Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Day Without Electricity is Like a Day Without the 21st Century

With the heavy winds that hit the state yesterday, our power was knocked out for a full 25 hours. We had one of those nifty gas faux-woodstoves installed when we moved in back in 2002, so we had no probs keeping the house warm enough to ward off freezing plumbing (a semi-cozy 51 degrees), but the lack of lights sent us scurrying off to the big town of Brattleboro last night for a pleasant dinner out and a movie (Woody Allen's latest Match Point, which was also delicious).

It was too dim and drafty inside to do much other than read and tend to household tasks, from the banal day-to-days of dishes and such to long-put-off projects like finishing up picture-hanging and furniture-rearranging in the new guest room (formerly Daniel's room) on the second floor.

All in all, a blissful way to past a Friday and part of a Saturday.

What would Dave Sim make of Robert Graves's White Goddess, I wonder? Gee, I miss the conversations Dave and I used to have; he really is (was) one of the best around for chewing the fat:

"Poetry began in the matriarchal age, and derives its power from the moon, not from the sun. No poet can hope to understand the nature of poetry unless he has had a vision of the Naked King crucified to the lopped oak, and watched the dancers, red-eyed from the acrid smoke of the sacrificial fires, stamping out the measure of the dance, their bodies bent uncouthly forward, with a monotonous chant of: 'Kill! kill! kill!' and 'Blood! blood! blood!'" - Robert Graves, The White Goddess

Speaking of women, the power of the moon, crucified kings and "blood, blood, blood!":

The week began with the subcommittee reports on the scandalous failure of the gov't at all levels in their individual and collective Katrina response; it ended with this bon mot from Ted Bridis of the AP:

"White House Defends Sale of Port Operations to Arab Firm"

WASHINGTON (Feb. 17) - The Bush administration on Thursday rebuffed criticism about potential security risks of a $6.8 billion sale that gives a company in the United Arab Emirates control over significant operations at six major American ports...

The world's fourth-largest ports company runs commercial operations at shipping terminals in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

Four senators and three House members asked the administration on Thursday to reconsider its approval. The lawmakers contended the UAE is not consistent in its support of U.S. terrorism-fighting efforts.
"The potential threat to our country is not imagined, it is real," Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., said in a House speech.

DP World said it had received all regulatory approvals for its purchase and noted that the administration did not object.
"We intend to maintain and, where appropriate, enhance current security arrangements," the company said in a statement. "It is very much business as usual for the P&O terminals" in the United States.
Lawmakers said the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan. They also said the UAE was one of only three countries to recognize the now-toppled Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate government.

We are soooooooooooooooooo thankful Bush and Cheney were reelected to keep us all so safe and secure from all alarm...

Well, maybe it's harder to claim we're all "safer" with Cheney, whatever your politics. With Texan millionaire Harry M. Whittington up and around at last, looking mighty bruised about the face and neck but live and kicking, and his good ol' boy Texan millionaire concern for his hunting pal Dick -- I mean, really, Dick's had a hard week, hasn't he? -- I reckon this story is played out. Still, questions persist: with all the meds our cyborg Vice President takes for his ticker and well-being, that beer (just one) he had that morning was still likely a bad idea, and the blanket tossed over this event at first and Cheney's characteristic late response (in which he still equivocated!) make for fascinating addendums to the pathology of both this Vice President and this Administration.

But my buddy Joe Citro raises the most interesting question of the week regarding this story:

What if the hunting accident had been the other way around?

I'm pretty certain we wouldn't be reading about the local sheriff being shooed away when he showed up to investigate, or apologists lamenting the nasty ol' media's attention to the shooter. In fact, I'm willing to bet this all would have played out quite, quite differently, and we wouldn't just be hearing Harry saying "accidents do and will happen" in the same context at all.

Have a great weekend...