Monday, July 29, 2013

untitled (anxiety)

sometimes it's difficult to know just want to say.  i want to say something, that surely there must be something to say, but i'm at a loss.

all i can imagine is the fear and pain.  a greatness of fear and pain that erases any hope, any sense of survival.

have i ever mentioned my fear of confinement?  i've never found myself in an actually frightening situation of confinement or paralysis, but thinking about such a condition makes me feel cagey, makes me start to hyperventilate.  trapped under fallen rocks; pressed under a collapsed building; locked in, paralyzed like the writer of the diving bell and the butterfly; alien control of my body, my consciousness unwilling witness to my body's action: this is what i fear.

i have not suffered, but imaging what it must be like for a man or woman to face painful, inescapable death bears down on me.  no one deserves this.  and we, the living, not survivors but those kept in the security of our homes and routines, can do nothing but worry and try to sympathize, try to understand, though this is impossible.

and what do we take away from the loss of our loved ones from the world?  senselessness.  no program.  no plan.  death can just be senseless and we are left with the broken trajectory of someone's life, with all these expectations we had for a person.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

senate confirmed disappointments

a while ago, my friend told me he believed the senate might actually change its rules for the filibuster.  incredulous, i insisted it would never happen, but over the past week or so it has really seemed like senate democrats would push for a change.  harry reid said, “This is a moment in history where circumstances dictate the need for change.”

a miracle, i had faith.

at this point america knows how paralyzing the filibuster can be our governing bodies.  the changes senator reid proposed to the rules guiding the senate would have been minor - confirmation of presidential nominations to posts within the executive branch would not have been subject to filibuster, potentially allowing these posts to be filled rapidly.  nominations to the supreme court would not have subject to this rule change and the filibuster could have still been used to prolong discussion (stall the vote) on general legislation.  it seems sometimes that the filibuster should be abolished completed from congressional procedure, but at least this rule change seemed modest for those who believe the filibuster to be necessary.  we have watched the obama administration struggle to fill vacant chairmanships and posts within the executive branch.  the amount of vacancies in the administration due to republican blockage in congress is historic.  and the people who fill these positions change with every administration.  when the republicans regain the white house, they'll be seeking to confirm their own nominations to these positions, positions that handle the quotidian governing of different departments within the governments.  the confirmation process originated to ensure that responsible people filled these positions, that our government followed a meritocratic nomination process against cronyism.  the confirmation process was never meant to allow any political party in congress to keep the elected president's administration from functioning.

the senate should have voted to abolish paralization and the american people are still waiting for the change they chanted for five years ago.

instead we get compromise.  which isn't compromise at all.  senate republicans have promised to allow a vote on a couple nominations and the rules regarding the filibuster remain the same.  tacitly, republicans have also promised that other nominations would still be held up, that they would continue to paralyze the governing of the country whenever in a minority in congress.  this is not compromise - this is optics.

and these optics are harry reid's.  one cannot say that history dictates a need for change then accept a republican allowance of a few votes.  nothing has changed.  there was no compromise.  there is only disappointment.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


aeon ends and americans spell it eon now.

the romance languages devolved from classical latin, the uneducated wards of the roman empire speaking a common or "vulgar" latin that mixed and degraded into several romance languages across the european continent.  the declension system spun out into prepositions; articles sprouted up like weeds; and consonants softening, palatalized, the cedille twining itself around the c.

Romance (Old French) Approximate Vulgar Latin Equivalent Translation
Pro Deo amur et pro christian poblo et nostro commun saluament, d'ist di in auant, in quant Deus sauir et podir me dunat, si saluarai eo cist meon fradre Karlo, et in adiudha et in cadhuna cosa si cum om per dreit son fradra saluar dist, in o quid il mi altresi fazet. Et ab Ludher nul plaid nunquam prindrai qui meon uol cist meon fradre Karle in damno sit. "Pro Deu(m) amore(m) et pro christianu(m) populu(m) et nostro commune(m) salvamentu(m), de istu(m) die(m) in ab ante, in quantu(m) Deus sapere et potere mihi dat, sic salvare(h)a(b)eo ecc'istu(m) meum fratre(m) Carolu(m), et in aiuta et in cata-una causa, sic quomo(do) (h)omo per directu(m) suum fratre(m) saluare debet, in (h)oc quo illoe mi(hi) alteru(m) sic faciat, et apu(d) Lothar(m) nullu(m) placitu(m) nunquam prendere(h)a(b)eo quod meum volu(m) ecc'istu(m) meu(m) fratre(m) Carolu(m) in damno sit." "For the love of God and for Christendom and our common salvation, from this day onwards, as God will give me the wisdom and power, I shall protect this brother of mine Charles, with aid or anything else, as one ought to protect one's brother, so that he may do the same for me, and I shall never knowingly make any covenant with Lothair that would harm this brother of mine Charles."

latina eram.  et maintenant, c'est francais.

at the end of the night i found myself sitting with zebra and john and mikiel and i thought, wow, this is just like old times.  we sit and drink and talk and gossip and drink.  a lot has changed, but years ago there we had stomped through everything, godzillas, gods of destruction with each other.  now zebra moves to san francisco in a week and some people wonder how far behind him john will be.  i read buzzfeed lists about people in their late twenties and try to gauge how similar, how boring i have become.  surprisingly, i don't feel very average or that boring.

i consider going to booty reunion saturday night.  booty, an event before my time here in portland, still continues to haunt and affect the city.  portland isn't the same, but these markers carry over and continue.  i am not the same.  i drink a lot more.  john and zebra have driven me to drink a lot more.  and i have had fun.

every summer is the end of an era.  then we hibernate and see something new in the spring.  but the old decomposes into now and trace minerals, particles of speech, conventions are left in our mannerisms.

"omnia mutantur, nihil interit."


amnesia the other day, john and i sat with another barfly, talking about politics, discussing the evitability of jeb bush's bid for presidential election and the continuation of the bush dynasty in america.  boring.  i don't think jeb bush's candidacy is as inevitable as my friends would like to believe.  and even if we do see him running in the next republican presidential primary, i'm not sure the bush name will strongly carry either fiscal conservatives or the christian right wing to secure jeb bush a place in the presidential election against a democratic opponent.  not with so many other high-profile republican candidates currently being groomed for the campaign.

the revolving cast of characters in politics sometimes disgusts and dismays me.  america doesn't seem as bad as europe sometimes.  berlusconi finally went to jail - but how many times have we seen him in office?  today i saw this article in le monde in which nicolas sarkozy is called above any political party.  what's happening?  what's he hoping to accomplish in france?  is he hoping to return to office?  in the midst of the confusion in france surrounding the socialists and the economic slump and the power crisis of the european union, i bet france looks back and remembers (perhaps falsely) the stability of sarkozy's time in office.  i say do not become conforted with the false myths of bygone days.  nothing was really that golden.

and it's not just europe: japan just re-elected shinzo abe as prime minister, which at first seemed to be the manifestation of the eternal japanese wish to return to a golden age of politics and national stability.  i will say that abe seems to be making some difference to the japanese economy despite his track record his first term in office, though i should also say that while abe seems to be taking concrete steps to encourage growth, his central bank policies are small and any recent growth in the japanese economy might soon fade without any larger development.

it's not unusal for past american presidents to influence, encourage, and advise in political and diplomatic matters, but they cannot run again.  they take their turn and move on.  or they encourage their families to run for office.

remember when you found yourself really excited about obama?  i never found myself fascinated with him during the election the way the rest of america was, but i want to feel that way about a candidate.  i want to see a candidate run that won't just run on past ideas or family ties or a return to a golden era of politics.  i want one big idea.  at least one big idea.  i want someone committed to changing at least one thing.