Archive for January, 2011

January 31, 2011

The Situation in Egypt in America…

by nkwilczy

Shout out in the streets,
“You cannot hold us for long!”
Sandstorms join the cry.

A couple of weeks ago I felt the need to change my background. Just a casual, maintenance of my computer thing, but I did not realize the butterfly effect.

You see, I chose a simple default background that came with windows, the Pyramids. It seemed like an innocent choice at first, but as time progressed I came to see its colossal ramifications.

I’m not saying that I predicted the events in Egypt last week and over the weekend. No, nobody would dare claim anything that crazy. What I’m saying is that I caused them.

Further support for this thesis can be found from the fact that I can find Egypt on a map. It’s right next to Israel, I know where Israel is, sometimes I fly off the handle with anti-Zionist rhetoric, yes, I am certainly the main party responsible.

Now, some might say, “Nick, this philosophy is extremely self centered on the scope of a serious, undiagnosed, egomania”

Fair enough, but I would argue that it is no less egomaniacal than trying to claim that Obama’s Cairo speech was the real turning point, or when the newscasters try frantically to explain the lack of anti-US sentiment, when people try to claim that a democratic Egypt will be the equivalent of Afghanistan or the Gaza strip, will suddenly throw off its ties to America and dissolve the peace with Israel.

Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with America or Israel… maybe it’s something Egyptian, some real life problems they faced that required a more representative government. Maybe it had nothing to do with us at all, maybe it’s Egypt’s matter and has nothing to do with us, is nothing more complicated than a power fight in a foreign state. Maybe we should let the Egyptian people just have their moment; maybe it’s not all about us…

Nahhh……. That’s crazy…

January 11, 2011

Calamity

by nkwilczy

Much like the Detox post below I suspect that youtube will cut this out before too long (And will I update it? No! Lazy bastard!), on the other hand the Decemberists are not Dr. Dre with regards to their philosophy on intellectual property.

But the song fits the national atmosphere du jour. It fits with the last post. All that remains is the arms of the angels.

Also, check out the Links page at the top.

January 10, 2011

You can’t spell politics m-a-s-s-a-c-r-e

by nkwilczy

            We have to decide if this is the beginning or if this is the end.

            There is no rosy way to paint the facts. Perhaps he was deranged, perhaps he belonged to the political faction of your opponent, but at the end of the day none of that changed the fact that the political environment in America has gotten very unfriendly.

            That seems like an understatement, now that we’ve gotten to the point of lunatics firing into political rallies, shooting little girls, federal judges, congresspeople. Which is why now is the time to ask the question, is this the beginning or is this the end? And that won’t be decided by rogue gunmen, they are not the people who safeguard our future. We are.

            So what I would like to say, very briefly, is that there are firebrands who exist and possess trivial amounts of taste who’s sole purpose is to do things like, say, place all the blame for the events in Arizona at Sarah Palin’s feet. She is without a doubt a part of the culture of vicious rhetoric that got us here, these people will put all the blame at Rupert Murdoch’s feet, and you know what, maybe some of it belongs there.

            But then, if we make those statements, when we try to use this as an occasion to make our political culture MORE incendiary and as an excuse to lob blame and hate at the “other side,” this is only the beginning. This is not new territory, Marat and Robespierre were also pretty sure that democracy would work better if everyone who disagreed with them was dead.

            It won’t. A diversity of perspectives leads to a diversity of ideologies, which strengthens the entire system with a diversity of problem solving techniques, how are we going to get anything done with blood in the streets?

            So, I don’t care whose fault it is or where we can scientifically assign the blame. It is all of our fault equally, and no one is as guilty as those who would use this occasion to slander their political rivals. If this means that there is no rebuttal from you when someone slanders your own side then let it go let it be. If the opposition wants to stone you and persecute you then let them, offer them nothing but peace.

            Retaliation, verbal, physical, economic, psychological is not the answer. America deserves more than for us to bicker like this. I say, let this be the end.

January 6, 2011

Southern Nights

by nkwilczy

This one probably isn’t going anywhere, I’d say it’s a safe candidate for the blog.

Southern Nights

     The Spanish Moss always looks so sad to Toby, dangling from branches.

     “Where’d he go?!” he can hear from the shadows where he ponders   the moss. Toby knows that the whites of his eyes can give him away, or the flash of his teeth. He keeps his mouth shut and he squints.

      They have torches, there are torches all over the town casting away the shadows and exposing anything that might deserve their rage.

     Toby isn’t even so sure why they’re so angry. He can’t help who he is, he was born this way.

     “We’ll burn him alive!” they shout out in the square. Toby should not be close enough to hear that, he shudders a bit from behind the shed in the shadows where he hides.

     To be fair, well, to be more than fair, Toby knows he isn’t a particularly good slave. Though he doesn’t feel too bad about it, and it certainly doesn’t seem to warrant this sort of reaction to him. He just doesn’t like the sun, he sews long robes to keep the sun off of him, he hides indoors whenever he can. He is crafty and wily and stays out of it. So they call him lazy, they hit him with whips, they take his clothes.

     And now this.

     He has heard stories at night that somewhere in the North a man might be free, but Toby has also heard stories of witches burned at stakes, of Cherokee and Sioux marched afield. Toby is not an optimistic man he doesn’t even believe in a better life, but he is crafty and he is wily and he has stayed alive.

     At night Toby can do anything though. At night Toby collects stories from the other slaves. Sometimes he will talk to the same man a dozen times, just to make him say it. Just to force his mind away from the plantation to some other fantasy realm. A northern or western land where people can be free, back in some parent or grandparent’s half remembered fantasy of Angola or Mali, wherever they wished to go but would not venture to alone, even from leaky overcrowded shacks.

     At night Toby is everywhere on the plantation, at night he knows the quality of meat that the plantation owner has fed to his dogs, the various squabbles of indoor slaves. At night Toby has been known to charm stories even out of the whip-crackers.

     Toby does not tell stories, he speaks in questions. To get anything out of the whip-crackers is a simple matter of flattering them, they are fools for themselves and to those who will listen they will pour out the heart and soul of their people in their stories.

     But any friendliness evaporates the next day when the owner is riding his horse about the fields insisting that Toby is just being lazy and needs a damn good whipping. And what the hell was with his robes, the only, Toby would not repeat the owner’s word, he had ever seen who was scared of the sun.

     At night, when Toby feels invincible, when he can convince anyone to divulge anything in him with his patient, attentive nature and soothing voice, Toby has not even considered escaping.

     Perhaps that overstates it, Toby has considered escaping. Taking wing into the night and fleeing as far as he could, but he always knows that when the sun comes up he would be no better off. So he collects stories, he sneaks into the woods and captures small game when the whip-crackers are placated and sleeping, he offers it up in exchange for stories back in the slave camp.

     At night Toby is fast and quiet and can stand nearly astride a deer for minutes without alerting it. His movements are all imperceptible and sudden.

     He hopes it is enough to save his life tonight.

     Because they will burn him, right in the square with everyone watching. Because they don’t understand, because they’re scared. Toby understands, he is scared too. He forgives them.

     There is a torch coming closer to where Toby is hiding, he can see the light around the corner and he shudders. It is all or nothing now.

     The fire meanders around the other side of the building before pushing the door open. Toby rotates around to the back and peeks around the side to see if anyone else is coming.

     There is only the one torch, the others light up down the street and through the square.

     Toby takes a deep breath, if he wants to be out of the sun tomorrow, and if they are looking for him he’d best be, then he will have to leave soon to find a place to hide.

     The torch bobs as the man steps out of the shack. Toby exhales.

     A sharp wind suddenly gusts through the street, torches everywhere are dropped, in front of the shack it simply extinguishes with a quick muffled flapping. Up the street there is panic and screaming as torches clatter down the road as though they had a mind of their own.

     Toby reaches his arm around the corner quick and grabs the man, yanking him suddenly behind the shed. The man opens his mouth to protest.

     And all that comes out is a slight gasp and blood as Toby digs his long canines deep into his neck. The vampire watches the hair on the back of the other man’s neck bristle up in terror before slowly just fading back down. The body slumps down behind the shack.

     “I am sorry,” Toby says. He does not blame them, they were born the way they are the same way he was born the way he is. The other man says nothing in response, only tilts and slowly falls to the side.

     And a bat takes wing into the night, hoping to find a place to hide by daybreak.

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