Blind Strike

{September 20, 2007}   Tasers, apathy, our Kent State

First of all, Republicans successfully filibustered an attempt to restore Habeus Corpus this week. I made no phone call to congress. I did watch television yesterday.

You’ve probably heard about the UF kid, Andrew Meyer, who got tazered at a John Kerry speech on Sept. 17, 2007:

Why did no one stand up for this kid? The obvious answer: because they didn’t want to get tasered. But the students’ reactions (laughter, applause) reveal more than just fear. On this clip you can hear exactly one woman screaming for the cops to stop. But why didn’t John Kerry, Mr. Vietnam Vet against the war, intervene? Of all the people in the room, he was the one who could be sure he would not be tasered or unduly harrassed by police. He actually continues to answer the guy’s question as the po-po take him down (in a way this shows Kerry was sympathetic, but it also demonstrates that all the years he’s spent in the senate have castrated him).

Compare the reaction of these UCLA students to the library tazering of their fellow student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, Nov. 14, 2006. At the end you will hear a cop threaten one of the protesters with getting tazed too. They got in the cops’ faces. There was, relative to the Andrew Meyer incident, an en masse reaction to the unnecessary use of force:

For years, as our rights have gradually eroded and our friends have come home in ziplock bags, I’ve wondered, where is the line? When will people get pissed off enough that they will rise up–nonviolently–against this oppressive bullshit? For our parents’ generation it was the Kent State shootings. What will it be for us? Would you risk your own body to protect a stranger who was being tasered unnecessarily? Would you risk arrest for peaceful protest when you could be labeled an enemy combatant and thrown in jail indefinitely, without the right to petition to have the your arrest reviewed in court?

I don’t know whether to run or fight, but I can’t pretend this isn’t happening. We are in some serious shit in the United States. I felt it at the University of Alaska, this apathy, this fear, and I’m fucking sick of it!


{September 18, 2007}   Interlude for a Plug

Here ye lovers of Science Fiction-Fantasy, have I got an online forum for you:

This site is bona fide, started by a friend of mine from Sonoma, California. Her self-published book, Perdita, is awesome. If you’re interested in buying it, please purchase through her site so she can get some money for it and recoup those publishing costs.

{September 4, 2007}   Cobra’s Lesson: Part II

Squirrel followed Cobra into an underground hollow. Cobra coiled himself around and around, folding back on his body until he resembled a spring. His head flared wide again. Squirrel pressed herself against the wall as far from him as possible.

“You follow me without questioning…?” said Cobra.

“I, Scorpion said I could trust you.”

“But, who is Scorpion?” Cobra’s tongue flicked out and back so quickly it resembled a flame to Squirrel, whose stomach was now heavy with dread. “Why do you trust him?”

Squirrel tried to be brave. She took a deep breath. “I had no choice. I just arrived and–”

“Wrong! You have choice. You lack power. You are alive right now only because you are too weak to give good sport. Ha! Helping. You come to me for helping? What do you think you are to me…a lovely soul, an apprentice? You are nothing but the lunch I can’t stomach. You don’t belong here, little Squirrel. But, you can stay until dark. Then be gone before I change my mind about your bony haunches.”

He left her just like that, trembling with fear and drinking the shame of her weakness. Cobra slithered further into his den, while Squirrel stayed put, breathing deeply. She stood that way for hours, afraid to move. Her gut roared its emptiness, but she quelled it, saying, “Be patient, stomach, it will soon be cooler. Then we can forage.”

From the tunnel Cobra had taken, an object bounced and skidded into the room. Squirrel could hardly believe her eyes: an acorn. She cradled the shiny nut in her paws, fell on her back, and tossed it into the air. Then, she tore into its soft flesh and chewed. Squirrel saved half for later, stuffing the uneaten portion into her cheek.

“Thank you!” she dared to call out to Cobra, who hissed long and low, and whispered, “What you should say, what you should want to know, is where? Where did I get it? Not far from here, little one. Not far. The desert is tricksy, a shifting mirage, but sweet nuts lie in hidden parts, mmmmn.”

Squirrel tried to imagine an oasis surrounded by oak trees. She couldn’t believe an acorn had gotten into Cobra’s desert lair. Around her, the air was cooling off, and Squirrel decided she should go out in search of water and more food. As she tiptoed around the corner, towards the opening above, Cobra called from behind her, “That’s more like it. Yes….”

Squirrel poked her head out of the tunnel’s entrance, into the orange dusklight. She sniffed the air for any trace of water, and felt drawn towards the westward horizon.

And that is the way she took, following her own nose.

et cetera