Bad Dreams Again

Damn, I had the weirdest dream this morning. I woke up, rolled over to smack the alarm clock, then sat back to try to make some sense of the dream I had been having.

I was working in the Green Zone as a tech support analyst, and there was a huge pack of us, all sleeping dormitory style. The whole dream was suffused with this sense of dread and this feeling of “Oh, my, I have fucked up. How did I get myself to Iraq?”

I remember in the dream two things quite clearly- There was a distinct fear that the Green Zone was going to be attacked, Tet Style, and overrun. I was sleeping with an AK next to my bunk but (specifically) no hand grenades because of the risk of injuring friendlies if we were overrun.

The other thing that I remember was that my cell phone coverage was EXCELLENT.

Some more thoughts on “Biggie and Tupac”

This guy from the Orange Country Register has some thoughts on Nick Broomfield’s documentary, (then, unfortunately follows it with detailed commentary on American Idol, from which one is forced to conclude that he’s watching it, though I try not to assume the worst about people…):

I tend to believe Broomfield’s theory – that Suge, ticked over losing his biggest star, orchestrated the killing of Tupac, blamed Biggie, escalated a falling-out between the two rappers into a fictitious coastal rap war (very good for business, by the way), then plotted and paid for the hit that took down Biggie on an L.A. visit.

I buy that, anyway, more than the story newspapers have circulated since September – that, sure, Suge was in on the mob maneuvers after Tupac’s shooting, but that it was Biggie who was the money man for the original murder, hiring the Crips to take care of the Bloods-affiliated ‘Pac.

Then my man Jay Smooth fills in some of the gaps very nicely:

Suge has usually shown an awareness that he’s more likely to get away with his thuggery if he keeps it within the Hip-Hop community. As documented in Ronin Ro’s book “Have Gun Will Travel”, when conflict started in Death Row’s offices, the intended victim would often try to escape by fleeing to “the white section” of Interscope’s office, where Suge’s crew was reluctant to get their thug on.

One of the few times they did cross that line was their assault on Steven Cantrock, of the accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand. Cantrock and his associates then showed Death Row the difference between chess and checkers, when they went to federal agents with details of Suge’s financial dealings, and helped bring about his downfall.

From everything that I am seeing, Suge Knight is a PLAGUE upon hiphop music. What a nightmare it must be to have this guy warming himself by your campfire.

What’s really odd to me is the people that defend Suge Knight in the comments. I just don’t get the thug-worship. I mean, c’mon…. someone enlighten me here… These people are making records for this guy, he’s totally stealing their money and when they try to leave he kills them and that’s OKAY? “Suge’s the MAN!”!??!

How could a culture opposed to slavery think that Suge Knight is anything but a cancerous blight on black music?

The Nick Broomfield Film Festival

For reasons related to the film that I am working on, LTW and I watched three Nick Broomfield documentaries last night. (What’s that famous quote about “too much truth” and “poison”? I totally can’t remember it, and google isn’t helping.)

We watched Biggie and Tupac, Kurt and Courtney, and Aileen Wuornos, The Selling Of A Serial Killer.

What’s most interesting about Nick Broomfield is his approach to documentary film-making, which is to insert himself right into the shot, with his boom mike and audio deck and headphones, asking direct questions of the interview subject. This raises all sorts of discussion topics about the nature of documentary film. Each of these films has a preconception that it sets out to explore, although in varying degrees, and each one either fails or succeeds in attaining that goal, and the journey to that failure or success seems to be the point of the film. You could (egregiously oversimplify the discussion and) say that Nick Broomfield is the UK’s Michael Moore, though his political and social agenda is less obvious than MM’s and his approach to editing is more subtle. (It could also be argued that saying that he’s the UK version and that he is also more subtle is a redundancy. Just a thought.)

Over the next day or so, I am going to talk more about the films themselves, but first, could I see a show of hands as to who has seen a Nick Broomfield film or two?

Born Every Minute

So yesterday, I was taking a pan of biscuits out of the oven, and I set them down on the range-top at my grandparents’ house. This is why I hate electric stoves- the eye was still on, but with electric, I didn’t see a flame, so I didn’t realize it until I noticed that some of the biscuits were burnt on the bottom. Once I realized that I was burning the biscuits, I snatched the pan up off the burner, and ended up catching a hot biscuit between my forearm and the pan. I got myself a nice crescent-shaped burn for my trouble. I was trying not to be a candyass about it, so I ignored it until everyone was tucking into breakfast. It wasn’t until much later that I realized I had a pretty serious burn- it’s blistered up today and all that, though it’s nothing worth crying over.

However, while I was in the shower this morning, it occurred to me that I could shoot a digital photo of the burn, manipulate it in Photoshop until it looked like the Blessed Virgin, then sell the biscuit on eBay for a couple of thousand dollars. Whaddya think? LTW thinks I am going to hell already, anyway… so…?

More from that speech

We continue without surcease to be and remain,
endlessly, day after day, helpless victims. “In my country when they
raise the bus fares, we burn the buses,” a Brazilian journalist said to
me as she watched a sparsely attended Act Up demonstration.

I don’t just see this as something that Larry Kramer needed to say to his community, but as something that needed to be said to the Left as a whole.

Larry Kramer is not dead

You need to read this speech. Just do it. You must understand that one of the reasons that I am still angry about the election is that it appears that half the country thinks that people that I love should just fuck off and die. Alone.

My lover often sits on top of me to make me eat. The first time this
happened I was in the hospital just after my liver transplant and I
wouldn’t eat and Dr. Fung said I had to eat, or else I would die, and I
just couldn’t eat (do you know how strange this is to someone who was
always on a diet?). It was New Year’s Eve. We were in beautiful downtown
Pittsburgh. David had brought a hamper filled with my favorite dishes.
And I could not eat anything. Furiously he crawled into bed with me,
boots and all, and started to cry. “We haven’t come this far for you to
die because you won’t eat,” he screamed, tears streaming down his face.
I will never forget that. I will never forget this man I love so much in
bed with me with his snowy boots on starting slowly to spoon into me
whatever he’d made and I trying so desperately hard to swallow it,
looking at him, this man I love so much, doing this for me, both of us
now bawling our eyes out and hugging each other in this strange bed in
this strange town, wondering how we got here.

Since the very first day of this plague we have been given, almost as if
by some cosmic intentionality, American leaders who most assuredly wish
us dead. There can no longer be any way to deny this fact. Each day
brings more and more acts of hatred. Tell me it is not so. Tell me that
the amount of good that is being attempted is not totally and
intentionally overwhelmed by the evil. Point out to me how this is not
so. I cannot see it. I have been unable to see it since July 3, 1981. I
thought it was because it was a tricky virus. That is what we have been
told. It’s a very tricky virus. I hoped for a while. But we are being
played for chumps and it has been so since July 3, 1981. And we never
saw it.

If they come for you, you should know, I will cast my vote again, only this time, I will cast it from the rooftops.

Still outta town

We are still enjoying the autumn wonderland of my grandparents’ land here in North Carolina, so sitting down on dialup and trying to wait out the interminable spinning beachball of death thrills me not at all. Posting may remain a little thin for another day.

Interesting thing:
You may remember my lament of what has happened to my hometown. Well, there is some good news- Looks like Dell may be opening a plant here. I think that’s great news. I wonder if someone might convince them to open a call center in Eden. I have to admit that speaking to someone in India when I need to find out what version of the video card drivers is current can be a little frustrating. I can’t imagine that losing customers because of bad support is more cost effective than training a bunch of nice country folks to do telephone support. Any thoughts, folks?

I really hope they open that plant here. Really, really.

Happy Thanksgiving, yo…

Light posting today, heavy eating. Open thread if’n you want to discuss what you’re thankful for, or more likely, what you’re eating today.

Here are a couple of things I am thankful for:

1. My lovely and talented wife.
2. My crazy family.
3. A couple of no-good biscuit hounds.
4. Penicillin
5. I’m not in Fallujah.


From Something Awful

this is from an entry in the forums:

Before I say anything else, let me say that Adam is ok. He was hurt today but only has a mild concussion and a bruised hand. I spoke to him earlier today.

Adam was out doing what they do, patrolling. They had stopped at an intersection looking for bad guys they thought were near. He was crouched by his Humvee when an RPG (that’s a rocket propelled grenade) hit him in the head. The RPG didn’t detonate and actually hit the Humvee right next to him and then hit his helmet. There was still enough force to throw him back 6 to 8 feet. He made jokes about his thick skull coming in handy and about how he was crouched on the ground one moment and then was on his back the next noticing that there weren’t any clouds in the sky. He also said that the first thing through his mind as he was looking at the sky was the disco song “Ring my Bell” since he’d just, um, had his bell rung. At least he still has his sense of humor. He felt ok until about 10 minutes later when the adrenaline wore off and he had difficulty standing. He was then driven to the Army hospital in town. During that time, he started graying out a bit, but he never lost consciousness and experienced no altered state or hallucinations. By the time he reached the hospital, his head felt clear. Once there, they informed him he needed a flu shot. He told them he’d been hit in the head with an RPG. OK, they told him, but you still need your flu shot. Ah, military medicine. I’m glad they have their priorities straight. So, after his flu shot, they x-rayed his hand which was injured at some point (I’m not sure if that was from the RPG or from landing on it when he was thrown back). His hand is not broken, but Adam says it hurts to hold things. As I said before, he also has a mild concussion. He’ll likely have a day or so off work and then be back in the thick of things. He will get a Purple Heart for this since he sustained an injury from the enemy. I told him that he’s done and not to earn any more. I want him hunkered in an office somewhere. Too bad I don’t get a say. That’s about it.

Adam’s spirits seemed up. He was his usual wry self which was reassuring to hear. This was certainly an odd day as it isn’t everyday that you get hit in the head with an RPG. Adam said he’s happy that’s the case because he has no desire to have that happen again.

For those of you who have been praying for Adam, thank you, thank you, thank you. It obviously has been working. I haven’t fully digested just how close he came today. If the RPG had detonated, this would have been a very different day and a very different email. Please keep the prayers coming. He needs all he can get.

Some thoughts I had immediately:

1. Let’s hope he survives the flu shot.

2. “so, Adam, how was Iraq? Anything interesting happen?”
“Nah. Not much. Got hit in the head with an RPG. That was kinda cool.”

3. It’s really too bad he couldn’t jump up, turn around and shout at the bastard that shot it “OK, now I’m PISSED!”

However you feel about the war, ya have to hope these guys get home ASAP and in one piece.