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the desert and the sea

Yesterday was an anomoly, or, at least, it was an arbitrarily subdivided period of time containing an anomoly. As I said, I didn't wake until noon, which left me entirely off schedule. It was 3:25 p.m. before I got back to work on Chapter Two. And somehow, in a mere two hours, indeed, in slightly less than two hours, I wrote 1,849 words. Halfway through, I developed a truly terrible headache that's still with me. I'm not sure which I prefer to believe — that I somehow wrote five or six hours worth of story in only two hours or that I experienced a localized squiggle in the space-time continuum. Either way, I made significant progress yesterday. And got this headache. I should be able to finish Chapter Two today. Then I have to set it aside, as I've said, rest a little, do some things around the house, and write the prologue to To Charles Fort, With Love, and then I can get started on Chapter Three.

I know that it's not nearly so cold here as in most parts north and northwest, and at least we have no goddamn frelling snow, but I have had more than enough of winter and wish it to leave now, please. I'm sick of the way winter makes everything seem tired and thin and squalid. I want green trees and summer thunderstorms and days when the mercury rises above 90F. A family of woolly mammoths has taken up residence in one corner of my office. There's not nearly that much space in here, but it is that frelling cold. In February, Spooky and I shall be spending some time in Florida. It's a small consolation.

It would raise my spirits just an inch or so if you'd please have a look at our current eBay auctions. I think a few people may be confused by the items which we've put up with the fairly new "fixed price" feature. Basically, these items aren't being auctioned. They are simply being sold. In many cases, such as with The Dry Salvages and Low Red Moon ARCs, we were selling so many copies with "buy it now" that switching over to "fixed price" just made more sense.

Today's news pollution, "The Bureau of Land Management has concluded that oil and gas exploration in the northeastern corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska can be conducted with "minimal impact" on the area's wildlife." According to Henri Bisson, director of the BLM in Alaska, "The country needs access to its oil and gas resources..." That's a lie, of course. The country needs to learn to live without gas-hog SUVs. It needs to back away from its love affair with plastics and learn to live with less. It needs to insist that our government seriously explore alternative fuel options. It needs someone out there who can explain, clearly, so that everyone can understand, that we are presently in the midst of the greatest mass-extinction event this planet has seen in 65 million years, one which we have brought about, and even the assholes who don't give a shit about biodiversity and the preservation of wilderness are going to be feeling the hurt pretty soon. According to the CNN article, "Bisson said the development plan would identify seven lease tracts, of 46,000 to 59,000 acres each, north of Teshekpuk Lake, including 217,000 acres of key habitat for waterfowl. Exploratory leases also will be made available for 157,000 acres east and south of the lake, the area used by caribou." Screw the caribou. Who needs 'em. Screw future generations. Let them take care of themselves. Moma needs a new Hummer. Corporate executives need to try and fill those bottomless pockets.

Okay, well that made me feel ill.

So, I may as well close with this quote from Die Tageszeitung (Germany): Things are now clearer than ever: We have the right to feel a chill down the spine. To describe Bush as a madman with a mission at the head of a state bristling with weapons does not really get us any further... and, although insulting, it is no longer even particularly original. And yet this US administration sends a chill down the spine of anyone unwilling to become accustomed to listening to this madness.

Ahmet.

Comments

( 12 comments — Have your say! )
jacobluest
Jan. 23rd, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on your words, and hope your headache feels better.
Sometimes I think the reason people don't raise more of an outcry about the horrors going on right now is that part of us is going "Oh fuck! It's like 1984!" but the other part is going "hey...it's like we're in a story!" Which is stupid, but not improbable.

~Jacob
emrecom
Jan. 23rd, 2005 09:51 pm (UTC)
Do you have a link to the piece that quote came from?
greygirlbeast
Jan. 23rd, 2005 10:10 pm (UTC)
Do you have a link to the piece that quote came from?

This should get you there. I tried to find a link to the specific article (from the 21st, I think), but couldn't.
sfmarty
Jan. 23rd, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
Until the repigs are hurt in their pocket book, there will only be more greed. A year or so ago I went for a drive into the Northern California forests. Yards away from the trails there was clear cutting. The hypocracy was really horrible.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 24th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC)
Until the repigs are hurt in their pocket book, there will only be more greed.

Oh, I don't think there will ever be an end to human greed. At least, not until humans are extinct. There's always going to be that compulsion to have more, at whatever cost. And, for most people, it seems easy enough to justify/rationalize (oh, but I deserve to have X, or a better life than my parents, or a bigger leafblower, ad infinitum).
wishlish
Jan. 24th, 2005 12:49 am (UTC)
From a report in this week's New Republic by Gregg Easterbrook:

"Ever-higher horsepower is the reason the overall fuel economy of new U.S. vehicles is now at its lowest since 1988. Engineers have steadily made automotive power trains more efficient--but nearly all the efficiency has gone into power, not MPG. Other things being equal, a one-third reduction in the horsepower of new vehicles would lead to roughly a one-third increase in their miles-per-gallon numbers. And a one-third increase in the MPG of new cars and SUVs is all that is required to eliminate petroleum imports from Persian Gulf states!...Cutting average horsepower by one-third would still leave the typical new vehicle sold in the United States with more horsepower than the typical new vehicle of 1975."
wishlish
Jan. 24th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
One other point- I live in what feels like SUV country in Jersey. I've been told one MUST have an SUV to survive driving on the dangerously fast NJ highways (including the noxious NJ Turnpike that makes you so ill, Caitlin, and the even crazier Garden State Parkway). I call bullcrap- my Saturn does a great job of going up and down the highways safely, and my wife's driving it this weekend, even though we're buried in snow.

But of course, I also live in the land of ugly ribbon magnets adorning every car. No car other than mine has less than two- one is always "Support Our Troops", while there's always either a "Support Breast Cancer" in pink (girl's car) or a star-spangled "God Bless America" ribbon (guy's car). I think the ribbons are silly, but I wonder how many people with ribbons have written our congressmen complaining that soldiers in Walter Reed hospital, recovering from serious injuries and lost limbs while fighting in Iraq, have to buy phone cards to call loved ones at home. Harold Ford, a Tennessee congressman, has introduced the "Support Our Soldiers Act", which grants additional phone calls to soldiers and pays for care packages to be shipped to soldiers overseas. I've written my congressman, asking him to co-sponsor the legislation, and I'd recommend everyone to do the same. While I believe this is an awful, repugnant war, I do think supporting the men and women who went over there should be given the necessary support to survive the terrible ordeal.

Sorry for the politics, Caitlin. Delete at will if you wish.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 24th, 2005 01:07 am (UTC)
I've written my congressman, asking him to co-sponsor the legislation, and I'd recommend everyone to do the same. While I believe this is an awful, repugnant war, I do think supporting the men and women who went over there should be given the necessary support to survive the terrible ordeal.

Isn't there a point where it's time to ask if maybe the men and women going to Iraq have a duty to question why there going? And perhaps to resist? I mean, the whole "supports the troops" whether or not you support the war thing, it pretends that the troops have been somehow absolved of the obligation to make moral judgments. And, yes, I know soldiers are trained to obey, not question, but I'm pretty sure that's part of the problem. Just following orders, etc.

I don't care whether they have phone cards or not. Sorry, I just don't. I care that America is waging this idiotic war, and most of the nation is determined to silence those who oppose it.

I probably wouldn't have posted any of this if my head had stopped hurting...
greygirlbeast
Jan. 24th, 2005 01:41 am (UTC)
I don't care whether they have phone cards or not. Sorry, I just don't. I care that America is waging this idiotic war, and most of the nation is determined to silence those who oppose it.

In my own defence, aren't they supposedly fighting for my right to oppose the war and the presence of US troops in Iraq (or whatever else I might happen to oppose)?

Well, I mean, they're fighting for that and the oil companies and the defence contractors and the Muslim-hating fundamentalist know-nothings and good ol' capitalist/consumerist exampanionism.

And, of course, George Bush's dick.

One should always strive for clarity when bringing oneself, once again, to the attention of the spooks.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 24th, 2005 01:00 am (UTC)
Cutting average horsepower by one-third would still leave the typical new vehicle sold in the United States with more horsepower than the typical new vehicle of 1975.

Because, you know, we'd perish without it.

I'm beginning to favour a one household/one car law...
sfmarty
Jan. 24th, 2005 05:56 am (UTC)
Well, gotta agree with you there, but I meant that when each of them is hurt in their own pocket, then they -might- think about the environment. If, of course, the bettering of the environment would lead to more profit (of one sort or other)for them.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 24th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC)
Well, gotta agree with you there, but I meant that when each of them is hurt in their own pocket, then they -might- think about the environment.

I tend to think they'll just figure out a way to milk the corpse more efficiently. That will be the more fiscally sound route.
( 12 comments — Have your say! )

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