Sunday, July 20, 2008


Well, what a day! Today I've been reading my friend's poetry in his latest book, Crazy Stairs. And dipping further into Foreign Affairs magazine for July/August while alternately journaling in my paper journal bits of poetry influenced by Geoff Peterson's work and odds and ends of political and cultural thought entering and exiting my 70 year old leaking brain as fast as they can. There's also more to enter from the Gould book I'm reading, The Mismeasure of Man. I finished Brautigan's book, The Revenge of the Lawn (my bathroom reading these past weeks) and am really disappointed by it. Poor dead suicide. My new bathroom reading will be Art For Beginners by Dani Cavallaro. Well... take a breath... I won't get that all in today, and who'd read it if I did?


Barack Obama is a man of the 21st Century. John McCain is a man of the past, a left over jingoist, cold warrior from a dead era. More than anything we need an Obama. If we fail to elect a man of the 21st Century in this next election, America may find itself irrevocably behind and out of the touch with the developing and modern world. I mean, we need more than change, we need someone who in his psyche and very synaptical being is modern. This is it for America. Get with it or get lost. Will the religionists hold America back and multiply its inevitable decline?

Today, Sunday, I passed yet another rich suburban church, it's lot crammed full of SUVs and other gas hogs, i.e. terror supporters. I imagined I was seeing the ancient linkage of the rich and powerful and the church, just as one found them linked in Franco's Spain, pre-revolutionary Russia, and Dicken's England, and currently, Arabia's Imam's and political rulers. The fat ladies are singing all over America. One out of four Americans is now obese. Is the game nearly over? And has America lost it? Or, at minimum, lost the way?


As you newspaper readers know, China's international image is supposed to be enhanced by its Olympian effort, but internal and external politics, repression and secrecy have made them to show themselves as exactly what they are, a despotic government, but, strange to say, China's history with the West has made its average citizens extremely mistrustful of our motives. (The imperialist past coming home to roost?) So there's a twist on the old story about empires, dictatorships and democracies that we don't often meet. Read below and weep:

If the Games do not go well, there will be infighting and blame shifting within the party's central leadership, and it will likely adopt a bunker mentality. Vice President Xi Jinping, the government's point man on the Olympics and President Hu Jintao's heir apparent, would likely face challenges to his presumed leadership.

A poor outcome for the Games could engender another round of nationalist outbursts and Chinese citizens decrying what they see as racism, anti-Chinese bias, and a misguided sense of Western superiority. This inflamed form of Chinese nationalism could be the most enduring and dangerous outcome of the protests surrounding the Olympics. If the international community does not welcome China's rise, the Chinese people may ask themselves why China should be bound by its rules. As a result, Beijing may find the room it has for foreign policy maneuvering more restricted by public opinion. [All we have to do is imagine how Americans feel when their national honor is challenged. Stupid, yes, but explained by evolutionary biology? Yes also.]

This is from the magazine I hold in my hand (to your right) from July/August 2008 by Elizabeth Economy and Adam Segal. Damn, I can't get it to turn itself right side around. Well, you'll just have to read backwards or print it out and hold it up to a mirror. No wait, I flipped it upside down, snapped the picture, then turned the result upside down. At least I think I did.

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