Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ahmad Maher

is out on the town, according to the back page society coverage in the Daily Gleaner. Maher, last seen being carried out of a mosque somewhere that we don't talk about (much) under a hail of shoes, was attending a vampire wedding at the Semiramis Intercon.

Meanwhile, quote of the day honors are handily wrapped up by Nicholas Negroponte, the guy pushing that $150 laptop business. Complaining about how the focus seems to be on the computer and not the aims of the project, he said: "It's as if people spent all of their attention focussing on Columbus's boat and not on what he was doing."

Columbus set out, on the basis of a wholly fatuous idea of how the globe was constructed, to open up a trade route to a country he didn't understand let alone know how to get to. Unsurprisingly, he got lost. Along the way he mutiliated passengers to keep them in line. He opened the door to genocidical exploitation. But then his sponsors made a whole lot of money (in the medium term) so he became a hero.

Is he sure that he wants people paying less attention to the machine and more to where it's going?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The ringing in my ears

turned out to be Saturday night calling to say hi. A trunk call from a bar somewhere.

I was headed down toward the Semiramis for a triple-espresso and a criossant, head splitting down the mold-line. Panadols about as effective as an Egyptian traffic cop.

Cattle trucks parked in rows as usual by the Mugama, wall-eyed faces peering down through the grills at the passers-by. The basha-officers sitting at a broken table in the shade behind, on the blocked off sidewalk. Legs stretched out. Talking on their mobiles and making noises at the foreign girls.

Back in August, when it was hot as hell, you could smell those trucks—smell the sweat and unlaundered uniforms ten feet off. Now at least, with the cooler weather, you can get past them without having to breathe through your collar.

This is what defeat looks like—soldiers of a broken army paid by the winners to stay home and make sure the civvies stay in line. A rent-a-cop army parked in the shade, a “domestic use only” sticker on its forehead.

Or maybe that’s just Saturday night talking.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dear God,

a bunch of grown men are calling each other sissies in a fight over what they are going to force their women to wear.

Is this how you saw it unfolding when you put this place together?

There is a dead dog on the sidewalk by the bus stop. It's the white one that used to hang around the fuhl stand wagging his tail and nosing at the customers. Must have got hit on the road and crawled there to die. He's laying there like he's asleep in the sun, and he might be, except he hasn't moved in three days. And he's getting larger.

Maybe when they get this scarf business settled, they could send someone over to give him a little funeral.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Woke this morning

to the sound of the mosque up the street. To the ashcan death-rattle of Chinese-made rectifiers cranked to 11. To a mucusy throat clearing scrawled across the morning quiet. Mango leaves rattling and the beer bottle shaken off the bedstead and the cat gone, then, howling, tail bottle brushed.

And then the word of God made public.

Praise Him clutching the porcelain bowl, humping its coolth as dawn spreads her pink across the river. Ask His forgiveness head buried in the fragrant spew of Johnny Talker and last night’s all you can eat sushi mistake. Thank Him when silence returns.

Today, later, when I've sobered up a little, I'm going to start a blog to tell him what I think of things.