Saturday, December 30, 2006

hanging despots

They killed Saddam Hussein today. I feel a kind of sadness. Not for the end, exactly, of a man who was a cruel dictator, but for another milestone in an unceasing unfolding tragedy. I've been reading up on Iraq...its leaders seem usually to come to a bad end. Assassination is the usual method, and this was a kind of slow drawn-out one. A dictator who quite successfully played the world game, gathering support from sheiks and soviets, freedom fighters and criminals, secularists and spiritualists, Saddam possessed the personal power found in few good and many bad men. How odd that image of him from 20 years ago of him shaking hands with a smiling Donald Rumsfeld.. It kind of sums up the arbitrariness of the world of bad men who also play that world game.

As tempted as I am to suggest the further execution of the rest of these bad men, and I wonder what my emotional response would be to images of George W. Bush's lifeless corpse swinging from the same gallows, mostly I think, why don't these bad bad men just leave the rest of us alone.

pray for peace.

Monday, December 25, 2006

the death of soul?

James Brown died early this morning.

James Brown invented the funk. Completely his own man, he was raw sexuality, raw power, raw groove, questionable taste, bad politics, big hair, shiny clothes, a vital font of energy birthed by the caldron of African-American oppression. He was sheer excess, eccentric, kinetic, unrefined. He took a gospel shout, a field holler, and the rhythm of sex and gave birth to the funk.

When I was a little boy he was one of a few Black artists I was not allowed to listen to. Too black, that gyrating tightly clad crotch just a little too much for my otherwise liberal mom. But now we're all listening to him every day, and I can't think of a better way to spend Christmas then to let out the funk and play James Brown.

God Bless the funk.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


happy solstice. of all the holidays this time of year, take your pick, it's the one I prefer. nothing against the baby Jesus, weird red-dressed fat guys dispensing presents, miraculous oil lamps, or even Maulana's seven principles, but the imminently observable passing of light and darkness and the moment it gives us to pause and consider is what will have me lighting a candle tonight. no chanting, weird robes, or consumerism required. peace.

Friday, December 01, 2006

day of remembrance

it's world aids day, 2006.

peace and blessings to the memory of all those lost, including:

MICHAEL BOTKIN, my friend and roommate in Chicago in 1980 and 1981. a gay hero.
JOE (GALANTI) ALONGI, my friend; revolutionary hero; Michael's boyfriend.
STEVE ROSE, my friend and roommate in New York in 1983 and 1984; gay revolutionary hero.
ALBERT TORRES, my friend and revolutionary hero; Steve's boyfriend.
JOHN MORONEY, my friend in New York in the 1980s and the kindest man I ever met.
DOUG GOULD, my best friend David's boyfriend in New York in the late 1980s.
MARCO ANTONIO OSORIO R, my friend from Mexico and gay revolutionary hero.
DAVE FRECHETTE, my friend and African-American gay hero.
Celebrities ROCK HUDSON, RICHARD LOCKE, PAUL MONETTE, SHARON REDD I never met you but you helped me become who I am.
ALL THE OTHERS--neighbors, idols, friends, friends' friends, enemies, lovers, passers-by--whose faces or names I struggle to remember.

may God and the Spirits bless all of you and keep you forever in our hearts.