Sunday, July 24, 2005


Stepped out of the shower this morning, saw a fat slow fly buzzing through the steam.

"Taking a sauna?" I asked.

The fly, a grubby winged cow, kept hitting the fogged mirror, leaving little marks. Again again again. "I know how you feel," I told it before exiting. Flicked off the light, left the door open. No matter -- the fly repeatedly collided with the mirror, and I understood the karmic and comic pointlessness of this. Perhaps the fly will leave the bathroom and eventually find its way back outside to the lush green that surrounds me. Or maybe it so loves meaningless repetitive action that it'll keep going till it drops dead in the sink. Either way, I understand.

I've talked to bugs since I was kid. I know they're cold, emotionless, that they possess no mercy for each other and exist to procreate then die. But there are times when I swear a few picked up my vibe. That fly this morning knew I had no intention of swatting it. I gave off no aggressive signals. Why would I? It has so little time as it is. When I worked construction I was always sickened by the casual cruelty of the other workers, for whom violence of one kind or another was a common reflex. They'd stomp on grasshoppers and swipe at butterflies, laughing and snorting all the while. I once asked an older guy why he did it. What was the point? He looked at me and sneered, "What th'fuck's wrong with you, kid? You a retard or sumthin'?"


Over the past two days I've written and erased several posts about the terror blasts in Egypt, the recent bombing in Iraq, the shameless bloodlust displayed by several media personalities, and I simply couldn't finish them. I kept hitting the fogged mirror, thinking that the continual impact would somehow force me to find some unique insight or to simply finish. But clearly, this was not the case.

I mean, what more can I add to someone like Bo Dietl, whose recent appearance on Neil Cavuto's Fox show was simultaneously one of the funniest and most depressing things I've seen in weeks. Crooks and Liars has the clip (Windows Media required), and it's a good one, in a man-are-we-fucked kind of way. I know that Dietl's been around for a while, that he's a longtime reg on Don Imus's show. But I don't listen to racist queer-baiting fantasy cowboys who make kids with cancer shovel horse shit, so I've missed Dietl's act there. And while I'm happy for that, I do see his appeal: he's completely and unapologetically out of his mind. Plus, he sounds like a minor "Sopranos" character, which is a nice crossover feature. In an age of assassins, buttonmen make the best terror experts.

Then there's John Gibson, whom Steve Gilliard grilled this morn. This guy's been coming unglued for some time, but with the news that the Brazilian kid, Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot five times in the head by British cops was not in any way connected to the recent terror bombings, Gibson went full-Dietl, minus the laughs. As he happily put it, "So for the moment, all's well. Just catch the four bombers. Five in the noggin is fine. Don't complain that sounds barbaric. We're fighting barbaric."

Gibson is the corp media equivalent to those sadistic construction workers from my youth, though I doubt he'd last 12 seconds in a fight with any one of them. But then, Gibson's job is to transmit his murderous fantasies to millions who share the dream. Mussing his big blown hair isn't part of the deal.

Gibson and Dietl are but two in a rising rancid chorus. As the occupation of Iraq continues to fall apart into civil war and more bombs go off God-knows-where-next, this rancid chorus will spit out filthier, bloodier songs that'll descend into shrieks and screams if they haven't already. There's no getting away from it. No hiding place that's totally safe. American culture is becoming increasingly barbarous, which guarantees that the cycle of killing will continue.

(Caught some young militant Muslims on CNN yesterday, uttering the vilest shit. They, Gibson and Dietl have a lot in common. No fogged mirror here.)

Can I keep up with all this? Sure, if I strip away my emotions and work clinically. Do I want to keep up with all this? Fuck no. But as I've said over again, I have no choice.

Unlike Gilliard, Billmon and others, I cannot post several times a day about everything that happens. That's their racket and they're damn good at it. There's no need for me to rehash their insights, to the extent that I agree with them (which I do much of the time). So, as I promised over a week ago, but have yet to honor, I'm gonna stick to broader concepts and themes, mixing up and blending timelines and outlooks. Because if we're seriously on a brutally chaotic road, then I desire to control what chaos I can.

Damn fly just hit my screen. Attention whore.