Sunday, October 30, 2005


October 30, 2005 - Sunday

It's that time of year again; you know what I mean. It's the annual Yule Race, as the retail megastores rush to be the first to get their Christmas goodies onto the consumer shelves.

In other words, it's Halloween.

A near-to-a-sister friend of mine was telling me, as she does every year, the latest kids costumes that have been banned in her part of the country. You know, the red part? :) And yes, I did indeed mean "banned". Harry Potter costumes are on that list, because witches are evil spawns of the devil and shouldn't be idolized.

I'm frightened for the state of my country and our children, I really am, if this is the degree of intolerance and fear being taught by our communities.

I really don't understand why people are so afraid of Halloween. And forget the church pundits and bible thumpers, those I'm used to; it's the everyday person I'm talking about.

I went to a Halloween party this saturday where costumes were required. Said so, right there on the invite. Yep. So why is it people were showing up wearing their jeans and t-shirts? You ask where their costume is and they shrink several inches into their turtle shells, blushing and giggling with shame. I'm not sure if their embarassed at the thought of being out in public in a costume, or at the thought of being in a place full of people in costumes - and not wearing one themselves. Why does wearing a costume bother people so much?

All year, people wear invisible masks. They smile in the face of adversity, they pretend they like their jobs, their in-laws, their neighbors...their spouses. "That dress looks GREAT on you" they say, then turn around and poke fun at the same person behind their back.

Or let's talk about costumes; the former goth/rocker who traded in their leather and black denim for a Calvin Klein suit, or the chief of staff at a hospital who goes home, takes off his scrubs and pulls out the high-heel pumps and stockings he keeps hidden in the back of the closet. Pun intended.

For one day out of a year, you're allowed to be MORE than who you are. You can be who you wish you were. You can fantasize, and share that fantasy with the world - no penalties, amnesty for all.

I ended up in more conversations walking the street and taking the subway in my Zorro costume in that one day, than I normally would in a month wearing my "civvies". And it's the same thing every year; it's as if you wearing a costume makes you more approachable, friendlier, to others. You're no longer some fellow schlub, you're...

You're a celebrity.

I had to share this little tidbit, somewhat off tangent. My neighborhood likes to decorate for the holiday, which gives me a nice feel-good sensation walking around here. One of the buildings put up a lighted, air-filled pumpkin display outside in the courtyard. As I walked by a large white ghost rose up from inside the pumpkin, with "Boo" written across its chest.

Why is it, then, that the only thing that came to my mind was this: "Holy crap, it looks like the pumpkin just got a woody!"

Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


October 26, 2005 - Wednesday

I had this whole scathing, venomous retort I wanted to spew out, thinking about the 2,000 deaths of our soldiers over in Iraq. The number is staggering, considering what we went there to do, and there's no end in sight.

I am angry over it. I despise the man I'm forced to call my President, and I think this was the biggest fuck-up in decades by an American President. This was poorly planned, poorly executed and there is absolutely no exit strategy for the complicated mess we've caused. The war was in Afghanistan, not Iraq; all the excuses and justifications in the world won't change that simple fact. You fucked up, George, and I wish you were man enough to admit it.


Crying over spilled milk isn't achieving anything. I'm forced to acknowledge that we created this mess, so it's our job to finish it - even if there is no finish on the horizon. I'm not condoning the "war", I'm not justifying us being there in any way; given the choice I would send our men and women home, where they belong - tomorrow, if I could.

Except...we stuck our noses in the shit and now we've got a mess to clean up. The Iraqi people, however oppressed they might have been under Saddam, would be up shit's creek with two broken paddles if we bailed out now. Civil war would tear that places to shreds; Saddam may have been a dictator, but he at least offered stability. We've upset that balance, and until we restore it we're stuck there, literally.

I'm saddened that more American soliders are going to die in the upcoming years, the victims - in many cases - of people who feel they're defending their homeland from an invading force. I can't fault the Iraqi's as a people for it, because in the same situation I might be doing the same. If the roles were reversed, if China decided that our expansionist/nationalist ways were a threat to Communism everywhere and, in some future reality, send in forces to "forcibly remove" George W. (gods willing) and keep a policing military force in our country to show us the better way to govern ourselves...

...would we feel any differently than many militant Iraqi "insurgents"?

I'm not condoning what they're doing, either; terrorist actions make you a terrorist, period.

I'm just saying...I understand.

Find a way to bring our troops home, George. Do something right, for once.