Oct  ? ‘01

Others assume I love to write. I’m not sure if that’s true. Writing is (un)fortunately second nature to me. Others also assume I love to talk (first nature!) Its even been speculated that libraries were founded on account of me. And I shouldn’t have to tell you where earmuffs and cotton balls came from.  That reminds me… funny what you discover about yourself when searching through your things. I have 2400 cotton puffs. Not 2400 bags of cotton puffs mind you, what, you think 2400 individual cotton puffs isn’t alot? Eli Whitney didn’t have this much cotton! I don’t have a clue as to why I have this great abundance of cotton in stock. Life is hard and this must be my cushion. I needn’t express how heavy my heart was on September 11th and for days after. It’s something Americans necessarily experienced together. The last thing I personally remember any Americans experiencing together was the food poisoning at Bob’s Big Boy. Not the same category and caliber, I know.

There were Air Force planes darting over my parents’ house on the night of the attack.  Exactly one week later I watched a commercial plane fly overhead. It was a clear night, star-spotted, and the plane seemed unusually alone in the sky. I was rattled by almost a hemorrhage of grief, I wanted to cry but I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d be crying about so I tried not to cry, which only swelled the hurt.  In a lame attempt at self-consolation I started to compose in my head (that’s a smart thing to do while navigating a vehicle, road menace!) and the moment I walked in the door, I wrote it all down. I titled it “Tuesday,” seemed obvious and apt (Tuesday is twice blessed in the bible, if only to reinforce the suckiness of Monday)

I’ve since polished it up some but it’s not that much different than the original. There are a couple of things I actually hate about writing. If you’re writing something non-casually and you really need it to mean something, it never seems quite finished.  The strategies are to default to a deadline or desert what you’ve written and not look back. That famous one line poem “The Red Wheelbarrow”…originally it was supposed to also detail noisy geese and the farmer’s hot daughter (farmers always have hot daughters) but then the descriptions started snowballing in what was clearly a bad direction. I want to put this piece of writing into the red wheelbarrow, roll it onto this site, and not look back.  There’s a link at the bottom of this page.

It’s a short work and it mostly went straight from heart to paper. I pride myself on mocking the kind of writing that comes straight from heart to paper so if you’ve the inclination to mock me, even if its but inside your own heart, run with it, I deserve it. To this day I still blaspheme the good intentions of some poor misguided shmendrick who barely knew me but chose to express his affection in a handwritten poem that began “Roses are red violets are blue.” I inspected the flip side of the page a few times over, meticulously checking for the “just kidding, harhar.” Oh now don’t you go feeling sorry for the slob, I let him down easy. And you can’t feel sorry for a guy who doesn’t know better than to invoke clichés that made you peaked even back in the third grade. No he wasn’t someone I babysat, he was a grown shmeggegi! Damned if I can remember what followed the “violets are blue” but by the mercy of the poetry gods, it wasn’t “sugar is sweet and so are you.”
Speaking of gods, I can’t help but to turn to G-d when humans choose to blow each other up into smithereens (“oh great and powerful one, stop nodding your intangible spirit head back and forth. You made us!…..Did so!”)

I believe I am a person of faith (I have faith that I am a person of faith?) on odd days. On even days I like to sin.  I’ve never, not once felt that my faith opposed my appreciation of and acceptance of science as a high rank mode of knowing. I don’t care if G-d is all intelligent because as I hinted earlier, he already disqualified himself from the brainiac of the year contest when he created man. I’m more concerned with other brands of bullshit like compassion and redemption, red roses and blue violets. Without deferring to sappy epitaphs about how our children and deeds survive us, I’m still strangely assured that death isn’t permanent. And I hope I have something to take with me to the next path besides a Bunsen burner (not that I’d need it where I’m clearly headed) (OK so charging up $100,000 in credit card debt when I hit 85 wasn’t such a sharp idea nor was faking heart attacks in fancy restaurants so I could eat free. Lord, I was only trying to bring out the good in others!) Roses are red. Leaves are green. Sugar is sweet. And Debbie is mean!

The other thing I hate about writing…it sucks up too much time. No that’s not the other thing I hate about writing but it’s going to be if I don’t tie this up soon!  Writing is intrinsically incomplete (oh please do not tell me they’re adding a lost chapter to Moby Dick!) A piece of writing is just that, a piece. And not necessarily an accurate report, depiction or reflection. As obvious as that may seem, as readers we tend to fill in blanks more emotionally less analytically. There’s also a tendency to want writing in black and white, writers in black and white, one of the reasons we misinterpret the communication and intent of others. My opinions and feelings as expressed in written words are incomplete and sometimes opaquely gray. In addition, I am not contracted out to my written words for all eternity. Ideas change, even convictions change. Time permitting I prefer to engage in an open minded open ended exchange of ideas and convictions, I'm not up for being baited into dialogue by anyone who would claim to have the written the book on me (incidentally, only the even numbered pages are worth perusing) A friend of mine suggested I post an email I wrote to him (in lieu of my outdated Clinton rant….as if sexual intrigue ever goes out of style!)
It’d be nice to actually post all of my emails where I expressed opinions and sentiments about the recent terrorism, it’d keep me from having to repeat myself.  But it’s not like I tagged all of my emails with some common keyword or if all I talked about over the past weeks was terrorism. I am way too lazy to sort and compile. I am also way too lazy to edit my own writing in this case. Please bear in mind that it’s an email I’m posting below. It’s informal, free-flowing and it’s decidedly more ‘raw’ than composed, as I’m sure your emails are (be grateful for small favors, I could’ve written the entire email as an acronym) Currently I am not inclined to author a coherent and tight piece about any aspect of the terrorist attacks or our ensuing policies and actions. I am queen lazy…when they were designing the lazy boy chair, I was the model (they never gave girls credit in those days) Dude I invented the elevated feet posture and it wasn’t an accident.  Attempt to read the complete sacrilege to punctuation as pasted below, at your own risk.

And please note that the opening line isn’t mine, I believe it came from an article I sent.  My friend is the “>>>”   My text starts with a “----”

My thoughts are relayed in a somewhat messy and certainly incomplete fashion, again, because it’s an email. I myself could easily weed out 10 points of possible ‘misextension’ (speculating what I think and believe beyond the borders of what I actually say). I may have sounded off choppily but I wasn’t inaccessibly cryptic. Read…but don’t read so much “into” or “beyond.”  I’m sorry for not windexing it to a polish but I have sofas and loveseats to pose for.  Roses are red. Yellow is the daisy. Sugar is sweet. And Debbie is lazy!

In a message dated 10/2/2001 4:40:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
misfits@optonline.net writes:

Hey doll, I think you ought to post this at your website.  Replace the Clinton
stuff with Post September 11 stuff, like this.  You're an elequent one!
MWAH
WM

Subject:
            Re: The Wolf Speaks
       Date:
            Tue, 02 Oct 2001 04:40:06 -0700
      From:
            misfits
        To:
            wolf
 References:
            1

WolfMike37 wrote:

> In a message dated 9/15/2001 2:13:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> misfits@optonline.net writes:
>
> << It's hardly surprising that Palestinians are cheering on the terrorists. >>
>
> I've seen reports that the footage in question was actually a decade old, and
> the US media shamelessly used it - "constructed reality" ...

------thats possible. And another possibility, something thats clearly done far
too often, is to blatantly misrepresent...I told you that story about my brother
at yankee stadium. He had a shifty look on his face, he hands my other brother
tickets and ends up starring in a few seconds worth of footage on scalpers! We got
such a laugh out of it but its actually not funny when you think about newscasters
combing through all their footage to figure out "what goes best" with their
coverage and ideology!
as far as palestinians celebrating in the street, Ive every reason to believe it
happened. The associated press reporters who claimed threats on their life was
widely reported. Even palestinian reporters confirmed  palestinians celebrating.
What was not confirmed or agreed upon were the numbers.  the actual number of anti
U.S protestors in pakistan was very small (although the number of opponents is
probably far larger, just not the same degree and breadth of dissent) I would feel
much better to know that the count of palestinians celebrating was very small,
fringe, but I dont know this. Ill probably never know the truth.  I dont know what
the sum total of movement for or against israel (and more specifically, americas
policies towards israel) is, following the wtc attack. Im not even inclined to
speculate except to say that I personally have experienced through readings and
personal contact shifts in both directions. Now generally, pro israel supporters
are more staunchly pro israel and anti israel advocates are more staunchly anti
israel. Not surprising. People with murkier opinions Ive seen shift in both
directions and usually without clarity, just passion. There are people who believe
we can and should essentially ignore everything that goes on outside the U.S.(and
its startling how many americans have since adopted a blanket anti immigration
posture) and there are people who believe that the arabs are backward that
religious society is necessarily regressive (the other religion of course)
Understand this is a generalization on my part with my strong P.S. that its a
generalization with grades and exceptions...but its my belief that the majority of
ultra left intellectual radicals are anti israel, sometimes rabidly so, sometimes
borderline anti semitic (in the 'rich jews who own and dominate the world' sense)
and let me just sideline and say what Im sure you realize, that there is no
correlation between intelligence and prejudice. Sure you could argue that a person
with better analytical and information processing skills would be less inclined to
embrace the more blatant propaganda and disinformation but its really the trickle
down effect of blatant propaganda and disinformation thats most damaging. We love
to run off at the mouth with the cliche that prejudice is ignorance but we don't
live in a world and never have lived in a world where it was the dumb asses who
were prejudiced and the intellectuals who were fighting for equality reason and
fairness. Its been a far foggier mixed picture. And a prejudiced intellectual,
especially one of influence, is a dangerous force. Any prejudiced intellectual of
any time isnt going to appear so to the wide majority. Maybe 50 years down the
line we'll look back with a new frame of reference and poke at holes in thinking
that weren't as apparent earlier on.  As a special case, I do think that prejudice
is easily born out of the "ignorance" of nonexposure. Superfically integrating
communities hardly solves problems of ethnic or religious clashing but undoubtedly
total nonexposure to certain peoples will prevent you from recognizing certain
truths that can really only be recognized through some real experience. Again, you
will always perceive reality through your own lenses but I believe the sum total
of damage exceeds the sum total of good when people wittingly separate themselves
from different kinds of people. I love living among Jews and I wouldnt want to
live where there were no jews or barely any Jews. But I like a mixed community.
Lawrence has become very Jewish, very insular but in the same way that there are
no nation states, Lawrence is a hop skip and jump from other communities. They may
not mingle but they have to coexist.  My high school was far from being the
cliched christian vanilla suburb. I think we had people from every walk of life,
that in itself was cool, although I certainly hold no praise for the social
stratification, though to be fair, high school is an evil experiment in every
wrong kind of social stratification, even where the attendees are largely uniform
in color and creed. Just ends up being a cruel environment where the better
looking the wealthier or the wilier and stronger-willed piss all over everyone
else. Its actually a model that doesnt hold up in the greater world, only in small
cross sections, because as it ends up, most of the world is populated with the
everyone elses! Apologies for the tangent. I should comment now that some of the
common critiques of Israel that disturb me are the accusations of Israeli military
overreaction. This is probably true in select cases and it has to be addressed
exactly in that manner. Not with this blanket belief that israel always
overreacts. That doesnt stand up to fact or reason. A consistently cited case that
troubles me is the one of the stone hurlers. Im no hypocrite. if Israelis want to
start hurling rocks at palestinians with the clear intent to knock them in the
head, and this leads to the israelis being killed, thats their price to bear.
Obviously you want to control this better, particularly when there are children
involved, but this is an egregious calculated effort on the part of exploitative
adults and parents who should know better. if you want to hurl rocks in protest,
get nerf rocks. If someone was hurling rocks at me and wouldnt stop even when I
flashed a gun, I might shoot them. I like to think I would try to neutralize them
in another way if I could or that I would shoot them in the leg, but violent
confrontations generally dont lend themselves to long rationalized decision
making. Its odd to me how the rock throwing has become such a hot button
representation of israeli subjugation and evil when I think its a seriously
bankrupt example. I do believe israel often missteps when reacting to terrorism
feeding into anti israel sentiment and pacifying a public that wants revenge and
safety (not unlike our own american public now) but fails to see the bigger
picture of what would better accomplish safety and security is not the obvious
expedient slap back, which may seem discriminate but often extends itself (as a
matter of reality) to indiscriminate infliction of harm. I dont support the
israeli occupation of the west bank and I doubt most Israelis do. But theyre
rather devoid of options.
Israel has sued for peace and they were bitch slapped by the two faced Arafat whos
into the program one day and rallying the worst kinds of terrorist attacks the
next. Oddly enough, my problem with arafat is my problem with the anti israel
leftist intellectual. Arguments against the israeli occupation of palestine seem
to ignore
israels clear, valid, and historically proven security concerns and the nature and
timing of negotiations (you do not want to negotitate strictly in response to
terrorists), and also often fail to address the now defunct peace process except
to say it wasnt enough (when the indisputable fact is that what arafat asked for
was almost met likely more to the chagrin of israelis) Whats crystal clear to me
is that all arguments are disingenuous if for starters you oppose the existence of
israel. Or if you think israel should be situated on a 2 by 2 plot of land. I
would respect someone who held that opinion no matter how vehemently I disagreed.
If you accept the existence of Israel, however begrudgingly, you dont formulate
logically indefensible and guised criticisms that arent trying to address deal
with and assuage/solve the awful displacements (and consequent abhorrent
occupation) that took place when israel came into being or the wars against israel
that further exacerbated the displacement problem (in addition to further land
disputes). One of the real thorns and possibly the death knell of the peace
process is this resolute conviction that israel doesnt belong where it is.
Whatever moral footing this derives from, its fantastical. whoever is entitled to
israel isnt at issue because israel isnt budging no more than we're giving states
back to mexico (and aside from these fleecing casinos that benefit people who are
1/1000th indian, we've really done a bang up job of compensating native americans)
I wish we lived in a world where might didnt make any right but its amazing how
often the people who condemn this take to might to make right, and as a first
resort.
 
 

>
>
> Today, fox news was outraged when a former US embassador to Iraq, trying to
> explain why so many hate the US, pointed out the illegality of the on-going US
> bombardments of Iraq (and the invasion of Panama, and other acts that were
> completely contrary to internation law and simple might-makes-right).  The
> biggest problem with journalists is (a) their simplistic bifurcations of the
> world,
> not so much ideological as ratings/ad-money driven, (b) their utter ignorance
> of history.  I was nearly gagging with laughter as the fox news was trying
> recall Chamberlain/Hitler in the 1930s.  This guy must have taken one course
> as a college student, as he made a totally false analogy to the current
> situation.
>
> Anyway, the intelligence community is licking it's chops, moaning it's been
> savaged by funding cuts.  So guess what, they will be feeding soon at the pork
> barrel.  And dig that Pentagon.  Was in the middle of a 1 billion dollar
> refurbish
> job?  Do we really need to be paying for that?   Now they need another
> 250million
> because the one section hit was the one the finished sprucing up!  Irony.
>
> How about transferring some money from the war on drugs to pay for some of
> this?

-----on point 1, I am hardly an expert on U.S. foreign policy but I am also not
naive about our covert operations. you have to ask if the U.S. is really more
concerned with economic interests and in the past duking it out with russian
expansionism or if the U.S. is concerned with stabilizing governments and
promoting democracy (and perish the thought, free trade). Dictatorships often
stabilize chaotic societies on the verge of complete decomposition and sometimes
stability has to be your primary goal. But are we compelled by moral obligation or
economic interests?(these two can be oppositional) Amazingly, where we've
intervened out of moral obligation (partly or wholly) we can't seem to finish the
job! Surely that does a world of bad for perception of the U.S. Our sanctions on
Iraq are a symptom of the larger reality of us not having finished the job. Its
ineffective and its ruining a population that is already suffering at the hands of
what is one of the worst regimes in our modern times. I think hussein would take
his countrys last nickel towards some savagery.  Our military experts and
intelligence authorities love to hide behind the notion of protecting
U.S.interests and whether or not thats been true (at least in intent), we've
obviously bungled. The fact that we once had saddam and osama on our buddy list
speaks volumes. Thats an indictment, most likely of the United States squeamish
and half assed fix it approach. On point 2, it boggles the mind how anyone can
talk about what is and isnt a good idea because we probably have a zillion good
ideas. What we dont have is a zillion dollars for a zillion good ideas.
Despite the fact that missle defense has been largely unsuccessful and may not
even be feasible as we've conceptualized it, its doubtful that this is where our
money is best spent. Heaven forbid a missile gets pointed at us, the 'I told you
so's will crawl out from the woodwork but lets please remember that when enemies
target you, they look for holes. You cant possibly patch up every hole. Right now
our greatest threats arent from missle attacks. Defense budgeting requires
judgement calls and you dont make those judgment calls on the basis of the caliber
of the threat but rather the likelihood of the threat. Its amazing how much damage
was inflicted
with a rudimentary plan and tools. Ive seen the word "jujitsu" pop up alot and its
quite apt. our own planes were used against us. And we have zero assurance that
this act couldnt be repeated. Airline security isnt going to change overnight, its
a long road ahead and its complicated and cost intensive, certainly long overdue
and worthwhile. Ive also heard talk of high speed rail, sounds good to me, we are
entirely too reliant on air travel within our own country when theres quite
possibly a more cost effective less resource intensive (albeit slower) way to
transport people.

I stopped writing this because I wanted to shower and then I got distracted. Now
Im showered. Im practically squeaking! I have a splinter in my index finger and it
hurts to type :-(   what i wouldnt do for a secretary. the mind works faster than
the fingers, and let me assure you pup, these are some fast fingers!

I miss you, love you, enjoy sharing wth you....blah blah blah.
>>
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Here is my soppy sappy cathartic (for me anyway) World Trade Center rose-red violet-blue prose.
TUESDAY
Just a note…. People often ask me why I hyphenate “G-d.” It’s a custom I never shook from Hebrew grade school. I still kiss my bibles (nothing Sodom and Gomorrah, just a quick peck). And I still scribble a small blessing in the upper right hand corner of my letters. I am not phony enough to pretend that I don’t take the name of G-d in vain when I so much as stub my toe. I’m rarely conscious of my residual Yeshiva habits but sometimes an interesting reflex kicks in. When I am writing the name of G-d in something I perceive as important, I usually forget the hyphen. Weird. G-d has like a zillion different names, he’s worse than Puff Daddy. The only name I instinctively and deliberately avoid is the tetragrammaton because it’s creepy. It contains all the tenses of the verb “to be”, was, is, and will be. G-d is everywhere at all times! Either that or He is incredibly lithe.) OK I’m babble blabbing all over the place again. I am like a car with a worn idler arm. No, I am like gumby in a car with a worn idler arm. I was shutting up, I am shutting up, I will be shutting up. Hava Nagila!
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Allow me to contrast this long stretch of text with a small picture tiling of some computercam candids I've clicked over the past month...

      

      

      




Granddaddy of all junk mail

10-15-01

Question for you

11-05-01

BIG WAH!

11-19-01

I’ve elected my mother as president of my fan club and director of public relations. She has a real flair for press releases
(It is exactly this type of gesture that distinguishes a Jewish mother from a sane parent, well, if there is such a thing)

12-06

Pic-ee

12-07-01

Hanukahmas

12-09-01

I think I’ve slighted classical music. I’m at my parents house and we hear this beautiful violin playing and no one had a clue where it was coming from. It was my alarm clock. Usually I set it to beep or to radio static because I have too easy a time sleeping through music, even heavy hardcore stuff.  So I remarked to my mom, “We had no idea where the music was coming from because no one in this house listens to classical music. We’re philistines.” I love the sound of a violin, it’s the instrument of whiners! Don’t they look easy to play? It’s like skiing. In the meantime you don’t want to know about me and skiing. I found the bunny slope treacherous. Sure it’s easy for bunnies. I couldn’t even walk in my skis, I was holding up the line. And when I was a kid I couldn’t even get my skis on for water-skiing so I’ve never water-skied. And I only snow skied once. I don’t even know if you could call it skiing, but let me tell you I am some kind of fantastic human snow roller. The second time I got dragged on a skiing trip I led a rogue group directly to the heated snack bar. Speaking of snacks, in all my years of pop tart eating I’ve never had a pop tart drip jam. I had the best pop tart of my life yesterday. I’ve never seen so much jelly in a pop tart. You know what that means? Someone out there has a pop tart with nothing in it. Well, better them than me.

12-21-01

A Tail of Two Kitties (ok, just one really)

1-16-02

BTW...



NEWER NEWISH (hey, this is new!)

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