I have been unable to stop looking at the pictures of what's going on in Iraq and it is beginning to get to me in a big way.
Try as I might to give myself a much-needed media blackout, I can't do it: everytime I turn off my TV, shut a newspaper, or turn off the Internet, my first thought is "what wool will be pulled over my eyes this time?" Never mind that I can no longer read the foreign coverage at the New York Times, which I used to respect. I still like Bob Herbert, Maureen Dowd, and Paul Krugman, but I also have to admit that when I read that the Washington Post's Michael Kelly had drowned in Iraq, I was happy, gleeful almost at the poetic justice: he wrote oceans of pro-Bush/ pro-war editorials that were, in my opinion, littered with inaccuracies, and then he went to his precious war, where he drowned in a fetid canal. That's not a good feeling, to be happy that someone died, but there it is.
I read the Times and all I can think is "lies, lies, lies." Then I read the foreign press and I think "hyperbole, hyperbole, hyperbole" depending on what I'm reading. Why does the Times call their war series "A Nation at War"? Whose nation are they talking about? It's not "a" nation, it's OUR nation. And I can't bear to hear Richard Perle's voice one more time. He and Paul Celluci should be condemned to fuck each other up the ass in Hell for eternity while dollar bills and dead Iraqi children get stuffed down their throats with a muzzle loader.
Currently the hospitals in Baghdad are overwhelemed with casualties, with "truckloads" (to use the Red Cross's description word) of mutilated women and children among them. I just read that, I don't know where. Too much news. Do they mean a dump truck, a garbage truck, or just a plain old Chevy S-10? Why am I wondering about this?
I go out to grab some lunch at the deli downstairs. I hate that place; it caters to the UPenn community. The entire place has been designed to enhance the "experience" of sustenance. There are hideous cartoons of people eating all over the walls, all drawn to suggest "fun." On the ceiling, all sorts of slogans have been written in font that jerks abruptly from Times New Roman to something like Cartoon or Wing Dings. Put in the zany font wherever you see capital letters: "A good plate of CHICKEN SOUP has cured more ills than PENICILLIN." "Stop KIBBITZING and ORDER." "A PESSIMIST sees the HOLE; and OPTIMIST sees the BAGEL." And the absolute worst "anything tastes GOOD with BREAD!" Yeah? How about a big steaming pile of dog shit? would that taste good with bread? How about the blown off head of some Iraqi kid? I'll bet THAT would taste good on rye. Hey, the PESSIMIST sees the HOLE where the kid's TEMPLE USED TO BE, the OPTIMIST asks for EXTRA CHEESE WITH THAT. And since when does eating
have to be pitched at me, as if it's something I don't enjoy to begin with? Why is food advertised as "fun to eat"? I don't need a "DELI-cious experience," I just want a fucking pint of soup! It's all so patronizing. Say what you will about Pat's or Geno's, but at least they shut the fuck up and give you your sandwich.
I stand in line with these blueblood kids at ivy-league Penn and listen to them talk about their ski adventure in the family chalet or their plum job at dad's firm, or what over-priced dance club they went to this weekend, or the spring break trip to some exotic location, and all I can think is that the opulence is embarassing, especially now in a war, especially now when the economy lost another 180,000 jobs or whatever, especially now when the cities are in their worst economic shape since World War 2 and SEPTA's talking about shutting down four public transit lines, one of which carries low-income inner city residents to jobs in the suburbs. I get so pissed off thinking about this that I want to empty my can of soda on the head of the most attractive one.
It's like Connie Marble says in Pink Flamingos: "There are two types of people in this world Miss Sandy Sanderson: my kind of people and ASSHOLES. It's clear what category YOU fall into." I'm tired of people who are assholes, and that includes me.