I haven’t written on this blog in years. Mostly because, heck, I’ve been tired. I did a lot of work which did not involve sitting at a computer, and when I had time to have my own thoughts, I wanted to use them to “really” write. So I tried to write a book. I’m still trying.

But I miss writing about yak racing and yule goats.

So, for the very few people out there who know this exists: maybe I’ll give this another try. Years have passed, life is different, and so the content will reflect all that. Enjoy the pun, enjoy the goat, enjoy Yule, and I’ll make a concerted effort to keep things going around here.

With great love,

The Feisty Sweetheart


I am going to get myself a new blog (well, already done). Because as charming as this is, as adorable as I am when I talk about yaks and Sigur Ros and wife-carrying and Scandinavia and asparagus….I need a schtick before I publish my Dostoevsky-esque novel (Which I won’t do!) But anway! What if I get a new blog and I just keep it about books and thus can address other things in a sweet lovely way which isn’t so passive aggressive. Someone Somewhere will maybe find me out and know how beautifully I can write about Yaks. God, if only we had a heavy sweaty yak right now. We meaning me. I just think it’d be nice to have something so blanket-esque, but with a pulse that you can also be like “Hey get outta here! Go make milk! Har har har I will make you into a BLANKET and dispense of your needs!!!”

Really, I will try to find a way to talk about how gorgeous Riceboy Sleeps is.  I’ll put up the link, maybe, but I’m afraid the only people who are directed to this website are obsessed with yaks, and ultimately we might not have as much in common as we’d like to think. If I see a good Mountain Goat page, I’ll pass it on Love Love Loves….

(I’m so witty to myself.)

Egypt and Links

Just watched Mubarak’s speech live on CNN. I’m not well-versed enough to know what the implications are here, but it felt pretty weird. Firing the whole government except himself (or as he put it, “resignations”)? Pretty sure he’s missing the point (“The Egyptian People Hate You” chants seem crystal clear). Is anyone else thinking of the Iran protests in the summer of 2009, and feeling worried that this whole thing will just fade away? Many of the issues changing the dissatisfaction into real protest in Egypt are issues everywhere, and I don’t think the powers that be are willing to see or allow any meaningful change.

The Guardian is streaming live updates, and I like them. Uh, The Guardian, I mean. Speaking of which, I always read whatever Robert Fisk has to say during events like these in the Middle East. I continue to (mostly) like the man, and his book The Great War for Civilisation remains one of the best things I have read, ever.

Aaron Bady has news and commentary about events in the Middle East as well, and as usual, it’s excellent and informative. Also, check out his current reading list – lots of interesting Middle Eastern fiction – by women. He also linked over to The Angry Arab, whose posts I’m finding great. The Agonist has also been a good place for following things, with short but helpful commentary.

Also, I’m flying outta Baltimore and driving with a buddy from Austin to Phoenix next week. Obviously not excited to step into the state of Arizona whatsoever, but since I was an impressionable little girl and watched Christian Bale in Newsies (c’mon, unions!) I’ve been longing to go to Santa Fe. Not quite enough to do a song-and-dance in the street, but still. So I was distressed to read about the crazies in the government over there. The world feels pretty nuts all around these days.

And if that’s not enough to make you want to throw up all over yourself, read this! Wonderful. The sheer evilness, the sheer stupidity of the Republicans boggles my mind. These guys are just a few nudges away from starting “pro-rape” campaigns. Love the zygotes, hate welfare moms. I don’t know anymore.

Our Moral Inertia

Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honest with ourselves remorseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

The videos from the student protests in Britain are inspiring. Of course, some will dismiss them as a minority of troublemakers. Well, thank God for the troublemakers. We live in terrifying times. The planet is burning up, species are going extinct at unprecedented levels, and the number of poor people on this planet is growing. In the wealthiest countries on the planet, the rich are crushing the poor and taking the last bits and pieces from the people.

Meaningful protest is what we need, and it is what we have needed for decades. The American people have been distracted for years by reality television, faux-scandals, false populist rhetoric on the right, the pressing bills piling above their heads, etc. etc. The American left has been relegated to the sidelines. We have meaningless stands of righteousness. We blog about how absurd the new tax deal is, how deranged the right is, how corrupt the politicians are, what liars the media are (I am aware of the irony, yes). We really show them, man! Meanwhile, the multi-national corporations are juggernauts which do not rest, and their mouthpieces are driving the folks on the right wing to new extremes.

I’m all for listening to heroes like Bernie Sanders. But we need to back him up. It’s not enough for us to know what he’s saying. The nation needs to know what he’s saying. They know by seeing, and the only way they’ll see is if we get out there and show we exist. Stewart’s rally was a farce, but it showed there are those of us still willing to show up, and that’s a start.

We on the left have been thinking (and I’m guilty of this myself) that online discussion is a sufficient replacement for activism. It is not. “I am what I do,” wrote C.S. Lewis. Writing is something, discussion is something, but to risk ourselves, to brave the cold, the jeers, the police – that is to truly stand for what we believe in, rather than sit in the warmth and wag our fingers at the naughty ones. The situation reminds me of a scene where Gandalf chastises the cynical Denethor in The Lord of the Rings:

The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?”

The exchange is one we would all do well to remember. There’s been far too many TLOR analogies in the world, but spare me one more. We are all of us responsible for our planet, we are responsible for resisting evil, and we are responsible for the deeds done in our name. We are all stewards. The task upon is not to stay home, but to go out in defense of the good, resting not.

I agree with Ian Welsh’s sentiment in this post. The situation seems all but hopeless. To leave, to preserve what we can seems our only option. The system seems intent on self-destruction. But I also have a deep fondness for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the pastor who did not flee Germany when his fellows did, but remained to protest the Nazi state, and was executed for his pains. He once wrote, “Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and action.” And so we, whatever we call ourselves, are also called to line up our actions with our beliefs. This is the society we’ve been born into, and it was not all evil. I’ve had much happiness here, and I don’t want salvation outside it while others suffer and the leaders continue to accelerate the pillaging of the planet. We’ve had too many people flee for new futures in our history. We’ve had a perpetual frontier mentality, pushing on in search of more, rather than staying and challenging the way things are. I think it’s time to change ourselves in response to the faultlines in our history.

Charlie Strauss notes in this interesting post (the link taken from Gerry Canvan) that:

We are now living in a global state that has been structured for the benefit of non-human entities with non-human goals. They have enormous media reach, which they use to distract attention from threats to their own survival. They also have an enormous ability to support litigation against public participation, except in the very limited circumstances where such action is forbidden. Individual atomized humans are thus either co-opted by these entities (you can live very nicely as a CEO or a politician, as long as you don’t bite the feeding hand) or steamrollered if they try to resist.

In short, we are living in the aftermath of an alien invasion.”

Maybe it’s impossible to resist. But it’s the right thing to do. How do we start a protest of this tax deal, or use the shocking information we’ve received from Wikileaks (see: Shell and Nigeria) to force our government and corporations to stop committing crimes in our name? I want to do more. How do we get started?

I feel that I’m going to have a difficult time keeping a straight face talking to people who work for Voice of America. I mean, their whole mission is to broadcast into repressive counties. But their own country is engaged in cyberattacks upon an organization dedicated to, despite Fox News and Robert Gibbs and the CIAs and Chris Matthews opinions, providing information to enhance democracy in an age of corporate control. We shouldn’t be surprised in the year of Citizens United that democracy is taking such a hit (ahem: “Soldiers at risk! Let’s not ask why they’re there in the first place! My job is to blame subversive elements who may be honest and not taking payments from a corrupt system, and thus may bring down my paycheck!”) My major question is more reminiscent of the old (ahem) Real World: when do we stop being polite, and start saying: if you support democracy, when do you start taking a stand against corporate money, corporate laws, corporate financing of elections, corporate and government denial of global warming and clandestine politics?

It may be mainstream to shit on Wikileaks for putting people “at risk” but two minutes research proves that false. When will we become a society more interested in the truth, and less interested in good parties/bars/mainstream politics/the housing market/whatever the new trend is in whatever group?

“We descend so easily
Give it up for short-term memory
Fight your nature if you can
And hope for heaven where we land

All the arms around you now
Could they ever catch you then
First they tell me not to fret
Then you frighten me again”

-Halloween, Alaska.

I haven’t updated in a while. I’ve been working hard, but my upcoming unemployment may change the rate of posts around here. It’s hard to gather up the energy to post, though, when so many people already are doing good stuff. I could just blog links. Oh well, onwards…

This essay about Julian Assange is easily the best thing I’ve read about Wikileaks since they’ve come to my attention (I probably shouldn’t conflate Assange and Wikileaks, but so it goes). Reading Assange’s own intentions in addition to zunguzungu’s breakdown-within-the-larger-context made me more enthusiastic about Wikileaks than I already was, and I’m all about open information networks.

There’s only a few more hours left to contact the EPA about stopping mountaintop removal. Please do it.

That’s about it.


I found this article about changing the framework of our debate towards left-wing vs. the corporations to be fascinating. Via The Agonist.

Hopefully Ecuador can keep the wolves at bay with this move.

Arnold Schwarzenegger made the speech of his lifetime the other night at the Commonwealth Club in California. I can’t find a transcript, so here’s a link to the video Keith Olbermann showed. God, that was amazing, it’s sort of weird, right? Favorite line:

“They are creating a shell argument that this is about saving jobs. Does anyone really believe that these companies, out of the goodness of their black oil hearts, are spending millions and millions of dollars to protect our jobs? It’s not about jobs at all. It’s about their ability to pollute and thus protect their profits.”
Matt Taibi talks shit about the Tea Party. Yeah, man.
I think this is slightly old, but please read it: the eight most toxic energy projects on the planet. Terrifying, and important.
And, if there’s one reason to get out and vote in November, I think it’s this. It’s scary out there.