08/24/14

And To The Ends of the Earth

My friend Noah G was out in front of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) story before most. He does things like “watch the news” and “occasionally reads” and even “thinks critically.” Sort of a show off.

Here’s a picture of him snidely pondering the mysteries of the universe over my shoulder. Revolting.

noah

He started law school last week so now he’s going to be insufferable. I’d wish him luck and offer some advice, but I hate him.

But, on a late-night, not unpleasantly romantic stroll with Noah across the Chelsea High Line, he asked why Western people of religious faith don’t mobilize on behalf of foreign born Christians in the same way muslims do. I told him, easy. We have Bravo. Million Dollar Listing New York?

There has been an outpouring, sentimentally and actually, for the persecution of all sects at the hands of ISIS in recent weeks. But, Noah’s prescience hit home for me when I reacted disproportionately to James Foley’s death. The image of crucified arab Christians was gruesome and harrowing. But Foley’s death did that thing where you sort of feel real horror in your stomach. And, I knew immediately it was because the beheading of an American seemed more tragic somehow than the murder of arabs already culturally conditioned to it. Which is all nonsense, of course.

So I’m glad to be reminded that the commission to protect and love and care doesn’t end in Judea and Samaria.

Regardless of the nationality or religion of the victims, the whole circumstance is mayhem. A complete nightmare of moral and wartime and policy proportion.

And, as if we needed any more bad PR, it looks like the beheading suspect is a British rapper. Of course he is.

Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch. Lyrics here.

Today’s blong here:

Something to Choose

09/10/13

1000 – 89

I visited the Ground Zero memorial for the first time, this summer, during our week working with A House on Beekman. I had medium-low expectations about it.

It’s essentially perfect. These really spectacular in-ground fountains mark the footprint of the towers.

I had a moment, with some song on my ipod, that I can’t even recall now. It’s weird the human inclination to relate or connect in grief, even to those things for which we have very little personal association.

Straining to own the tragedy.

You might call it empathy. Or narcism.

I’m certainly always poised to be “moved,” so to speak. A good sermon or pre-game speech or convocation or Celine Dion song.

This:

In memory of a truly difficult day, whether your grief is real or put on, we celebrate life.

Written and performed by theipoetlaureate for the 10th Anniversary, in 2011. Music produced by dj clutch.

10/30/12

Mayhem

What a week.

First, no pun intended, but I’ve been way under the weather.

Second, according to national news accounts a guy in a ski mask stole my SSN from the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Is that because it’s actually unseasonably cold in his apartment that he wears a ski mask or are cyber terrorists also avid downhill skiers?

With leather:

Apparently it’s freezing even when you’re physically floating inside the actual program code:

Dressed for success:

Wait. Those are my lips too! Have they no decency?!

And then last night Sandy affected unspeakable damage on the Northeast. My brother and his wife live in New Jersey and work in Manhattan and were thankfully out of harms way.

Both tragedies are difficult because they leave you with hardly any goat to scape. An anonymous hacker and mother nature. Like mayhem’s invisible hands. South Carolina and the Northeast are left to pick up the pieces without much hope for justice.

One bright note, I pity the ski-masked bandit that swipes my life and identity. Trust me, it’s no picnic being a news rapper. The crushing fame. The sophisticated and lucrative business deals. Carpool. Like O. Henry’s short story, The Ransom of Red Chief, I suspect that they’ll be returning me, to me, any day now.

All our thoughts and prayers are with those in the storm’s wake tonight.

Written and performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch.

Today’s song blog here:

Dean Winters