I am only going to say this once (Thank Baby Hey-Zeus!)
The People Who Died On Nine – Eleven
Were NOT Heros!
THEY were VICTIMS!
That is ALL THEY Were!
Let us revenge avenge them!
Ed. Note: Of course the first responders Were, nay ARE Heroes and shall always remain such. And as Mark pointed out so were those civilians inside the towers who gave their lives trying to help their fellows escape. When I refer to ‘victims’ I am referring to the ninety percent who were just doing what we all do everyday: We get up, go to work, come home, kiss the significant other, pet the dog or the cat or the goldfish, and then next day, rinse and repeat. They were just innocent victims.
And I have been to war, and revenge is lame and not really strategic.
It is just… death.
(You figger out my meaning)
I am done here.
P.S. If anyone out there knows history of the Mid East….
I invite debate.
And I worked so hard… to get the “Stray Cat Shuffle” for y’all. And here it was, right here, all along:
And for some YouTube Reasons the above link don’t work: try the one below.
(Yeah! I am pissed at technol–Oh Gee!)
Don’t give up,
And remember: if your computer is ‘broken’, re-boot.
Solves ninety nine per-cent of problems…
These word ‘O’h These words!
From an’ old computer geek.
(And no! I never envisioned that day, that day, whereby, I would even think, let alone, utter, those words. Guess I have come full circle.)
Well… I had my Bulletproof Ass handed to me a few days ago.
The consensus around the Camp Fire that is my GF’s workplace (Saint Jude—Lot of smart folks work there—mostly doctors an’ such) is that Lance had ‘experienced’ a minor heart attack. Now ain’t that funny? Ain’t that rich? AAD (“Also a Doctor”—stolen line from Wolfe’s ‘The Right Stuff’ — Also a doctor.The words the first schmuck said to Chuck Yeager right after he parachuted from one hundred thousand feet and crash landed:
“You look like shit” – misquote, but you get the drift: just look it up and move on…
(I was all gray an’ shit and I had all the symptoms, and my BP was… approaching escape velocity, but… shit! I was just ‘funnin’.)
Ed note: Just received an email from my… doctor… ok, she is not MY doctor, only an old friend. Anyhow, she is a pharm-assist. She says I had a Myocardial infarction.
“A what?” I had to ask.
“You had a fucking heart attact! Dig it, ASSHOLE?”
“Yeah, I dig. So What?”
And then I invited her to not use profanity on my Blog Page. (she hung up on my dumb ass after that. I cannot imagine why)
My Grandfather died, at ’55 of a “Myocardial infarction. ” Think I am not scared? Naw! Ain’t.
Ain’t that rich? Been there; done that. No T-Shirt, alas. Nothing to hang on my “I Love Me Wall.”
“He, most likely, has ‘experienced’ a heart attack.” Kinda like I ‘experienced’ ‘Six Flags Amusement Park. Or Four Years in Iraq. Or a year and a half in Afghanistan, not to mention three years in Sinai, back when nobody had even ever heard of it—now that, dear reader, is sorrow:
“Hey Good –Lookin’, where do you work at?” asked she, The Hot Babe. (The ‘at’ shoulda told me she ‘weren’t’ for me anyhow, but when you’re young, who gives two shits for grammar? I axe you.)
“I work in The Sinai Desert, for the State Department” answered I, lonely guy on R&R, too far from Texas where I did not even need to employ my bullshit.
“Oh… Sorry. I only date guys who work in cool places. Bye!” She said, as she followed on over to the Fraternity Asshole House…(s) Doubtful she found cerebral stimulation there, but what the hell, eh?
Yeah, I ‘experienced’ those too. Those were great… experiences.
Point is, my personal health issues notwithstanding: I am back. (for now)
And am back to comment, torment, regale, impale, exhale, exhalt, vent, rant, recant, apologize, criticize, proffer, pro-offer, disclaim, disdain, mock, muse, love, confuse, confer, confide, and certainly collide.
And all that shit above is denied.
I have this pain… in my… ass. (and me chest)
More later… assuming I get over myself tonight.
P.S. Let us just call this a ‘Stream of Consent’ Or a ‘Babbling Brook of Mind’.
Vote on it: Get back to me.
I almost forgot the best part of this post:
Hit me like a slow bullet
All of you “likers” don’t get the ‘jist’ of the ‘jisters,’ now, do you? I don’t often ask for a lifeline, but…
My very first morning at the Tel Aviv Sheraton. I had a ‘raw fish’ breakfast buffet at zero five hundred. (And there were cucumbers, cheese, olives an’ shit too! Outrageous!) I had never had raw fish for breakfast until then. Cost me five bucks (a lot of money for breakfast in 1977 for a twenty-year-old-kid). I only gagged once and I drank a lot of orange juice, which was the only thing remotely resembling ‘breakfast’ to me. Well, “When in Rome…” I later discovered I could have had scrambled eggs and bacon down the street at the U.S. Embassy for a buck and a half…
My first R&R in November, 1977. I went to Tel Aviv for one week. This just also happened to be the same week Anwar Sadat made his historic visit to Israel and most important, to speak to the Knesset in Jerusalem. The Israelis actually fell in love with Sadat. I did too. Peace was in the air! Sadat was front page news every day in the Jerusalem Post. The atmosphere in downtown Tel Aviv every night was ‘Party Down!’ (Sadly, this could not last)
First Israeli Love. Her name was Gladys Lehani and she spoke French, English, Hebrew, and Lies. I was instantly enamored. She worked nights at the Tel Aviv Sheraton in the ‘Kum Kum’ Lounge, a bar. During the afternoons she was a cashier in the little lobby area of the hotel. A place where one could look out the huge windows at the Mediterranean, have a cocktail, read a book, and flirt with her. I spent many hours there doing all four.
Driving through Gaza. After I had been with SFM for some months, I was ‘promoted’ to driver (see this story). The most expeditious way to get to Tel Aviv was to drive straight through the Gaza Strip, so of course we did just that. Never felt any wisp of danger. Not once. Then one day someone threw a brick into the windshield of one of our vehicles. This prompted management (And S. State: Our ‘Client.’) to suspend all travel through Gaza.
Now let me tell you, this was bullshit. At that point in time we had been travelling through Gaza for many, many months. This was surely an isolated incident—“Just kids havin’ fun,”–to quote Croc Dundee. Hell! I had friends in Gaza. One in particular comes to mind. His name was Mohammad (go figure) and he ran the gas station where I would always fill up my vehicles when I passed through. We often shared gifts. I gave him American cigarettes and T-Shirts from Texas and he gave me various little Arabic statuettes and such. Once (on his request) I brought him a fifth of Jonnie Walker Red. I thought he was gonna adopt me over that!
The new route we were instructed to take took us through Beersheba and added two and a half hours to our travel time. This was unacceptable, so we (we drivers), ignored it, unless there were ‘uncool’, read, “USG” people riding along as passengers. Most of the rest were in a frantic rush to get to TA and did not want to waste one minute of their well-earned R&R over some State Department Bullshit, so I always conducted a poll before taking the turn off to Gaza: “Any of y’all got a problem with getting to TA in an hour via Gaza? Or do y’all wanna go through Beer’Sheba and get to TA four hours after yer girlfriends done give up on you?”
The usual response was something like this: “Marcom, I will risk Gaza, not ‘cause I am afraid my girlfriend will give up on me, but because I just can’t stan’ one extra minute of listening to your music!” (I had a boom box on the dash and ‘treated’ my passengers to four or five hours of continuous Bob Marley on my trips. I was famous for this. Sometimes I would throw in a little Joni Mitchell, if I were feeling benevolent on that day.)
The Orphan Benjamin. One night, I think it was in late ’78, I was staggering back to my hooch from our little bar. My walk took me through our game room: Two pool tables, a jukebox, shuffle board, ping pong… etc. Anyway, just by the exit door there was a table. On this table was a carton of Marlboro’s, a case of Heineken, a ‘doggie bag’ from the galley, and a one hundred dollar bill. Thinking nothing of it, I just kept on tacking toward my hooch, some fifty meters down the way… I woke up the next morning and instantly thought of all that unclaimed booty and for just an instant hoped that no one had stolen it.
We had a brother/sisterhood there in Sinai. I managed to drag my hung-over ass out of my rack and head in to breakfast in our galley. My trip took me past the table in question. Everything was just as it was the night before; waiting for the rightful owner to sober up and claim. If I had not already been in love with my Co-SFM’ers till then, I certainly was now. Two hundred folks at SFM, and nary a thief amongst us. I will never forget that minor little memory. It touched me deep.
And then I just went into breakfast. You see? This was not… ‘different’ then! Shit! Can’t explain. Won’t try.
You see? We had love. And respect.
I am thinking of continuing this series in light of the recent news from Israel and Gaza. Not saying that my experiences are relevant today, but I do feel the need to write them. Please let me know if you are interested to read of my times spent in the region.
Q&A: Have you ever been to The Middle East? Do you live there? Do you care? Have you ever had a desire to visit the ‘Holy Land’? (ahem). Do you find me abrasive? 😉
As this (below) is a blogspot blog, I could not re-blog. So I did the next best thing: cut and paste a bit.
CNN was interviewing Yasmeen El Khoudary, the author of the blog, “Gaza Out of the Blue.” The ‘crack(d)’ CNN news duo, talking heads, apparently got bored or pissed at her (she was giving them some grief over their stupid questions, and rightfully so), and cut her off. Only FOX could have done worse.
Anyway, I managed to get her name and thus found her blog, which I am honored to be able to share below:
Morning hallucinations from Gaza هلوسات ساعات القصف الاولى
It’s 5:00 AM in Gaza and I’m unable to sleep. I pick up my book and read under the window, catching the lazy sun rays, given that we haven’t had electricity for about 35 hours by now. I happen to be reading “Kafka on the Seashore.” A few pages through, I find myself reading:
“The glittering airplane we saw way up in the sky reminded us for a moment of the war, but just for a short time, and we were all in a good mood. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, no wind, and everything was quite around us- all we could hear were birds chirping in the woods. The war seemed like something in a faraway land that had nothing to do with us. We sang songs as we hiked up the hill, sometimes imitating the birds we heard. Except for the fact that the war was still going on, it was a perfect morning.”
I thought for a moment of the ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ that was due to start in about 3 hours. Would the same paragraph apply to the young children who by now are too accustomed to the chirping of planes and the terrible songs of war? Would they be able to forget all that and remember the chirping of birds and the children’s songs for the duration of the humanitarian ceasefire?
Some of you may know of my history in the Mideast. Most of you may not. Some of you may know I get emotional about issues.
Some of you may not.
Some of you may give a shit.
Some of you may not.
No matter: I don’t have a dog in this fight: The current Fight between Hamas and the IDF (Israel)… Actually, I did, once upon a time, have a dog. He died. But that was many moons ago.
And we did/didn’t call in the dogs back then: the ‘Fight Between the PLO and Israel’… “Let ’em duke it out!”
–Ronald Reagan, “et them all, et tu, Brutus?”
And about who could wrap some arms about Yasser Arafat? No one. Not even Ronnie. Then he (Arafat) became ‘Rocky Balboa’ to some of rest of the world. Yes! Fast forward… but who among the thinking of us and the remembering of us, can ever forget
Munich in ’72?
And I was on the ‘good’ side.
I was for the ‘Home’ Team: Israel! Nineteen Sixty Seven! The shining moment of the IDF! Just like the Lord: ‘Fought for Six Days and Rested on the Seventh.”
“Didn’t them Jews kick the ever-lovin’ shit outta them A-Rabs?! Fought for Six Days…”
Biblical! (Yay God! and Madison Ave…)
Then I learned to read (and listen)
I, as most of us (I hope) want the killing to STOP. It hit ‘Home’ today when I went to buy a beer. There were Palestinians in the road… In Memphis America! They were not happy. Unhappy Palestinians. Goddamn Right! They were unhappy! In Memphis!
I do not blame them. I am not happy either, but that said, Israel has some right to defend… don’t they? If you would like to argue, I welcome that, as I, more than some of you out there, have lived on both sides of that pond. And on both sides of that issue.
I have driven through Gaza. Too many times. I have seen the refugee camps. The poverty.
And I had intimate sex (is there any other kind?) with an Israeli Sabra, of Yemenite ‘distraction’ (i.e., she was Arab: Arab Jew) More than twice… Yet that sex did not prejudice me… (Well, maybe it did… just a little)
Putting sex aside, I know some politic, especially when it comes to Israel and Islam.
I have been on both sides.
Call me out, yet consider that I am foremost and always just a simple Texan.