What a strange Halloween is upon us...shall we dip into Melodrama to describe it? The Red Sox win the World Series under a lunar eclipse...politicians argue over a few hundred pounds of missing explosives, when the world is awash in weapons...Osama proves himself just another feeble political hack, dropping his campaign video off at Al Jazeera like the fascist asshole he is. Is this really the way to decide the future of the world for, what, ten, twenty, thirty years? The next century? By OMENS and VIDEOS?
I may be 39 now, but I feel a great kinship again with my stupid, naive, angry 19 year-old self, shaggy, wild, just opening my eyes to the lovely order of nature and the depths of human evil. Halloween used to be a great explosion in our lives, but explosions are only tools of mass destruction in this new world. No matter what happens on 2 November, we lived in this world before, and we'll live in it after. Each of us, I hope, has the freedom to live the way we want. So that's MY ADVICE to my godless American and European friends, who can't pray for freedom: look how far your family's come, and how far we have left to go. I'm with you and, as I've kept saying since I was a stupid 19 year-old, let the Revolution begin.
Revolution is haunting me this Halloween...I've been reading The Merry Month of May, a delightfully tart and fat account by James Jones of the student uprising in France during May of 1968. James Jones was once installed as the "successor" to Ernest Hemingway after Jones wrote From Here to Eternity, but later soured on his hero and wrote The Merry Month of May as a rebuttal to The Sun Also Rises when he lived in Paris. It's not only a detailed account of the uprising, but is also a wonderfully incisive, potty-mouthed ode to the suave American community in Paris at the time. The late sixties were great for American literature, when using words like "cunt" and "fuck" (sorry, Mom) suddenly became possible, and then positively fashionable, and talking about graphic sex over cocktails was the thing.
I've continued the scare with two great movies, a new copy of "The Weather Underground" and courtesy of film connoisseur M. Beckman (natch) "La Viol du Vampire". "The Weather Underground" (2003) is a fine documentary about one of our homegrown terrorist groups from the late 1960s, nice white college kids going underground and getting nasty, and I'd forgotten how many bombs they actually set off and how long they'd stayed hidden. I'd especially forgotten how they broke Timothy Leary out of jail (for $20,000). A real gas. But nothing, alas, compares to "La Viol du Vampire" ("The Rape of the Vampire", 1967), the first vamp movie by French horror director Jean Rollin. A young psychologist brings two friends to a house out in the country, where four sisters are accused of being vampires. He wants to cure them of their "delusion", but instead they all get way, way in over their heads, caught in a bloody revolution (of course) between vampires looking for an antidote to their affliction and the fascist Queen of the Vampires with her minions, no Dracula here but a black woman who likes to be chauffeured topless in a convertible Caddy. Think "Nosferatu" and "Blacula" with plenty of Fellini's "Satyricon" and a touch of "Scooby Doo", and you're half-way there. Absolutely bizarre, lovely (black and white, on the beach) and kicks ass on both "Nadja" and "The Addiction".
An old bit of political football lore will be tested this Halloween. I know it's a hoary yarn, but let's try it out: in every election since 1936 (when they were formed), if the Washington Redskins lost their last home game before the election if the incumbent lost thereafter. If they won, the incumbent won. This election, the game is on 31 October, and the Redskins are playing the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Packers. So all I can say (and say it with me, friends) is, GO PACKERS! (PS Both teams stink...the Redskins are 2 - 4, the Packers 3 - 4. GO PACKERS! GO KERRY! GO WORLD REVOLUTION!)
PPS I think world revolution is about 2 - 4 as well.
ANYWAY, there are other reasons (amazing!) to vote on 2 November here in California. One is to drive another wedge between "us" and "them":
State May Point Way on Health Insurance
By Jordan Rau The Los Angeles Times
More employer-funded coverage can be expected nationwide if California passes Proposition 72.
And then there's this soulful plea from a senior citizen (thanks, Adam):
To All American Voters,
I am a senior citizen. During the Clinton Administration I had an extremely good and well-paying job. I took numerous vacations and had several vacation homes. Since President Bush took office, I have watched my entire life change for the worse.
I lost my job.
I lost my two sons in that terrible Iraqi War.
I lost my homes.
I lost my health insurance.
As a matter of fact I lost virtually everything and became homeless. Adding insult to injury, when the authorities found me living like an animal, instead of helping me, they arrested me. I will do anything that Senator Kerry wants to insure that a Democrat is back in the White House come next year. Bush has to go.
I just thought you would like to know how one senior citizen views the Bush Administration.
Thank you for taking time to read my letter.
ALL KIDDING ASIDE, if for some reason you were thinking of NOT voting, please get the guts of these US soldiers, who as soon as the media forgets them will be all wired up in Abu Ghraib:
** US troops 'refused Iraq mission' **
The US military says it is investigating claims that 19 US soldiers in Iraq refused to undertake a convoy mission.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/3748390.stm >
The British Navy is much more tolerant...especially this SCARY HALLOWEEN!
** Navy approves first ever Satanist **
Naval technician Chris Cranmer has become the first registered Satanist in the armed forces.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/3948329.stm >
Perhaps you have doubts and need the obvious facts pounded into you (or a friend or relative does)(thanks, Geri and Ronna):
Simple and straightforward argument against the Bush administration.
Or maybe the opinions of his supporters will sway you...these e-mails were accidentally sent to an anti-Bush site (thanks, Mme. Monde):
And can someone tell me if this is a fake site?
A week ago, we sent you an email asking for help debunking anti-Bush documents. After receiving hundreds of responses, it become clear that all the documents were actually real: the Bush/Cheney DUIs, the Ken Lay letters, and even the bin Laden memo. For more information visit the documents page:
I mean, it's only the FUTURE OF THE ENTIRE FREE WORLD at stake, eh?
** Campaign column: Make or break **
The party which loses November's presidential poll will have to think seriously about re-inventing itself, writes Tom Carver.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/americas/3752212.stm >
Even long-standing New York traditions (the best kind to break, eh) are being broken:
New Yorker Magazine Breaks with Tradition, Endorses Kerry
• The Choice
New Yorker Magazine Editorial
And don't be angry and negative on Election Day. Remember that John Kerry was working for us long ago, in ways we've forgotten...
How John Kerry Exposed the Contra-Cocaine Scandal
By Robert Parry Salon.com
Derided by the mainstream press and taking on Reagan at the height of his popularity, the freshman senator battled to reveal one of America's ugliest foreign policy secrets.
On Jan. 12, 1984, two weeks after the West German defense ministry announced that the first nine U.S. nuclear-tipped intermediate-range Pershing II ballistic missiles were operable on West German soil, then-Massachusetts Lt. Gov. John Kerry found himself in West Germany's Black Forest on an acid-rain fact-finding mission. Someone had awakened the ambitious Kerry at 3 a.m. to tell him that Paul Tsongas would not run for re-election to the Senate. "The issue of war and peace was on the table again," Mr. Kerry later told the Boston Globe, and he jumped into the race before the end of January.
This article was mailed from The Washington Times (http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20041026-090703-2848r.htm)
Of course, I've enclosed my usual assortment of bad taste Halloween costumes, if you're short on ideas (thanks, Irene, for most), and a document about why George W. Bush would WANT all those explosives loose in Iraq (thanks, Gunther.) And if you want bad taste costumes for kids, you can't top this site (thanks, Blake):
Finally, this yarn about who's really been in combat in our government, and who hasn't, has gone around before but I like keeping it in circulation. KEEP IT MOVING! It's NOT TUESDAY (or DOOMSDAY) YET!
--- Behrad Nakhai firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Subject: [disc] Who served, and who didn't!
> Who served, and who didn't!
> * Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
> * David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
> * Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
> * Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
> * Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
> * Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
> * John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Hearts.
> * Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze, Star, Korea.
> * Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.
> * Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.
> * Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
> * Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army, Reserve 1979-91.
> * Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
> * Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal.
> * Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
> * Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
> * Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
> * Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
> * Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
> * Chuck Robb: Vietnam
> * Howell Heflin: Silver Star
> * George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC ! during WWII.
> * Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received #311.
> * Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
> * Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
> * John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
> * Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.
> * Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
> * Tom Delay: did not serve.
> * Roy Blunt: did not serve.
> * Bill Frist: did not serve.
> * Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
> * Rick Santorum: did not serve.
> * Trent Lott: did not serve.
> * Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.
> * John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
> * Jeb Bush: did not serve.
> * Karl Rove: did not serve.
> * Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Cleland's patriotism.
> * Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
> * Vin Weber: did not serve.
> * Richard Perle: did not serve.
> * Douglas Feith: did not serve.
> * Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
> * Richard Shelby: did not serve.
> * Jon Kyl: did not serve.
> * Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
> * Christopher Cox: did not serve.
> * Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
> * Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.
> * George W. Bush: failed to complete his six-year National Guard; got assigned to Alabama so he could campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate; failed to show up for required medical exam, disappeared from duty.
> * Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.
> * B-1 Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in Korea.
> * Phil Gramm: did not serve.
> * John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross and POW.
> * Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.
> * John M. McHugh: did not serve.
> * JC Watts: did not serve.
> * Jack Kemp: did not serve. "Knee problem," although continued in NFL for 8 years.
> * Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.
> * Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
> * George Pataki: did not serve.
> * Spencer Abraham: did not serve.
> * John Engler: did not serve.
> * Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
> * Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.
> Pundits & Preachers
> * Sean Hannity: did not serve.
> * Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')
> * Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
> * Michael Savage: did not serve.
> * George Will: did not serve.
> * Chris Matthews: did not serve.
> * Paul Gigot: did not serve.
> * Bill Bennett: did not serve.
> * Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
> * John Wayne: did not serve.
> * Bill Kristol: did not serve.
> * Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
> * Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
> * Clarence Thomas: did not serve.
> * Ralph Reed: did not serve.
> * Michael Medved: did not serve.
> * Charlie Daniels: did not serve.
> * Ted Nugent: did not serve. (He only shoots at things that don't shoot back.)
Vive le screed!
30 October 2004