhappy that we were filming. It felt dangerous, and we had to leave. We go straight to Saklawiya, a village just north of Fallujah. At Friday prayers, the talk is all about the elections. SHEIKH JAMAL AL RAHAMIDI: When they hand out food rations, they should give out voting papers as well. Why isn't the government giving the people their vote? ALI FADHIL: Sheik Jamal al Rahamidi is a powerful man. Many Fallujan refugees come to listen to his sermons. He gets very emotional when he talks about last November’s attack. SHEIKH JAMAL AL RAHAMIDI: And I saw, with my own eyes, the Holy Koran thrown on the floor of the mosque by those sons of pigs and monkeys. The Americans were treading on the Holy Koran, and it broke my heart. ALI FADHIL: I wanted to speak to the sheikh, because back in November, the Americans had asked him to remove bodies from Fallujah. I wanted to know what he had seen. SHEIKH JAMAL AL RAHAMIDI: The Americans had marked the houses that had dead bodies with them with a cross. That’s where we found the martyrs. In my opinion, these people were civilians, not terrorists. They were men who had stayed behind in the city to protect their homes. I say this because we found the bodies in groups of two or three or four. It was Ramadan, and people would naturally gather together for Iftar, the first meal after fasting. We found the bodies right behind their front doors. It looked to me as if they had opened their front doors to the Americans and had been immediately shot dead. That's how we found them. ALI FADHIL: Sheikh Jamal took me to a cemetery on the edge of the city. He showed me where he had buried the bodies. He claimed none of them had weapons with them and that he had found an old man of ninety who had been shot dead in his kitchen. The gravestones had no names, only numbers. I counted 76 of them. The Americans claim they killed 1,200. So even if these people were insurgents, where are the other graves? I wanted to get inside Fallujah itself, but to do that, I have to get the new Fallujah identity card. Everyone who wants to return to the city now has to get this I.D. from the American military. To most Iraqis, this seems crazy. It's the only place in Iraq where you need an I.D. in order to get into your own city. MAJOR PAUL HACKETT: This card will allow them to get back into the city in a controlled, organized manner. ALI FADHIL: But the men queuing for the card told me they saw it as another punishment given to them by the Americans. Fallujans have always been so proud of their city. Concepts such as honor and dignity matter a lot here, so to be fingerprinted by an American soldier just to go home is embarrassing. That's why these men are covering their faces. FALLUJAN: This is just another humiliation for people of Fallujah. I think they're doing it on purpose just to humiliate us. MAJOR PAUL HACKETT: My understanding is ultimately they can hang their card on a wall and keep it as a souvenir, but eventually, not too distant in the future, that card is going to be unnecessary for access to Fallujah. ALI FADHIL: Finally, we made it into Fallujah. The first thing we noticed was graffiti saying “Long live the mujahedeen!” I couldn't believe it. The whole city is destroyed. It was a big shock. I wasn't prepared for this much destruction. I was here just before the American attack. It's hard to believe this is the same city. Fallujah used to be one of the few modern Iraqi cities, and now there is nothing. The only people I see are Fallujans trying to work out where they used to live, people like Abu Sallah. This is all that remains of his home. ABU SALLAH: Look at these mattresses here. These were from my son's wedding! This was my son's room. And look here, this was our kitchen. This is the sugar bag that we left in the kitchen right here. If Allawi really wants us to vote in the elections, then let him come here first and look at the state we're living in. ALI FADHIL: I could smell bodies beneath the rubble. I went to the old city of Fallujah. This was the place where the four American contractors were brutally lynched last March. The Americans don't allow anyone to go here. They say it's not safe. It is a scary place, but these Fallujan people insist on taking me somewhere. They want to show me something really gruesome. I counted four dead bodies. They were rotting. It looks like these people were shot while they were sleeping. It's very common for friends in Iraq to sleep in this way together. There are no signs of a gun battle, no bullet holes. I could not see any weapons, no obvious signs that they were insurgents. I'm told they were civilians. Nearby, in another house, another dead body. But here, there were definite signs that this was an insurgent. There is an R.P.G. launcher on the roof of his car and a booby trap bomb by the door. In both cases, the corpses have been eaten by hungry dogs. I see a lot of dead dogs in the city. There is a serious outbreak of rabies. FALLUJAN DOCTOR: We have seen in our hospital many, many cases suspected to be rabies. You know we have no toxin or vaccine in our hospital, so most of the patients die. About 50, 50 cases. ALI FADHIL: Dr. Chichen and his colleagues are living in Fallujah’s main hospital. This city is empty so they have no patients. Their only job is to recover the rotting corpses and to bring them for burial. When I went to the main cemetery in Fallujah, they were still burying their dead. Two months after the fighting started, we still don't know how many Fallujans died. But we do know the American casualty figures. 51 U.S. soldiers were killed and over 400 were wounded. AMY GOODMAN: Ali Fadhil's documentary, Fallujah: The Real Story, produced by Guardian Films for Channel 4 in Britain. This, a U.S. exclusive, an excerpt of that film. Ali, your conclusion at the end of the film, which we are not playing right now? ALI FADHIL: Yeah, it's about the defeat of the insurgency that the U.S. forces had claimed at that time, because they said ‘This is a big win for us against the insurgency in Iraq,’ which actually wasn't true. With the time of the raid on Fallujah, there was exclusive and enormous military operations in different areas in Iraq, especially, for example, Baghdad and Mosul. There were, for example, the raid -- the explosion, the suicidal explosion inside one of the military camps -- big American military camps in Nineveh, north of Iraq, and everywhere actually. So, the conclusion was that this is not true. The Americans -- the insurgents, sorry, they just separated out from Fallujah. They just fled Fallujah a few days before the invasion, the American invasion on Fallujah. AMY GOODMAN: You won the Foreign Press Association award for this, Amnesty International’s award, as well as others, and you've come here with a Fallujan I.D. Now, it was talked about in the film by an American major, American Major Paul Hackett who is now running for Senate in Ohio. He's who you interviewed there. ALI FADHIL: Yes, well, I didn't know, actually. But I met him there in Fallujah, in a camp where they do these I.D.s. American soldiers sitting beside computers and having computer machines and printers. So they print kind of I.D.s, where they take the print of the iris, they take the print of your – the ten fingers, and then they give you this I.D., which is -- you can't get in or out of Fallujah without it. It's with a picture and you can say until now, this very day, Fallujans can't get in or out of their city without this I.D. AMY GOODMAN: And it’s a photograph of you with a bar code at the top, with your name written in English. ALI FADHIL: Exactly, so it can be read by the computer, and -- of course, I'm not a Fallujan. And I had it by coincidence. I don't know how; it was very exclusive. You can see here the type of the Fallujah -- of the personnel holding this I.D. is “C,” which is contractor. So I was allowed to get in as a contractor inside Fallujah with the cameras and everything. I -- before I come to America, for a few days, I met two Fallujans, friends of mine I made through this film, in Amman in my way to America. And I asked them about the situation there. And they just said it's just the same when you left it. It's a siege, nobody allowed to get in or out without this I.D. And they're having problems with the Americans, the Iraqi forces and with the insurgents. So nothing changed, actually. AMY GOODMAN: And how did you get these images, for example, the bodies at the end, in their homes, dead? How did you get in? ALI FADHIL: Well, the thing is, that was the north part of the city, which is known in Fallujah as the Souk. It was banned, and there were tapes, yellow tapes saying, ‘Danger Don't Cross!’ These were areas announced by the military forces. If you cross it, then it's a green light for anybody to shoot you. So some Fallujans actually said, “You have to come to this place. You have to. Come with us. We'll get you, don't worry. We'll take care of your safety.” Some of the few Fallujans who got in these days because these were the first days where Fallujan civilians were allowed to get in to see their houses. So they took me and they sneaked me through the small alleys and rows, and I found myself in these places and this house, and actually, I got a shot from a sniper on me on the top of one of the buildings when I got the shot for the mosque, the dome of the mosque. AMY GOODMAN: You're an un-embedded journalist. ALI FADHIL: Un-embedded. Yeah. AMY GOODMAN: Compare that situation to the other reporting you're seeing from there? ALI FADHIL: Well, if you remember, at that time, all of the reports came about Fallujah it was from the journalists embedded with the military forces, because they didn’t allow anybody to get in -- any media to get in. And everyone who wants to get in, he has to be embedded with the U.S. forces. So I would say this film is really, really something. It means a lot of things to me, and it's kind of exclusive in the way it's been done, in the way the access we got inside the city, because it was dangerous, not only from the military forces, from the American forces, but also from the insurgents inside. AMY GOODMAN: We only have 30 seconds. But you're a general practitioner. You were a doctor in Iraq. Why did you put that down to pick up a camera? ALI FADHIL: The main reason is because, while I'm sitting in 2003, I returned back to Iraq. I was in exile in Yemen, practicing also medicine. When I returned back, I found myself just writing death certificates and doing nothing to my patients. So I decided to – I mean, I was in a total despair, so I was ready to do anything. When I was visited by a Guardian reporter, he asked me to work as a translator with him. When I started that, I found that the media is much, much stronger than medicine. AMY GOODMAN: Well, Ali Fadhil, I want to thank you for being with us. Now coming to the United States to go to journalism school at New York University with your family. Welcome to the United States. ALI FADHIL: Thank you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

As a judge the Marquis de Sade never sent anyone to jail...

Democracy is masochistic because Government is unnecessary Get rid of the unnecessary and you are free of that which taxes you to vote ... whether you want to or not ... Rid of Government you get the bankers off your back and the deficit goes begging instead of a job hunter... Perhaps blacks gain most (?): they don't have to suffer that police protection which they never have...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Amy Goodman Interviews Alice Walker

AMY GOODMAN: This is an excerpt of my on-stage interview with Alice Walker. AMY GOODMAN: I was just saying to Alice that I think one of the last times that I saw her was right before the invasion. It was International Women's Day, March 8, 2003. She was standing in front of the White House with Maxine Hong Kingston, Terry Tempest Williams, and a number of other women. It wasn't a large group, about 15 or so women, and they stood there, arms locked, and the police told them to move, and they said no. And they all got arrested. We were trying to get their message out on community radio. I was interviewing them on cell phone. The police didn't appreciate that. So, really, the last time that I saw her was in the prison cell with her. But, Alice, you said that day, as we were in the paddy wagon or in the police wagon, that it was the happiest day of your life. Why? ALICE WALKER: Well, you were there. I have so much admiration for this woman and so much love for Amy. She is so incredibly wonderful, and she is doing such good work in the world. And I feel so proud of her. So I was very happy that she had appeared to talk to us about why we were there. Nobody else was asking. And so, there we were, arrested in this patrol thing, and actually I did feel incredibly happy, because what happens when you want to express your outrage, your sorrow, your grief -- grief is basically where we are now, just bone-chilling grief -- when you're able to gather your own forces and deal with your own fears the night before, and you arrive, you show up, and you put yourself there, and you know that you're just a little person -- you know, you're just a little person -- and there's this huge machine that's going relentlessly pretty much all over the world, and then you gather with all of the other people who, you know, are just as small as you are, but you're together, and you actually do what you have set out to do, which is to express total disgust, disagreement, disappointment about the war in Iraq, about the possibility of it starting up again, all of these children, many of them under the age of 15, about to be just terrorized, brutalized, and killed -- so many of them -- so, to be able to make any kind of gesture that means that the people who are about to be harmed will know that we are saying we don't agree, just the ability to do that made me so joyful. I was completely happy. And I think that we could learn to live in that place of full self-expression against disaster and self-possession and happiness. AMY GOODMAN: You have had a continued relationship with the police officer who put handcuffs on you. ALICE WALKER: Yes, because he really didn't want to do it. And I could see that they really did not want to arrest us. And he, this African American man, truly did not want to arrest me. And I totally understand that. Would you want to arrest me? No. No, no. You would not. So even as they were handcuffing me, they were sort of apologizing like, oh, you know -- because I also thought that you put the handcuffs like that, you know, your hands in front, but they put them behind you. I hadn't really noticed that before. And so, there was some amount of apology. And then later, after we were released, you know, they take your shoes, so he was – I was there trying to put my shoes back on, and he came over and he got down on his knees, and he said, “Let me help you.” And I said, “Sure.” And I put my foot out, and he helped me with my shoes, and we started talking about his children. Well, first of all, he told me about his wife. He said, “You know, when I told my wife that I had arrested you, she was not thrilled.” And so, then I asked him about his family, and he told me about his children, and I told him I write children's books. And so he said, “Oh, you do? Because, you know, there's nothing to read. The children are all watching television.” I said, “That's true.” So it ended up with me sending books to them and feeling that this is a very good way to be with the police. And can I just extrapolate a little bit on the police and us? Because I realized fairly recently -- I went to Houston to the Astrodome to take books and other things to the people, and the police, a lot of them also African Americans, but, you know, many other kinds of people, as well, they came over. And it was very clear that they, like the people who had lost their homes, really wanted some books. But they felt like they, as one of them said to me, “I really would like a book, but I'm not the people. I'm the police.” And I said to him, and then some of the people said that, too, they said, “You know, these people are the police, they're not the people.” However, I said to the people and to the police that the police are the people, and we have to remember that the police are the people as well as the people. And so, you know, there they were, these big guys who probably had not had anybody offer them a book to read in years, if ever. They had gone into the army and into the police force because they did not have an education. That's part of why they're police. And so, I really feel very strongly that as we go into this activity, more of it, which we will undoubtedly have to do, that we remember even when the police are acting really, as we used to say down South, ugly, that we remember that they are also the people and that this is – you know, that we understand how they got to be the way that they are, and to try to hold that place of seeing them as the people, no matter what is happening. AMY GOODMAN: I was reading Evelyn White's biography of you, called Alice Walker: A Life, and she goes back to 1967, and you had just come to New York, and you were submitting an essay to American Scholar. It was 1967, so you were about, what, 23 years old. And it was entitled “The Civil Rights Movement: What Good Was It?” And you include it in your book In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens. You wrote it in one sitting. You won first prize. It was published. “The Civil Rights Movement: What Good Was It?” Can you talk about the Civil Rights Movement to the antiwar movement? The antiwar movement, what good is it? ALICE WALKER: Well, as I was saying about the Civil Rights Movement is that sometimes you can't see tangible results. You cannot see the changes that you’re dreaming about, because they're internal. And a lot of it has to do with the ability to express yourself, your own individual dream and your own individual road in life. And so, we may never stop war. We may never stop war, and it isn’t likely that we will, actually. But what we're doing as we try to stop war externally, what we're trying to do is stop it in ourselves. That's where war has to end. And until we can control our own violence, our own anger, our own hostility, our own meanness, our own greed, it’s going to be so, so, so hard to do anything out there. So I think of any movement for peace and justice as something that is about stabilizing our inner spirit so that we can go on and bring into the world a vision that is much more humane than the one that we have dominant today. AMY GOODMAN: Alice Walker speaking in Oakland, California. We'll continue with the interview in a minute. [break] AMY GOODMAN: We return to our interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. AMY GOODMAN: Speaking about movements, Rosa Parks just died. It was the 50th anniversary, December 1st, of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The corporate media, in describing Rosa Parks, talked about her as a tired seamstress who sat down on that bus, and when the white bus driver said, “Get up,” she simply refused. She was tired. She was no troublemaker. But Rosa Parks, of course, was a troublemaker. Can you talk about the importance of movements and what it means to be an activist, why it doesn't diminish what you do, but actually adds to Rosa's lifelong dedication? It adds to her reputation and her legacy. ALICE WALKER: I was thinking about Rosa Parks, because I was in Africa when she died, and I missed everything. AMY GOODMAN: Where? ALICE WALKER: I was in Senegal in a little village South of Dakar. I was visiting this great African writer, Ayi Kwei Armah, who wrote a famous and wonderful book called 2,000 Seasons, which I recommend to everyone. He's a great, great writer, but when I got back and I realized that she had died, I didn't actually feel like doing anything. I waved. I waved to her. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible] ALICE WALKER: What? And what I remembered about her was when -- the last time that I had seen her, which I would like to talk about, because there was the public image, and one of the reasons that I wrote a book like Meridian is that I lived through that period of the Civil Rights Movement in the South, and a lot of the images were just that: they were images. But there was a lot happening behind the scenes. So with Rosa Parks one day in Mississippi, we happened to be at the same event. I think she was being honored for, you know, everything that she had given us, and we were at the same table, and I think that I may have offered to escort her to the restroom, and I was in there with her. And she -- while she was getting herself together to go back out into the reception or whatever the thing was that we were doing, she suddenly took down her hair, and Rosa Parks had hair that came all the way down to her -- you know, the lower back, and she quickly ran her fingers through it. And I was just stunned. I had no idea. She then twisted it up again, and she put it the way you’ve seen her, you know, always with the little bun, very neat, and I said to her, “My goodness, what's all this, Miss Rosa?” And she looked at me, and she said, “Well, you know, I'm part Choctaw, and my hair was something that my husband dearly, dearly loved about me. He loved my hair.” And she said, “And so, when he died, I put it up, and I never wear it down in public.” Now there's a Rosa. So, I then, as, you know, writers are just -- you know, we live by stealth, and so I immediately had this completely different image of this woman, the little, quiet seamstress, you know, sitting on the bus, even the activist who was so demure and so correct. And I thought, this woman, hallelujah, was with a man who loved her and loved her with her hair hanging down, and she loved him so much that when he died, she took that hair that he loved, and she put it up on her head, and she never let anyone else see it. Isn't that amazing? So, to answer your question, for me to be active in the cause of the people and of the earth and just to be – is to be alive. There is no compartmentalization. It’s all one thing. It’s not like I just exist to go into a little room and write. People have that image of writers, that that's how we live, but it’s not really accurate, not the kind of writing that I do. I know that what I write has a purpose, even if it’s just for me, if I'm just trying to lead myself out of a kind of darkness. So it broadens everything, being active in the world. You see the world. It’s like, you know, I'm learning to paint now, and what I realize, learning to paint, is that I'm learning to see. And activism is like that. When you are active, and you must know this so well, that the more you are active, the more you see, the more you go to see. You know, you are curious. One thing leads to another thing, and it gets deeper and deeper, too. And there’s no end to it. AMY GOODMAN: How do you write? ALICE WALKER: What do you mean? AMY GOODMAN: Well, Isabel Allende said that she starts each new book on the same day of the year. I can't remember the date. Maybe it was January 9, something like that. ALICE WALKER: Mm hmm, I think it is. AMY GOODMAN: What about you? What is your process? How do you focus? ALICE WALKER: I start each book when it's ready and never before. And what I do is I try to find -- if it’s forming, you know, and if I'm attentive to my dreams, I know that it’s coming and I know that it’s time to take a year or two, and in the early days the big challenge was finding the financing to do that, because, you know, for many years I was a single mother. I was, you know, lecturing and making a living that way or teaching, and so I had to think hard and plan, and some of my early journals are just pages of additions of, you know, how much this costs and how much that costs and how much is left at the end of the month and whether I can afford this and that. So that was the challenge, to find the time, because what I understand completely is that you -- in order to invite any kind of guest, including creativity, you have to make room for it. You have to, have to make that room. And so when I learned that, and I learned that partly through meditation, which I have done for many years, that you can really clear yourself of so much that's extraneous to your purpose in life, so that there is room for what is important to your spirit, something that has to be given space and something that has to be given voice. AMY GOODMAN: How did you start The Color Purple? ALICE WALKER: I got a divorce. I got a divorce, because I really knew that I could not stay in my marriage and write about these wild women. And also, I left New York. And I – and it started really just because one of the characters, while I was walking through Manhattan, said through my consciousness, “You know, it’s not going to work here. We are just not the kind of people who would come forth in Manhattan.” So, they basically carried me through, you know, all this incredible anguish of divorce, because I, unlike many people who divorce out of hatred or anything, I actually loved my husband very much. He's a very, very good person, but I needed to write this book, and he claimed that the hills in San Francisco made him nauseous. So I came here, and I ended up in Boonville, because I needed to be in the country, and so I had enough money to work on it for maybe a year, because I got a Guggenheim grant, $13,000, and I just headed for the hills. We rented a little cottage in an apple orchard, and I didn't know how long it would take, but it took just about a year. AMY GOODMAN: Did you ever envision then the kind of impact it would have on the world? Did you think about the people you were writing it for? ALICE WALKER: Oh, I thought about the people I was writing it for. The people I was writing it for are the people who are in the book. That's who I was writing it for. It never crossed my mind to really be that concerned about the people who would be reading it now, and that’s still true. I mean, I'm happy that people relate to it and love it. I think it’s worthy of love. But my contract was always really with the people in it and whether I could make them live in the way that they deserve to live, and it was a very high, very high experience to be able to do that, and when I wrote the last page, I burst into tears just from gratitude and love of them and of being, you know, there's a – I don't know how many of you know the work of Jean Toomer. He's just a wonderful writer. But he talks about how in every generation, there is one person -- or he puts it, the metaphor is there is one plum left on the tree, and all of the other plums are gone with the wind and so forth, and there is this one plum, and that plum with one seed, that’s all you need, really, to start it all over again, and that's another reason for us to be more hopeful about life. So I really had that feeling of being this one plum with this one seed, because from what I could see, there wasn't anybody else who had the same kind of love for these particular people that I had or the capacity to be faithful to the vision of them that I held. So I felt very blessed and very chosen, in a way, you know, like my ancestors were really present with me the entire time I was writing. They never went away. They were just really there, and I have felt their caring, and I still feel it. And it means that I never feel alone. It’s impossible. AMY GOODMAN: For someone who hasn't read the book, for a young person who is wondering why they should bother picking up a book, let alone The Color Purple, what would you say it’s about? ALICE WALKER: Well, I was just in Molokai last week. I just got back a few days ago, and Molokai is the island that is least known among the islands, and it’s because it used to be a leper colony, and there are actually lepers who still live there. And I was looking through a book about Molokai and about Kalaupapa, which is where the lepers are, and there was a photograph of this man who had leprosy, and leprosy had eaten away his nose and most of his mouth and his ears and a lot of his, you know, face, and he just had this incredibly beautiful beaming face. What was left of his face was just completely aglow. And what he said he had learned from living in this place of lepers all of his life was that the most horrible things can happen to people, and they can still be happy. So, I feel that when you read The Color Purple, no matter what is happening in your life or how difficult the whole huge miasma of sorrow that seems to be growing, there's a way that you can see through the life of Celie, that if you can continue and if you can stay connected to nature and also to your highest sense of behavior toward yourself and toward other people, if you can really keep that struggle going -- you may not always win it. You remember how Celie said to Harpo at some point that he should beat Sofia, that he should beat his wife, well, that was a low point, but she was still struggling to be someone who would outgrow that kind of thinking. And so, what you learn is that life can be really hard. People can abuse you, people can, you know, take advantage of you in terrible ways, but there is something in the human spirit that’s actually equal to that and can actually overcome that, and that is the teaching of The Color Purple. AMY GOODMAN: You write in The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult, “What I have kept, which the film avoided entirely, is Shug’s completely unapologetic self-acceptance as outlaw, renegade, rebel and pagan.” Do you see yourself that way? ALICE WALKER: Oh, absolutely. Yes. Why wouldn't I be? Why wouldn't I be? I know I'm very soft spoken, but I have endeavored to live my life by my terms, and that means that I am a renegade, an outlaw, a pagan. What was the other thing? AMY GOODMAN: A rebel. ALICE WALKER: A rebel, oh yes. Oh yes, and there is no reason not to rebel. I learned that really early. There is no reason whatsoever. You know, I don't look at television hardly at all, although now I’m going -- I'm saving it for my old age, but when I do see it and I see how relentlessly we are being programmed, and I see how defenseless our young are, I realize all over again that rebellion, any way you can manage it, is very healthy, because unless you want to be a clone of somebody that you don't even like, you know, you have to really wake up. I mean, we all do. We have to wake up. We have to refuse to be a clone. AMY GOODMAN: Alice Walker, speaking in Oakland last month, poet, author, activist. We'll come back to this conversation in a minute. [break] AMY GOODMAN: We return to our conversation with author, poet, activist, Alice Walker. I asked her to talk about the making of The Color Purple, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, into a movie. ALICE WALKER: It was a great risk. It was a great risk, but I grew up in Eatonton, Georgia, actually not even in the town, way out in the beautiful, luckily beautiful countryside. But our entertainment was on Saturday night to, you know, bathe and get dressed and go to see a film. Now, these were all, in retrospect, really pretty awful films. They were all shooting and killing each other, you know. But that was all that we had really in the way of entertainment that wasn't the church and our own entertainments. So that's what I grew up with. And my mother who worked so hard and never left the house or left the fields, you know, she would sometimes be able to go, but after eight children, it was sometimes difficult to even move, but she enjoyed these things, these movies. And so, the risk that I took was in a way to offer to my mother and people like my mother something that they could identify with, something that they could, you know, have some real connection to. I mean, my mother never met Tom Mix and Lash LaRue. These were all these characters that were, you know, always shooting and killing. So I thought about, you know, the segregated theater. You know, when I was growing up, we had to be up there in the balcony, and the white people were down here and, of course, the seat were better down here. So I wanted to change that to the degree that I could do so. And so that’s why -- that's part of the reason I wanted to make a film. And I think -- you know, I had never heard of Steven Spielberg when he appeared. I think that, for many people, that's amazing, given how famous he was, but I had no idea who he was. And that’s the other thing, when you are working on your work -- and I think it’s really important that I talk to you about this a little bit as an elder -- when you are working on your work, you really don't have to be concerned about what other people are doing. And when -- you know, there's an expression, everything that rises must converge. At some point, if your work is as true as you can make it, it has its own luminosity and it inevitably brings to you and your work all the people that you need. So enter Steven Spielberg to make the film, which turned out to be a very good thing. People thought it was a terrible choice, but what I looked for in him and in other people is the willingness to listen and the willingness to grow, to learn, and he had all of that. AMY GOODMAN: The questions that were raised, here you had written it, deeply out of your own experience, then having a white producer produce it and going onto Broadway, well, that's just repeated over and over. What were your thoughts of having your experience, your writing, your art, channeled through them? ALICE WALKER: Well, I have fallen in love with the imagination. And if you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything. So your job is to find trustworthy companions and co-creators. That’s really it. And if you find them – and I don’t know how you -- I can only go by how I feel about people. And so with the play, this young man, Scott Sanders, who is the primary producer, went to great lengths to woo me, because I was not interested in doing a musical, partly because of the suffering that had occurred after making the film. There was so much incredible controversy after the film, and a lot of it excruciatingly hurtful. And even though I had ways to buffer myself and even though by nature I can continue to function and do things that I need to do, it was still very painful. So I didn't really want to go back to that. And I understood later that that’s an Aquarian thing, that we can take almost anything, but don't misunderstand us, because we feel deeply wounded by that. And I felt that anybody reading The Color Purple or seeing the film, actually, that they could read it and see the film and still think that I hated, actually, anybody, but hated my father, my grandfather, my brothers, my, you know, uncles, just because they were black men, and, you know, this would mean that I hated Langston Hughes or Jean Toomer or Richard Wright or, you know, Ralph Ellison or -- it felt so incredibly mean. It felt very mean, it felt very small, and it was very painful. AMY GOODMAN: And so how did you get through it? How did you weather this storm? ALICE WALKER: Well, I came down with Lyme disease in the middle of all of this, and I experienced it actually as a spiritual transformation, even though I didn't know that was going to be the result. It was very frightening. But I came out the other end of the bashing that I had received, the physical debilitation from Lyme disease, the breakup of my relationship with a partner at the time. I came out of all of that with a renewed sense that life itself, no matter what people are slinging at you, no matter what is happening, life itself, basic life is incredibly precious and wonderful and that we are so lucky to have that, you know, that we wake up in the morning, that we hear a bird, that we -- you know, just if you think about little things, they seem little, but they are so magical, you know, like eating a peach. I came through that period understanding that I am an expression of the divine, just like a peach is, just like a fish is. I have a right to be this way. And being this way, The Color Purple is the kind of work that comes to me. I can’t apologize for that, nor can I change it, nor do I want to. So there was this marvelous feeling, you know, that I had already been through a kind of crucifixion by critics. And that -- and I understood so many things. For instance, you know, in the Gnostic gospels, they say that when Jesus was crucified, he was not really crucified, that he -- in the body, that what happened was he understood that it was all rather laughable. And not to compare myself with Jesus, but I really got it. I got it that there is a point at which a certain kind of crucifixion leads to a certain kind of freedom, because you cannot be contained by other people's opinions of you. You will always, I think, after you go through this kind of thing, feel somewhat removed, as I do. You know, I basically stopped reading reviews. And it's fine. I have realized I don't need them. I really feel that if more people could pay less attention to other people's opinions of them, they would be so much happier. AMY GOODMAN: Alice, I wanted to ask you about the Sisterhood. Who was this group of women writers in the 1970s that you gathered with? ALICE WALKER: Well, the Sisterhood was the brainchild of myself and June Jordan, because we looked around one day -- we were friends -- and we felt that it was very important that black women writers know each other, that we understood that we were never in competition for anything, that we did not believe in ranking. We would not let the establishment put one of us ahead of the other. And so, some of us were Vertamae Grosvenor, Ntozake Shange, Toni Morrison, June Jordan, myself, and I think Audrey Ballard, who was at Essence, and several other women that I don’t tonight remember. The very first meeting was at June's apartment because it was the larger of -- I had moved out of my marriage house into basically two small rooms. And so June had this beautiful apartment with lots of space, and the women gathered there, and I remember on the very first gathering, at the very first gathering, I had bought this huge red pot that became the gumbo pot, and I made my first gumbo and took it to this gathering of women, all so different and all so spicy and flavorful like gumbo. And we have this photo. There is a wonderful photograph that someone took of us gathered around a large photograph of Bessie Smith, because Bessie Smith best expressed our feeling of being women who were free and women who intended to stay that way. AMY GOODMAN: You talked about criticism earlier and how you decided never to read reviews. Can you talk about it in terms of Toni Morrison’s early work and what it meant to champion her then, and what was the response of the critics? ALICE WALKER: Well, I thought that her writing was beautiful. I had read The Bluest Eye and, in fact, was passing it out to people. And I was very upset that it didn't get much of a long life. I think -- I don’t know if it went out of print, but it certainly was sort of below the surface. And then I read Sula, which I just fell in love with. And I remember that there was a review of it in the New York Times by Sarah Blackman [sic], I think, anyway, someone who basically said that in order for Toni Morrison ever to, you know, be anything in the literary world, she had to get out of this notion of writing about black women, and she had to broaden her horizons and that way, she would, you know, maybe connect. And I was just completely annoyed. And I wrote a letter to the Times, reminding her and them that we will never have to be other than who we are in order to be successful. AMY GOODMAN: Here is the letter. Alice, here is the letter. ALICE WALKER: Oh, okay. Okay, it says: “Dear sir: I am amazed on many levels by Sarah Blackburn's review of Sula. Is Miss Morrison to ‘transcend herself?’ And why should she and for what? The time has gone forever when black people felt limited by themselves. We realize that we are as ourselves unlimited and our experiences valid. It is for the rest of the world to recognize this, if they choose.” AMY GOODMAN: Could you read "Be Nobody's Darling”? ALICE WALKER: Be nobody's darling; Be an outcast. Take the contradictions Of your life And wrap around You like a shawl, To parry stones To keep you warm. Watch the people succumb To madness With ample cheer; Let them look askance at you And you askance reply. Be an outcast; Be pleased to walk alone (Uncool) Or line the crowded River beds With other impetuous Fools. Make a merry gathering On the bank Where thousands perished For brave hurt words They said. But be nobody's darling; Be an outcast. Qualified to live Among your dead. AMY GOODMAN: Alice Walker speaking last month in Oakland, California.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My Hundred Books, by Robert W. Service

A thousand books my library Contains; And all are primed, it seems to me With brains. Mine are so few I scratch in thought My head; For just a hundred of the lot I've read. A hundred books, but of the best, I can With wisdom savour and digest And scan. Yet when afar from kin and kith In nooks Of quietness I'm happy with Sweet books. So as nine hundred at me stare In vain, My lack I'm wistfully aware Of brain; Yet as my leave of living ends, With looks Of love I view a hundred friends, My books.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

7 Archangels

First Ray, the ray of power hold by archangel Michael. Second Ray, the ray of wisdom hold by archangel Jophiel. Third ray, the ray of Love hold by archangel Chamuel. Fourth ray, the ray of Purity hold by archangel Gabriel. Fifth ray, the ray of Truth, hold by archangel Raphael. Sixth ray, the ray of peace, hold by archangel Uriel. Seventh ray, the ray of freedom, hold by archangel Zadkiel. Posted by: Vololibero at February 18, 2006 01:12 AM * Raphael Posted by: . at February 18, 2006 02:03 AM Raphael The Angel of Healing - Raphael, who's name means "God Heals," is charged with the healing of our beloved Earth and all of her inhabitants. He begins with purifying our minds and erasing false beliefs. It is our thoughts that trigger health problems, not our body. All healing facilities and practitioners (both traditional and alternative) are guided and helped by Raphael. Your call upon Archangel Raphael invokes his presence to clear blocks within the energy body so that the flow of universal life-force energy can heal both the cause of the block and its physical manifestation. Health and vitality are your natural state of being. Your symptoms give clues to help you find causes of imbalance. Ask Raphael to guide you with clarity and love in your process of healing and feel free to invoke him for the healing of others as well. Raphael manages the Virtues order of angels. He is affectionately known for his powers of healing and for saving people from danger. Because of his knack for rescuing those in unfamiliar territory or dire straits, he is also said to protect travelers. Raphael usually intervenes when people are wounded or in pain, and some say he still visits hospitals, ministering to the sick and injured. He also comforts those in spiritual pain or in wrenching emotional ordeals. He has been called the "Angel of the Sun" because of his ability to rekindle the spark of life in sick bodies. And his reputation for performing "medical miracles" has also earned him the title of the "Angel of Science and Knowledge". Raphael's loving personality outshines his physical characteristics; he is often described as being friendly, amusing, gentle and kind. These qualities also make him the Archangel best suited to overseeing the host of guardian angels. Posted by: Anonymous at February 18, 2006 02:05 AM * Gabriel Posted by: . at February 18, 2006 01:44 AM Gabriel The Angel of Resurrection - This loving angel who’s name means "Hero of God," is the bearer of GOOD NEWS as the voice of God. This archangel is a messenger who whispers in our ear of coming events, changes, and opportunities for new experiences He restores life and light into stagnant areas of your life such as relationships, businesses, households, etc. Ask Gabriel to resurrect any blocked areas of your life and fill you with the remembrance of your divine purpose and destiny. You will receive creative ideas and opportunities to help you get moving again. Although angelic beings are genderless, Gabriel is the only Archangel who has occasionally appeared in a distinctly female form. Gabriel is the celestial coordinator and works with the Cherubim to make sure that the activities of all the other orders of angels run smoothly. Gabriel usually appears to people when they are on the brink of a new beginning, especially a conception or birth. For this reason, he has been called the "Angel of Life", giving the gift of life to humankind in the physical sense. He has also been called the "Awakener" because He gives the gift of life in an abstract way too, such as in dreams or celestial knowledge. Mystics who have seen Gabriel describe him as having a face like lightning, eyes like glowing lamps, and a multitude of wings. Best of all, Gabriel always brings good news! Posted by: Anonymous at February 18, 2006 02:21 AM * Zadkiel Posted by: . at February 18, 2006 02:45 AM I bring to mankind, from God, the gift of compassion. I counsel you to let go of hurt, anger and hatred. You have within you the God-given ability to forgive. For God will forgive you your trespasses, as you forgive those who trespass against you. This is the message, I, Zadkiel, the Archangel bring to you. And now I beseech you not to pray to me, for I am only a messenger of the Lord. Pray only to God. Love God with all your heart and keep His commandments. The Archangel Zadkiel Also known as Tzadkiel, Zedekiel, Zadakiel, Sachiel and Zedekul Zadkiel means the "Righteousness of God" It is believed that Zadkiel was the angel who stopped Abraham from killing his young son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to God. As a result, Zadkiel’s symbol is the dagger, or sacrificial knife and he is usually depicted with it. Zadkiel is Chief of the Order of Dominations. Zadkiel is thought to be the Angel of Mercy, the Angel of Memory and the Angel of Benevolence. Zadkiel is one of the nine rulers of Heaven. Zadkiel is thought by some to be one of the seven archangels who stand before God. In "The Zohar" Zadkiel is represented as one of two chieftains, the other being Zaphiel, who assists the great Archangel Michael when he bears his standard in battle. Zadkiel is ruler of the planet Jupiter. Zadkiel is an angel of the Order of Seraphim. * Chamuel Posted by: . at February 18, 2006 02:54 AM Chamuel Also known: Camael Camiel Camiul Camniel Cancel Jahoel Kemuel Khamael Seraphiel Shemue Meaning - "He who sees God", "He who seeks God" The Archangel of pure love, Chamuel can lift you from the depths of sorrow and find love in your heart. Chamuel helps us to renew and improve existing relationships as well as finding our soul mates. He works with us to build strong foundations for our relationships (as well as careers) so they're long-lasting, meaningful and healthy. You'll know he's with you when you feel butterflies in your stomach and a pleasant tingling in your body. If there's a breakdown of your relationship, if you cling to your relationships and don't allow your companion the freedom to be able to express themselves freely, call on Chamuel for guidance and support. The other areas you can Chamuel can help is if you need to strengthen a parent-child bond, if you're unable to feel love for yourself or others, if your heart has hardened and is full of negative emotions, if you have lost someone close through death or separation, if you and your children have experienced a divorce, if your heart is blocked with depression, hopelessness and despair, if you feel lonely and broken hearted, if you need to be loved, if you are judgmental and cynical or if you don't appreciate the love that you have in your life. Chamuel can also help with world peace, career, life purpose and finding lost items. Posted by: Anonymous at February 18, 2006 02:58 AM * Uriel Posted by: . at February 18, 2006 03:06 AM Uriel Meaning - "God is light", "God's light", Fire of God" Uriel is considered one of the wisest archangels because of his intellectual information, practical solutions and creative insight, but he is very subtle. You may not even realize he has answered your prayer until you've suddenly come up with a brilliant new idea. Uriel warned Noah of the impending flood, helped the prophet Ezra to interpret mystical predictions about the coming Messiah and delivered the Cabal to humankind. He also brought the knowledge and practice of alchemy and the ability to manifest from thin air, as well as illuminates situations and gives prophetic information and warnings. All this considered, Uriel's area of expertise is divine magic, problem solving, spiritual understanding, studies, alchemy, weather, earth changes and writing. Considered to be the archangel who helps with earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, natural disaster and earth changes, call on Uriel to avert such events or to heal and recover in their aftermath In the eighth century, the Christian Church became alarmed at the rampant and excessive zeal with which many of the faithful were revering angels. For some unknown reason, in 145 A.D. under Pope Zachary, a Roman council ordered seven angels removed from the ranks of the Church’s recognized angels, one of them being Uriel. Posted by: Anonymous at February 18, 2006 03:10 AM * Michael Posted by: . at February 18, 2006 03:40 AM "He Makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire." (Hebrews 1:7) The word "Michael" is a Hebrew word which means "who is like God." It seems that all angels were created holy, but after a period of probation some fell from their state of innocence, due to a deliberate self-determined rebellion against God. We do not know the time of their fall, but it is clear that it occurred before the fall of man, for Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. "And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought. But they did not prevail, nor was a place for them in heaven any longer." (Revelation 12:7-8) Scripture also shows that good angels will continue in the service of God in the future age, while evil angels will have their part in the lake of fire. (Matt. 25:41) Another encounter happened between the Archangel Michael, and the devil. "Yet, Michael the Archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" (Jude 1:9) Through many succeeding cycles of time, as Ray after Ray provided The Pathway for the descent of new Spirits, Lord Michael has remained as the Guardian Overlord of the Angelic Host, the Elemental Kingdom and humanity. He shall not fold his Cosmic Wings about him to return home until the final Angelic Being is freed, the last man is redeemed and the last Elemental returned to its perfect state. This is the love of Lord Michael, who like many others, is a Prisoner of Love to the life he serves. Archangel Michael is referred to as the greatest of all angels in writings throughout the world, including Jewish, Christian and Islamic. "And behold there was a great earthquake for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen." (Matt. 28:1-6) *** this world sucks it's only fit for war-dogs & all the angels can go fuck themselves fucking winged freaks Posted by: air-ono at February 18, 2006 03:35 AM - ♥*.+*♥*.+*♥*.+*♥*.+*♥*.+*♥ u girls are the real angelsu girls are the real angels Posted by: air-ono at February 18, 2006 03:37 AM * Zoroastrianism (Kurdish: Zerdeştî, Persian: زرتشتی, Zartoshti) was once the state religion of Sassanid (Sassanian) Iran, and played an important role in the Achaemenid as well as Parthian empires in Persia or more properly Iran. The religion is also known as Mazdaism by some followers and Zarathustrianism by others. Zoroastrian areas once stretched from Anatolia as the religion of the Mede in what is now modern day Kurdistan to the Persian Gulf, and its followers once numbered in the millions. Its followers today, located in South Asia, Iran, and throughout the diaspora, number much less, but the religion is alive and dynamic. Many traits of this ancient Iranian religion of Aryan origin, which has strong similarities before its reformation to the faiths of Northern India and the Viking or Norse religion in Northern Europe, are present in modern Persians, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Kurds, and Eurasian peoples. Many traits of the Zoroastrian faith are still present in all Iranian peoples' cultures and traditions from Kurdistan and the Caucausus to Iran and Central Asia. The origin of the religion is ascribed to the prophet Zarathushtra, who is commonly known in the Western world as Zoroaster, the Greek version of his name. The etymology of his name is disputed and several different explanations exist. The modern Persian form of the prophet's name is Zartosht (زرتشت). Zoroaster came to reform ancient Indo-Iranian religious practices (some of which were parallel to the Vedic religion of ancient India). Posted by: akaMAT at February 18, 2006 02:45 AM * Angels of Protection: Archangel Michael and Faith Angels of Illumination: Archangel Jophiel and Christine Angels of Love: Archangel Chamuel and Charity Angels of Hope: Archangel Gabriel and Hope Angels of Healing: Archangel Raphael and Mary Angels of Service: Archangel Uriel and Aurora Angels of Mercy: Archangel Zadkiel and Amethyst Posted by: The Great Archangels & Their Divine Complements, the Archeiai at February 18, 2006 04:39 AM

Friday, February 17, 2006

Muzical Interlude

Love Train - O'Jays People all over the world (everybody) Join hands (join) Start a love train, love train People all over the world (all the world, now) Join hands (love ride) Start a love train (love ride), love train The next stop that we make will be soon Tell all the folks in Russia, and China, too Don't you know that it's time to get on board And let this train keep on riding, riding on through Well, well People all over the world (you don't need no money) Join hands (come on) Start a love train, love train (don't need no ticket, come on) People all over the world (Join in, ride this train) Join in (Ride this train, y'all) Start a love train (Come on, train), love train All of you brothers over in Africa Tell all the folks in Egypt, and Israel, too Please don't miss this train at the station 'Cause if you miss it, I feel sorry, sorry for you Well People all over the world (Sisters and brothers) Join hands (join, come on) Start a love train (ride this train, y'all), love train (Come on) People all over the world (Don't need no tickets) Join hands (come on, ride) Start a love train, love train Ride, let it ride Let it ride Let it ride People, ain't no war People all over the world (on this train) Join in (ride the train) Start a love train, love train (ride the train, y'all) People all over the world (come on) Join hands (you can ride or stand, yeah) Start a love train, love train (makin' love) People all over the world ('round the world, y'all) Join hands (come on) Start a love train, love train

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Know that you are as the stars Beautiful and intricate Shining with an amazing brilliance You are the stars

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Echoes, by Lewis Carroll

Lady Clara Vere de Vere Was eight years old, she said: Every ringlet, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden thread. She took her little porringer: Of me she shall not win renown: For the baseness of its nature shall have strength to drag her down. "Sisters and brothers, little Maid? There stands the Inspector at thy door: Like a dog, he hunts for boys who know not two and two are four." "Kind words are more than coronets," She said, and wondering looked at me: "It is the dead unhappy night, and I must hurry home to tea."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Haunts of Ancient Peace, Van Morrison

***** Beside the garden walls, We walk in haunts of ancient peace. At night we rest and go to sleep In haunts of ancient peace. The love and light we seek, The words we do not need to speak, Here in this wondrous way we keep These haunts of ancient peace. Let us go there again When we need some relief Oh, when I can't find my feet When I need rest and sleep. The sunday bells they chime Around the countryside and towns A song of harmony and rhyme In haunts of ancient peace. The holy grail we seek On down by haunts of ancient peace. We see the new jerusalem In haunts of ancient peace. Oh, when I can?t find my feet Oh, when I need some relief One more time again. You know I want to go there one more time again. Be still in haunts of ancient peace. (be still) *****

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dream Land, Christina Georgina Rossetti

* Where sunless rivers weep Their waves into the deep, She sleeps a charmed sleep: Awake her not. Led by a single star, She came from very far To seek where shadows are Her pleasant lot. She left the rosy morn, She left the fields of corn, For twilight cold and lorn And water springs. Through sleep, as through a veil, She sees the sky look pale, And hears the nightingale That sadly sings. Rest, rest, a perfect rest Shed over brow and breast; Her face is toward the west, The purple land. She cannot see the grain Ripening on hill and plain; She cannot feel the rain Upon her hand. Rest, rest, for evermore Upon a mossy shore; Rest, rest at the heart's core Till time shall cease: Sleep that no pain shall wake; Night that no morn shall break Till joy shall overtake Her perfect peace.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


sex, art, & god is all i care about

and i'm only interested in art as a bridge to get me over & back between the other two

sex & god equals love


(~it's... shagadelic)


FUCK The Police - DOPE VERY special thank you to Kevin @ http://freedemocracy.blogspot.com/

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - LOVE


This essay focuses on personal love, or the love of particular persons as such. Part of the philosophical task in understanding personal love is to distinguish the various kinds of personal love. For example, the way in which I love my wife is seemingly very different from the way I love my mother, my child, and my friend. This task has typically proceeded hand-in-hand with philosophical analyses of these kinds of personal love, analyses that in part respond to various puzzles about love. Can love be justified? If so, how? What is the value of personal love? What impact does love have on the autonomy of both the lover and the beloved?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Paw and Order: Kitten Helps Bust Vet Scam

NEW YORK He came from the streets of Brooklyn, a cool customer on four legs, the perfect bait for a sting on a fake veterinarian. Meet Fred, undercover kitten. Authorities on Wednesday introduced the 8-month-old former stray cat that posed as a would-be patient while police investigated a college student accused of treating pets without a license. At a news conference, Fred sported a tiny badge on his collar as he posed for photos with owner Carol Moran, a prosecutor. "He's pretty easygoing, a real Brooklyn guy," Moran said. Fred shared the spotlight with Burt the Boston terrier, an alleged victim of Steven Vassall, 28, who was arrested last week and released on $2,500 bail. Burt's owner, Raymond Reid, contacted authorities after the dog survived a botched operation. In hindsight, he said, he should have been suspicious of a veterinarian who only made house calls and treated animals at an undisclosed location. Vassall "seemed like a genuinely nice guy," Reid said. "I'm glad they caught him, but at the same time I feel sorry for him." Last week, an investigator posing as Fred's owner summoned Vassall to an apartment rigged with a hidden camera. Authorities played a videotape at the news conference showing the defendant saying the kitten could be neutered for $135. Vassall was arrested as he left the apartment carrying Fred in a box and cash for the operation. Investigators later recovered a price list for vaccinations and other procedures, including surgeries. It was unclear how long Vassall - a college student who once worked as a laboratory assistant in a vet's office - allegedly scammed pet owners before Fred helped put him out of business. Joyce Clemmons of the nonprofit Animal Care and Control, which rescued Fred, predicted the kitten had a future in law enforcement. "He's going to be the detective for the animal world," she said.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Peacehiker comes to India without a penny, by Ashok Kumar

New Delhi, February 9 Matej Sedmak from Slovenia, who moves around the world without a single penny in his pocket, intends to unite humanity. ExpressIndia.com had a very interactive talk to this man about his self and his self-proclaimed lofty ideals. I am a Peacehiker, just 21yrs old and so far have been to 18 countries. Italy, France, Spain, Cuba, Costa Rica, Thailand, Malaysia, Portugal, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Japan, Belize, Singapore, Taiwan and now visiting India. From Costa Rica, I am travelling throughout the world without money. I have never been hungry for once and never spent a day in open. What is the difference between you and me? Physics says only 0.1 per cent of our physical body is matter and 99 per cent is the empty space. The entire world is an illusion. I want to see people realise what is life about. I trust God, trust the humanity and trust myself. Love can only be experienced. The first thing is that one should love oneself. You see as a matter of fact, no one loves himself or herself. You should not have any complaints against yourself. What do you think what you see is me. No, it is’nt. Everything is arbitrary. Being happy is very simple. You have been made in God’s own image says the holy scriptures; God is not in ashrams, temples mosques or churches. You need to trust yourself. I know I can be dead any moment .I have no money, no cell phone, I could have been killed but no. I trust humanity. Accepting what you are without prejudices is what is love all about. When you fall in love you are all the time happy. What is there in being a rational? You can decide to be either rational or happy. Some decide to be rational others happy. It all depends on one’s choice. There is no me. It is just a dream. Truth is you and me. Go on the spiritual path. Meditate and you will be able to give much to this world. I want to help other people in realizing their dreams and discover what life is really all about. All material things come by their own. Every path is different and everybody has a right to go on his/ her own path. I have my own path and you have your own. Don’t be so rational. Everything I do is the cause of the oncoming effect. You create your own heaven and hell. Everything depends on your thought. Like the terrorists will live their ghastly acts. They just can’t escape. I do not know anything about India. Until I do not read Bhagwat Gita I cannot understand India. Whatever country I go fascinates me. I kissed one Indian girl in Pune but I would not tell her name. The girl gave her approval in having a limited relationship. I have had sex many times in my life. I personally feel that sex is pleasant for the body. Lovemaking is an essential component of human life. Though I maintained abstinence for some time just because I wanted to understand my sexual energy. Since it was voluntary, I had no craving for girls. My mission is to unite the world. And it is very much possible. My parents help me follow my dreams and that is why loving them. When they see me genuinely happy they are even happier. Though happiness has nothing to do with human beings as such. What cold be more precious than liberating people. Liberating them from their miseries. Love is my religion. Love is the most important component of life. Religion could be inspiring but they do not help you in your spiritual path. Human beings have created religion. Men twist the original thoughts of the great men and corrupt religion. As for me I would rather believe in Christ or Buddha rather than Christianity or Buddhism. To taste sweetness for instance you will have to plant a Mango tree first. Every part of Neem tree is bitter while the mango is all sweet. When you plant Neem instead of Mango you pray to the bitter tree ‘O Neem god give me the sweet mango, but how is this possible when you have sown the bitter plant instead of sweet Mango. Happiness comes to your reactions to the environment around you. I will not tolerate a non-secular society. There is nothing, which makes me happy until my heart decides. I don’t care what the world thinks about me, what my parents think about me, what you think about me or what anybody thinks about me. I claim myself to b e a totally irresponsible person. Still the society loves me. I can do anything I imagine. I do not feel the need to marry. I will marry the girl who fulfils my wishes. The real fact lies in the belief. It should be your homework to mull how the world could be united. I do not care about religions. My religion is love. It is you who makes yourself unhappy. I will illustrate a personal example to cite the same. When I was about to leave my home to embark on my world tour my mother told me “You are going to hurt me”. I said no .It is not me but you who is going to hurt yourself as it is your very own reactions, which makes one unhappy. When a girl sees me she might recall her boyfriend and feel unhappy for that. But could I be held responsible for that? It is impossible to avoid materialistic world. I will enjoy. Call me a beggar. It does not make a difference. My life is both a picnic and a spiritual journey. I have learnt that I am the creator of life. I feel I am on the right path. When I don’t think about anything I am happy. When I start thinking I start moving towards unhappiness. I want to make as many friends as possible. I want to meet the president and someone to sponsor me a plane ticket to my country. Within 3 weeks I will be in my home Slovenia. Even you could be a peacehiker. Peacehiker is a traveler for peace. Come join me in making a bandwagon.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Love Letter From John And Yoko

To People Who Ask Us What, When And Why Sunday, May 27, 1979 The past ten years we noticed everything we wished came true in its own time, good or bad, one way or the other. We kept telling each other that one of these days we would have to get organized and wish for only good things. Then our baby arrived! We were overjoyed and at the same time felt very responsible. Now our wishes would also affect him. We felt it was time for us to stop discussing and do something about our wishing process: The Spring Cleaning of our minds! It was a lot of work. We kept finding things in those old closets in our minds that we hadn't realized were still there, things we wished we hadn't found. As we did our cleaning, we also started to notice many wrong things in our house: there was a shelf which should never have been there in the first place, a painting we grew to dislike, and there were the two dingy rooms, which became light and breezy when we broke the walls between them. We started to love the plants, which one of us originally through were robbing the air from us! We began to enjoy the drum beat of the city which used to annoy us. We made a lot of mistakes and still do. In the past we spent lots of energy in trying to get something we thought we wanted, wondered why we didn't get it, only to find out that one or both of us didn't really want it. One day, we received a sudden rain of chocolates from people around the world. "Hey, what's this! We're not eating sugar stuff, are we?" "Who's wishing it?" We both laughed. We discovered that when two of us wished in unison, it happened faster. As the Good Book says -- Where two are gathered together -- It's true. Two is plenty. A New Clear Seed. More and more we are starting to wish and pray. The things we have tried to achieve in the past by flashing a V sign, we try now through wishing. We are not doing this because it is simpler. Wishing is more effective than waving flags. It works. It's like magic. Magic is simple. Magic is real. The secret of it is to know that it is simple, and not kill it with an elaborate ritual which is a sign of insecurity. When somebody is angry with us, we draw a halo around his or her head in our minds. Does the person stop being angry then? Well, we don't know! We know, though, that when we draw a halo around a person, suddenly the person starts to look like an angel to us. This helps us feel warm towards the person, reminds us that everyone has goodness inside, and that all people who come to us are angels in disguise, carrying messages and gifts to us from the Universe. Magic is logical. Try it sometime. We still have a long way to go. It seems the more we get into cleaning, the faster the wishing and receiving process gets. The house is getting very comfortable now. Sean is beautiful. The plants are growing. The cats are purring. The town is shining, sun, rain or snow. We live in a beautiful universe. We are thankful every day for the plentifulness of our life. This is not a euphemism. We understand that we, the city, the country, the earth are facing very hard times, and there is panic in the air. Still the sun is shining and we are here together, and there is love between us, our city, the country, the earth. If two people like us can do what we are doing with our lives, any miracle is possible! It's true we can do with a few big miracles right now. The thing is to recognize them when they come to you and to be thankful. First they come in a small way, in every day life, then they come in rivers, and in oceans. It's goin' to be alright! The future of the earth is up to all of us. Many people are sending us vibes every day in letters, telegrams, taps on the gate, or just flowers and nice thoughts. We thank them all and appreciate them for respecting our quiet space, which we need. Thank you for all the love you send us. We feel it every day. We love you, too. We know you are concerned about us. That is nice. That's why you want to know what we are doing. That's why everybody is asking us What, When and Why. We understand. Well, this is what we've been doing. We hope that you have the same quiet space in your mind to make your own wishes come true. If you think of us next time, remember, our silence is a silence of love and not of indifference. Remember, we are writing in the sky instead of on paper -- that's our song. Lift your eyes and look up in the sky. There's our message. Life your eyes again and look around you, and you will see that you are walking in the sky, which extends to the ground. We are all part of the sky, more so than of the ground. Remember, we love you. John Lennon and Yoko Ono New York City PS. We noticed that three angels were looking over our shoulders when we wrote this! From the back page of The New York Times Sunday, May 27, 1979

Rodin ~ Lovers

Prologue to Rodin in Rime, Aleister Crowley * To Kathleen- Nor I can give, nor you can take; endures The simple truth of me that is yours. Is not the music mingled with the form When all the heavens break in blind black storm? Are we not veiled as Gods, and cruel as they, Smiting our brilliance on the shuddering clay? Silence and darkness cover us, confirm Our splendour to its unappointed term: For all the men homunculi that dance Around us shudder at our brilliance. These puppets perish in the good grand glare, Our sworded sunlight in the boundless air ! These bats need cloisters; these tame birds a cage; How should they know the Masters of the Age? Or understand when the archangels cry Adoring us Ellên kat' asterh ei?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Fuck It!, by Ronberge

This is my four-letter word poem. You know the one That gets you hits. And it goes something like this: FUCK IT! Want to be it? Don’t know how to do it? Just tell it Like it is. Only you can do it. If it's from the heart, It’s a start. If they don’t like it, Hey, no sweat, Never mind. FUCK IT! Life’s too short to waste time on idiots. Bigots Who criticize all the time. Anal retentive! Everything’s relative. Profanity, Vulgarity, Telling, spelling, Subject, reject, Hey lighten up, baby! This is poetry! It's free, Meant to be, Not to please. So tell them, Like me: FUCK IT! You're in love. Happens to the best of us. When it works, It's bliss. If not, It hurts. Can’t miss. And worse, It's really hard To say FUCK IT! Life seems vain. You're in pain. Want to open veins. Get run over by a train. Blow your brains. Don’t think I don’t know it. I get it. I’ve been there before. Sometimes life’s a bitch. This is how I got out of it. I told myself 'They won't get me, FUCK IT! ' Chances are, If your reading this, You got curious And couldn’t resist. A word has only the power you give it. So don’t hate me for using it. Blame yourselves if you fell for it. Then again, FUCK IT! You don’t like me personally? Maybe? That’s it isn’t it? Well That’s too bad, baby. Because you know That with a shrug I’ll have the excuse I need To repeat myself, One more time, You guessed it: FUCK IT! © ® All rights reserved - July 27,2005

American Revolutionary - Lee Paxton (2006)

Lee Paxton sings and plays traditional songs as well as some new originals,

recorded live and unedited on a Digital Voice Recorder. Songs are in WAV format.

Keep checking back, more songs will be added as time goes along.

Sound Side Note: These songs were recorded "live" in 2006 on a Digital Voice Recorder (Olympus VN-480PC), and so, these are rough home recordings completely unedited and transferred from the recording device to computer using the USB cord and program that came with the voice recorder.

1. Worried Man Blues 2.3 MB ( lyrics & info )

2. Don't Name Your Son Akhmed 1.4 MB ( lyrics & info )

3. Gannon Guckert Song 1.5 MB ( lyrics & info )

4. Nine Pound Hammer 1.6 MB ( lyrics & info )

5. Wabash Cannonball 1.7 MB ( lyrics & info )

6. Streamlined Cannonball 2.1 MB ( lyrics & info )

7. Rock Island Line 0.9 MB ( lyrics & Info )

8. Banks of the Ohio 1.9 MB ( lyrics & info )

9. My Old Kentucky Home 2.3 MB ( lyrics & info )

10. Leaving of Liverpool 2.5 MB ( lyrics & info )

11. I Am A Pilgrim 1.9 MB ( lyrics & info )

12. Angel Band 1.5 MB ( lyrics & info )

Monday, February 06, 2006

"Grandpa" Al Lewis 1923-2006: Actor, Radio Host and Lifelong Political Activist Dead at 82

Actor and activist Al Lewis died at the age of 82. In the acting world, he was best known for playing Grandpa on the Munsters. He was also a lifelong activist. At the age of 82 he ran for New York Governor on the Green Party ticket and was a longtime radio host on Pacifica station WBAI. Today we remember actor, radio host, and political activist "Grandpa" Al Lewis. He died Friday after years of failing health. There are conflicting reports over his age at the time of his death. He was thought to be 95 years old, but according to the Associated Press, his family now says he was in fact 82. Lewis was best known for his roles on two 1960s comedy series - as "Grandpa" on the "The Munsters" and Officer Leo Schauzer on "Car 54, Where Are You." He was also a life-long political activist, and an outspoken critic of US policy at home and abroad. In 1998, he ran for Governor of New York, as the Green Party candidate against Governor George Pataki. He also took turns as a basketball scout; a restaurant owner in Greenwich Village; and a radio host on WBAI here in New York. Grandpa Al's death was announced Saturday by WBAI program director Bernard White, during the same time-slot he used to host his weekly program. We're going to play an excerpt now from an interview Bernard White and I conducted with Grandpa Pal on Democracy Now!, on April 10, 1997. We pick up the interview where Grandpa Al about his early involvement in political activities. Here, he talks about the case of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg - the married couple convicted and executed for spying for the Soviet Union at the height of the McCarthy era in the 1950s. Watch-"Grandpa" Al Lewis, interviewed April 10, 1997. Listen-"Grandpa" Al Lewis, interviewed April 10, 1997.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Book of the Damned Chapter I, by Charles Fort, 1919

A PROCESSION of the damned. By the damned, I mean the excluded. We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded. Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have exhumed, will march. You'll read them--or they'll march. Some of them livid and some of them fiery and some of them rotten. Some of them are corpses, skeletons, mummies, twitching, tottering, animated by companions that have been damned alive. There are giants that will walk by, though sound asleep. There are things that are theorems and things that are rags: they'll go by like Euclid arm in arm with the spirit of anarchy. Here and there will flit little harlots. Many are clowns. But many are of the highest respectability. Some are assassins. There are pale stenches and gaunt superstitions and mere shadows and lively malices: whims and amiabilities. The naïve and the pedantic and the bizarre and the grotesque and the sincere and the insincere, the profound and the puerile. A stab and a laugh and the patiently folded hands of hopeless propriety. The ultra-respectable, but the condemned, anyway. The aggregate appearance is of dignity and dissoluteness: the aggregate voice is a defiant prayer: but the spirit of the whole is processional. The power that has said to all these things that they are damned, is Dogmatic Science. But they'll march. The little harlots will caper, and freaks will distract attention, and the clowns will break the rhythm of the whole with their buffooneries--but the solidity of the procession as a whole: the impressiveness of things that pass and pass and pass, and keep on and keep on and keep on coming. The irresistibleness of things that neither threaten nor jeer nor defy, but arrange themselves in mass-formations that pass and pass and keep on passing. So, by the damned, I mean the excluded. But by the excluded I mean that which will some day be the excluding. Or everything that is, won't be. And everything that isn't, will be -- But, of course, will be that which won't be -- It is our expression that the flux between that which isn't and that which won't be, or the state that is commonly and absurdly called "existence," is a rhythm of heavens and hells: that the damned won't stay damned; that salvation only precedes perdition. The inference is that some day our accursed tatterdemalions will be sleek angels. Then the sub-inference is that some later day, back they'll go whence they came.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Our Bodies Moving, by Claire

I feel you around me like fire in my soul I long to be in your arms to drink from you To quell the burning You consume me wholly More than mere passion Already I'm addicted to your scent And your intoxicating kiss The burning gives way to throbbing The frantic fiery beat Of the heart in my chest that belongs to you Your voice rings in my ear, Even as your breath lingers in my soul My breast quivers remembering your touch The swell of my hip seems to fit your palm so well My thigh rides your waist as two pieces of a puzzle In the darkness your tongue finds mine and there is light Electricity flares as your skin meets mine And the world fades away and there is nothing Only this throbbing Thrusting Pounding since the beginning of time Our bodies moving in time to the rhythm of our Soul

Friday, February 03, 2006

International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity by the Bush Administration

305 West Broadway, #199, New York, NY 10013 PRESS CONTACT: Larry Everest 510-472-8484 COMMISSION OFFICE: 212-941-8086 @nion.us www.bushcommission.org BUSH ADMINISTRATION GUILTY OF CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY SAYS COMMISSION OF INQUIRY; ACTIVIST CONFRONTS RUMSFELD WITH VERDICT, SAYS "STEP DOWN" Today the Bush administration was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity for invading Iraq, instituting torture and indefinite detention, attacking efforts to control global warming and for deliberately failing to prevent devastation and loss of life during Hurricane Katrina. These findings were released at the National Press Club by the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity by the Bush Administration. The full text can be found at www.bushcommission.org. Shortly after the findings were released, activist Heather Hurwitz confronted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with the Commission’s verdict during his press luncheon. Hurwitz, of World Can’t Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime, declared Rumsfeld and the Bush administration were guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and that thousands were gathering Saturday, Feb. 4 in Washington to demand that they step down. www.worldcantwait.net Ms. Hurwitz was quickly removed by security personnel. After she was led away, Rumsfeld joked, "We'll count her as undecided." When informed of Rumsfeld's comment, Hurwitz said, "war crimes and crimes against humanity are not joking matters. Rumsfeld’s attitude typifies this administration’s brazen immorality and lawlessness, and this is why it must step down." Earlier, at the Commission’s press conference, Ajamu Sankofa, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility-NY and one of the panel of jurists stated, "The historical significance of this tribunal is that American citizens, civil society, is demonstrating courage to stand up and speak its definition of the truth against a wholly orchestrated system of deliberate deceptions." "This commission is attempting to change the level of discourse," said Abdeen Jabara, another panelist and former President of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. "We want people to understand Iraq is not simply as a war of choice but an actual war of aggression from which flow certain legal consequences. Torture is often reported as 'abuse’ rather than torture. So we need to change the way these items are talked about for people to face the fact of what this government is doing." "The Commission is incredibly important for the future of the United States and really the world, because it’s the people of America that are speaking to these very serious indictments," said panel member Ann Wright, a former US diplomat and retired US Army Reserve Colonel. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern added, "our German fore-bearers in the 1930s sat around, blamed their rulers, said 'maybe everything’s going to be alright.’ That is something we cannot do. I do not want my grandchildren asking me years from now, 'why didn’t you do something to stop all this?’" Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, and former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, were among the 44 witnesses presenting testimony at the Commission’s two sessions. The Commission will later issue detailed findings, accompanied by full documentation.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Quote from Gandhi

"Mental violence has no potency and injures only the person whose thoughts are violent. It is otherwise with mental non-violence. It has potency which the world does not yet know." -Mohandas K. Gandhi

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley, 1905

http://www.io.com/~secret/oto.org/collected-works/collected-works-vol-1.html http://www.io.com/~secret/oto.org/collected-works/collected-works-vol-2.html ALICE: AN ADULTERY, 1903 INTRODUCTION BY THE EDITOR. <<1.>> YOKOHAMA, "April," 1901. IT has often been pointed out how strange are the prophecies made from time to time by writers of what purports to be merely fiction. Of all the remarkable tales with which Mr. R. Kipling has delighted the world, none is more striking than that of McIntosh Jellaludin<> and his mysterious manuscript. And now, only a few years after reading that incredible tale, I myself, at Yokohama, come across a series of circumstances wonderfully analogous. But I will truthfully set down this history just as it all happened. I went one memorable Wednesday night to No. 29.<> For my advent in this most reputable quarter of the city, which is, after all, Yama,<> and equally handy for the consul, the chaplain, and the doctor, readers of Rossetti will expect no excuse; for their sakes I may frankly admit that I was actuated by other motives than interest and solicitude for my companion, a youth still blindly groping for Romance, beneath the skirts of tawdry and painted Vice. Perhaps I may have hoped to save him from what men call the graver and angels the lesser consequences of his folly. This for the others. As to the character of the mansion at {58A} which we arrived, after a journey no less dubious than winding, I will say that, despite its outward seeming, it was, in reality, a most respectable place; the main occupation of its inhabitants seemed to be the sale of as much "champagne" as possible; in which inspiring preface my friend was soon deeply immersed. ... Golden-haired, a profound linguist, swearing in five Western and three Oriental languages, and comparable rather to the accomplished courtesans of old-time Athens than to the Imperial Peripatetics of the "Daily Telegraph" and Mr. Raven-Hill,<> her looks of fire turned my friend's silky and insipid moustache into a veritable Burning Bush. But puppy endearments are of little interest to one who has just done his duty by No. 9<> in distant Yoshiwara; so turned to the conversation of our dirty old Irish hostess, who, being drunk, grew more so, and exceedingly entertaining. Of the central forces which sway mankind, her knowledge was more comprehensive than conventional. For thirty years she had earned her bread in the capacity of a Japanese Mrs. Warren;<> but having played with fire in many lands, the knowledge she had of her own subject, based on indefatigable personal research, was as accurate in detail as it was cosmopolitan in character. Yet she had not lost her ideals; she was a devout Catholic, and her opinion of the human understanding, despite her virginal innocence of Greek, was identical with that of Mr. Locke.<> On occasions I am as sensitive to inexplicable {58B} interruption as Mr. Shandy,<> and from behind the hideous yellow partition came sounds as of the constant babbling of a human voice. Repeated glances in this direction drew from my entertainer the information that it was "only her husband," indicating the yellow-haired girl with the stem of her short clay pipe. She added that he was dying. Curiosity, Compassion's Siamese twin, prompted a desire to see the sufferer. The old lady rose, not without difficulty, lifted the curtain, and let it fall behind me as I entered the gloom which lay beyond. On a bed, in that half-fathomed twilight, big with the scent of joss-sticks smouldering in a saucer before a little bronze Buddha-rupa,<> lay a man, still young, the traces of rare beauty in his face, though worn with suffering and horrid with a week's growth of beard. He was murmuring over to himself some words which I could not catch, but my entrance, though he did not notice me, seemed to rouse him a little. I distinctly heard -- "These are the spells by which to re-assume And empire o'er the disentangled doom" He paused, sighing, then continued -- "To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite; To forgive wrongs darker than death or night; To defy power which seems omnipotent; To love, and bear; to hope till hope creates From its own wreck the thing it contemplates; Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent: This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be Good, great, and joyous, beautiful, and free: This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory."<<1>> <<1.>> The last phrase pealed trumpet-wise: he sank back into thought. "Yes," he said slowly, "neither to change, nor falter, nor repent." I moved forward, and he saw me. "Who are you?" he asked. "I am travelling in the East," I said. "I love Man also; I have come to see you. Who are you?" He laughed pleasantly. "I am the child of many prayers." There was a pause. I stood still, thinking. Here was surely the very strangest outcast of Society. What uncouth bypaths of human experience, across what mapless tracks beyond the social pale, must have led hither -- hither to death in this Anglo-Saxon-blasted corner of Japan, here, at the very outpost of the East. He spoke my thought. "Here I lie," he said, "east of all things. All my life I have been travelling eastward, and now there is now no further east to go." "There is America," I said. I had to say something. "Where the disappearance of man has followed that of manners: the exit of God has not wished to lag behind that of grammar. I have no use of American men, and only one use for American women." "Of a truth," I said, "the continent is accursed -- a very limbo." "It is the counterfoil of evolution," said the man wearily. There was silence. "What can I do for you?" I asked. "Are you indeed ill?" "Four days more," he answered, thrilling with excitement, "and all my dreams will come true -- until I wake. But you can serve me, if indeed -- Did you hear me spouting poetry?" I nodded, and lit my pipe. He watched me narrowly while the match illuminated my face. "What poetry?" I told him Shelley. "Do you read Ibsen?" he queried, keening visibly. After a moment's pause: "He is the Sophocles of manners," I said, rewarded royally for months of weary waiting. My strange companion sat up transfigured. "The Hour," he murmured, "and the Man! ... What of Tennyson?" "Which Tennyson?" I asked. The answer seemed to please him. "In Memoriam?" he replied. "He is a neurasthenic counter-jumper." "And of the Idylls?" "Sir Thomas did no wrong; can impotence excuse his posthumous emasculation?" He sank back contented. "I have prayed to my god for many days," he said, "and by one of the least of my life's miracles you are here; worthy to receive my trust. For when I knew that I was to die, I destroyed all the papers which held the story of my life -- all save one. That I saved; the only noble passage, perhaps -- among the many notable. Men will say that it is stained; you, I think, should be wiser. It is the story of how the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. They were not drowned, you know (he seemed to lapse into a day-dream), and they came out on the Land of Promise side. But they had to descend therein." "They all died in the wilderness," I said, feeling as if I understood this mystical talk, which, indeed, I did not. But I felt inspired. "Ay me, they died -- as I am dying now." He turned to the wall and sought a bundle of old writing on a shelf. "Take this," he said. "Edit it as if it were your own: let the world know how wonderful it was." I took the manuscript from the frail, white hand. He seemed to forget me altogether. "Namo tassa Bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhasa,"<<"Glory to the Blessed One, the Perfected One, the Enlightened One." It is the common Buddhist salute to their Master.>> he murmured, turning to his little black Buddha-rupa. There was a calm like unto -- might I say, an afterwards? "There is an end of joy and sorrow, Peace all day long, all night, all morrow," he began drowsily. A shrill voice rose in a great curse. The hoarse anger of drunken harlotry snarled back. "Not a drop more," shouted my friend, adding many things. It was time for my return. "I will let them know," I whispered. "Good-bye." "'There is not one thing with another; But Evil saith to Good: "My brother -"'"<> He went on unheeding. I left him to his peace. My re-appearance restored harmony. The {60A} fulvous and fulgurous lady grew comparatively tranquil; the pair withdrew. The old woman lay sprawled along the divan sunk in a drunken torpor. I unrolled the manuscript and read. Brutal truth-telling humour, at times perhaps too Rabelaisian; lyrics, some of enchanting beauty, others painfully imitative; sonnets of exceedingly unequal power, a perfectly heartless introduction (some fools would call it pathetic),<> and, as a synthesis of the whole, an impression of profound sadness and, perhaps, still deeper joy, were my reward. Together with a feeling that the writer must have been a philosopher of the widest and deepest learning and penetration, and a regret that he showed no more of it in his poetry. First and last, I stood amazed, stupefied: so stand I still. Dramatic propriety forbade me seeing him again; he was alone when he started. Let us not too bitterly lament! He would hate him who would "upon the rack of this tough world stretch him out longer." To the best of my poor ability I have executed his wishes, omitting, however, his name and all references sufficiently precise to give pain to any person still living.<>> <<1.>> NOTE. -- The sudden and tragic death of the Editor has necessitated the completion of his task by another hand. The introduction was, however, in practically its present form. "Commit not with man's sworn spouse." "King Lear." AGAINST the fiat of that God discrowned, Unseated by Man's justice, and replaced, By Law most bountiful and maiden-faced And mother-minded: passing the low bound {64A} Of man's poor law we leapt at last and found Passion; and passing the dim halls disgraced Found higher love and larger and more chaste, A calm sphinx waiting in secluded ground. Hear the sad rhyme of how love turned to lust, And lust invigorated love, and love Shone brighter for the stain it rose above, Gathering roses from the quickening dust; And faith despoiled and desecrated trust Wore pearlier plumes of a diviner dove. RED POPPY.<<1>> <<1.>> I HAVE no heart to sing. What offering may I bring, Alice, to thee? My great love's lifted wing Weakens, unwearying, And droops with me, Seeing the sun-kindled hair Close in the face more fair, The sweet soul shining there For God to see. Surely some angle shed Flowers for the maiden head, Ephemeral flowers! I yearn, not comforted. My heart has vainly bled Through age-long hours. To thee my spirit turns; My bright soul aches and burns, As a dry valley yearns For spring and showers. Splendid, remote, a fane Alone and unprofane, I know thy breast. These bitter tears of pain Flood me, and fall again Not into rest. Me, whose sole purpose is To gain one gainless kiss, And make a bird's my bliss, Shrined in that nest. {68B} O fearful firstling dove! My dawn and spring of love, Love's light and lure! Look (as I bend above) Through bright lids filled thereof Perfect and pure, Thy bloom of maidenhood. I could not: if I could, I would not: being good, Also endure! Cruel, to tear or mar The chaliced nenuphar; Cruel to press The rosebud; cruel to scar Or stain the flower-star With mad caress. But crueller to destroy The leaping life and joy Born in a careless boy From lone distress. More cruel than art thou The calm and chaste of brow, If thou dost this, Forget the feeble vow Ill sworn: all laws allow Pity, that is Kin unto love, and mild. List to the sad and wild Crying of the lonely child Who asks a kiss. One kiss, like snow, to slip, Cool fragrance from thy lip To melt on mine; One kiss, a white-sail ship To laugh and leap and dip Her brows divine; One kiss, a starbeam faint With love of a sweet saint, Stolen like a sacrament In the night's shrine! One kiss, like moonlight cold Lighting with floral gold The lake's low tune; One kiss, one flower to fold, {69A} On its own calyx rolled At night, in June! One kiss, like dewfall, drawn A veil o'er leaf and lawn -- Mix night, and noon, and dawn, Dew, flower, and moon! One kiss, intense, supreme! The sense of Nature's dream And scent of Heaven Shown in the glint and gleam Of the pure dawn's first beam, With earth for leaven; Moulded of fire and gold, Water and wine to fold Me in its life, and hold! -- In all but seven! I would not kiss thee, I! Lest my lip's charactery Ruin thy flower. Curve thou one maidenly Kiss, stooping from thy sky Of peace and power! Thine only be the embrace! -- I move not from my place, Feel the exultant face Mine for an hour! * ALICE. THE roses of the world are sad, The water-lilies pale, Because my lover takes her lad beneath the moonlight veil. No flower may bloom this happy hour -- Unless my Alice be the flower. The stars are hidden in dark and mist, The moon and sun are dead, Because my love has caught and kissed My body in her bed. No light may shine this happy night -- Unless my Alice be the light. So silent are the thrush, the lark! The nightingale's at rest, Because my love loves the dark, And has me in her breast. No song this happy night be heard! -- Unless my Alice be the bird. The sea that roared around the house Is fallen from alarms, Because my lover calls me spouse, And takes me to her arms. This night no sound of breakers be! -- Unless my Alice be the sea. {71A} Of man and maid in all the world Is stilled the swift caress, Because my lover has me curled In her own loveliness. No kiss be such a night as this! -- Unless by Alice be the kiss. No blade of grass awaiting takes The dew fresh-fallen above, Because my lover swoons, and slakes Her body's thirst of love. This night no dewfall from the blue! -- Unless my Alice be the dew. This night -- O never dawn shall crest The world of wakening, Because my lover has my breast On hers for dawn and spring. This night shall never be withdrawn -- Unless my Alice be the dawn. * THE TWENTY-FIFTH DAY. "I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill." "Richard II." ALICE was desperately ill at morn. Hour by sweet hour I watched her sorrowing, While the strong fever fought unconquering With native coolness of her life, o'er-worn Or poisoned; thus I fought the long forlorn Battle all day, until the evening Brought back sweet health on sleep and noiseless wing: Strong love of the long battle was reborn. The child slept elsewhere that she might sleep well. Therefore, not fearing anything, I came; Lit my love's candle at her body's flame, And fought not with the fevers now that swell Our burning lips and bosoms, until shame Nearly surrendered the sweet citadel. * THE FORTY-FIRST DAY. "I am sick." "Antony and Cleopatra." HOW things are changed since Alice was so ill! I, being in high fever, lay in bed, While my love smoothed the pillows for my head: Her calm looks christened me with dew to still All chance of fever to the soul, and fill My heart with pure love like a snowfall shed Meekly, a blossom where frail white and red Were never frenzied at some mad god's will. She sat and gazed upon me all day long. Sometimes she held my hands; then she would weep, And then stoop tenderly and kiss my lips, Or lull me with some chaste and gentle song Of angel love. Night's plume its dew fall drips As she still sits and watches me to sleep. * WHO BY THEIR SHORT-SIGHTED STUPIDITY IN ATTEMPTING TO BOYCOTT THIS BOOK HAVE WITLESSLY AIDED THE CAUSE OF TRUTH I DEDICATE THESE MY BEST WORDS [This book is so full of recondite knowledge of various kinds that it seems quite ineffective to annotate every obscure passage. Where references and explanations can be concisely given, this has been done.] {columns commence} "YOU are said!" the Knight said, in an anxious tone; "let me sing you a song to comfort you. "Is it very long" Alice asked. "It's long," said the Knight, "but it's 'very very' beautiful. The name of the song is called 'The Book of the Beast.'" "Oh! how ugly!" cried Alice. "Never mind," said the mild creature. "'Some' people call it 'Reason in Rhyme.'" "But which 'is' the name of the song?" Alice said, trying not to seem too interested. "Ah, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a little vexed. "That's what the name is 'called.' The name really 'is' 'Ascension Day and Pentecost; with some Prose Essays and an Epilogue,' just as the title is 'The Sword of Song' you know, just in the same way, just in the same way, just in the same way . . ." Alice put her fingers in her ears and gave a little scream. "Oh, dear me! That's {140A} harder than ever!" she said to herself, and then, looking determinedly intelligent: "So 'that's' what the song is called. I see. But what 'is' the song?" "You must be a perfect fool," said the Knight, irritably. "The song is called 'Shout Doubt; or the Agnostic's Anthology,' by the author of 'Gas Manipulation,' 'Solutions,' 'The Management of Retorts,' and other physical works of the first order -- but that's only what it's 'called,' you know." "Well, what 'is' the song then?" said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered. "If I wished to be obscure, child," said the Knight, rather contemptuously, "I should tell you that the Name of the Title was 'What a man of 95 ought to know,' as endorsed by eminent divines, and that. . ." Seeing that she only began to cry, he broke off and continued in a gentler tone: "it 'means,' my dear. . . " He stopped short, for she was taking no notice; but as her figure was bent by sobs into something very like a note of interrogation: "You want to know that it 'is,' {140B} I suppose!" continued the knight, in a superior, but rather offended voice. "If you would, please, sir!" "Well, 'that,'" pronounced the knight, with the air of having thoroughly studied the question and reached a conclusion absolutely final and irreversible, "'that,' Goodness only knows. But I will sing it to you."

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