(18-27 March 2003)
27 March 2003
-Now, Introspection brings you headlines of war (not sure how frequent this will be, but at least it's on today)...
-Iraqi government announces US pilots/government conspired to create September 11th... this as the reasonable counterpart argument to the idea that an Iraqi bomb was responsible for the marketplace attack that killed 14 people in Baghdad yesterday. The Iraqis continued to remark that hijackers trying to take the planes were trying to stop the horrible plot taken on by the pilots, but were only successful in taking control of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Perhaps, however, the Iraqi officials admitted, their story might be as bogus as saying that anti-aircraft fire (which has now been dormant during bombings of Baghdad) or missiles (not yet launched from within Baghdad's neighborhoods) could have taken out their own marketplace. Americans dismissed claims by saying that their flawless Jedi mind tricks had not willed a bomb into a marketplace, so no such action could have taken place. "Unlike Jedi mind tricks," said Donald Rumsfeld, "our precision guidance never fails."
-6,000 chemical suits taken in Najaf actually for defense against US chemical weapons... in an actually true story (I took a few liberties with the one above), the BBC has reported that Donald Rumsfeld is advocating the use of illegal chemical weapons against Iraq. The weapons, which are similar to riot-control gases, are explicitly banned during wartime by the chemical weapons convention. Nevertheless, Rumsfeld has called this convention "a straightjacket" on US action. Damn those pesky international rules that are the only alleged reason for this war in the first place!
-US announces plans to design attack-hovercraft named after Vietnamese, Panamanians, and Iraqis... with the use of Blackhawk helicopters, Apache helicopters, and Tomahawk missiles, it's clear that the main thing the US wants out of the war is new names for future military gadgetry. The Blackhawks and Apaches, victims of a nearly successful genocide by the US regime, now have the proud pleasure of new territories being assaulted in their name. Just wait till you see the treaties the US has ready for these lands!
26 March 2003
-Today, I lost it. I broke down crying in the car on the way to drop off Emily & was almost hyperventilating by the time she had taken us back home. I managed to go to my second job (CU-Fairfield), but I have a nasty headache & not much more hope than when I broke down in the first place.
-Nineteen days after it was hit by a driver who took off, the Probe has been restored to functionality & returned to Emily.
25 March 2003
-With anything that is created, there is great potential for misinterpretation. This is something that I have discussed before in a variety of circumstances, some of them actually very important & I would hope somewhat insightful. Regardless of which, misinterpretation seems to be my fate. Are you adding to that? Probably, probably.
-Confronting the fact that the behavior of all that I work with, & as a result, myself, is absurd continues to be a daily struggle. I have found pockets of solace in certain incidents of edginess & frustration in others, these tiny indicators that they too are affected, these give me comfort.
-Everyone is responsible for what they do. In a world where it seems nothing can be controlled, it is pivotal to stay grounded in the 100% control one does have over one's own actions, & the corresponding responsibilities that stem from that.
24 March 2003
-Reaching a state of incredible overwhelm. The idea of a workweek seems absurd. How I spend most of my time seems absurd. Dealing with people, both those I know & those I don't, seems absurd. Hope rises & crashes almost minutely. Mostly crashing, as I face how authentically difficult it is to reconcile my hopes for humans with the baseline reality of this war. The war doesn't bother me nearly as much as the fact that people don't universally see it as wrong. The public support for murder in this country is insane. How can I make an impact in this society? Yes, I want to write, I want my voice to be heard, I want to convince people (NOT FORCE, BUT CONVINCE, THE ONLY MORAL WAY TO CHANGE MINDS) that there are other ways to do things. But there's so much ground to make up, so very very much, & so little progress & so little resolve in my life. So much of my existence consists of eating, sleeping, urinating, working these jobs that help in infinitesimal ways that don't really convince anyone to change, doing recreational things so I can stay focused on the other stuff listed (computer, TV, reading). The amount of time that I spend, someone who wants to be dedicated to helping, actually helping is so very small. & all the ways I can help are either minor or esoteric. My hope feels like it's draining from me as I type this. Yes, I know it's late March, the border of April, the opening salvo of what is always, every year, the hardest & worst 70 days of my year. I know this patch is bad for me, bad to varying degrees for everyone. I know I am lucky to have the supports that I do, like Emily, like my parents, like my friends. I know that I have been given opportunity on a tremendous scale. I have faith which so many do not. But with all these advantages, blessings, gifts, I am fading. I am here, twenty-three endless years old, & I am overwhelmed. I am overcome. I need to find an anchor of reality in the madness, a division of people to save or change or turn around or assist or something. I am not okay. This world is feeling foreign, oblique, unsalvageable, oppressive. It's not just the war... I have known of so many wars, know so much history, understood long ago the infinite nature of human suffering. So why am I losing it now, at 2 in the morning on a Monday in March? Why is it hitting so hard so fast? Maybe I'm old, maybe I should work less, maybe I should realize that if this war goes insanely badly for everyone, it's a real opportunity to show people how wrong war is. But how bad would it have to be? Worse than World War II? Worse than my worst dreams? How bad do things have to get before people stop hurting each other? I am bawling before you, world, tell me what can be done. Tell me how to fix the pain. Because I'm losing the belief that my questions have answers that anyone can hear.
-No longer suffocating with the above crisis, but it still looms large & hangs heavy. I feel pretty certain that I am staving off a meltdown on a day-to-day basis. It's hard to calmly self-awarely face something like that. I just know that my reality isn't functioning right now (maybe no one's is, but boy can people act if they're feeling like I am), & I don't know how to get back to hope. Stupid humanity!
-In other news, the Blue Pyramid had its #2 week of all time in site traffic, & I suspect the Quiz had a little something to do with it. More than 2,000 quizzes were taken last week, & the stats & weekly Search are all-new for Monday.
23 March 2003
-I can't really sleep in any more. Don't have it in me. Just my schedule.
-I don't support the troops. I don't support any troops. I don't support the US. I don't support Iraq. Troops are people who agree to kill people. They could also be called murderers, or at least attempted/agreed murderers. They have all decided that they are willing to kill for a government. The fact that that government is willing to force people to kill is wrong. The fact that those people are willing to kill for that government is wrong. The government & the troops make each other wrong, both in the US & Iraq. There is no moral advantage, no moral difference, & these people are not deserving of support. Peace needs support. Peace does not come from so-called "swift resolution", it comes from not committing acts of violence. Don't tell me that I have to support anyone, because most everyone seems to be committing moral wrong. There are some that would argue that murder in self-defense is better than murder in aggression. This distinction doesn't make sense to me. Obviously, declaring war is wrong. So the US is more wrong in this war's initiation. The justification is WMD, which the US has more of than anyone, & has used more of than anyone. So even people who believe in justifications for violence/war have no business supporting this government, its leaders, its military leaders, or its troops. But I certainly don't. & I don't support the Iraqi troops either. I support civilians. I pray for them, & only them.
-Em left for the weekend (Fresno, bridesmaid dresses, etc.) while I had to work on Saturday. She came back today with her train rolling in an hour or so late, because it had to pick up another train. I missed the Oscars for the first time in years (as I recall at least), but this saddens me only because I missed seeing Michael Moore tell a lot of people what they needed to hear.
22 March 2003
-I am appalled by how helpless many of the people at CU-Concord are. It's a whole different attitude than at Fairfield. At Fairfield, people want to learn. In Concord, they just want me to do their homework for them. I get close to rage almost every Saturday, unable to show any of it. If I didn't want to leave to get my Saturdays back, I'd want to beacuse of the people alone.
-So I thought I'd get some food from the nine vending machines on this campus. But I've only got 20's & they only take 1's. No change machines. My last food ran out at 10 in the morning & by 2 pm I was starting to see why it's supposed to be illegal to work an 8-hour shift without breaks.
-I am fed-up, exhausted, & feeling broken. Lots of reasons for this. I don't want to take calls. I don't want to deal. I just want to hole up & hide away.
21 March 2003
-New graphic up top. Much needed.
-Listening to the Pacifica Radio Network (on KPFA 94.1 in Berkeley) is one of the few things giving me hope right now.
20 March 2003
-I need a portable TV. Badly. Between the war & the NCAA tourney, I haven't wanted to watch TV this much all year. Of course, even with a portable TV, I work in libraries, so it would be highly discouraged. Then again, given the mood, everyone might just crowd around with me if I did have said television. Sure, I can keep track of things online, but stagnant (even constantly-updating) pages don't have the same feel as the motion of TV.
-If you allegedly had 40+ countries supporting you, don't you think you'd feel comfortable naming more than 3 of them? Maybe the Prez just can't THINK of the names of that many nations...
-The hilarity of questioning Saddam's current existence (Wolf Blitzer last night ripped into Aaron Brown on CNN when he suggested that the tape might not be Saddam... did everything short of calling him an idiot on the airwaves; but now all of the nation's media is with Brown, not Blitzer somehow) while accepting Osama's is getting funnier by the minute. An Iraqi government TV broadcast that looks 100% like Saddam under more makeshift lighting than usual is questioned, while an audio tape that appears out of nowhere shows definite proof of Osama? But the former wasn't manufactured by the CIA, so I guess that's why the government doesn't trust it.
-The first column I wrote in the Seaside Signal of the 3ish years I wrote columns there was on the impending war in Iraq. It was published in 1990. I wish I had a copy of it with me now, because I don't think anything's changed since then. Anything.
-It's surreal how unaffected the people in my workplaces have been. How I'm expected to still be upbeat & chipper & be nice to the people I know have been gunning for this war & are beaming now. I just pull inward, & yearn for a TV.
19 March 2003
-Last night, I actually went to the grocery store. The SAFE in SAFEWAY was burned out.
-I am broken.
-So, JMMC told me today that they had not in fact quite offered me the position yet. For some reason, I still had to be interviewed by the Human Resources department. I found that to be very odd, but there you have it. For some reason, it will be a week before I find out if I can work at a job that my boss says I've done better than she'd hoped anyone could.
-Any hour now.
18 March 2003
-I must admit a sore disappointment with the percentage of people who wore green yesterday. Almost intolerably low.
-Today has been really really average for me personally, getting me thinking about how the working day/week/month/etc. just sort of plods along. I can never be the type of person who faces one day like the next like the next in an unending stream of sameness. But work schedules, almost as much as school schedules, ask one to do just that. It just makes maximizing one's imagination during work & one's free time after work that much more vital. Until I have jobs where I'm really exercising my brain (I used to say that would happen in school too... sigh), there must be things like developing ideas & creating variation to really keep my pulse going.
-Archiving finally in, so you don't have to see 27 January & 18 March on the same page any more.
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