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  Squish Your Life

5 September 2001

5:38 PM: Woke up at 7:48 AM for no reason. Could not sleep until 11 AM. Jehovah's Dickheads rang the doorbell at 9 AM. Kill them. Strange twitchy feelings like a post-speed crash. No idea where that would come from. Unless chocolate donuts count as speed.

Tonight is Gillian Welch, cool. Seems like every paper in this city has had some kind of article about her this month. I guess they like that "O, Brother" demographic. Which, hey, it's me, so they ought to by damn.

6:26 PM: That burrito was trying to intimidate me. Guess I showed it who's the boss.

Just a dull day. I can see how really important it was for this Best Buy ad to have a picture of a woman in her underwear in it. And the guy with the polo shirt plus T-shirt underneath, bad watch, and squash court haircut that's monkey-squatting over her image. "Huhuh! Cool! I will go to this store and there will be womans there! Huhuhuh!"

I watched Beyond Rangoon last night. Speaking of having absolutely no fucking reason to be complaining about anything at all in my life. My gosh. See, now there's a movie that really is just not the same on video. It's so beautiful, but watching it on a television is not that much better than hearing someone tell you about what it looks like. You get the idea, that's about all. On the other hand, there's certainly lots going on other than how pretty the countryside is. Like people being killed all over the place and randomly terrorized by dumb fucks with guns whose basic motivation seems to be "I like this." Plus, Patricia Arquette. She's single now, too, right? Something about those front teeth, and the accent, and the chin - and, in this movie - dark hair. Le sigh.

The story is about the student demonstrations in Burma and the first massacres by the military dictatorship. This is before the election that Aung San Suu Kyi won, which was the wrong result so they had to cancel it. Very near the beginning of the film, there is a scene with Aung San Suu Kyi at the head of a crowd of marchers, facing down these freaked-out 16-year-olds with machine guns (giving teenagers automatic weapons, always a bad idea). It's an amazing moment.

What's funny is that as I was watching it, I kept thinking about how "Burma" became right-winger shorthand in this country for "Some foreign place far far away that nobody sensible gives a damn about." You know what I mean. "Oh, that ultraliberal San Francisco Board of Supervisors, they're at it again! Now they're trying to boycott anyone who does business in - Burma!!! Buahahah!" Maybe it's the Buma Shave echo. Maybe they're just assholes. Because, Jesus, yes we know that a city government can't really have a foreign policy. Or a state - Massachusetts got its law about boycotting Burma thrown out by our lovely Supreme Court (who may have acted out of professional courtesy, one election-stealer to another). But just change "Burma" to "Nazi Germany" in your mind and replay the sentences. Does it sound stupid now? Wouldn't you feel compelled to refuse to do any business with them?

Oh, no that's silly. It's not like they're someplace really evil like Cuba, with its rum and its black beans and its cheap marijuana*....

Once again, Ted Rall sums it all up best.

* I actually have no idea if the marijuana in Cuba is cheap or not, Mr. US Federal Marshal Sir.

Willfully blind self-indulgent nebbish or amusingly quirky old coot? And how bout that local sports team? Discuss among yourselves.

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