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].


23:00hrs LA HABANA
19:00hrs LOS ÁNGELES
22:00hrs NEW YORK

Sólo por fzlnradio

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


[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.


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.


[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 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.


[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


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.