Monday, March 19, 2007

Weekend Round-up

Funny, isn't it, how life and art (or journalism) intersect? This morning as I was walking down Wall Street with a copy of this weekend's NYTimes Magazine griped firmly in my left hand, I noticed an absolute phalanx of combat ready NYPD officers clogging the street, the sidewalks, and the entrance to the number 1 train. Being that this is New York, and downtown NY at that, only blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood, seeing all this police activity made my heart race a little bit--and not in a good way. And then I heard the shouting in the distance, rhythmic and punctuated by an intermittent drum beat, and when I looked again and saw once officer with a camera to his face, snapping madly at the scene, I realized what was going on: a protest. An anti-war protest. It's the first one I've seen in person here in Manhattan and it made me wonder if we've finally reached a place where people are actually going to begin standing up and demanding real change... Which brings me back to the life/art connection, because what I was holding in my left hand, in that NY Times magazine, was this week's cover story on women and war--or, specifically, the female US soldiers who are returning from their tours with cases of PTSD caused not just by the trauma they are seeing in the war zone, but also by the sexual trauma inflicted upon them by their male counterparts in the military. To have been so fully immersed in the story on my subway ride downtown this morning, and to have had the sense, in reading it, that the shit is really about to hit the proverbial fan in regards to this war; and then to emerge from there straight into the middle of an anti-war protest... Well, it gives you the feeling that the war really is everywhere--that the chickens have come home to roost. And the most terrible part about it all is that, in so many ways, the damage has already been done. There's no going back for the thousands of soldiers dead or damaged. The only question left is: how many more lives are we willing to ruin in the name of oil and power?

On that happy note, a few items of note from this past weekend:

Let the Mudslinging Begin (Again): Barack's team may be disavowing it, but this video spot that parodies Apple's landmark "1984" commercial is the best piece of pirate political advocacy I've seen yet.

Is Ignorance Bliss?: From the NYTimes, a paralyzing article about one young woman's choice to find out whether she possesses the genetic marker for Huntington's disease (she does). Likely to provoke the "What Would You Do?" sentiment in most of us. For the record, I don't think I have the capacity to hold such knowledge about the limitations of my life expectancy and still live any full kind of life. When it comes to pain and suffering, I'm a wimp, quite frankly. So let me float off in a daze, all who are listening...

Pre-abortion Ultrasounds Could Be Required Under SC Law: In another move to limit a woman's right to abortion without being lectured to or coerced, a bill is now winding its way through the South Carolina legislature that would require women seeking abortions to view ultrasounds of their fetuses before actually going through with the procedure. Un-freakin'-real.

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