Nis nu cwicra nan þe ic him modsefan minne durre sweotule asecgan

I don't mean to seem insensitive by continuing to post about old Japanese books as though Hurricane Katrina hadn't happened (apart from a single link to a "lighter side" item). I figure that you guys can find places to donate without my help, and it isn't like my switching to an all-refugee camp format would make any real difference.

I do think that everyone who hasn't already should go down to Crooks and Liars and watch Smith & Rivera vs. Hannity & Colmes. I've heard people call Geraldo's baby-handling a cheap stunt, and it's true that those babies didn't look happy to be separated from their carers, even for a second. But you know, even in the least generous interpretation -- which I don't subscribe to -- of Geraldo cynically planning the whole thing and faking those tears without an ounce of genuine pity, the fact that there are still babies to pick up in that dark, dirty, corpse-choked convention centre renders the question of authenticity completely irrelevant. You can be an atheist in a foxhole, but you can't be a hipster.

Il Geraldo con bambino also served to mirror those hundreds and hundreds of "celebrity poses with child orphaned by war/famine/genocide/natural disaster" images we've seen over the course of our lives. It can happen to you wherever you are. Nowhere and nobody is safe. Or, put the other way, they were us all along.

Wyrd bið ful aræd.

Oh, and, confidential to S.H.: when you're talking to two guys who are knee-deep in the worst disaster on your country's soil in at least a century, and visibly on the verge of cracking, and the subject is the terrible plight of thousands of your fellow human beings, never, ever make this gesture:


EDIT: I just had to add this for posterity:

'And I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night. Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us.'

Popularity factor: 10


Thanks Matt. I knew you'd get round to it. But I'm afraid my Angled Saxophone is a bit rusty ...


Mine, too; but I followed the link (cool!), searched the original for "wyrd", found the quote in the first few lines and then checked against the various translations. (The Web Weirding Way!)

Won't give it away, though. I prefer to subscribe to the belief that we make our own. Then again...

What [they] impose, that men must needs abide;It boots not to resist both wind and tide.


That previous was re the mid-text quote, of course.

Re the title: Matt! You can always tell us! : )


That last photo... damn. I guess this is what happens when anchordesk barbies are in in there without handling. I don't watch much TV news to know who he is though.


Well said.


"Nor is there now among the quick anyone to whom I dare openly speak my heart". Same poem!

That's true, I don't subscribe to complete fatalism in the sense that even your reactions are preordained. I guess what I'm saying is that the river can take anybody, and you're better off if you've accepted and prepared for that idea in advance.

Ali: I guess that's "Hannity". I assume that he makes that gesture all the time, unconsciously, but it just seems really inappropriate when the subject currently on the table is three or four figures worth of dead people.


I had a few words right. It wasn't the river, it was the lake. The river containment held. And yes, that's Hannity.


(Bit of confusion, maybe? I meant you might consider us "[some]one to whom [you] dare openly speak [your] heart"!)

Who was it said fate is the hand you're dealt, free will is how you play it? Karma and Dharma...not to mention Greg!

And while the river that takes you knows no end, the waters are never the same.


I was also thinking of this song. I guess it's not all that applicable, but Greg Brown's voice makes phrases like "the river will take you" stick in your head for years.

IDR: Is that from the poetic interpretation of the HJK you linked to a while ago? I haven't checked it out yet... trying to at least finish my first draft before I start the unconscious stealing process. ;)


Nah, just me riffin' off your earlier comment and the knowledge that you're translating the HJK!

Eric Clapton's "River of Tears" does it for me. There's another river song I like but haven't listened to for years...can't remember if it's by Billy Joel or Peter Gabriel (a scary fact, wot?).

I've piddled (or maybe puddled?) about for years on a series I call Songs of the River Cities, which is how the towns along the Ohio (That's The River, Bo', ain't no oth'r wort minchnin'!) where I grew up like to style themselves.

Strange and sad now that home's a world away...But the River Cities are where the heart is.

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