Sunday, September 21, 2008


I figured that I knew how the world worked. In my 24 years, I at least assumed that this was the one thing I knew. And why wouldn't I? I've been through the shit, I've done some bad things. I've known all the hustlers, the drug dealers and drug addicts, the drunk brawlers, the strippers and whores. I've seen what this world can do to you if you let it.

But lately I've been taken aback by all of the things that I don't know. In part, this stems from the women that I've been attracting lately. That blonde who I used to write about, her family was from Germany. I took this... not for granted, I would say, but I would say that I viewed it far more as a negative thing because of how badly she infuriated me constantly. I didn't appreciate the fact that all of these people still have that uniquely American immigrant experience of coming to this land for a change, for a new life.

But now I've been seeing a girl that is straight off of the boat from Brazil, a girl who certainly looks as ethnic as she is, speaks three languages, and has a degree from some place I've never heard of.

When I thought of Brazil before, most times I thought of The Rundown, and maybe those old vale tudo fight clips you find on the internet where there's six hundred crazed little fidgets packed into some low ceilinged dojo and Royce Gracie breaks some guy's arm out his ass.

She told me she was from Londrina.

"It's not that big," she says.


I'm pretty much figuring that it's a village on the Amazon where a bunch of people are wearing shirts that say Buffalo Bills 1990 Super Bowl Champs and they hide in the bushes when they hear a helicopter.

And I was kind of right, in that there appears to be a big body of water there, that might be a river. Other than that, it's a city of 500,000 with three universities and things like "poverty rates" and sports teams and Mayors and councils. And, it appears, the people actually know what helicopters are.

"That's OK," she says. "We think all Americans are tall and blond and love George Bush."

"Yea... well... at least we don't wear loin cloths..."


"Nothin. Nevermind."

Thursday, September 11, 2008


So I want to know: at what point do all these 9/11 "tributes" and "commemorations" stop becoming emotional and important, and start becoming just a cultish, nationalistic endeavor meant to chain us to a past that we have, on the day to day level, forgotten?

9/11 changed nothing. It didn't give us right to have the foreign policy we've had or to invade a soverign country in the search for weapons and connections that were never there. The families of the firefighters have been used as political pawns, although they themselves have purveyed that by believeing that because a family member of theirs died in the disaster, it lent any more credibility to their political opinion. It tore the fabric of the nation apart, and we have not recovered. The divide between red and blue is still huge, with great masses of people having lost all faith in the electorate that promised to protect them, but failed.

Yes, the whole thing still bothers me. It likely always will. I grew up in the shadow of those towers, and when I look out over the gleaming lights of the Hudson and see the towers that aren't there, it will always strike me as strange. It still, in my eyes, robs the NYC skyline of the mystique and power that it once had.

I hope America is bottoming out. I hope our economy is at it's lowest point, and that we have learned that the pen is mightier than the sword... and it spills much less blood. Why? Because I'm tired of commemorations. These people, New Yorkers, have moved on. The women are remarried, the children call other people "dad". Let us move on. The damage is done, and if it hasn't healed by now, it's not going to. And no fucking memorial service with flag draped balconies and eloquent speeches is going to change that.