Wednesday, October 25, 2006

After Pat’s Birthday

I copied this from after co-worker suggested I read it. It's was written but the brother of Pat Tillman who left a career in the NFL to join the military after the 9/11 attacks.

By Kevin Tillman

Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is. Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bridge Over Troubled Water

We about to have some church up in here. There is something about this type of gospel music that I have always loved. It is of course Whitney Houston and CeCe Winans

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

100 Random Things About Me.

1. My hair started to turn gray when I was 19. Everyday I am getting closer to the Cooper Anderson look.

2. I have one sibling, a sister who is 11 months older than I am.

3. I have foster brother named Luis who I only see on holidays. His is gay as well. The answer to your question is no and you should be ashamed of yourself for asking.

4. I hate being asked how tall I am and don’t understand why it’s a point of interest for other people. It’s not like I had any say in the matter.

5. I don’t like children, not all children just most of them, especial the dirty ones.

6. I’ve never owned any pets.

7. I’m allergic to cats.

8. When I was a child I started to learn Spanish from PBS, but was told not to speak it.

9. My shoe size is 11.

10. My favorite color is black. Our neighbor told my mother that there was some study were some psychologist said that children who prefer the color black have a mental problem.

11. My sister and I used to refer to that neighbor as Mrs. Kravits.

12. I am double jointed in my left thumb.

13. I’ve always wanted to learn to play piano but I never did.

14. I’ve known all of my grandparents and my mother’s maternal grandparents as well.

15. I’m far more judgmental than I’d like to be.

16. I was at one time in love with a woman. My parents who were desperate to have Catholic and Irish grandchildren tried to get me marry her.

17. I think hairy bums are hot.

18. I’d like to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese.

19. I think there is nothing better than the feeling of loving someone who loves you back.

20. I’ve cried at almost every episode of the Biggest Loser, which probably makes me an even bigger loser.

21. I always thought there was something more to Aqua-man and Aqua-lad’s relationship that the cartoon lead me to believe.

22. If I was could be a super hero I’d want to the Green Lantern. Yes, it’s because of the jewelry.

23. I’m too tall to sleep on anything smaller than a queen size bed.

24. I hate tomatoes, but love things made with tomatoes.

25. When I blush my whole head turns ad red as a stoplight.

26. I am extremely ticklish.

27. I hate to be tickled.

28. I can type about 80 wpm.

29. I am more attracted to dark skinned men.

30. I’ve been sun burnt so badly that I’ve needed to be hospitalized.

31. History was my favorite subject in high school.

32. I have a very short temper.

33. love white cake with white frosting.

34. I lived in Los Angeles for 5 years.

35. If there is a sexual innuendo to be made I will make it, regardless of who I’m talking or how it will be received.

36. I don’t understand people why people buy DVD’s to watch the same movie over and over again.

37. My favorite flavor of ice cream is Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.

38. I’ve never been arrested.

39. I almost got arrested for being a minor in possession of alcohol, but because the arresting officer was the relative of a friend he just confiscated our liquor and let us go.

40. The smell of coleslaw makes me gag.

41. I have a very bad habit of taking on other peoples accents when I am speak to them. It’s completely unintentional and I have to make a special effort not to do it.

42. Devoutly religious people scare me.

43. I’ve had sex in the administrative offices of a certain Ivy League University.

44. My confirmation name is Michael after St. Michael.

45. I have a co-worker who has a St. Michael tattoo. When I asked him about it he told me it was because he likes the idea of good conquering evil. I feel in love with him immediately.

46. I have two bottles of fish sauce on my kitchen counter.

47. I hate being asked if I’m Italian.

48. I think James Gandolfini is sexy.

49. I am the most impatient person I know.

50. I think being a good listener is my best quality.

51. I’d choose love over money every single time.

52. I don’t believe Jesus was divine and I don’t think it matters.

53. I don’t read as much as I’d like.

54. I am far to easily distracted.

55. I don’t feel like I am making as much money as I should and it’s a constant source of frustration.

56. I love sex, but hate mastrubation.

57. I’m a great kisser. I know every one says this but I have references.

58. I love to iron.

59. I miss the Eucalyptus tree that was outside my window when I lived in West Hollywood.

60. I make fun of townies.

61. I will never forget that Bill Clinton fucked us too with the Defense of Marriage Act and the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Sorry, Hillary I will not be voting for you if you run. (Steve you can read that one again.)

62. When I came out to my sister she said, “Congratulations” referring to a quote from Ellen (paraphrasing) “It’s not like you get a cake that says Congratulations You’re Gay. Except for maybe in West Hollywood.” Neither of us had heard of West Hollywood at the time.

63. If you ask me if you look fat in your outfit I will tell you the truth.

64. I broke both of wrists at the same time.

65. I broke my left arm two summers later.

66. I know more about Catholicism than most people who practice it even thought I don’t.

67. When I was born I think my parents were expecting some else.

68. The two most important things I own are my grandfather’s fireman’s helmet and my great grandmother’s rosary beads.

69. I learned not to talk back to my grandmother the hard way.

70. I hate cheese cake, but love ricotta pie.

71. I wish I had more time to do charity work.

72. I wish I cared less about what people think.

73. I have body image issues.

74. I have a love hate relationship with Massachusetts. Today it's hate.

75. I love it when a friend says something that proves they know you better than you expected.

76. I love marathon telephone conversations that only end because my jaw becomes sore from talking.

77. I wish all of my friends lived closer to me.

78. I hate word games.

79. If I could wake up straight tomorrow, I wouldn’t.

80. When I lived in LA I found it easier to relate to people who were “Latin” then other white people.

81. I used to have a reoccurring dream about Donnie and Marie Osmond.

82. I know far too much useless information such as the reason why two pairs of jeans labeled the same size vary in fit so much is because of the way the denim is cut. The fabric is stacked and cut by machine, when machine moves the fabric tends to slip causing the discrepancy in fit. Fascinating, no?

83. I spend hours a week listening to NPR.

84. I love chocolate.

85. I have been in more sweatshops than I care to remember.

86. I’m a horrible procrastinator.

87. I have the same name as a major chemical company and the stock exchange, it’s only three letters long and people still ask me how to spell it.

88. I once had to break up a fight in a gay bar. That is the only time I’ve seen a fight in a gay bar.

89. Most of my friends are women.

90. I try to be polite as possible if people I don’t find attractive hit on me.

91. I wish that it wasn’t next to impossible to see independent movies in this city.

92. I once wore my bathrobe to the mall. My sister loves to tell people this story even thought it happened 20 years ago.

93. When I was a teenager during lent my mother though instead of giving something up for lent we should go to church everyday. It sucked.

94. When I lived in LA I learned that Americans have no knowledge of the geography their own country. New York is not part of New England and Massachusetts isn’t next to, close by or even a reasonable distance from Tennessee to be considered close.

95. When I lived in LA I missed the smell of fall in New England. Only people who weren’t from New England didn’t understand how a season could have a smell.

96. I also love the smell of nail polish remover.

97. I’ve done crystal meth once. It was the scariest experience of my life.

98. I played one season of little league baseball. The league was thankful it wasn’t two seasons.

99. I wish I had more time and better weather for biking.

100. I’ve been surprised that things in my life I’ve worked hardest to distance myself from were the frist things I reached for when I’ve faced adversity.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Cure - Hot Hot Hot

When this video came out in 1988 I was 17. In the morning before I went to school I would style my hair like Robert Smith's and sneak out of the house. When I got home from school I would have wash it out before my father got home so he wouldn't see it. No one ever questioned all the cans of Aqua Net.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Break Up to Make Up

I am usually not so indecisive when it comes to dating people. Usually I either like you or I don’t. In the past if I decided I didn’t want to date you there was nothing you could say or do that would change my mind. For some reason things have worked out to be a bit different this time. So Chinese Boyfriend (as my Indonesian friend calls him) and I are back together and things are good. And I am happy. I think.

He grew up in Taipei and moved to the Yonkers, NY when he was 11, which makes for an odd accent. Odd in an enduring way not a “there all gonna laugh at you” sort of way.

It’s going to be interesting to see how I am going to integrate our relationship into my family. His family lives in New York, they’re fragmented and not close so it will be less of an issue with them. However mine is a bit different. There is only one other time I brought a boyfriend home to meet my family. His name is Javier my sister kept calling him Jose. After about the fourth time of me correcting her she said she was going to start calling him Fred, like it was his fault that she is an idiot. I am sure it will make for some interesting posts.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Bob Mould - See A Little Light

I really love this song. It expresses what I've felt far to often.

Sorry I've Been Away

I've been a bit to busy to put to much effort into the blog, not that there is much effort that goes in to this blog. Hopefully I will be more inspired soon.