Saturday, May 28, 2005

Orson Scott Card on the War, Patriotism, and Intellectual Elitism

I have no commentary to impart here. I just want to hug this man and maybe bake him a cake. I want to invite him over to dinner and just sort of sit there and soak up the brilliance. This man, he gets it. Sure, he's a fine author. But even more importantly, he is a fine thinker. Pardon me while I dissolve into a puddle of fangirly squealing, now.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Neat little News link

This is fascinating.

Extrapolating the future of news media, it's a short film providing a history of how the old school media declined, under the weight of internet news media and Google. I found the whole thing vaguely sci-fi; but excellent food for thought. It did cause me to wonder when the monopoly on "news" will pass completely from the hands of print media into the realm of digital media, and how long before major players like the New York Times are completely out of the business.

Go. Now. Watch.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Can't Wrap My Head Around It

The article linked above is exactly why we needed a law to protect children who survive their mother's abortion. I just read that and I'm horrified, sickened. A baby was delivered live, moving, into a toilet, and allowed to die there. I can imagine no more repugnant, disrespectful death for any human being.

But the article raises even more questions for me. The mother is a conundrum. There is no doubt in my mind she loves this child. And apparently, loved him when she made the decision to end his life. She researched the least painful death possible for him. She chose to undergo delivery in order that his body be whole. But dear God, what the hell was she thinking? She planned the funeral in advance. She is not merely complicit in this death; she orchestrated it.

How is that possible? What sort of derangement must be present for a mother, who loves her child, to plan his funeral and arrange his death?

I like to imagine the girls who go into these murder factories as ignorant, deluded, or naive. I assume they've bought the lie that their child is nonhuman or not alive. They're frightened, perhaps gulled by an overbearing parent or an unsupportive husband or boyfriend. They have poor self images, low self esteem, can't imagine that they're fit to be anyone's mother. They know not what they do. In their own warped way, they are innocent.

This woman cracks my mental safety net to bits. She was none of these things. She knew exactly what she was doing. She was coherent enough to plan a funeral, and competent enough to make decisions as to how best to carry out her murder. She was even empathetic enough to not want her son to hurt physically as he died.

How does someone like that get within a hundred yards of such a place? How can she bring herself to set foot inside that building?

Where was her maternal instinct? Where was her basic, God-given sense of decency? Right and Wrong? For the love of Pete- she planned his funeral. While he moved inside her, living and growing, she plotted his death and how she would mourn him.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


I have a 'stuff' problem.

See, The Ornithophobe, she likes Stuff. Book stuff. Toy stuff. Dish stuff. Music stuff. She never met a sale she didn't like. She never said 'no' to freebies. She never passed up a yardsale in her life.

I sit here, in my 900 square foot home, surrounded by Stuff. The books won't stay on the shelves anymore; they've run off into boxes, teetering to be read piles, bags. They're in every room of the house. And if I like a book? I tend to want to read it again. And again. And again. Consequently, this has led to the keeping of every book I read. Not for me, the library. Oh, No! They make you give the books back! I prefer the eerie certainty that somewhere, deep in the recesses of the house, lies the perfect book I want to read. I only have to find it.

Which is becoming something of a problem. This week I bought a second copy of a beloved book, because I have no idea where the first one I bought went. I'm sure it's here; it's not as if I LOST it, certainly! But the logistics required to locate it are such that paying 4.00 on ABEbooks seemed a more practical arrangement.

Sometimes though, I wonder what it might be like to have no stuff. Imagine that. If everything I owned could be carted about in a backpack. If I didn't have to keep up with anything material. No wondering where the cake tip I want went, if I don't have any cake tips. No wondering what I did with the August 1997 issue of Archaeology magazine, and no digging through the two foot pile of periodicals in the garage to find it.

It might be liberating, the lack of stuff.

Sometimes I think about moving away. Packing up the rugrats and myself, and just - going. Just seeing where the road takes us. Like Winnie the Pooh, let's go on a Long Explore. See the country, from the backseat of my beleagured Toyota. Talk history standing in civil war battlefields, eat dinner in a host of roadside diners. What would it be like, to really experience this country, and not simply read about it in my living room?

But see, the stuff- it owns me, I do not own it. I am the wholly owned subsidiary of a massive library of stuff. Books and magazines. Movies. Action figures. Barbie dolls. I have service for twelve in Noritake and two sets of everyday china. Shaped cake pans have bred out of control and taken over my kitchen. I cannot stop them; I know that at one point, some day in the distant future, all my happiness will depend upon having at hand a copper mold in the shape of the state of Texas.

I only hope that, when the day comes? I can find the damn thing.