Sheeba's Old View from the Window

What happened? What's happening. Sheeba's view from the window. Mine, on occasion, from wherever. Yours, from ... where.......?

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Samiya Bashir’s books of poetry, Field Theories (Spring 2017), Gospel, andWhere the Apple Falls, and anthologies, including Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art, exist. Sometimes she makes poems of dirt. Sometimes zeros and ones. Sometimes variously rendered text. Sometimes light. She lives in Portland, Ore, with a magic cat who shares her obsessions with trees and blackbirds and occasionally crashes her classes and poetry salons at Reed College.

samiya bashir dot com

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Election Predictions!

Notes on this blog: (1) I am prone to rampant and ill-advised neologism (2) There are a lot of links. Holding shift when pressing a link will open the link in a new browser, allowing you to maintain continuity on this blog (3) All apparent grammatical errors are actually in place for comedic effect.

The candidates (all 7,000) have finished up their campaigning (mostly ducking), the electorate have thoughtfully weighed their options (they've had nearly 72 hours), the voting booths are open (if you have the password). Let's have us an ol' fashioned free and fair election! Iraqis across Iraq are ready to vote for their next President! No? Prime Minister! No? Umm.... Commander-in-chief? They don't have one of those yet? Alright.... Senators? Close enough! Turns out, Iraqis don't need to know the names of those stupid candidates anyway because they get to vote for political parties (just 109) instead! The parties that get at least one 275th of the popular vote will get to appoint their candidates, in proportion to the votes the party received, to the 275-member Transitional National Assembly, and then those guys, should they make it to the first session once their names are known, will get around to selecting prime ministers and presidents and what have you.

So, as of this sentence, it is 11:33pm in Washington, which means it's 7:33am in Baghdad, which means..... HAPPY FIRST ELECTION , IRAQ! In keeping with the air of general merriment that must be lightening the steps of Sunnis and Shiites alike, I'd like to make a few lighthearted predictions:

  1. Of the 14 million or so Iraqis eligible to vote, all 14 million will make it to the booths today. What's that you say? 1 million Iraqis have signed against the election, swearing not to take part? Fine. 13 million.
  2. All the insurgents were just blowing smoke, and don't really intend to disrupt the elections. So, no violence today in Iraq. Oops! OK, starting now. Uh oh! OK, now.
  3. Women will be elected to exactly one-third of the seats. Alright, so it's impossible for that not to happen (read "Who is running"). This one's a shoe-in. Also, all of my predictions are shoe-ins.
  4. The White House definitely won't downplay the importance of the election after its spectacular failure. Also, there's no way in hell they'll say that high voter turnout is not necessary for a democratic election, citing America's low turnout as an example, because they'll have already realized the obvious counterpoint: that American's choosing not to vote don't do so out of fear of being publicly deheadified.
  5. The elections in Ramadi, the city sometimes citied as the litmus test for success, sometimes as the fulcrum of doom, will go off with cog-like regularity and precision. Also, even though every single police officer in Ramadi quit (search for "walkout") a couple days back, they'll have a change of heart and escort elderly ladies to the booths en masse.
  6. The plan to apply permanent blue ink to the fingers of every voter (to prevent revoting and mark them for deheadifying) will turn out not to be the most recklessly fucking idiotic idea in the history of the world.
So there you have it folks. Iraq is the newest member of the West, with its very own shiny new liberal democracy. It's been a long, bomb-laden road, but I think most Iraqis will look back and see the past two years as necessary for their newfound bliss. I certainly feel that way with my feet up in the basement of my townhouse in Shiny, oops I mean Sterling, Virginia. Would I vote today in Iraq if I could, you ask? Fuck no.

Hi Sheeba.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Kenan is a Fool ...

and as such, he is welcome.

Now, some of you may wonder why I have offered space on this blog to this oftentimes annoyingly erudite young ailurophobe -- dont try to front, man (heh, heh; heh.) -- I'll tell you this: Nothing sets off the glossy light of my fur like a scruffy-faced young man with an agenda that's ... well ... pretty much a lot like mine. (lollipop anyone?)

Now ... don't listen to his mess about the metaphysical, Baudrillardian, metaphorical applications of this cat-owned-and-run progressive blog where I may or may not ruminate on the oft-Orwellian state of this nation, and, I'll say it, world. No, I'll ask you instead to, in reference to The Wiz, don't look behind the curtain kids. Look at the picture instead ... all that adept cultural analysis leaves you running around funny rooms with a white coat, an odd haircut, and not much to offer other than razor-sharp observations and an oversized lolly with which to desperately woo would-be friends.

Bottom line is: think not; want.
As Hibbert's (I mean, uh, Kenan's) friend Mr. Steward recently observed, "Fear is the new black."

Ah well ... I'd make some sort of smart-kitty'd comment about affirmative action here (it almost begs for a Tab A / Slot B insertion), but I think that if anything ... it just speaks directly to the National Republican Party's successful buying and selling of African Americans as a political tool (Condi Rice? Secretary of What? Really?)

Going to shake my head and get my nap on ... at about -1,000 degrees here in New York City, I'm needing a little bit more than my standard 18 hours ... plus, I'm anglin' for a little "outdoor cat" time. As such, I've gotta practice that look of absolute, paralyzing terror that seems to be the calling card and/or acceptable I.D. for any average American walking the streets these days. I'm all about ruling the roost. I, as the kids say, ain't neva skeered. Ah, fuhgettaboutit. Who'm I kiddin? I'll be back at the window tomorrah.

Back to you, Hibbert.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Of Razor Wit and Claw*

I am surprised and honored by Sheeba's invitation to join her blog, as well as humbly aware of the deep diplomatic potential this has for feline-human relations. With that in mind, and before I outline my vision for this partnership, I must make one thing abundantly clear:

I am not an ailurophobe.

There have been slanderous rumors, unsubstantiated allegations, and perhaps even a little documented evidence that I have, on atypical occasion, been less than respectful to the feline class. I wish to publicly and categorically refute all such attacks as mere partisan exercises designed to undermine what will no doubt be a union of ice-crushing impact.

Far from a cat-hater, I have long admired Sheeba's expert and impassioned analysis. I have noted our shared contempt for Red States and, oh i dunno... genocide, as well as our appreciation for Mr. Obama and Jon Stewart. I treasure what Sheeba and I hold in common. She recognizes as I do the importance of 18 solid hours of sleep a day. We both understand the beauty of the liberal political tradition, that government often creates and many problems as it solves where it sacrifices liberty to acheive its ends. We each enjoy sushi and thoroughly vindicated superiority complexes.

I have of course also appreciated that Sheeba's "View from the Window" is obviously a post-modern metaphor for our collective disconnection with the real - that the window represents the various screens (television, storefront, monitor, windshield...) through which we live. I have marvelled at the elegant lucidity that the windowed view metaphor brings to the contemporary human condition: that the world is before us, largely unreachable yet utterly visible, within our ken but not our grasp, and of course that our worldview is invariably distorted by our own reflection. I have spent many a Sunday afternoon pondering some of the metaphor's more salient first-line implications; for example, that the whole "ken but not our grasp" thing dovetails nicely with the possibility that technology (the window) has perverted us into a society of extreme access with paradoxically less interaction, and that of course this is a reason why all forms of modern activity are in danger of devolving into advertisement; that is, to quote Baudrillard (he also clearly borrowing heavily from this metaphor) the pattern of a "simplified operational mode, vaguely seductive, vaguely consensual" - we view, covet, reach, fail, and in defense make ourselves coveted yet unreachable. Truly I am quite taken aback by the sheer genius and expansiveness of this grand metaphor, and have spent many nights bathing in its corollary ripples.

I am confident that Sheeba's View and NumenLumen (latin, as it is, for new light) will coruscate in their cooperation. I am also pretty sure I could add the new light aspect to the windowed metaphor with stunning eloquence and profundity, but I've been up since noon and it's way past my bedtime.

* As far the asterisked title, I don't want to imply that I am the wit and Sheeba the claw. Sheeba has wit and claw; I, only wit. Still, it's catchy.

It's the Bunny Boilers!

Ay Carumba.

Does anyone else around here smell a little deflection going on?

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the Bush Administration scandal-du-jour, regarding Armstrong Williams and the gross misappropriation of public taxpayer funds to pay a propogandistic shill-meister (a/k/a conservative hack Williams) to promote the death-blow to schools program No Child Left Behind. Now, slipping around the story like olive oil in a teflon pan, in slides Bush Education Secretary, Margaret Spellings, spinning Ed.Dep. attention like a well worn with a bunny boiling episode that would make Glenn Close proud.

(photo credits: WGBH/Cookie Jar Entertainment)

QUICK! Look away from this well-paid black man shilling for our ridiculously disastrous education program! Don't you see that your hard-earned tax payer dollars are paying a cartoon bunny to visit legally sanctioned lesbian-led families in Vermont! And their children!

Lady, please.

Now, I may just be a cat freezing my fur off in sub-zero Manhattan, and I may have my own issues with this Buster character (really, sell-out, what's up with the clothes?! Revel in your fur! It's beautiful! It's natural (which is more than I can say about that tacky poly-blend suit you're sportin')!) but this goes beyond non-human species dramas.

The mess is that people are really buying this shit! PBS has effectively pulled the episode, with apologies! Follow the original link and you'll see that the New York Times (and all the evening news shows) are focusing on this. I find it equally interesting that no one sees the connection between these two. If there's anything we've learned by now it's that this administration has mastered spin so thoroughly that it generally leaves the witless, "opposition" (aka, Dems) dizzy. And, yes, we know that the media has all but "Armstronged" themselves to the wagon train like stars of a Kevin Costner period flick.

Now, I get some of my personal jollies out of ensuring that The Feeder can never have the ridiculouly human enjoyment of a leather sofa. But there are days when even that is not enough. This, dear readers, is one of those days. If the entire U.S. media can really be so easily swayed from soft-ball reporting of a major (and, uh, illegal, impeachable?) propoganda scandal to cover this lesbo-witchhunt on a simple cartoon bunny show (and let's not even mention the message they're sending to the millions of children living in families headed by lesbian, gay, bi, trans parents -- too tragic) then honestly ... it just might be time for an ol' binge and purge.

I'm clearly fed up ... toilet, anyone?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

It Is a Very Good Year

All right, all right. I'm out of the blog game folks. If you haven't noticed ... I'M NOT BLOGGING!

As some of you may know, I had to take some time off this summer in order to figure out where I stood here in this blogosphere. It was clear that I had run up against a glass ceiling of sorts. There is a definite discrimination going on in the larger blogosphere against those of us bloggers who lack an opposable thumb.

This, folks, is serious. It crosses genders, it crosses races, it crosses species.

At first I was simply heartbroken. Then there was the whole election debacle to take me away (and not in that lovely Calgon way). I had the feeder's birthday to deal with ... then she got all smoochy smoochy with some hottie and couldn't be bothered to address my needs.

Damn. It's tough to be a cat in this Gonzalez-esque torture laden world, I tell ya.

So, here's the deal. I may, or may not, drop in every now and again to add my most-important voice to this damned blogosphere.

I have constituencies to protect and promote. Lordy knows we can't trust the U.S. Gubbmint to do any damn good.

I have fantastic radio shows (Go Laura Flanders!) to insure that everyone listens to. I have books, that I read over the Feeder's shoulder, to discuss.

A chick's got things to do, is the basic thing.

But I have yet to see that y'all are worthy. In any way shape or form.

So ... there it is.

Now, my riveted public. What do you say?