It’s been time enough to take stock of the leaves, and as it turns out porn does not rule the Bushian Tubes. Or perhaps it does, somewhere else, but not here. My feeble effort to evoke a flood of dirty inquiries failed, and the only indication is a tired old one, “guy porn.” Otherwise it’s more or less the usual, which makes me wonder just what it means. Tehran Report consistently tops the listing. Then comes London #’s 1 & 2. And then various painters and artists and architects – Guston, Cornell, Rogers. And no sudden lurch into lascivious hits. So I now know, perhaps, a little more about how the nets work, as GW would say. It’s dirty work, but somebody’s got to do it.
So as Tehran is a topic of active concern, some glancing thoughts that way. Clearly, to the American press, Iran has retreated to the Op-Ed pages, as the visual stimulus of riots on the streets no longer offers the juicy materials for coverage. Show-trials were passingly mentioned, but being dull affairs, they got their little political mentions from the OpEd guys, but little more. Iran is left to sort itself out, minus the glare of US TV and pundit-heads. Which, of course, is not to say there’s nothing going on. Just that what’s going on doesn’t sell advertising anymore. Blood and riots and killings, yes; more subtle maneuvers, no. But, reading the tea leaves we’re given the chance to see it seems there’s a conflict there, one which reveals itself in the statements and machinations of the Ayatollahs of Qum, and the comments of major politicians. It’s like the old Soviet days of Kremlinology. Clearly some cat was let out of the bag, and no amount of official obfuscation can hide the truth. Beneath the surface clearly a lot is going on, though I’d be the last to fathom it. It’s happening discreetly, behind a veil of cultural differences we can’t really pretend to understand. It just know there’s a consistent interest in molotov cocktails.
Just as I suppose it is hard for those outside America to fathom the reckless auto-destructive actions of the domestic US Right, which is trying its damnedest to make a leap to out-and-out All American Fascism, the old Red White and Blue wrapped around a Bible, and trampling all over the “just a piece of paper” Constitution. The discord is shrill and the contrast from the Bush-times cordoned “free speech” areas to the present gun-toting shriekers is at the least grimly amusing. How this is perceived by far away foreign eyes must be something. About as clear as a sandstorm in Kenya:
Back in the USA summer is over, and the political fires resume. Obama goes on TV to sell some kind of health care reform, though the waters on this are now so muddied as to have left the field wide open for the Right’s dire simplicities. Terminating Grandma ! Death panels ! Socialism ! And while it would be useful to have a real discussion on the actualities of so-called health-insurance-for-profit, this pretty much has gone by the wayside. Just like talking about having a huge population in a desert area lacking in water where certain things are as predictable as sunrise:
One wonders when The Great SoCal Exodus will begin? The fire department now says they think this fire was started by an arsonist, which seems reasonable. But then when the official rate of unemployment nationally reaches 9.7% (though this figure is a fantasy), and California’s rate is far higher “officially” and at the same time banks bailed out to the tune of trillions of public money are back in gear, pumping out obscene bonuses to their top honchos, is it any wonder there might be some angry alienation ready to set fire to the national tinderbox?
Bernanke gives the bird?
A bit of unhappy news: a friend of mine since 1967, Jim Dennett, died on August 28th, from lung cancer. He was 75, and had had a good life, working as a production manager and such in Chicago and Hollywood. He put me up a handful of times when I needed a place to crash, and way early he and Mike Gray let me use their editing bench in Chicago. And on September 3, Alexis Tioseco and his girlfriend, Nika Bohinc, both film critics – he from the Philippines and Canada, and she from Slovenia, were murdered in their home near Manila. Apparently an inside-job robbery as motivation. I’d met Alexis and corresponded with him – a nice guy, smart, and energetic. He was 28; she was 29. The story is even sadder than this: Nika was scheduled to return to Slovenia the next day….