Saturday, December 31, 2005

a seasonal muse

Once upon a time, in a land, yes, so very far away, there was a little house upon a bit of a hill.

Upon a rise.

Upon a sliver of land, surrounded front to back by water. It was called Wynacht’s Point, the sliver of land. To the front of the house was the gravel lane, and on the other side of the lane was broad water.

Water which was landing sloop to crooning loons and solid ground to little shacks which sprung up early in the season for the fishing of eels.

Down the slope to the back of the little house there was more water and a flurry of rocks. This water was narrow, and across the way one could hear boys, always, putting heart to wood, fashioning their sloops.

And every night we would walk Uncle Ben [a tubby, slothful sweetheart of a tabby, named so he could be pronounced, appropriately, “Bean”] and Ms. Jemima [she of the ebony color and white apron tuft] down to the rocks. After dinner, after coffee, in the endless winter night, we would walk them down to the rocks and listen to the narrow slice of water.

Jemima would, as women will, engage the local minks who lay claim to the rocks. She begged to differ. And despite their greater number and their ruthless, savage nature, she almost always emerged unscathed.

The house was very small.

I painted it, to claim it.

And there was a fine Christmas dinner once upon a time, with Liptauer cheese redolent of anchovy, a rack of roast prime rib, Yorkshire pudding and biscuit tortoni, and the boys built the deepest of snow forts in the deepest of snowfalls.

It was Nova Scotia, up the road from Peggy’s Cove and much too far from Halifax. An island, and I should have listened to my father’s words, once upon a time when he came to visit, that it reminded him of Ireland.

But the boy with whom I walked the cats had been the first to set me on his knee and read me Wordsworth [yes], and we had both decided that Arcadia it was to be, despite the endless Winter night and the narrow slip of land.

And despite all that came before and after, it was home, my first, and, as the poet knew, waters on a starry night seemed so beautiful and fair.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Tis the season

Yes, still here.

Four new translations have been posted in the Library since yesterday, and there are indeed more to come.

Delegado Zero's tour is to commence on Sunday, New Year's Day, with an event in San Cris and departure on Monday. Tune in.

And I'm still waiting for a tad more information concerning the difficulty with the list sign-ups. Given the season and upcoming events, we might have to wait a bit.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

No good reason...

For being absent, that is.

I'm posting all the new communiques as I do, in the Library, as I do them. I am warned that there shall be a fair few of them, as well.

And I will try to answer the various questions and requests in the Comments that have been accumulating during my thoroughly unacceptable absence.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Help with the new EZLN page

Since someone just asked in the Comments for help with navigating the new EZLN/Other Campaign site, here's some help:

Go to www.ezln.org.mx and click on the right upper graphic ["zezta internazional"].

If you wish to subscribe to the list, click on the third option ["suscríbase"].

Once you do that, there's a language option at the top ["ver esta página en"] - open the drop-down box to the right, highlight English [or your language of choice] and click to the left ["Ver esta página en"]. The English isn't great, but it's perfectly understandable and will get you subscribed to the mailing list.

The zezta page also allows two other options. The first is registering your support by email, the second is registering or commenting on a forum page. The third being the one described above, subscribing to the list.

Anyone still having problems, keep asking, and I'll keep helping.

Cheers for now.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Media mastery

Yes, darlings, just a brief note about the premiere of the new EZLN Other Campaign website.

Well, I must say it was worth the wait. Sleek, moderne [almost mid-century in ethos, in a good way], professional and very user friendly.

In case you missed it in the communique, it's at www.ezln.org.mx

Once you get there, the zeztainternazional pic will lead to the page where one can, once again, register one's support or not and also sign up for their email list. If anyone has any trouble navigating the list sign-up, just let me know.

The other pic [and do check out the sinuous graphic which somehow reminds me of the horchata word] leads one to the heart of the site. Everything is there, including most of the current translations.

Enjoy.

Tomorrow we might toss around the idea of embracing the concept of forming a very "otherly" intergalactic committee.

Seriously otherly.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The fire and the rose

Well, what I do know is that revisiting my occasional obsession with the minutae of American politics is not a good or healthy thing, so I'm banishing all things inside the beltway from the Parlour. At least for the moment.

Oh, and by the way, I wonder what our thoughts might be about recent events in the Land of Z?

Enquiring minds have been enquiring about the Intergalactica. And the blatantly wide-eyed about behind the scenes goings-on. As for me, I now have a byzantine chart tacked above my computer so I can be certain all words are assigned their proper provenance.

But there are other words, always and everywhere, and these are calling out:

Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.


[One more translation has been added to the Library. It has to do with an incident that's being reported widely in the Mexican press, and the local JBG wanted to simply set the record straight.]

Una nota

Just a quick note to let everyone know that 3 new translations have been placed in our Library.

Two from the EZLN - one creating a new website for their participation in the Other Campaign and the other with information for internationals. I've also done the letter sent by the FZLN to the EZLN concerning the handover.

Enjoy and more later. Promise.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Open House

Yo and hola, salonistas.

As I noted in a Comment earlier today, we may wish to take a look at the latest addition to our Library. As a bit of a postscript, the Frente site was immediately pulled, except for the communique and their response. And RR is down and obviously under construction.

It would appear there might not, therefore, be anywhere to openly discuss events.

Yo! Basta perhaps?

And, by the way, invitations are not required for entrance to any of our little rooms.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Reconstruction

[As we know, all our EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our Library.]


Such a bore here today. Special elections, and there’s nothing special about them, although one has to be ever so slightly pleased with Virginia, especially Virginia, and New Jersey.

The only real amusement came from the Republicans – truly the stuff of vaudeville – and their premature ejaculatory declaration that they were going to launch an investigation into that Leak to the Post about those CIA black gulags.

Then all Congressional hell broke loose. Once again. Signatures were postponed, Frists’ disappeared, and all because Mr. Lott drawled that hell yes, one of his own had clearly done the dirty deed. Given that all that information had been provided and discussed at an all-Republican confab – with Mr. Cheney as special guest -just before the Leak happened.

And all because once upon a time Mr. Lott paid an alcohol-fuelled good old boy homage to a mummified former icon of Southern Goth. And was then quickly stabbed in the back by his own pack of living dead.

Honestly, how Byzantine and surreal has this corner of the Universe become when Monsieur Lott now presents himself as a gentleman with whom I would not mind sharing the odd pint or six?

And, if I could, it would be at the Velvet Elvis in Savannah, one of those almost perfectly crafted southern dives. Live acts every night, a vast array of musical genre, appealing to every subset of riff-raff in town. Swing [lots, sigh, with all the girls in their most fetching Rosie the Riveter costumes], faux-chicano ska, anything a girl might want. I always showed up on Tuesdays for the Bud-driven hard-core.

The barman was from Dublin, the owner from Bath, and they even had a “VIP room” - the attic cum storage loft. No lighting that I ever noticed, filled to the literal rafters with cobwebs and boxes, but the perfect place for sampling semi-illegal substances or the odd snog.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Trysts

[All the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our Library, and, yes, once again I’ve been a very, very bad girl, but Blogger is still not letting me upload pictures, and I'm feeling a tad petulant.]


Regardless of what else I’ve been up to, I’ve been thinking a lot about flamenco lately, which makes even less sense than most of the rest of what I’ve been up to.

Not about those marvelous skirts, terrific makeup or smoldering eyes, but about the other part, the unseen, undecipherable part.

About duende, of course.

Other than Lorca, very few people have ever been silly enough to take pen to paper on the subject, and that is a good thing.

We know it coexists with dark and death, refashions old forms, captures one’s body. Yes. But if you’re lucky, and you know it’s not just about flamenco, then your body waits for it the way it waits for a lover.

A whisper, a blinking through hair falling into eye, foot scuffing.

Shadow and wind, mixed into one.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bemusement

[If you’re seeking the EZLN, zapatista or Other Campaign translations, they are to be found in our Library.]


Needless to say, I’m delighted that so many of our salonistas seem to share my passion for needlework and baseball.

And, referencing one of the comments, I really don’t have anything against boys with embroidery hoops. But I must admit that I prefer them holding a skein of yarn while I’m winding it, looking slightly befuddled, bored and bemused. Plotting some sort of sordid way out, which would, of course, include me.

There.

I know, how very Austen, but, then again, why the hell do you think the ladies enjoy her so much? That’s certainly one of the reasons. The flirting and plotting in the parlour over needlework.

As right now, for example, even though I’m working on two tiny little confections for two tiny new ones, since no one is holding the skein, there’s little flirting or plotting to be had.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Three of the 4 B's

[All the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are sitting in our Library.]


Yes, I’ve been horrid, I know.

And once again I shan’t bore anyone with any tedious details other than the bloody migraine which laid waste to my entire Tuesday.

I had been working on ofrendas for Día de los Muertos, something I’d never done before, and it turned out to be a surprisingly illuminating experience. As soon as I re-master the art of collage making in Picassa, I’ll post them.

Now, off to the profoundly important topic/s of needlework and baseball, and, no, they’re hardly incompatible. Not only have I spent many an evening happily engaged in both [fingers engaged in one, eyes on the other], but they delight in such similar fashions.

I’ve always been reticent to speak my heart about baseball for fear of sounding like one of those disgruntled, sentimental older gentlemen, waxing nostalgic for some sort of glory days. Suffice, perhaps, that much of what I’ve loved about this sport [though I’ve always considered it an art] no longer exists. Except, as some of us know, in the minors.

Outside, on illegal Spring afternoons [whilst perfecting the art of forging school notes] or long perfect Summer nights [perfecting the ability to hold one’s lager]. Sometimes meticulously plotting the plays, other times surrendering to festive chaos or fierce contest, but always knowing that I’d stepped into an alternative dimension. It was exactly the place where I learned that other, much more resonant, worlds, did indeed exist and could, therefore, be created.

Now I know this particular place no longer exists [except in Triple A], but it did and therefore can. Nor, most unfortunately, do the Boys. The lanky, impassioned, naïve and often deeply eccentric ones. I disappeared for a while into another world, and when I came back they had all turned into No Neck Williams [or football players, for those of you who don’t recognize the reference]. Massive, unattractive dump truck sorts of boys. And it wasn’t until the last few years that I realized this transformation had been the direct consequence of the corporate, profit-driven, media/owners/stadium conglomerates, pumping them full of steroids, turning the game into a fool’s paradise of heavy hitting apes.

Yes, among the many tragedies visited on the world by savage capitalism, it has also destroyed an entire genre of fanciable boy.

As I said, it’s very hard to opine on the subject without sounding whingy and delicate.

And the game, itself, madre de dios. George Carlin understood some of it. Its far boundaries weren’t proscribed. A ball would fly as far as one boy could hit it; a game would go on as long as 18 boys could last. An infinity of possibility.

Perfection was everywhere, but it coexisted with struggle, promise and heartbreak, with plenty of room for farce, vaudeville and flirtations in the bleachers. All manner and level of relationship were of equal import: team, pair [battery, double-play combo], individual [the glories of stats, but the measuring of RBIs and ERAs had as much to do with player against self as it did with the record books].

The boys entertained us, each other, but, most of all, themselves. And we were enchanted, mesmerized, seduced endlessly by, and like, the game.

And, as for how one might see baseball as metaphor for campaign, I’ll leave that up to anyone with a fertile imagination and a few free moments.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Banter, bunts & running the bases backwards

[All the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are sitting insistently in our Library.]


The usual post-hysteria letdown.

Most are assuming that Scooter will cop some sort of plea in order to prevent the basketfuls of filthy laundry that would have to be aired at any trial, but I cannot imagine Paddy being willing to cut a deal for anything less than several, even larger, heads on a variety of pikes.

For now, however, I’ve seen one to many cute “who’s on first” metaphors, and, not that I don’t adore baseball, but I desperately require a break.

Gossip still abounds, though, everywhere, just a matter of which venue and which guild.

Venue, guild and vocabulary.

The media sorts call their gossip analyses or perspective or breaking news, while politicians opine or give deep background or trade bullet points. Those in the arts, on the other hand, tend to snipe with utter abandon.

We all work overtime at it, defining our boundaries, making sure the right ones are in, and the not-right ones are out. I’m not speaking to the innocent kind of gossip, the type that seeks to amuse and divert, but to the genre that exists, often necessarily, to provide us with that solidarity of group all groups require.

You know, us and them.

I’m brought to these silly thoughts because I’ve been immersed in translating Agenda Point 2 of the Narrative of the Plenary Summary [and I can’t bring myself to scribble the number of sighs that title alone conjures], which has to do with who the Sexta is convening [sorry, I’ve yet to find a better, less literal, translation] and who it is not convening.

Pages and pages of people opining out loud as to who’s in and who’s out. Important stuff, granted. More or less. I suppose. Maybe.

And, if I were more frivolous by nature, I might be tempted to compare it with fraternities and blackballing and wonder when the hazing begins. Or to almost any interpersonal interaction in any junior high school anywhere in the world.

I don’t doubt for a moment that there are good, relevant and deep historical reasons for this preemptive credentialing, and I know there was one very specific reason for it in this instance. The expressed desire by the EZLN to separate the Other Campaign from the institutionalized political process. As we all know by now, if we hadn’t before, this goal is not nearly as simple nor straightforward as it might have initially appeared.

But I’m intrigued by the question as to whether there might be two distinct means of picking and choosing one’s cohorts and holding them closely.

The one methodology excludes from the get-go on the basis of clearly defined criteria. Fraternities, country clubs, nation-states. The other tactic provides a “space” [that most favoured word of late], that is more or less furnished, more or less peopled, and it evolves in what I would presume to be more or less organic fashion. Pubs, political parties, parlours.

In the latter, people are free to come in and take a peek, stay if they feel comfortable or engaged, leave if they grow bored or offended. And, if someone were to wander in whom the others found offensive, well, then, there are a myriad ways to deal with that, aren’t there?

Bouncers being the most effective, of course, given that they have such clarity of perspective.

Compounding the complexity, though, for the Other Campaign is that it is being conceptualized and presented as being about linkages. Not as single, cohesive unit, but rather as an organic alliance of overlapping interests. Each link will have its own place, population, agenda and rules of engagement. But the Other Campaign does not propose to serve as a fetching little golden chain, stringing them all together in orderly precision.

I’m finding it exceedingly important to try and visualize, thus conceptualize, the notion, given the audaciously resonant nature of what is being proposed and the numerous not so happy endings, everywhere, of similar attempts.

One of the Comandantas – yes, that one – proposed that it be seen as a piece of needlework, many-coloured threads weaving in and out of each other. As someone whose embroidery basket [it’s actually a bag, a pink and robin’s egg blue lingerie bag, since I make, and have, so many of them I’m always searching for new ways to put them to use, given that even I have only a finite number of unmentionables] is always close at hand, I think I see what she meant.

Silken threads, stunning in their individual clarity - a single-hued French knot here, amber and rose running stitches intersecting there, when required to form, say, perfect blossom. Each skein, of course, still a skein unto itself.

And, now that I’ve stunned all the boys into bleary-eyed boredom, perhaps I’ll attempt a sports analogy on the morrow.

[A fitting comeuppance - after trying for a tad too many hours, I shall finally admit defeat to the greater Power of Blogger, who is adamant in His refusal to upload graphics this evening. And I had the most divinely untoward tapestry. Let us hope that he's in a much better mood tomorrow, and will allow my Jimmy Piersall, Bo Belinsky, Jim Fregosi, Sherry bros, Drysdale, et al photos to see light of day.]
I'm hoping most of us can read what follows, if not, it's the weekly Saturday night radio broadcast through the Frente. Tonight - music from the Spanish Civil War.
The links are below [and to the left].
BREVE HISTORIA
DEL ABAJO Y A LA IZQUIERDA
MUSICAL

PROGRAMA DOBLE:
LA GUERRA CIVIL ESPAÑOLA (I Y II)


SÁBADO 29 DE OCTUBRE, 2005
___________________________________
21:00hrs CIUDAD DE MÉXICO
23:00hrs LA HABANA
19:00hrs LOS ÁNGELES
22:00hrs NEW YORK
_______________________________________


Sólo por fzlnradio

www.fzln.org.mx
radio.fzln.org.mx

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A demitasse


[If you’ve forgotten where the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are to be found, let me lead you down the hall, to our Library.]


A stolen moment, in the midst of busyness on a number of fronts and hysterical impatience over the pace of this week’s Events.

Also a brief apology for the terribly neglected state of YO! Basta, but honestly it has more to do with my inability to find persons of our political persuasion who beg to be teased, let alone to appear in a periodical that aspires to glibly mix gloss with gravitas.

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear but Gorgeous George [of the Galloway Georges], dear boy that he is, lurching to our rescue and putting the glib back in the gloss. Our crack girlie-girl reporter, Charlotte, is penning a not too demure tell-all as we speak.

As noted in the Comments, I’ve been much too utterly seduced by the chaos of words – excellent though they be – surrounding the Cornered Overlords, and I’m going to have to restrict my access for the time being, at least until Paddy issues indictments and/or moves into his newly expanded digs.

There is, after all, an entire Universe beyond this beltway, and I believe it’s time I schedule a rendezvous with it. Nothing serious, of course, just something brief, frivolous and memorable.

Very sweet dreams



[Those looking for the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations will find them securely in place in our Library.]


Such an exhausting day.

And, no, I refuse to accept the Fitzmas moniker – which I’ve been seeing everywhere - for the current shamelessly delicious plight of the Most Evil Overlords.

In between following all the breaking newsbits and rumours, I’ve been working on Part 3 of what is going to be about 10 parts of the Plenary Narrative translation, and I’m quite proud of the fact that I’ve yet to open that bottle of Cabernet sitting on the table, taunting me ever so sweetly, attempting to lure me away from the words which are serving, among other things, to remind me as to why I am not constitutionally fit for attending any meeting of any sort anywhere on the planet.

Did we notice the length of that previous sentence? One of the perks of the work. Soon I too shall be able to submit one of those brilliantly circular op-ed pieces to LJ if I could only find someone to do the work in reverse.

As for our upcoming masque, I sense that we should wait a day or two, because we wouldn’t want to double-book. Indictment Celebratory Tea and Masked Ball all in one week might be a bit much, and we wouldn’t want to give short shrift to either now, would we?

An early bedtime since tomorrow augurs divine. Signed, sealed, several and delivered.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bodice ripping


[Yes, darlings, they’re all there: the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are tucked into our Library.]


I wanted to let you know, in an attempt to simplify our lives, that we now have a new webpage for the Other Campaign, thanks, as ever, to the nimble fingers and minds of our friends at the Frente.

And once again I’m going to have to beg for the pardon of our non-obsessed readers, but I’m still swimming blissfully in the turgid waters [thinking, perhaps, that if I were to discuss this in the vocabulary of romantica, it might keep some of our other readers engaged] of the plight of the Overlords. If you’ve missed the Comments, penguinrocket has been providing us with a treasure trove of useful and/or wondrous links on this many-splendoured subject.

I found myself seduced this afternoon by wonkette, which I usually reserve for very late on a long Saturday night when I’m down with the Remy. The endless dreamy laterality had me flitting from tidbit to soundbite and back to teensy bit, but still amused. Although I must admit that I believe the wonkettes’ reputation for daring girly-do still rests almost solely on their willingness to use the “p” word rather than, say, “throbbing manliness.”

Or is it supposed to be “manhood”?

But, once I’d had my fill of Hitchen-bashing bonbons and such, I felt that usual frisson of guilt and buried myself back in Primary Sources, a category for which I have abiding fondness. In all arenas. And this fondness has occasionally occasioned the fluttering of lashes and tossing of crockery.

Regarding food, for one pedestrian example. Fusion, to be precise. I remember the day, much too well, when the concept of pan-anything cuisine entered my universe. People who knew absolutely squat about the cuisines they were sampling, or pilfering, or referencing, were “artfully” tossing a hodgepodge of twee ingredients together and then standing back to await the response from the galleries.

Yes, precisely like the “Niger yellow stuff scam”: unmitigated crap.

It should be obvious – anyone who has not learned and practiced the real art of particular parochial cuisines should never be allowed to fuse them, for god’s sake. Not that they require to be fused, or anyone gains anything from their being fused [other than the conglomerates with monopolies on everything from raspberries to cilantro].

The other example actually wends its way back to one of the cornerstones of the Parlour. The reading of words. The number of times I’ve had to plaintively, and rhetorically, enquire: “Have you actually READ that particular communiqué [Declaration, denuncia, carta blanca]?” Let alone, and god forbid, read any of the other historical, philosophical, literary Primary Sources that might have led one to that corner.

And all the usual kneejerk bullshit about the etiology of this, mostly related to changes in media, the educational system and/or the globalization of culture. Television in general, MTV in particular, video games, the web. Permissive schools, idiotic lowest-denominator curricula, bad teachers. The toxic pairing of branding with PC. You know, girls carry their LV knockoff handbags to school whilst studying “gender issues.”

Right, so that’s why no one ever reads Ovid or Hesse or Domingo Faustino Sarmiento or knows how to make a proper daube.

I’ve read two interesting articles very much on the subject lately, both centering, no surprise, on poetry. One, in the Guardian, slamming modern verse as, yes, unmitigated crap and calling for the return of classic verse form [such as triolet, I swear, and sufficient cause unto itself for me to tumble topsy-turvy into love, though I fear he’s already married]. Written by someone who should know - a very well respected gentleman of letters who has sat on one too many poetry prize committees and who has had his fill.

The other, in La Jornada, lamenting that good poetry, and literature, I presume, has become impossible because all necessary references would be unknown by the readership.

Now, of course, every guild has its own tiny subset of icons, unwittingly embracing the irony of their own globalized brands. Every guild, even, or especially, of the left, which, everywhere, whether in Ireland, Italy or Peru, read and reference Landau, Klein, Moore and Petras, with nary a nod to Yeats, Petrarch or Manuel González Prada.

The latter, by the way, being my very first schoolgirl crush, and he has yet to be bested in the arena of smart, fiery polemic. As well as having found time, once upon a time, to pen the odd triolet.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sordid Saturdays



A SATURDAY NIGHT VERY SPECIAL




[Yes, we know, but I must repeat it for the benefit of the newly arrived: all EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are located in our Library. And I’ve decided, at least for the time being, to keep the fetching little fragment to the left as the Parlour logo. It seems so uncannily appropriate.]


As we know, all news has ceased to occur in the universe, given that it is, I am told, the weekend.

There was, however, one tantalizing tidbit yesterday – but the time has come for naming this set-piece, and I don’t much fancy the ones I’ve seen circulating – Plamegate, Traitorgate, etcetera. While March of the Lemmings still seems appropriate, it doesn’t have the proper ring. We must work on it.

The hint was that Fitzgerald was doing something or other with that Italian intelligence report which had, early on, categorically called the Niger business not only unmitigated crap, but also manufactured crap. And the titillation here is that he might be “broadening the scope” of the investigation to include the web of lies and punishment beatings [no? wrong landmass?] in the run-up to the foreign adventure.

Truly.

Well, truly in that this is the gossip, and who the hell knows if it’s anything other than just the usual chatter [yes, George the Lesser used that word, as well as opining, in that same sentence]. But, if it were to be true [quivering pleasantly], and if Fitzgerald is indeed addressing the conspiracy by the entire administration to deliberately lie to Congress on the reasons for war…

As for what Scooter the Sacrificial Lamb might be up to this weekend while the rest of the administration is busy shredding paper trails and hiring hitpersons at Camp David, here’s a lively little opine from a lively little site.

And, since one can hardly reference the Scooter without opining about the Harlot, the delightful piece of goods above was purloined from firedoglake who, we assume, purloined it from somewhere else. I know some of you are going to think sordid 40’s confessions magazine, but it had me daydreaming about Katy Keene and paper dolls.

Given my mood, perhaps more Saturday night trash later.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Not naughty


[All EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our very own Library, waiting for you. None too patiently.]


It feels almost like Christmas. But, instead of wrapping packages, decking the halls, baking lebkuchen, concocting the usual clove-studded then immersed in cinnamon and nutmeg oranges, and all those other delightful pastimes [of course I do all that, and much, much more], we have, just today:

George the Lesser using the word “opining”!!

Rove turning on Scooter.

Rove and Scooter in a tête-à-tête talking about talking about Valerie.

And, like Christmas, one almost wishes it will never come. Except, in this case, the indictments [maybe tomorrow, as, for some arcane reason, they must come on an M, W or F, and prior to next Friday when the Grand Jury will be dismissed] will serve for the next tawdry chapter.

Glory days.

I do hope our more privileged readers – those who are not currently residing in the States and thus, on some level or other, engaged by this theatre – won’t find all this too, too boring. While the true payoff will be in the outcome [indictments, resignations, scandal, chaos, downfall], the undressing, as in so many arenas, can be equally delicious.

Speaking of which, and we knew I would never let that one slip by, I have been wondering what might have happened to my favorite stateside source for unmentionables: the House of Lounge in New Orleans. One of the most civilized, decadent, delightfully glamorous purveyors of fripperies in the uncivilized world. Their website seems to be down, and I fear the worst.

It’s hard being a girl.

Agent Provocateur, while cute, is, “naughty” in that very English way, which, given local tastes, is horridly off-putting. One can just imagine nasty, pudgy, pasty-faced little gentlemen slinking in, whispering of their search for brollies [and snickering whilst whispering] and such.

As for Wolford, and I do adore fine black tights and bodysuits, still, true to its Teutonic roots, puts one in mind of slightly grungy [yet aspiring to loftier scale, which makes it even more tawdry], suburban S & M clubs.

Thus, given that lingerie reflects its country of origin’s proclivities in matters of the boudoir, I would decree that only France and Italy should be allowed into the guild. I’ve already noted La Perla for us in a previous post, so, in a salute to Gallic seduction, we have Chantelle for our viewing – and, hopefully, wearing and being viewed – pleasure.

The geek factor

[As most of us know, all the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are resting comfortably in our Library. And, if anyone has oodles of free time on their hands, I just posted Part 2 of the Extremely Lengthy Plenary Narrative.]


Well, thanks to darling penguinrocket, I have now managed to waste my entire evening, in a popcorn and reprehensible movie sort of way.

I’m not complaining.

It all started with that firedoglake link and went deliciously downhill from there. Of course, I’ve been an unabashed political junkie since my parents moved me to DC when I was 13. And of course I adore gossip of almost any nature, not to mention the unraveling of tangled webs.

But this is so very special.

Watching the homely idiots, so renowned for their guile and craft and knee-popping, scuttling back into the dark alleys that bred them. Has it crossed anyone else’s mind that one of the reasons – just a teensy one - for this odd downfall might have to do with the fact that Valerie and Joe are so very, very attractive?

I know, I know. The Dark Master Overlord’s subtext was just that Hating the CIA thing, and that other Hating Women thing [unless they be virginal and/or dead – we remember that one?], but I’m also wondering if there might be just a hint of something even more basic.

In addition to being venal, evil, incomprehensibly dangerous and ignorant, the Evil Overlords and all their various underlings are all - really, every single one of them - deeply uninteresting and unattractive. With equally unblessed lives. I’m sure George the Lesser was the only one to ever get a date in college, and that’s just because in those days he was a rich, heavy drinking, cokehead kind of a bad boy.

So here we have all these unhappy little boys, at the top of their game with the Election Coups, the Constitution Rewrite, the Handoff of the State to the Neocons, the plundering of the national coffers, the foreign adventurism, and so what if the yellow stuff in Niger scam was exposed for the silly lie it was.

It didn’t matter anymore. The deed was done, and no one gave a damn. Remember? No one gave one single damn at the time, and by then no one was even surprised.

But these smart, unhappy little boys, at the top of their game, went into meltdown over a simple article in the NYT written by a guy who was just some former whatever in some out of power administration.

But he was quite camera friendly, no? Almost Kennedyesque, mixed with a splash of Bond, perhaps, especially in that photo in the convertible with the blonde. He looked as if he might move in interesting, titillating circles, be invited to Hollywood soirees, get laid.

And so they went after him, and the blonde of course [doing their best to get her killed, since it was obvious she was no virgin], and they did it in the most bumbling, obvious, out of character way possible. Scooter and Rove, Novak and Miller, giving up the game in the very first news cycle.

Yes, little boys, still consigned to the chess club. No matter how much power, filthy lucre and backstreet secrets they’ve managed to accumulate in a lifetime of sordid dullness, they will never be that man in that convertible with that attractive blonde.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bottom's up

[So predictable: all the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our Library. And, once again, there is a new one tonight. From the Comandancia, and concerning aid for the storm victims.]


A little cloud of words has been swirling through my head this evening, odd ones, and I don’t have a clue as to what might have conjured them. Paradox. Not irony, paradox, as I like to leave that misnomer to others. Tartuffery. Perhaps I’ll have it sorted by tomorrow.

But, since we are skirting the subject, I’m delighted to see that one of our salonistas DOES have a life, thus providing me with the opportunity to insert Ms. Miller’s unsavory and history shattering backstory.

Once upon a time, when George the Lesser and the Most Evil Overlords decided they were in need of a profitable foreign adventure, they concocted an elaborate tale concerning Another Evil, but Dwarfish, Overlord. They dreamt up a fool’s arsenal of arcane weaponry and then placed them in his coffers. Virtually.

Now their next step was to convince the populace, their vassals, that said arsenal was, in fact, nonvirtual, or real, as it were. They had already met with resounding success in frightening the pants off their cowering vassals - it being post and pre-apocalypse and all - so they were feeling rather frisky.

The venture fell to the Dark Master Overlord who charged his sidekick, Scooter, with tasking a likely “journalist” with providing cover. And there she was, our Ms. Miller, quick like a bunny, scooting off, “special” security clearance in hand, to cover the big bad WMD. Writing of their veracity in her sterling journal, sweetly telling her editors to bugger off [and they buggered quite quickly, given that they were merely vassals with better suits than most], reveling in her role as Harlot to the Overlords.

And from that time forward, all the lip pursing, rumpled yet foppish, reflective journalists [yes, I’m channeling Aaron Brown] could get in line with the rest of the herd, prancing, if not rushing, off to War. After all, at that time, and I know we remember that time, even the Aaron Browns of the country were frightened. And what they most feared was for their lives: their good names, their mortgage payments, their retirement portfolios. They knew full well that anyone not in lockstep with the Most Evil Overlords didn’t stand a chance in hell of escaping their terrible swift wrath.

The Overlords were mightily pleased, knowing they could never have done it without her, and the rest is History.

The foreign adventure was indeed profitable, most especially for the Dark Master Overlord. The Harlot made various additional pacts with the coven, and the Newspaper of Record resigned itself to bottoming.

Yes, I really am almost breathless with anticipation at what might come next.

Jailbait

[Yes, everyone, all the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our Library, and there is a new translation today which you really should have a look at. One of the autonomías under threat.]


I’ve been terrible, and if I had a fetching little diamante-studded crop, I would…

Now that I have our attention, I’ll extend my most heartfelt apologies for being so neglectful of our various spaces this last week. Hundreds of excuses, of course, none of which are terribly fascinating. Just, you know, life as we sometimes know it.

But I have been following all the various crumbs – Spark off on his Quest, applications for editorial positions on YO! Basta [just back-channel, describing the column or article you wish to do – easy peasy – and you too can be part of our illustrious staff].

I must admit that I’ve been taking girlish delight in watching the takedown of Judith Miller [and I do apologize to our readers who are fortunate enough to be outside the range of US cable news. Or those who have a life]. Such a credit to her gender. She dresses like a 1970s kindergarten teacher, but knows that a massage and a martini at the end of the tunnel can get one through anything, even 3 months in the slammer. Not to mention that little previously noted lagniappe, the 7-figure book deal on her stay in the Big House.

Yes, the female equivalent of Karl Rove, but just, you know, with more cojones. After all, he’ll only be dragging an administration down with him, but she’s managed to lay waste to the New York Times.

Other than that, we’re pleased to hear that Iraq now has a Constitution. So that means all undocumented workers there can now go back to their countries of origin, yes? Maybe we should drop the new government a note and let them know about that little perk, the ability to repatriate those who don’t have their papers in order. Like all those pesky Americans and Brits and Halliburtonians. But not, of course, before freezing and seizing all their in-country assets.

And if, say, certain military services were to take a bit of umbrage and attempt to slip back through any of those "porous" borders, I'm sure some sort of arrangement could be made with the Minutemen. After all, they have a lot of experience at desert work, and I'm quite sure they would be equally brave facing down the firepower of the US Army as they are when chasing helpless, unarmed and desperate migrants.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A note and request from the Other Campaign

Owing to technical problems with our email server, we are asking those who wrote us between October 2 and October 12, 2005 at conlasexta@revistarebeldia.org and who have not received a response, to please send us your message again. Thanks for your understanding.

Revista Rebeldia

Innocent fun

[Yes, the perpetual reminder: all the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our Library.]


Friday night, which means in Our Lovely New World, there shall be no news to trouble our little minds, or to drag the big money newsreaders into work, until Monday.

And not a moment too soon, as far as I’m concerned. After all, there are reams of relatoria to be translated, and paragraphs of fiction to be concocted for ruthless, yet fetchingly naïve, estate agents in Barcelona.

Speaking of which [fiction, ruthless, reams: take your pick] I’m hoping to have several new sections of YO! Basta up in time for frivolous Sunday reading. Hot photos, breaking gossip, meticulously footnoted op-ed pieces. And we’re also still looking for a Resident Astrologer, of any bent whatsoever.

Now I’m off to celebrate the evening in style, knitting tiny things, plotting whilst I knit, sipping whilst knitting and plotting.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The march of the lemmings

[The EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are to be found in our Library, and there is a new acquisition as of this afternoon. Two communiqués concerning the IMSS, one from the Comandancia and one from Marcos. Quite informative, more interesting than you might think and only 5 pages long.]


The inaugural edition of YO! Basta’s gossip column is in production as we speak, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of delicious reports we’ve been receiving. October is usually such a boring time – the calm before the holiday storm [and, yes, that is a platitudinal correction to V. Fox’s soundbite – of course, you’ll have to follow the trail to the Library and read the newest communiqués to deconstruct all that].

As for the rest of the universe, there’s not much to report, is there? Other than the administration finally collapsing under the weight of its own arrogance and stupidity.

One could, of course, imagine the loveliest of news cycles, wrapped up in Florentine gift wrap, tucked under the Christmas tree.

A double perp walk for Frist and Delay, strolling hand in hand into the sunset of penal servitude. Frist weeping, Delay kicking him in the shins. About the same time George the Lesser is being put out to permanent pasture – oops, vacation - at the ranch, his handlers finally having to admit defeat at adding Antabuse to the mix in his cocktail of downers.

In a stunning gesture of bipartisanship, Fitzgerald [of the special prosecuting CIA outing Fitzgeralds] is named as what’s-her-name’s replacement, as she merrily scurries back to Texas, delighted to be able to spike George’s iced tea for him and deliver her mash notes in person. Cheney would have engineered the nomination, obviously, in exchange for saving his own withered ass and giving up Libby and Rove.

The two of whom would most likely never make it to a perp walk, having eviscerated each other in one last frenzy of fear and loathing in the back seat of the patrol car on their way to the booking station.

Not only lovely thoughts, but perhaps we might even pitch it as one more Law & Order subset. Titles, anyone?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

One for the team

[The EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our Library, and I’ve just posted a few new words. They are the first installment of the Narratives from the Other Campaign preparation meetings and the Plenary. They are exceptionally long, totaling several hundred pages, so I’ll be translating and posting them in increments of 10 pages or so. And I’ve decided to start with the last, the Plenary, because it includes the Agenda points relating to the Other Campaign.]


And, since I’ve been much too immersed in words the last week to find time for any of my own, I may as well reference another set.

John Banville, who, against all posted odds, won the Booker. I know this most probably means absolutely nothing to 99% of our readers, but it was, for me, the single most heartening event of the Recent Past.

Not just because he’s Irish, of course, but because he is so eminently not chic and so very “literary.” Derided because he revels in words and knows how the hell to use them. Naturally. How very unsuitable.

After all, he doesn’t spend his days and nights in all the right places, parties and circles. And I’m rather sure that, if there were to be one, his name would never appear on anyone’s Top 100 Literary Lights list. Yes, the little worlds are so much the same. Derivative, diminutive and thoroughly dull.

Monday, October 10, 2005

A little romance

[The EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our Library, and that truly reprehensible little tabloid is elsewhere.]


Inspiration is apparently off pouting in a corner somewhere, and I can’t even tell if I’m in the mood for romance or revolution tonight.

I’ve always averred, of course, that they make the finest of bedmates, are cut of the same cloth and either of the two very much tends to beget the other. So, if ennui slips between the sheets, that might mean a bit of a chase is in order.

Ah, yes – time for our masque!!

Shadow and light, mysterious figures moving about, no certitude to be had, anywhere.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The depths of profundity

[As we know, all the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are to be found in our Library.]


A quick peek this evening, as it is Saturday night I’m told, and there surely must be Adventures to be had.

I did want to let you know that YO! Basta is moving forward, as we’ve promised it would, sternly establishing its place in that firmament of serious publications we all like to pretend we read on a regular basis.

An added advantage to the inclusion of minutely insightful and deliciously convoluted pieces is that, as in the Playboy days of yore, one can sternly maintain that it is being perused Just For the Letters to the Editor, not, god forbid, for the photos. Or, in our case, for everything else.

Tomorrow the Parlour shall be back up to its usual, and I shall just be dropping the occasional bracketed hint as to the goings on at YO! Basta. We do have so very much to catch up with here. And by the way, props to Spark for that East/West astro site. Such fun.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Loose ends and dangerous ladies

[As always, the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our Library.]



YO! Basta is coming along nicely, thank you. We are attempting to have a new piece of glitter for your viewing pleasure on a moderately daily basis.

The only section that’s not finding itself overwhelmed with contributions is Gossip, sigh. And that should have all altermundistas quaking in their Manolos and Birkenstocks, given that the consequences are that the column shall be turned over to an occasional acquaintance of mine by the name of Charlotte.

And Charlotte gets around, as they say.

She has always been convinced that her mother named her after Ms. Rampling, but in truth it was Ms. Bronte, thus gifting her with a formidably broad grasp of the human condition. And an unconquerable ability to seduce or chat her way into any conceivable soiree, club, alley, hamlet, editorial office or boudoir.

Truly.

[And a very quick note to someone who asked: I just found out that bilateral meetings are to be set up through Revista Rebeldía, so I’m going to suggest just sending the invitation to their regular email address. Let me know if you don’t hear back.]

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Tabloid credibility, NYT style

[All the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are to be found where they belong, in our Library.]


Yes, I’ve been busily working on YO! Basta, and, as I had to reassure one of our charming Commentators, don’t be alarmed by the fact that it’s in such a state of deshabille at the moment. Toying, simultaneously, with such a variety of peevish programs can create a certain temporary chaos.

A rather major – what do they call them these days? – ah, yes, “disconnects” – in the States today. Flurries of warnings in NYC about terrorist plots involving baby strollers and the metro system. Based on “credible” intelligence garnered from someone captured in Iraq. Last night. Captured last night.

Given what we know about the competence of our intelligence services, that rings so very, very true, no?

Whilst the feds are simultaneously leaking “no, no, no, not credible” all over the place, and how could that possibly not ring true, given their vast experience with “not credible.”

But the point here is that it’s the federal government which issues these thus far specious Imminent Threats as a means of whipping a recalcitrant populace back into line. And said populace appears to be acting up quite a bit of late.

Actually it all looks quite Rove-like to me. Scare the pants off those limp-wristed Manhattan liberals, let them do your dirty work for you and then cover your own ass with denials. Win-win: you get to sow the seeds of fear while also putting the Real Enemy [the Democrats, of course, not the terrorists] in a lose-lose stranglehold.

But the real news is that Judith Miller is giggling her way to a 7-figure deal for her Jailhouse Martyr Memoirs [abetted by the clearly smitten Scooter Libby], while the new Supreme Court nominee seems to be paying a very high price for having seduced some judge away from a very bitter, bitchy and influential Female of the Right.

Those of us on our side of the great divide are really going to have to do something about upping the tabloid ante of our antics. Ah, well, there’s a simple solution for the better part of valor, even if it is fictive.

And it shall be on the stands soon.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sublimation

Not the usual Library note this evening, rather a New Additions note. The first of which I have been hoping will be a series of translations has just been added. This is the series that shall shine light upon [or at least anglicize] the Debate transpiring in the Republic of Mexico [or at least in La Jornada] on various and assorted issues related, or not, to the Other Campaign.

For enquiring minds.

Now, as for the vapidly enquiring, and I know we also are that, more good news on YO! Basta.

The cover is in production, as is the first feature article [Old School Smokes], and the Editor is receiving a number of delicious tirades. We are still desperately seeking missives for our matters of the heart column. Contarary to preceived wisdom, they are not all made up by the staff.

Also Gossip. Please. I do have some lovely things, but we need much, much more. And no sources, footnotes or actual facts required [yes, just like Real Journalism].

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A toast

Publisher secured!!

Now we just have to see if the boys and girls at Remy, LV, Virgin, Hummer, et al, are equally easy.

Do have a peek, but don't breathe a word.

Feather duster in hand

[For any new guests to the Parlour, all our EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are in our very formal Library.]


A light housekeeping sort of evening.

A few details to be sorted, thoughts to be noted, floors to be swept.

As for the plaintive cry regarding the Whereabouts of Easy Girls, I’ve decided it should, and shall, be addressed in Matters of the Heart, YO! Basta, Vol. 1/1.

And as to the path to the whereabouts of another – one might remember a brief, yet spirited, discussion, in Comments concerning the path to the Breathless Article; follow said path, and there you will find lots of my work, each one of which will bear my current address.

And if that was much too convoluted and silly for words, just let me know.

So very little of interest in the news of late, a good thing, given the news of late. I must admit, however, that I was captured by Jon Stewart’s latest sobriquet for Rummy: “the Sultan of Moi.” Much more succinct and sweet than the words that so usually spring to lips when confronted with the terminally self-referential and petulant.

Yes, indeed, that was the floor sweeping chore.

Now I’m off to secure a publisher for our glossy and to try to ascertain how many times one must reference luxury goods therein to secure product placement largesse.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Call for submissions, as they say

[As ever and always, all the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are to be found in our Library.]


Once again it’s Saturday night, and I’m feeling overwhelmed.

For those who might care to comfort, the final narratives of the presentations from the Preparation meetings are arriving, and it would appear that they are averaging one hundred pages per. As in per meeting. As in per each of 5 meetings.

But who am I to whine? Especially given friends who pop up out of nowhere to express their most self-effacing understanding of the social graces, human kindness, wit and me.

Or not.

So, given the perpetual not, and the infinity of paper, it must be time to play.

I am requesting engagement, of the most flippant type: genteel, kind, witty, not the prissy, screechy, anima-ridden sort.

The Hour of YO! Basta has arrived, and I shall be devoting all free [read: stolen] time to its premiere issue. I am, therefore, seeking all manner of contributions, as I briefly mentioned last night. Letters to the Editor [the more pompous the better], relationship questions for our Matters of the Heart column [the more convoluted the better], tidbits of gossip [the more imaginative the better], and so forth, and I know we get the idea.
For those of you who wish to back-channel your contributions, feel free. Otherwise just post them as Comments, and we can have twice the fun.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A lyric interlude

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Parlour: A musical alert. The show begins this evening, and it is a gift from the Frente. Do tune in.

[The message that follows is from the FZLN.]

A brief history of those of below and the musical left.

Beginning this Saturday [today!!], October 1, at 2100 [that's Central Time], DF time, we will be broadcasting a radio program on the musical history of the popular and rebel movements of Mexico and the world: the music of the marches of the National African Congress in the seventies, the songs of the railway strikes in Mexico of the sixties, North American worker songs, the struggles in Latin America of the seventies, the Vietnam resistance against the yankee invasion, among others. Each program, scripted and narrated by Raúl Jardón, will present us with a brief historical context of the music being presented.

We will begin this Saturday [today!!] with communist worker, campesino and student songs from the 20th century, from the 1920s on. Part One.

Fun and names

[Yes, all the EZLN, other zapatista and Other Campaign translations are residing in our Library.]


Just when I thought I might have to do some actual research to jog my creative impulses for YO! Basta, what does the Guardian do but present me with an article which has, most thoughtfully, already done all my work for me.

The World's Top 100 Intellectuals!!

I swear.

And you are going to love them, and god knows we know them. We know them everytime we pick up a newspaper or a magazine or turn on the telly. In our dreams we know them. Someone was trying to wax horrified [a boy, of course] about the fact that only 10 women made The List, but I was quite proud of our fair sex. It is not a list that I can imagine anyone actually aspiring to, especially a lady of any virtue whatsoever. But such lovely fodder for our little lowbrow glossy to come.

Paglia, Rushdie, Krause, Eco, Hitchens [the, you know, "contrarian" of the two brothers, or,as I prefer to distinguish him, the one who's running to fat], oh dear, I can hardly contain myself. It is a veritable pantheon of the self-serving, self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing minigods.

Enjoy.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Just a quickie

[Our usual reminder for those new to the Parlour, that all the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations can be found in our most staid Library.]

I so must find the time to respond to some of our Comments.

Especially the one bemoaning the fact that easy girls are just never to be found when one most requires them. I do have some Helpful Hints on that subject.

And now I know what has been bedevilling me of late - the damnable Santa Anna Winds, and I had been oblivious. Much too busy with boring details to notice the larger picture.

Speaking of which [and we can guess which], our little periodical of future renown is much on my mind. We shall obviously require an Advice Column, tons of glossies and some interesting Classifieds.

Bear this in mind, and, yes, all Vexing Queries, stunning photos and advertisements shall be cheerfully accepted.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Easy girls and hot topics

[As most of us know, all our EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are filed in our terribly proper Library, rather than in our properly improper Parlour.]


In addition to my regular notation of above, I really must encourage intrepid souls to not ignore our Comments. Who would have thought that such a minor aside – and that only in initials – about an overly prolific author of note would set off such a stream of lovely thoughts.

I wonder what might happen if I were to casually mention that the only Eco I ever enjoyed was Foucault’s Pendulum, semiotics be damned. Or what I think should be done with Derrida.

Actually this might be a good topic for our first issue of YO! Basta. A list of all those must-have, rarely read, often carried, tomes which are useful only for establishing one’s street cred amongst like-minded boys or for getting lucky with earnest, fetchingly naïve, undergraduate girls.

Unless, of course, the girls in question happen to be salonistas, in which case they would gently shoo the Wittgenstein carrying boor out the door and wait for the one bearing Wordsworth. Whilst penning something sensible themselves.

And murmuring “God, for a man who solicits insurance,” as I so often do. Along with most of the other lines from Dorothy Parker’s perfect Bohemia [“Authors and actors and artists and such/never say nothing and never say much” and the one preceding the insurance quote: “People who do things exceed my endurance,”].

No corrections, googling fools, as I’m doing these lines from Memory.

YO! Basta shall also require an I Spy column, of course [and, ooh, maybe we should loop around as well, reporting not only the gossip, but also the spies espying the Glorious Ones], and I suppose I might do that one, but with a suitable nom de tattler.

And definitely lots of Top 10 lists, no? Best-dressed, Up and Coming, Hottest, and so very forth. This is definitely going to be the easiest section. Special reports on Baby Blingsters and Second Generation Trust Fund Limousine Liberals.

There would have been more this eve [and there shall be tomorrow], but I had a brief interruption with a girlfriend, a bottle of very mediocre merlot and lots of important chat about the pros and cons of waterproof mascara, the comparative virtues of flats in BCN, Budapest and Krakow and what we would do with Derrida, given half a chance.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Excuses, excuses

I know I vowed that I'd be back to the usual no good tonight, but something is apparently transpiring in the heavens. God, I hate having no control over the heavens and such.

But right now I'd settle for reasonable rents in Barcelona and manuscripts that would re-write themselves. Oh, yes, and children answering their mobiles.

Until all that happens, and I'm giving it a week or so, back to the classifieds, the stacks of chapters and cursing just a very little bit.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Barely legal

[For those seeking our EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations, they are, as ever, in our Library.]

Just peeking in this evening, for various boring reasons.

I have, really and truly, been giving serious thought to our alt-Hola glossy, but the prepubescent boy in me - who seems to own a fair part of my soul - won't let me past the title. In keeping with the Hola!, Hello!, etcetera, tradition, I have come to the obvious [and probably felonious] solution.

Yo!
basta.

See? Aren't we glad I can't tarry this evening?

But in case anyone might like to honor the day by paying a visit to Sinn Fein, do. They have a rather tedious, Lib-Demmish, new website, but at least you can link to the Republican News and catch up on things.

Back to the old normal tomorrow. Promise.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saturday night with CSpan, or not

[As we all know, the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are to be found in our Library.]


Yes, it’s Saturday night, and I know what havoc I’m wreaking to the notoriety of my reputation by just being here. Instead of somewhere naughty.

But since I am here, I’m in the mood to chatter on a bit about a comment left by one of our dear Anonymous ones last night. Lamenting the fact that the scooplet about someone’s amorous pursuits garnered more coverage than any serious examination of the Sexta.

Um, yes.

Certainly most all the major media – wire services and newspapers – provided at least fairly minimal reports, starting with the Red Alert through the Plenary. But thorough, incisive? Well, when was the last time we saw a thoughtful exegesis in the mass media on Bolivia, or Argentina, or Venezuela, or Uruguay, or Brazil [that spoke of anything other than “scandal”], or any of the movements anywhere in the world?

This is the mass corporate media of which we speak.

I fancy there are just the obvious two options. Either outsmart the mainstream media, literally, as the Daily Show has so ably done. Or do something with alternative media. Unfortunately, however, most alt media out there leaves me shuddering with moral and intellectual outrage at the lunacy contained therein…or makes CSpan2 look like an engaging, fun-filled romp.

There has been, forever perhaps, a deeply held tenet on the left that they must be Serious, or at the very least deadly boring. And god knows they’ve been brilliant at it. Sometimes I think it has to do with a subliminal need to prove their worth, their competence. After all, they have chosen, in a very real sense, to move outside traditional circles, whether political, academic, social, cultural. And so sometimes it seems that, even as if they draw their own circle ever tighter, they must appear better, smarter, more filled with endless footnotes and gravitas than the morons in those “traditional” circles.

I do serious, really.

Even really serious. I’ve read, I read and I shall read. As much of it as I can bear. But after NC’s 689th book or the infinite raging stream of articles all saying the exact same thing about the exact same subjects, I ache for wit, passion, silliness. Or, just occasionally, to be surprised.

Which is why I so often adore anarchists, why spark and ms. b are so delightful, why Don Durito and old Uncle Antonio brought tens of thousands of persons, literally and figuratively, to an odd and amazing little corner of the world.

Perhaps tomorrow I might present a prototype for my little alt-Hola.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Details - some serious, some so very not

[As they now do, all the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations can be found in our Library].


Mostly serious business this evening, but just for this evening, most especially since the weekend is upon us.

I was able to clarify a few points, and answer a few questions I’ve received, about current and future mechanics of the Other Campaign.

First, next week we will be getting the redacted proposals that were presented during the Preparation Meetings and Plenary. I will be translating those rather than the summaries. These are the proposals, objections and additions to the Other Campaign which are to be decided upon by current [as of the 11th of September] supporters.

As for those who still wish to sign on, yes, as I said. You can still go to Revista Rebeldía and register your support, either via email or webpage. I also still have a post up here [RSVPs, if you wish to scroll down endlessly] which provides a direct link to the email page. The only difference - since the Other Campaign was formally handed over at the Plenary to the entirety of those subscribing organizations and individuals – is that the mechanism for formally incorporating new supporters will have to be decided by the Other Campaign.

Not to worry, just sign on. Luckily for us, we can let Others attend to the vexing administrative details.

Now, as for the Internationals amongst us. Suggestions, broad strokes, maps and such, shall probably be emerging in October and November. But I have a suggestion, and listen up, Spark.

The entire point of the Other Campaign is to dream up, devise and give life to a linking up of efforts and rebellions, nationally and, I shall presume, internationally.

There is an inviting little invitation on the Revista Rebeldía Other Campaign page, asking for comments on the Plenary. Well, sigh, there was. It seems to be down. Nonetheless, I see no reason why any international organization and/or individual should hesitate to send comments, reports, broad strokes, suggestions, and so forth, on anything they might find relevant, to the Other Campaign.

For the time being, one could post these whilst signing on to the Sexta [see above], as many others have. Eventually I suppose there will be a more formal way of reaching the Other Campaign.

Oh, hell, I can only take so much in the way of necessary, yet tedious, administrative detail.

Obligatory Friday Evening Silly, Yet Mildly Titillating, Tidbit:

Has anyone else out there found their mailbox filling up with a breathless little article in an “Hola”-type - People, Hello, etcetera for other nation states - rag, with a friend of ours on the cover, revealing, breathlessly [and, yes, I am belaboring a previous reference of mine wherein I gave our readers one of my much too subtle heads-ups], said friend’s amatory life?

Since none of the news was new, except for the parts that were false, the part that caught my eye and sent me into torrents of much needed giggles, was the fact that one of the primary sources for the “news” was CISEN. And it only took them 8, oops 5, years to gather this “intelligence.”

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Random play

[All the EZLN and other zapatista translations are sitting prettily in our Library, the way they do.]


Odd, bizarre, almost electric confluences.

I wonder if it could have anything at all to do with the constant savage chaos in the Gulf over the last few weeks. Or with the equally constant chaotic savageries of our political and social times.

It feels as if the ghost of Carl with a “C” has risen up to do battle with the ghost of Karl with a “K.” Synchronicity in lieu of materialism, alchemy in lieu of the dialectic.

Whatever the hell it is, I’m embracing it.

Some of it you can see in the sudden sunburst of gifts being left in the Comments here. Like little croissant crumbs, strewn along the maze, talismans for finding our way out. I shall have a few to offer as well, this evening, though I’ll warn you, some of them are as bizarre as the times.

As for the body electric, no, not quite yet, I think it would be better to wend my way towards that one.

There was a mesmerizing op-ed piece in La Jornada today. Soledad Loaeza, whom I’ve read before, but never like this. Just to tempt you, I’ll give you the title: The Strange Disappearance of Señor M. I have no idea what she’s up to – whether it’s some sort of nouveau-straight reportage about an exceptionally odd character in NY or Geneva, or an off-hours dip into fiction in the manner of Bellinghausen’s novellas, which also go onto the op-ed page.

But it’s the eyelash fluttering, ingenuous, looping, the circling back, a tactic I’ve always adored, that draws one in and give the phrases such resonance. Read it.

And, writing of good reads, another odd place for finding a few challenging words – the Contra web page at Revista Rebeldía. Not just for contras anymore, as you shall see, but certainly a place for Boys and Girls Who Think.

As for the synchronicity in question, it suddenly seems to be everywhere. Synchronous, one might almost say, just like the non-dialectical alchemy above.

Just the right dream, being dreamt at the most untoward time of day, followed immediately by phone call, perfect comprehension, reduction and, you know, revelation. Then followed by another phone call from a terribly bright, exceedingly right-brain, rattled, girlfriend to report an Odd Experience With Remote.

She was sitting at her computer, doing work, watching MSNBC out of the corner of her eye, as we do, when she could no longer stomach some boy or another. Given the hour of the call, I think it might have been the one who looks like Porky Pig with a comb-over. Just as she picked up the remote, before her fingers had done any walking, what to her wondering eyes should appear but CNN, the channel she had planned on channeling. And apparently had.

Reminding me of my universe shift yesterday, having to do with a very eye-popping sleight of something or other wherein an email mutated from one set of words to an entirely different one a few hours later.

Silliness.

But it has made me wonder, just playfully, of course, about totems, taboos and playing fields.

Bearing in mind, I don't much fancy Freud, and my heart belongs to Carl, as should be obvious by now, but I couldn’t resist the wordfrolic.

There was an excellent piece, a working paper, by the Frente a number of years ago about the need to change the playing field, and there is an allusion on the above-referenced Contra pages to a once-upon-a-time communiqué about chess playing and the introduction of a new piece to the board.

So I might, perhaps, assume that much of the current goings-on have to do with changing the playing field, or the chessboard, and perhaps some of the words of late have to do with totems and taboos exchanging places.

And, if that were the case, wouldn’t it be fun if we all had a hand in that? In changing the playing field, totemizing taboos and turning tables. Abetted, of course, by the powers of alchemy and synchronicity, in lieu of, you know, the other ones.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Words from the comandantas and comandantes

Just a swift word to let everyone know that I've finished, and posted to our Library, all the words from the Comandantas and Comandantes at the Plenary.

And to apologize for the way it looks - half in bold, and such. It's a really long deadly horror story, full of Technical Issues on top of - well, you need not hear it. But trust me, it would take over an hour to correct it, and I'm not up for it.

Next I shall be doing the discussion point summaries from the Plenary, but I believe I might be taking tomorrow off. At least from the translations. Other things call.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Of mice and men

[All the EZLN and other zapatista translations are still and always in our Library.]


Such a “best laid plans” sort of day, so I’ve tossed them all into the basket where they will still be tomorrow. Staring at me balefully, as they do.

One of the consequences being that the 11 pages of the comandantes’ and comandantas’ words from the opening of the Plenary are not nearly done. But they shall be.

I wonder if any of our US guests saw an astonishing little piece by Anderson Cooper today. After having done a very swift about-face from his initially competent Katrina coverage [now bending over and casting dark aspersions on the Mayor’s competence and motives] – he did an interview with the Police Chief in a small Mississippi town. The gentleman was walking him through the horrific conditions in one of their neighborhoods.

No electricity, mold everywhere, unspeakably unlivable.

And, as it turned out, the only part of town where these conditions prevailed.

The residents, by the way, just happened to be poor and Hispanic. And it was this very white very southern Sheriff who was pointing this all out. Aloud. All of it. And annunciating quite clearly.

The Mayor, who was refusing all enquiries, had a Plan. No shelters, god forbid, despite the fact that there were an abundance of possible facilities. No electricity.

Buses. To take the residents 50 miles away. Fifty miles from their jobs [and they do not own cars, of course, nor is there any public transport, this being the EEUU] and their homes. Fifty miles away from the Sheriff and his otherwise pristine little town. For good, of course.

A microcosm of the subtext in New Orleans, of the battle between the Mayor and the Federal Government and the latter’s maddened leap for the opening Man and Nature have presented them.

Ethnic cleansing, I believe it’s called.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Occasional festivities

Just a very quick note - first, to let you know that the translation of the EZLN's closing statement to the Plenary, by Marcos, is now finished and in the Library, along with the rest of the EZLN and zapatista translations. I'll be finishing the comandantas' and comandantes' words from the Opening Session tomorrow, and then I'll move on to the point summations.

Those of us who beat the September 11 deadline should be expecting an email on the morrow.

I so want to thank all our guests - or 'salónistas' as Anna dubbed us, and she will probably not be surprised to find I shall purloin the nom - for filling me with delight with their presence, words and spirit. Everyone was so very thoughtful and engaged and fun, and I think we shall entertain on a much more regular basis.

The masque, perhaps.

Although I'm wondering if anyone out there is expecting a birthday any time soon, as I found the most marvelous picture for pin-the-tail on the donkey. Has anyone else had a peek at all the pictures from the Plenary at the Frente site?!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Plenary Closing Statement

I just received the Final Words of the EZLN at the Plenary, and I've posted the original Spanish version in our Library.

I'll do it first, this evening, and then return to the lovely words from the Comandantas and Comandantes during the opening.

Plenary over [?]

Well, Chiapas Indymedia is now reporting that the Plenary ended almost an hour ago - at 15:15 local time.

As soon as I get a copy of the Closing Statement, I'll post it in Spanish while doing the translation.

Full Irish


A Very Full Irish
Bacon
Sausage
White Pudding
Black Pudding
Eggs
Tomatoes
Fried Potatoes
Beans
Soda Bread
Tea & Coffee
Guinness
Under the circumstances, this seemed the least I could do for us, and, trust me, it is the real thing.
And for those of you who haven't been keeping track, the Closing Message for the Plenary is about to be presented. I don't think you'll want to miss it.

Wordplay

[Lest we forget, the EZLN and other zapatista translations are in the Library.]


First, I wanted to let you know that the translation of Marcos' words from the Plenary last night is now in the Library. It gives details, dates and places, of the first departure. A six-month tour, my goodness.

And, whilst doing said translation and vainly trying to find a definition ["boteo" in case anyone knows it, and I do know that "bote" can mean jail, but...], and knowing how enquiring the minds of our readers are, I thought you might like to know that my favorite non-alcoholic beverage in Barcelona [where it's made with tiger nuts, thank you], "horchata," apparently also means, in DF slang, "orgy."

Such fun.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

How nice!

The Parlour had been down for several hours, and I certainly never like that.

I've been busy with our work and should soon have Marcos' words from last night finished. Look for them shortly.

Multi tasking or the attempt thereof

[The EZLN and other zapatista translations are tucked into our Library, and our Tea Party continues more or less in conjunction with the goings-on in La Garrucha, so do scroll down this page for libations and comments.]

Such a pleasure to find that our Tea Party continues.

Since I now have last night's transcripts in hand, I shall be attempting to work on the translations while listening in to the Plenary. What they are doing today is going over each of the various agenda items relating to the Other Campaign and then seeking agreement on each point. The results will be announced but not final, as everyone else who joined the Sexta, but was not able to attend the Plenary, will have a vote. I wonder if that applies to the internationals?!

There are still lots of crumpets and kir left, so do help yourselves.

Almost bedtime

[The EZLN and other zapatista translations are in the Library. And do scroll down for all the posts and scintillating comments from today's Tea Party].

My goodness, I'm exhausted.

Such fun, the entire day, and thank everyone so very, very much for dropping by. And for being so charming. Although I knew you would be. I'm rather sure the ones who might not have been so have already been bored witless by the Parlour and gone elsewhere to play.

I wanted to let you know that there will continue to be live broadcasts of the Plenary proceedings through tomorrow, and Sunday if it goes on that long. And, if I were a wagering person and had any spare cash, I would venture that it shall indeed last that long. Once again, go to Revista Rebeldía or directly to the functional little room they've set aside for the broadcasts.

The work starts at 9:30 AM, Central Daylight Time, and it should be rather lively. I'll be looking for transcriptions and such, so I imagine I'll be immersed in that. But I shall, of course and always, be checking in here.

Until then, cheers and besos.

Friday, September 16, 2005

La Sexta live

Well, what can I say?! A lot, we're sure.

Such an incredible delight - and to lead off with Ramona. That was incredible.

Susana, Esther, Zebedeo, David, Pinguino [who wasn't very cooperative], Tacho and Moises.

And, yes, a 6 month working tour. From January through June of next year. And then another from September '06 to March '07.

The Other Campaign has now been officially turned over, from the EZ to all those organizations, groups and persons who have joined in.

KeHuelga is still transmitting, so I'm going to keep listening and checking back.

A programming note

We have been advised that one may indeed attempt to watch this evening's goings-on in La Garrucha, live and direct.

Real player is required which may be acquired here, if your computer is not already fitted out with it.

And then, as we are told, the proceedings may be watched and listened to in this room at Revista Rebeldía.

Our invitation had noted that the Plenary was to open at 20:00 [-0600 GMT, assuming they haven't yet gone off Daylight Savings Time at GMT, something I might know if my darling P would ever answer his bloody mobile]. Lest I have confused you, that's 8:00 PM Central Time, and you do the maths.

Carte

Menu
Tea Sandwiches
Asparagus & Orange Butter
Curried Chicken
Cucumber & Onion
Cakes & Tarts
Madeira Cake
Banbury Tarts
Strawberry Tartlets
Scones & Crumpets
With Devonshire Cream, Raspberry Jam
and Lemon Curd

Nooks and crannies


The proper way to prepare for a Tea Party, while awaiting one's guests. Curled up in a quiet nook, taking a bit of refreshment.

Do keep scrolling down through the day, as there shall be a number of posts.

On this, the Day of Our Tea Party, the day the Joint Statement shall be presented, the peoples of Mexico shall be celebrating their Day of Independence, and so very much else.

The Menu is next.

Protocol, patriarchy and paragraphs

[Yes, all the EZLN and other zapatista translations are in our Library]


Such a busy tomorrow, not to mention the weekend itself.

In case you haven’t read yesterday’s note from Marcos, the imaginative ones are going to try to orchestrate some type of live streaming or real-time presentation of the Plenary through the various alt medias we so know and love.

I, however, shall be as old-school as ever, simply waiting to receive whatever words find their way to me, as is their wont, up my caffeine level and do what I do.

But now the Hour of Our Tea Party is also almost at hand, and everything is in a bit of a flurry.

Beverages first.

Aside from the obligatory Earl Grey, oolong and fresh lemonade [made from simple syrup, of course), I always insist on Kir Royale [champagne and crème de cassis]. It’s not only delicious, frisky and fun-filled, it’s also the most divine shade of powder pink.

Which reminds me that I should once again remind everyone of one of my most cherished places: Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails. Their motto is “Dismantling the patriarchy one drink at a time.” Just the place for tracking down obscure or classic concoctions and for finding delight with marvelously smart, transgressive ladies.

The menu shall be posted tomorrow, and I promise you not one single simpering fusion item will be found. Some things really are sacred, and tea parties are very near the top of that list.

Now, as for the Rules:

1. Anyone making an appearance with excessively elevated cannabis blood levels shall be required to cool his heels in the Hall until capable of at least minimal conversation [and I actually used to enforce this one in Savannah].

2. Animated conversation and flirtation are mandatory, but loud, hysterical rants and boorish triflers will be severely discouraged.

Other than that, feel free.

I really am easy.

As for Topics:

Hugo’s speech at the UN this evening was apparently interrupted 3 times by applause, a feat not accomplished by any of the other 100 or so speakers.

As for the paragraph in question, sigh, it was the one which spoke to the “special needs,” oops, “place” of that litany of oppressed: women, indigenas, boys and girls, young persons and ladies and gentlemen of variously alternative sexual and affective preferences.

Now, perhaps I overreacted, but it was absolutely visceral. In my version, the original, the above categories were not only in boldface, but also underlined, and, as I said, they leapt off the page.

And, again viscerally, like doing a Rorschach, two words almost literally appeared before my eyes. Lumpenprole and basura. Los most de abajo lumped together like that, as Karl noted so ingenuously, just one faceless bottomclass.

But they were just words, after all, and my lashes have been known to flutter at the oddest moments.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The pleasure of your company

Just stopping by for a moment to let you know there's a new translation. Two in fact. The first is a nice, rather relaxed, invitation to this weekend's plenary meeting. It goes into a fair amount of detail about process and topic, and I think you'll find it quite illuminating, often amusing and helpful to boot.

It is in our Library, of course, along with the rest of the EZLN and other zapatista translations. And, by the way, do let me know if you have any problem with that link. It appears that last night's was tampered with, though I have since corrected it.

And I was going to flutter my eyelashes in delicate astonishment at one of the paragraphs in today's invitation, but I've decided to wait and see if any of our readers can guess which one it might be.

Much more tomorrow, as I'm trusting there might be the briefest of respite prior to the events of this weekend.