The Politics of Inscription


Key paragraph: It wasn't until the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 that the department instructed national cemetery directors and funeral homes across the country to advise families of fallen soldiers and Marines that they could have operation names like "Enduring Freedom" or "Iraqi Freedom" included on the headstones.


Sheikh-Themed Romance Novels

Aquol has the statistics and the graph:

Notice that the trend starts up in 2000, before 9/11. Also notice that the chart shows books written and published, not sales.


I Wouldn't Go There If I Were You

He wants to sled on the slippery slope below the moral high ground. Every little breeze seems to whisper "Jeez" as the bishop pricks it. Miters make tight corners and large, florid squares. The tragedy of the commons lies below the horizon. There, the sheep may safely graze under the drooping eyes of the hired hand. The white glove watches the chromed Kenworths speed by but its thumb stays flat. Sit and spin. Sit and spin.


Moving Down the Fingerboard

This last Saturday I had a music lesson—classical guitar. I couldn't remember the last time I practiced, but decided to go anyway.

The first thing we do is always a technical exercise. This time, it was playing the notes on the third string with the 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st fingers as legato as possible. Shift one fret. Repeat until you run out of fingerboard. Mechanical, not particularly musical. And yet, I was delighted, as if I'd stumbled on some half-remembered paradise.

People make a big deal about how expressive music is, how emotional it is. But for me, on Saturday, it was physical. Holding the guitar, feeling the rosewood of the fingerboard, the tension in the string as I plucked it, and then that note, clear and pure, even if it wasn't as legato as it should have been.

I spent the weekend playing CDs of Leo Brouwer's guitar music. And practicing.

If you happen to be in the Rosewood Guitar this week, tell Jason I'm practicing my fingers off and I'll see him next Saturday.

C. D. Wright

An interesting thread, in spite of my contributions, about C. D. Wright over at The Virtual World.

I don't know why I do things like that. Seems as if I say something and then everybody moves away to another part of the room and starts talking about something else. Stay away from the crazy guy spewing crumbs all over the place. Maybe he'll go away.


"United against life as we know it."

Apparently while the Radish King was watching a John Waters flick,I was watching one of my favorite horror movies, Ginger Snaps. Two Goth Canadian sisters discover the real horror of the 'burbs.