Saturday, March 22, 2003

Sadness. There was a picture in the Times today of an Iraqi soldier literally cowering in fear before an armed American soldier, shot from behind seemingly at waist-level, akin to the way most heterosexual porn renders the man anonymous. It's revolting. And there's an irrepressible sense of excitement that builds when reading—just reading! I don't have access to a TV—about military action that comes without my willing it. I may have to give up video games for good.

Didn't make it to the readings last night. Instead went out with the family to a French cafe called Le Zinc, where I gorged myself on cassoulet and wine. Then couldn't quite stay awake for a dance performance at Yerba Buena. Home and to bed. This morning it's finally gray outside, befitting my mood. And yet of course it's March 22 and my sister is 30 today. Let me switch gears for a moment:


Okay, back to your regularly scheduled gloom. I'm going to take my sister's car and head up to Green Apple for a little more browsing before crossing the Golden Gate into Marin where the big party is happening this evening. I've seen a little bit of the protests but I haven't been tempted to join them. There's a strange carnvial atmosphere around protests here, and in any case the last thing we need are antiwar protests in San Francisco. We need protests in Durham, Grand Forks, Denver, Des Moines, Houston. Especially Houston. And in New York and Washington, the only cities that can speak with any authority about what it's like to be attacked, and what they think the proper response is. There have to be sizable minorities, if not majorities, in both places which have not been deceived by Bush's ability to metonymically link Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein in the same breath. It makes me doubt the basic postmodern stance that metonymy is more democratic, materialist, and immanentist than metaphor. There may not be any transcendent metaphoric horizon, but Bush's rhetoric certainly shows that metonymy as a device enjoys no necessary moral authority.

The war poem that Stephanie has posted speaks most directly to my Beckettian sense of helplessness today: "Protesting is useless. I'll go on protesting."

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