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"Such are promises."

Cold here in Providence. All day yesterday, the mercury hovered in the twenties Fahrenheit. Today, I am told, we will suffer a balmy 43˚. Only, with wind.

Here I am, still on vacation. Still...vacating?

Not much to be said for yesterday. Oh, I did want to say that the past two nights I've slept 8.5 hours each, for a total of 17 hours. There are entire weeks when I don't sleep 17 hours! To wit, I propose it is writing that gives me insomnia.

But, yesterday. I actually did have to email my agent, regarding the Two Worlds and In Between audiobook that might one day exist, and I sent another email to my editor at Dark Horse (there were replies, and my replies to their replies, this ayem). But yesterday I mostly gamed. Unless I'm forgetting something. I played a LOT of SW:toR, leveling my Sith Inquisitor to 11, and my bounty hunter to 7. I discovered that playing a bounty hunter is a lot of fun. The storyline is very, very good. Actually, I have almost nothing to complain about as regards SW:toR, except a) the silly hop and b) the stagnant technology bullshit. I don't think many people have a proper enough concept of deep time (even on an historical scale) to grasp what 3,500 years means in terms of the evolution of a civilization. All the hand waving and absurd explanations aside, it's lazy design and fear of fan backlash. But yes, otherwise, a grand game.

Ah, hello. My comp copies of New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird (Prime Books) have just arrived. This is the second time an anthology has reprinted my story, "Pickman's Other Model (1929)." In fact, it's the first story in the volume. The story first appeared (outside Sirenia Digest #28, March 2008) in Joshi's Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror (2010; PS Publishing). So, grab a copy. And subscribe to Sirenia Digest. And listen to Brown Bird. All those things, though not necessarily in that order.

Last night, we saw an excellent episode of Doctor Who, "The Girl Who Waited," possibly one of the best episodes I've ever seen. When I finally went to bed, I read from Christopher McGowan's The Dragon Seekers: How an Extraordinary Circle of Fossilists Discovered the Dinosaurs and Paved the Way for Darwin (2001).

Tonight, we go to the Cable Car to see Lars von Trier's Melancholia.
---

And the last U.S. troops have left Iraq, and an illegal act of aggression draws to a close. After nine years and the deaths of almost 4,500 Americans, a number of casualties that pales when compared to the number Iraqi fatalities, a number which is very hard to pin down, but which may be as high as 109,032 deaths, including 66,081 civilian deaths, and a cost to US taxpayers of ~1.9 trillion dollars, and the further sundering of an ancient nation and its antiquities. We call this waste, kittens, the American and Iraqi deaths, and waste is the only true evil in the world. All evil can be reduced to wasteful fucking acts. But our troops are out, even if we're not sure exactly what that means. And isn't this another promise the President has kept? It is. And yes, Kim Jong-il is dead, and so now the world faces the uncertainty of Kim Jong-un, possibly an even greater danger than his father.

Regardless, this is no day of victory, as our soldiers come home. This is not a day of peace, because there is not yet peace in the world. This is a day of shame and disgrace, and a day George W. Bush, Jr. and his cronies should be remembered as war criminals (since we cannot try them as such), and a day we should mourn all those lost, on all sides of this abominably wasteful conflict, which was never about terrorism or democracy, but about profit margins and oil. Let's not even talk about the American vets whom we cannot care for, medically or psychologically, even if "we" wanted to do so. This is a war that has existed, in the main, beyond American consciousness.

Now...Afghanistan.*

Counting,
Aunt Beast

* And if you want to argue with someone over any of this, do it somewhere else.

Comments

( 23 comments — Have your say! )
hayleyhuston
Dec. 19th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
I remember watching the opening salvo of this "war" and saying aloud, "This is a fucking nightmare." And so it was/is/always will be for some.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 19th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)

Yep. For many, it will never end. Which has been true of all wars.
martianmooncrab
Dec. 19th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
except a) the silly hop

I explain stuff like that to gravity imbalances.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 19th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)

gravity imbalances.

I'm not even sure what you mean by that. An organismal imbalance, or an imbalance in the world's gravity? Either way, doesn't work in any of these MMOs (WoW, Rift, SW:otR), as many worlds and many species are involved. It's just laziness.
martianmooncrab
Dec. 19th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
earth normal vs non earth gravity. The density of bodies and abilities...

greygirlbeast
Dec. 19th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)

earth normal vs non earth gravity. The density of bodies and abilities...

Again, this wouldn't hold true for all the planets in discussion (especially considering that life can likely only evolve on planets within a certain range of gravity). But. High gravity planets would evolve very different life forms than low gravity planets, and both very different from medium gravity planets.

Your explanation is falsified.
martianmooncrab
Dec. 19th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
*spoilsport*

Guess I will have to use my fallback explination for everything .. "its Tuesday" ...
greygirlbeast
Dec. 19th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)

But it's Monday.
pepsiswinger
Dec. 19th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
These past couple of days, I've had time to think about how I've spent half my life in a post-9/11 world, which means I came of age in a world of constant paranoia, violence, ignorance, manipulation, and greed. Being a teenager and unable to vote, much less be taken very seriously for my political views, the only coping mechanism I had was to block myself from becoming emotionally invested in things I couldn't control. Getting mad at Bush and Cheney was as routine as going out to get the newspaper, and news reports about the war might as well have been Johnson & Johnson commercials.

It's funny that it took electing a president I actually like to get me to finally feel actual outrage. The better things get, however slow that may be, the worse the things that are wrong feel. And time will only tell if my generation will use that newfound outrage to do something productive, or will simply retreat into that numbness we learned at the next sign of real perril.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 19th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)

These past couple of days, I've had time to think about how I've spent half my life in a post-9/11 world,

I've spent roughly a quarter of my life post-9/11, and...

which means I came of age in a world of constant paranoia, violence, ignorance, manipulation, and greed.

...so was born into and came of age during the long years of the Cold War (if we actually believe it ended in 1991, and I'd argue it didn't). That means I endured paranoia, violence, ignorance, manipulation, and greed...along with stark terror (which is still there, actually). Nothing has really changed. Muslims are the new Communists, and the US has become more blatantly a police state – has taken more steps towards become a true police state. But, the more things change.

And time will only tell if my generation will use that newfound outrage to do something productive, or will simply retreat into that numbness we learned at the next sign of real peril.

Indeed.

Edited at 2011-12-19 08:42 pm (UTC)
sylvarthorne
Dec. 20th, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
...I had not made the connection between the popular sentiments of Communists and of Muslims. That actually helps shift things into perspective for me.

I was actually raised (born in '87, so in the 90's) with some pretty serious personal and political paranoia, and so Gulf War II was just the realization of something I'd been expecting for about a decade. The sad part? There's a distinct difference in scale between what I was anticipating and what actually happened, so I've still got a sense of being on tenterhooks waiting for WWIII to happen.
sylvarthorne
Dec. 20th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
I was a young teenager at boarding school in Canada when 9/11 happened. And said boarding school liked to keep us in the dark when it came to media; no TV, magazines, or newspapers, and relatively little internet (and certainly no encouragement to use it for news).

I have a difficult time feeling outrage over this. I feel despair and disgust and disgrace. It's that sense of numbness you mentioned - I wasn't able to have a voice in what happened, and it presently feels like the ball is rolling and there's not much I can do to help deviate it from its path. (Except vote for Obama. Yay, Obama. The cheer heard around the nation started in my home town!)

I tend to be of the opinion that the only way real change will occur is through the phasing out of more conservative voters and politicians, but that's going to happen only so fast unless term limits in the House and Senate are implemented. :/
kambriel
Dec. 19th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
I never bought into the label of "war" for this ~ it was an occupation.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 19th, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)

I never bought into the label of "war" for this ~ it was an occupation.

Nicely put. And I can take that two ways, both of which are apt.
ashlyme
Dec. 19th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
If only we could put Bush, Blair, and their cronies in the dock.

"The Girl Who Waited" is a very good story, maybe my favourite of that second half. I felt so sorry for that older Amy.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 19th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)

If only we could put Bush, Blair, and their cronies in the dock.

If only.

"The Girl Who Waited" is a very good story, maybe my favourite of that second half. I felt so sorry for that older Amy.

It really helped bring home who and what the Doctor is.
whiskeychick
Dec. 19th, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
Let's not even talk about the American vets whom we cannot care for, medically or psychologically, even if "we" wanted to do so.

This I know.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 19th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)

Just think how much national healthcare could be provided with 1.9 trillion dollars. And, of course, we'd not have the wounded vets.

Edited at 2011-12-20 04:48 am (UTC)
sylvarthorne
Dec. 20th, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)
Oh, there will be no talk of it. Just like with Gulf War Syndrome. It won't exist for another 20 years or so.

"Yep, there's something wrong with you, but you can't prove it's our fault. Neener!"
slothman
Dec. 20th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
The last estimate I saw for the cost of the Iraq War was $3 trillion, which is bad enough (the entire GDP of the US is $15T). Do you recall the source for the $109T estimate?
greygirlbeast
Dec. 20th, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
I'm going to post an official retraction on that curiously inflated number tomorrow. I'm not sure I can explain the insertion of that zero. See, for sane numbers:

By way of Wikipedia, of found that sum. Under the "Iraqi War" article, under "Criticism and Cost" –

"Financial costs with approximately $612 billion spent as of 4/09 the CBO has estimated the total cost of the war in Iraq to U.S. taxpayers will be around $1.9 trillion."

Edited at 2011-12-20 04:47 am (UTC)
slothman
Dec. 20th, 2011 05:04 am (UTC)
The $3T estimate that I saw included the cost of future medical care we’ll need to provide our veterans (presuming the idiots in Congress don’t gut the VA).
katesavage
Dec. 20th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
One of my earliest memories of politics was Bloody Sunday (aka the Bogside Massacre) which completed my alienation from religion. As awful as it was, it opened me up to Lennon's Sometime in New York City and that music forever changed me. As an adult, I saw that conflicts based on religion and nationalism, etc are just masks for human aggression over resources. I **never** thought I would see the IRA and the Unionest stop the madness but sometimes enlightened self-interest kicks in.

I am profoundly troubled by the wars in the Middle East because what happened in Ireland was iterative entitlement and hatred passed down the generations. So while the US pulls soldiers out, we are leaving enormous pain and disfunction behind which becomes part of the another iterative, hateful process. The kicker is this is done for an elite to profit from and for access to oil which only makes global warming worse.
( 23 comments — Have your say! )

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