Saturday, February 05, 2005


Rave, why are you picking at those scrambled eggs? Too dry for you?

“Not at all. They’re nice and soft. Actually, I am tempted to smear them on the computer screen. Reading these news bits is like watching a soap opera called ‘As the Stomach Turns’.”

Anything in particular turning yours today?

“The twin towers of belligerence and cowardice. here we have Condolences Rice in Germany exercising her ‘diplomatic language’, saying that the US has no plans to attack Iran FOR NOW.”

For now…por ahora. Interesting that she used that phrase on the anniversary of Chavez using it in 1992 after his failed coup in Caracas.

“Hadn’t thought about that. Well, Here’s Chavez meditating with some of his coup associates.”


“That’s what the headline says. And speaking of stomachs turning, Colombia’s president Uribe is apparently turning his in a naval hospital in CartageƱa, instead of meeting with Chavez about the Granda kidnapping in Caracas.”

I read several stories about that. First he said an ear condition had caused his stomach problems. Then they said it was food poisoning and that he needed at least 4 days of bedrest.

“The leg bone is connected to the collarbone? His grasp of anatomy is pretty fluid, isn’t it? He just didn’t have the nerve to meet one-on-one behind closed doors with Chavez. A fine example of cowardice.”

You have a point, Rave. When the kidnapping caper blew up in his face, he wanted to have a summit of presidents discuss the incident. But Chavez said it was a bilateral matter, and that he would only deal with it one-on-one.

“Then Lula got in the act. And somebody from Peru prevailed upon Fidel to mediate the crisis—whatever that means.”

The long and the short of it is that Uribe is a pip squeak and a US puppet—the Bush Gang will try anything to get Chavez.

“I just read an interview with a CIA-DISIP agent who said that the CIA started scheming against Chavez in 1994 when he got out of prison. Interesting interview—the woman talked about brainstorming sessions to determine Chavez’ weakness.”

What did they come up with?

“Nothing. She said he was ‘invulnerable’. That he was completely congruent from when he got out of prison until now.”

That IS interesting. In 1999 Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote an article called “The Enigma of Hugo Chavez”, in which he said that what first struck him about Chavez was his “body of reinforced concrete”.

“This CIA woman wasn’t talking about him in physical terms.”

I understood that. But the physical appears to be congruent with the psychological and political.

“No wonder Uribe doesn’t want to meet up with him in a dark office in Miraflores.”

Well, I wouldn’t mind meeting up with him there….

“Oh oh. I think we’ve entered waters that are over my head.”

Sorry Rave, but we don’t all have the same reaction to the crisis of conscience in the world. Some of us smear eggs on their computer screens. And some of us indulge in moments of fantasy.

“Yeah. And some blow themselves—or others—up with car bombs. And others blow women and children to bits in Iraq.”

And others have to resign their department chair positions in universities in Colorado because the US had 9/11 coming to it for its policies of genocide and interventionism. Which is what I said on Mexican t.v. on 9/11, come to think of it.

“And others snarl in their Senate confirmation hearings, and sneer hypocritically about using diplomacy.”

While others are cashing in on being ethnic minorities who conveniently don’t remember recommending 150 plus lethal injections in Texas and God only knows how many broom handles up the butt in Baghdad prisons. We could continue with this litany till the end of the Thirteenth Baktun, Rave. Right now I prefer my moments of fantasy.

Raven rolls his eyes and pours himself an espresso.


Thursday, February 03, 2005


Raven is dancing on the keyboard.

Writing something, are we?

"Translating a poem--or maybe it's part of a poem, as I found it in the introduction to a Rabindranath Tagore novel and it doesn't have a title."

You're translating from which language--Sanskrit?

"It's in Spanish translation and I am hacking it into English."

Let's hear it.


Now they are there--
new times in which the weak
will dare, impassibly,
to confront armies.

That day's victory
will not belong to the one who kills,
but to the one who accepts death.

The one who causes suffering will disappear.
The one who knows how to suffer
will gain the final victory.

The force of the spirit will collide
one day with the brute force,
and only then will man be able to say
that he is not an error of Creation."

When was that written, Rave?

It doesn't say. He died in 1941 at 80--after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.

It could have been written tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Raven is scratching his head, which entails standing on one foot and balancing precariously on top on the newspaper.

Something puzzling you, Rave?

“Yeah. The headline of this article. Supposedly 72% of registered voters voted in Iraq. Are they implying that the high turnout means that democracy is settling down on its haunches in Iraq, or what?”

You got me. I vote for “or what”. The Sunnites boycotted the election, and since they are 20% of the population….

“That means that 92% of Shiite and Kurd voters voted. And 0% of Sunnites. Now, unless I miss my guess, that also means that the Sunnites will not be represented in the National Assembly, nor included in the drawing up of a constitution. Which means that democracy is NOT settling down on its haunches in Iraq.”

It seems not. Maybe they should have headlined the article: 20% of Iraqi Voters in Favor of Civil War?

Raven starts pulling apart a chocolate donut.

“Considering that most of the resisting folks are Sunnites, that sounds about right.”

Well, the Bush Gang can pat themselves on the back—not because they brought democracy to the Cradle of Civilization, but because they stirred up the political tectonics and created another “tsunami”. Apparently the natural one in Indonesia wasn’t enough. You know, after the earthquake and subsequent “tsunami” in Lisbon in November of 1755—well, they didn’t call it a tsunami, but it was the same deal—Voltaire published a long poem, of which probably nothing remains in historical/literary consciousness except his comment: “While Lisbon lies in ruins, we are dancing in Paris.”

“Dancing on someone’s grave has apparently passed into the confines of acceptability. Bush never considered cancelling even one of his inaugural balls.”

I suspect those are the only kind he has, Rave.

“Ouch. Glad you aimed that low blow at him, and not at me.”

Do birds have balls, Rave?

“Is that a rhetorical question? Let’s put it this way: this bird doesn’t have to stuff a sweat sock under his tailfeathers.”

Kind of a peculiar image, that.

“Not nearly as peculiar as that of Alfred E. Newman on an aircraft carrier wearing a strategically stuffed flight suit and holding a plastic turkey.”

The turkey came later, Rave.

Raven mashes the donut crumbs together and pops them in his beak.

“The turkey always comes later.”

Sort of like backdraft. Or civil war.

“Or radioactive fallout.”

Right. The things we can feel thankful for next November.