The Friends of California Libre...

17 March 2006

Is O'Doul's an Irish Name?

Greetings, many friends,
And here we are again, many days after...after what? Well, happy Saint Patrick's to you, although for the first time in many years I'll be sober in deference to my "convictions".

I'm pleased to note that I've gone over two weeks with nary a drink of alcohol or any other "substance", keeping a promise to make this Lent my most fabulous. It has to be fabulous, because I intend to do that rare deed: Celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans and then break my fast at Semana Santa in Sevilla. So few dare to, and so many should. WHAT A GREAT LIFE!

My adventure in post-Katrina New Orleans is almost ready for your perusal at my website; hopefully I'll have it done before the next SCREED. In case you're wondering if it's worth it, here's a taste; this is from Sunday, 26 February:
Tanya made me two cocktails, and awful rum and orange juice concoction, obviously mixed by a drunk, which succeeded in getting me righteously smashed. People came and went, up and down the stairs, and she grabbed each whether she knew them or not. She introduced me to friends and their kids, and as people went down or inside, she laughed, "Get the hell outta here!" One neighbor took her the wrong way, and I thought a fight might ensue as they snapped at each other, both riding the alcohol waves. The anxiety level in the street below was rising as well; some power line had fallen across Saint Charles a block uptown, halting the parade for nearly an hour, such a delay many people downriver thought Bacchus was finished. They swarmed both sides of the street in preparation for Endymion, scraping up unwanted beads, crushing cans and provoking mayhem. Drunks were everywhere, in cars, on bicycles, on the neutral ground, throwing footballs, eating, swinging from the trees; I imagined them falling from the sky. Shit, I was drunk too; I had to walk to the back of the building and howl at the garbage cans just to keep my sanity.
For the first time, I couldn't believe this city had been devastated by a major hurricane, emptied of two-thirds its population. What the hell had Carnival been like a year ago? I'd been right to be afraid.
Tanya started to expose herself, first to her friends, then to the drunken college kids grilling by the front gate, which banged shut like the regular tolling of a church bell. "You want a pitcher fer yer mama?" she yelled at me, demanding I take a photo, though I insisted my mother would not be interested in her forty-six year-old tits. Just as she pulled up her blouse, the neighbor on the other side of the balcony appeared, slipping in stealthily with her dog and slamming the door behind her. And then it struck me, my camera biting into my neck as I surveyed the growing madness below; the fucking woman had been walking her dog through this.

I've enclosed that photo of Tanya, and one of myself on Mardi Gras itself, which according to Miss Christine got me on television in New York City. Yee haw!

Also, on a sad note, I've enclosed a photo of Keith Lightwood from his son's Mexican wedding in 1997; Mr. Lightwood drove his Jensen through the Pearly Gates, and I'll always remember him for the religious experience I had in the back of his station wagon a decade ago.

This morning I made the mistake of answering my house phone; the Democratic Party was on the line, hitting me up for money. In the last few weeks, the Democrats made political hay out of the purchase of a British company by a company in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates. Problem is, this company happens to run several major ports in the United States, including New Orleans and New York City. According to surveys, less than 7% of Democrats (of which I am certainly to be counted) thought there was nothing wrong with this. Is this how low we are supposed to sink, to take this incredibly racist tactic against George Bush? Did no one complain that the British were running our ports? What about here in Los Angeles, where only one of fourteen container terminals is under the control of an American company (and that would be Miss Ana's family)? AM I CRAZY?

I mean, the UAE gave us skyscraper tennis, for chrissakes:

Sky Tennis

Photographs show a tennis match played atop a hotel.

I am thoroughly disgusted with the Democrats, the Republicans, everyone who made an issue of this; nothing could provoke the Arabs more than to be denied even a legitimate business contract because of their nationality.
Harboring Prejudice and Politics: The "Dubai Ports" Debate
By James Zogby
t r u t h o u t Perspective

Not that I think George Bush's hands are clean in this matter:
UAE Gave $1 Million to Bush Library
By Wendy Benjaminson
The Associated Press

But the Democrats stun me with their misplaced priorities; they won't challenge Bush for spying on us, their constituents:
Feingold Proposes Bush Censure Over Spying
By Douglass K. Daniel
The Associated Press
Feingold Draws Little Support for Censure
The Associated Press
Feingold Assails Dems on Bush Censure
The Associated Press

They're completely out of touch with us:
Impeachment Talk Reaches the Mainstream
By William Goodman

They won't challenge these illegal policies, which Republicans will justify by making them legal after the fact:
Privacy Guardian Is Still a Paper Tiger
By Richard B. Schmitt
The Los Angeles Times
Senate Panel Blocks Eavesdropping Probe
By Walter Pincus
The Washington Post
GOP Plan Would Allow Spying Without Warrants
By Scott Shane and David D. Kirkpatrick
The New York Times

Even his own party stands up to him better than the Democrats:
No Checks, Many Imbalances
By George F. Will
Washington Post Op-Ed

Even goddamn Jessica Simpson has more backbone:
Jessica Simpson snubs Bush

And a lot of leftists just look fucking ridiculous:
International Tribunal Finds Bush Regime Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

So George gets to walk all over us:
Congress Renews Patriot Act, With Some Changes
By Charles Babington
The Washington Post
(thanks, Nona and Dana)
Unfathomed Dangers in PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
by Paul Craig Roberts
"There is hereby created and established a permanent police force, to be known as the 'United States Secret Service Uniformed Division.'"

Bush to Ask Congress for Line-Item Veto Power
Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs'
By Nat Parry
Consortium News

It's always something; I hadn't, for example, ceased my rant about the cartoon protests and all the flaming Danish flags:
** Writers issue cartoon row warning **
Salman Rushdie is among a dozen writers to warn of Islamic "totalitarianism" following the Muhammad cartoons row.
< >

I give Mr. Rushdie a lot of credit on these issues, since he's been in the crosshairs of the fundamentalists for longer than most. I answer him with a new European slogan; we are all Danes:
Clash of Civilizations? No, of Philosophies
By André Glucksmann
Le Monde
The West Is Blind to the Impact of Globalization on the Economy and on Morals
Interview of Marcel Gauchet
Le Monde

Even the Chinese have been able to lighten up:
Naked wedding photos a hit in once conservative China

And if I defend the rights of Arabs to run my ports and Danes to draw my cartoons, I have to defend the rights of others as well; that means I defend the rights of children in France to wear head-scarves and the rights of Nazi sympathizers to run off at the mouth. By coincidence, the English historian and Holocaust denier David Irving was just sentenced to three years in prison in Austria. I find this intolerable, mostly because Irving recanted his denials, which frankly tears away more legitimacy from Holocaust denials than jailing an old man, but also because in my world assholes have the right to say ignorant things. That Irving was the primary historian of the German military during World War II makes the charges more serious (and I confess to some bias as I read Irving's history of the Dresden bombing and the development of the V-2 rocket; both of which are still the essential books on those subjects.) That the Austrians should imprison a foreign scholar for his idiotic personal views, to me, only embarrasses the Austrians.
In Defense of Free Thought
By Robert Scheer

See, what makes Europe great are things like a love of good living...the beautiful girls of Formula One, for example:
V8 Supercars Swimsuit Competition.

Of course, in my country we've got another thing going on; instead of eroding the rights of individuals to challenge the state, we're eroding the rights of the individual to challenge the state religion:
South Dakota Abortion Bill Takes Aim at 'Roe'
By Evelyn Nieves
The Washington Post
Plan B Battles Embroil States
By Marc Kaufman
The Washington Post
Missouri House OKs Birth Control Funding Ban
By Kit Wagar
The Kansas City Star

And not just in the United States, but in every corner of the world, no matter how many women die in the process:
Banned and Gagged
By Rose Aguilar
South Dakota's extreme abortion ban is in perfect accord with what the United States has been doing internationally all along.

Other countries need to handle things their own way:
Now THERE'S a couple in Mexico that knows how to fight!

It amazes me that this new-found religiosity should find its way into secular Europe:
The twisted religion of Blair and Bush
International Herald Tribune
Blair and Bush seek to create a brave new world in the image of their faith, a vision that just happens to be irreconcilable with Christianity.

Europeans just want to have fun, after all, like on Saint Patrick's Day:
Elderly lovers stopped on dangerous Italy joy ride

Yeah, it amazes, but doesn't surprise me, because these people have let the worst kind of racist, misanthropic Christians drag the United States down into the gutter:
AAAS Denounces 'Anti-Evolution' Legislation
By Clive Cookson
The Financial Times
At a Scientific Gathering, US Policies Are Lamented
By Cornelia Dean
The New York Times
UN Creates New Watchdog Over US Opposition
By Thalif Deen
Inter Press Service

Although maybe this country is ready for the gutter:
Man Hits His Own Car Then Sues Himself

And finally, I reserve the right (and my friends' right) to be extraordinarily crass; here's my contribution to the furor over the stupid, mythical racist LA movie "Crash" beating out the sore-loser Annie Proulx's fake gay cowboy fantasy for the Best Picture Oscar (thanks, Beth):
Weekly Grocery Lists for Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, Summer, 1962 (the cowboys in brokeback)



Coffee (espresso grind)
2 tubes K-Y

Fresh Fava beans
Jasmine rice
Prosciutto, approx. 8 ounces, thinly sliced
Medallions of veal
Porcini mushrooms
1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 Cub Scout uniform, size 42 long
5-6 bottles good Chardonnay
1 large bottle Astro-glide

Yukon Gold potatoes
Heavy whipping cream
Asparagus (very thin)
Gruyere cheese (well aged)
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
6 yards white silk organdy
6 yards pale ivory taffeta
Case of Chardonnay
Large tin Crisco

Vive le screed!

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