Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mouse Brown

Mouse Brown
By Nix Winter
copyright 2011
"I don't know. Your hair," Janet said, fat fingers reaching to touch long stringy hair, "It's just mouse brown."
The harvest gold refrigerator said nothing. Eyes the color of nothing watched Janet. Pong played around the corner in the living room. A boy laughed. A digital ball smacked back and forth. Bing. 
Uneven clipped steps, larger and smaller, tires slicing wet on payment, a sweating hand holding a smaller one. It was 1973. It was San Francisco. It was Haight Ashbury. Black Beauties were money. Children were money. The mother paused at a phone booth, stepped just slightly inside. Curls, framed her face, divided on the side, like Marilyn Monroe. Her name was Marilyn too. 
She jerked the child closer. Nothing colored eyes narrowed, then the face relaxed, smiled compliantly. Light brown hair clung to the child's face. Home was Mom's hand. 
Mom hissed, eyes wide, frantic. "Stay close!"
There were demons.
A hotel room painted in beige, browns, cigarette smoke and shadows swallowed them. It was a cave. Children don't understand money. Children don't understand good intentions. 
Drug withdraw understands nothing, wants nothing, burns everything.
"Seventy two hours," Mom promised. 
Corners. Corners are good, solid against the back. Hunger understands nothing. 
Sweat boiled Mom's skin. She fought demons. 
Grandfather was not a good man.
He was a very bad man.
Underdog always saves the day!
Metal insisted against paper, dot, dot, dot. 
"You do understand that this is the best choice," the social worker said. 
It might have been the first time or the second time. The welfare office was painted in wood tones and plastic. Plastic was so modern. 
Princesses have long brown hair. Pretty princesses get saved by powerful heros. 
The foster home had two floors. It was painted in sunlight and Cheerios. It had a mother. It had a father. It had six bunk beds. It already had a real daughter. 
Two girls knelt on the bottom bunk. One skinny with nothing colored eyes and long brown hair, sat with her hands on her knees. The other had her own story. She had paler hair, a rounder face, her own bed. She spread her knees apart. "Do it. Or I'll tell my mommy you did it." 
Long brown hair drops like a curtain between the place of far away and the world filled with demons. 
"It burns!" Hair color clung to long hair like purple mud.
"It's the ammonia," Janet said, annoyed. "Do you want your hair to be red or not."
Mom hated red. Nothing colored eyes gained a little bit of brown, a little bit of gray. 
It was 1982.
The wedding dress was blue. Only virgins can wear white. 
It was 1983.
He was twenty-eight. Mouse Nothing was born in 1966.
From Nothing came Layla and Jamie. Mouse Nothing had grey eyes. 
Mouse Nothing changed her name. Mama had grey eyes and red hair. 
It was 1987.
A small blond girl bounced in a jumper. California summer morning warmed the kitchen. Mama painted the house with joy, safety, and love.  Long red hair, purple plastic framed glasses and a huge brilliant smile painted Mama perfectly. She leaned over, smiling at her daughter.  The little girl had a cracker in one hand, a slice of cheese in the other.  Mama held up another slice of cheese. The little girl looked at the cracker, her first slice of cheese, at the slice of cheese in Mama's hand, then she opened her mouth. 
It was 2007.
Organization and reasonable expectations painted the therapist's room. A slender man with neat brown hair and a pen in his hand. Tap. 
"I understand that it feels like she's abandoning you, but you need to understand that she's not. You've done a good job. Your daughter is in college. She's living a good life," he said with a smile, a well meaning and knowledgeable smile.
"She doesn't like me. She looks down on me," Mama said. Gray ran down her cheeks, leaving her eyes empty. 
Mouse Nothing asked, "Why doesn't anyone understand why it hurts so badly? My family has left me."
He nodded. "At this phase in her life, it's like she's Arthur and she's looking to you to be Merlin, but you don't want to be Merlin. You still want to be Arthur."
White light is made up of every color. 
Grief is the grave.
If there was an Arthur, he lived in a world without central heating. He lived in a world of roads pounded into being by the footsteps of humans and horses, the creak of wooden wheels. His story talks about a powerful sword named Excalibur. The Lady of the Lake rose from the depths to had the gleaming blade to his heroic hand. 
There is a Mouse Nothing. She lives in a world where the buses run mostly on time and fast food pounds life expectancy back towards Arthur's expectations. The magic sword is made of cunning. It is made of will to survive strong enough that it might be a sin in some religions. 
Clickity, click, clickity...
Nix Winter has published many books. Erotica is money. 
Words are love.
Love is not money.
It is 2011.
Finn types, "So? Do you want to be called Sebastian?"
Mouse Nothing smiles, and types back, "Yeah. Yeah, I do."
Sebastian owns the gleaming blade of Excalibur. Every day is new. Grief is not the grave. Grief is a dragon and it is each Arthur who faces each dragon. Blue is painted by tears, with hope. Sebastian's eyes are blue, even if his hair is brown. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

He Said Yes

I'm taking a creative writing class. One of my class mates wrote a poem about a woman being raped... and it was so flat... still, it triggered in me... I realized a single afternoon with the father of my children probably had more impact on me than I thought. So many other things happened to me as a kid that one little unwilling sex.. what the hell?

When someone who says they love you... betrays you, uses you... it leaves a mark on your soul.. at last until that mark is faced.  I think I've been carrying anger around for a long time. Today has been such an emotional day for me.  Really... This (insert time frame) has been so emotional for me that really, all I can say is that I'm emotional.

I went to rape crisis over that afternoon. They told me then (this was 1993) that there wasn't anything the civil system could to for me. Husbands were allowed.

Another therapist told me that in some people's culture what he did wasn't even wrong.

What he did was wrong. Do not take advantage of people! I was broken when he found me, underage, and terrified of the world. He said he loved me. He said he wanted me. He cried when I left him. He never even knew me.

I think he tried to know me.  I want to say he's a good person.  I wish every one was a good person.

I need not to be nothing but glowing butterflies anymore.

He said Yes
by Nix
I was
your wife
I was
in love with her
You were
in love with her
I was
broken before
there was you
the waterbed at my back
tradition on top of me
with you
your wife
a knife in my soul
I was
I was never there
around you
You raped your wife
but I never was
I fluttered away like
glittering fairies 
on the evening breeze
I was

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why Hitler Wanted to Kill the Jews

Adolph Hitler wanted to kill Jews because taking that stand gave him power.  When human beings work together, there is a lot of power in their combined efforts. To get many people to work together, it is very useful to make them afraid of something, for them to have a common enemy.  I wish to point out that Gypsies and homosexuals also died in the Holocaust. 

German did not just suddenly wake up and decide to kill Jewish people, to want to annex land from other countries. 

To really understand why one group of people does anything with or to another group of people, you have to understand the history of both groups. 

The Jews are an ancient ethnic group. The Romans thought the Jews were ancient enough to have earned respect when the Germans were still struggling to get out of the Iron Age. At that point in history the Jews had a country of their own. 

The Romans fought with Germanic Tribes and with the Jews. Sometimes they even lost to both. 
When the Emperor Hadrian drove the Jewish people out of Israel for their rebellion against Rome, they traveled to all parts of the world that they could get to.  They did not integrate with the populations where they found new homes though, but instead retained their own language, customs, and religion. 
For much of Europe's history, most of the European population could not read. Stories about the past were told, retold, and embellished hundred of thousands of times. Much of Europe's population also identified as Christian. (It was illegal and a capital crime not to.. meaning they'd kill you if you weren't Christian.) So having a large population within a population that thwarted the larger population's customs caused a lot of friction. One of the stories that was told commonly was that the Jews had killed Jesus. It was very conveniently forgotten that Jesus was a Jew. Most of images of Jesus that were painted in Europe depict him as a causation, which is unlikely. If he had not been Jewish, the would have had no claim at all to being the Jewish Messiah, though that's the stuff of a different answer. 

So while there was historically a great deal of friction between Jewish and Christian populations in Europe, the Jews were tolerated in large part because of a small technical matter of a financial nature. 
The Catholic Church was the dominate authority on religious matters from Charlemagne until Henry VIII and even after Henry on the continent. The Catholic Church forbade lending money at interest. There is a very great deal of money to be made lending money at interest. Any culture functioning above agricultural subsistence level needs a way to borrow money. Europe used the Jews as their bank.

So twenty years after WWII, while most of Germany was still in economic ruin, the Jews had money, they had physically different traits, such as darker skin, cultural differences in language and religion, so it was very easy to motivate a majority of the democratic Germany to see this nearly defenseless population as a danger, an evil. 

And that's why Hitler wanted to kill the Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Young adult guidelines

Man.. I posted this to a list, but it got rejected because I didn't trim the post. Good lordy... because digital screen space is EXPENSIVE.. for goodness sakes. And rules are rules.... I understand that trimming can be in important politeness, but google trims for me.. so I guess it's not such a big issue for me. I don't know if I want to hang out with such nit picky people.

What I'd said:

Just my opinion, and all, and to start with... I really don't like the label "young adult". I mean... exactly what is a young adult? Are we talking someone whose still a kid, but we'll call them adult to flatter them? Or are we talking about an adult who hasn't figured out how to file their own taxes yet? Does a person come with a cut off date?

"Oh, I'm so sorry, you've currently accumulated enough experience points that you no longer count as young. From this point forward, continued accumulation of points will be represented as 'life lines' and the color silver. Accumulation of additional points is non-negotiable, but you may be able to purchase avatar upgrades in the market place."  >.<

That being ranted about, I think that books aimed at persons with minimal life experience, who are doing their best to mimic independence while surviving all the stunts they're going to warn their kids about, I think those books should have realistic endings, kind of moralizing, while yet validating for the reader.

Real life, aside from death, is a continual story that doesn't usually end in HEA or HFN... it's all part of the stream.

I seriously don't think I could ever do a story where birth is assisted with teeth, however sharp or where some arrogant Harry Stew gets to throw around Zeus' lightening bolt. I think there is serious value in respecting where a person is along the time line of life. Even though I think the time line should be potentially infinite. I'm first in line for those telomere treatments when they come out!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hadrian Essay

Because Fire Rained From the Sky
Nix Winter
History 302
Professor Carey
October 22th, 2010
Publius Aelius Hadrianus (117-138) was born on January 24th, 76.
  It was probably cold the day in Rome. January is often cold, even though cold is a subjective term. Being born in the month of Janus could have been taken as an omen, but omens like weather leave different impressions on those that experience them. January is named for the God Janus, the door between worlds, between winter and spring. The baby that would become Hadrian would preside over the deification of the last effective pagan god and walk with the Empire as it embraced a value shift as great as that from Republic to Empire - that of Empire to Congregation.
While the Historia Augusta asserts that Hadrian was born in Rome, other sources hadn't been as sure of that fact.
 Herbert W. Benario, professor emeritus at Emory University, does not accept Rome as Hadrian's birth place without question.
 There are other possible locations, but the Historia Augusta lists Rome as Hadrian's birth place. It is entirely possible that Rome was Hadrian's birth place. The location of Hadrian's birth matters because a person's status in the religious hierarchy, their relation to myth, and meaning in people's lives drew validity from the accepted birth place, among other things. A Jewish carpenter named Jesus might well have been a heroic figure, a miracle worker, and a prophet of God, but he won't have been the Messiah if he'd been born in Athens. The Historia Augusta declares that Hadrian was born in Rome, as a good Roman emperor made God should have been, but the point of view of the author lines up rather well with aristocratic Senatorial culture in Rome, with pagan values.
 Later writers would focus on Hadrian and the important people in his life through the lens of a different value system.   Hadrian strode through his life loyal to his own reason and passions, just outside the norms for both Pagan culture and Christian culture.
Early in Hadrian's life, in 79, when he was three years old, Vesuvius swallowed Pompeii and Herculaneum. Pliney the Younger wrote, "Soon ash was falling on the ships, hotter and thicker as they drew nearer; soon there were lumps of pumice and rocks, scorched and shattered by fire."
  At three years old, fire rained from the sky and swallowed a popular Roman town. Small children don't have the ability to care about disasters in far away places, but small children grow into adults who remember adult's fearful words about fire raining from the sky and the death of heroic Roman generals. No where in Pliny the Younger's letter are the wishes or will of the gods discussed. His letter gives an excellent description of the eruption and of human behavior in a very secular tone. He wrote, "I believed that the whole world was perishing as wretchedly as me and this was a great consolation to me in my mortality."
Other settlements were rebuilt after the eruption, but both Pompeii and Herculaneum remained buried, visited only by clandestine tunnelers.
 Rome was not known for abandoning property, not trying to fix and improve things. Survivors of Pompeii and Herculaneum carried fantastic stories that could easily have contributed to fears of hell, of the gods' failure to protect. Looters crawling through the buried cities would have found human shaped bubbles, time frozen over and humans tell stories. The level of taboo and fear surrounding these lost cities and those that died there could have fueled the growing Christian movement. If there was a Christian population in Pompeii, it was not substantial.

Whatever stories were told about Pompeii and Vesuvius, life in the empire continued. At eighteen, in the year 94, Hadrian began his political career.
  Before becoming emperor he was a military tribune with three legions, tribune of the people, quaestor principis, praetor, a commander, governor, consul, served as archon in Athens, and comes with Trajan.
 Accomplishment and effort graced his life.  August 11, 117 saw him proclaimed emperor of Rome. His reign would last twenty-one years. Whatever the nightmares of his childhood, Hadrian confronted the world with the same Roman humanity that took Pliny the Elder towards Pompeii and not away to safety. 
As time brought change to the people of the Roman Empire, the practical and willful life that Hadrian lead did not sustain tradition, even though through his efforts the administration and borders of the Roman Empire became more secure.
  He carefully released lands that the Empire  did not have the power to hold.
  With the Edict of the Praetor he stabilized private law until the sixth century. Such a shift brings law more inline with modern concepts, with both law and God being unchanging. This was a shift from each new Praetor having to renew the law and the gods having the moods and appetites of mortals. 
Hadrian's deft administration and relationship with the military contributed to peace in the empire during his reign and leave strong impression of his personality and values. He shared hardships with his troops, addressed them with a presence that gave them confidence and boosted their moral.
 Roman military made or broke many emperors. They were not tolerant of incompetence. Hadrian was particularly competent.  Dio states:
In fine, both by his example and by his precepts he so trained and disciplined the whole military force throughout the entire empire that even today the methods then introduced by him are the soldiers' law of campaigning.  This best explains why he lived for the most part at peace with foreign nations; for as they saw his state of preparation and were themselves not only free from aggression but received money besides, they made no uprising.
War did color Hadrian's reign, even if he did not seek out wars, the war with Judea erupted in any case. Religion fueled the war with Judea. Simon Bar Kokhba, a name which means "Son of the Star", obviously drew on Messianic tradition to validate his authority.  Being the son of the star, to a person of non-Jewish religion could express hints of the rising Greek mystery traditions as well. To be successful a religious movement or even a military campaign must attract the greatest number of supporters. Whatever else Rome was during its history, it was also very violent. Those that did not relinquish their cultural identities and rights where they conflicted with Rome faced the weight of the consequences of losing to the greatest military the world had seen to that point. Rome did not invite a voluntary consensus and collaboration with other cultures. Rome took what it wished, granted dispensation when it wished, and liquidated resources at it's convenience, both physical and living. 
While the Bar Kokhba revolt initially proved successful, giving the rebels enough time to strive to legitimize their own authority, as shown by a Roman coin showing Hadrian's profile with the rebel's symbol imprinted over Hadrian's face, the weight of Rome's victory is still felt today. One aspect of Roman victory is that the province suffered a name change. What had been Judea became Syria-Palestinia. The city of Jerusalem became Aelia Capitolina.  The Temple of Solomon, destroyed in 71 under Vespasian and Titus, would be rebuilt as a Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. The struggle to assert dominance of social norms cost many Roman and Jewish lives, but with victory would come the stabilization of the world, the affirmation of world view, in addition to control of material resources.
The Jewish population that survived the direct conflict and avoided being sold into slavery disbursed into the world. Just like survivors of Pompeii, survivors spread and talked about their experience. The challenge to the Roman world view had been a spectacular volcanic eruption. The challenge to Jewish world view was the Romans. Each group worked towards finding equilibrium and comfort within a dangerous and unpredictable world. The disaster of Vesuvius could even have been an affirmation of the Jewish world view that saw unbelievers, sinners, those that displeased a monotheistic god as being punished, a world view that would be internalized by the rising Christian movement. 
The Emperor Hadrian had a lover. His lover's name was Antinous. Love also provides solutions to life's difficulties. Fear, hurt, community, hope, all of human emotions are nurtured and cared for with love. When love and relationships fail a person, religion is the closest proxy. When the gods fail, new gods emerge. Pliny the Younger's description of Vesuvius' eruption is observational, talking about color, density, duration.  His descriptions of people's behavior is universal. In a disaster of that scale, a parent calling for a child, a husband for his wife, these are behaviors that are as human in 79 as they would be in 2010. What is descriptions lack is preemptive problem solving via supplication of the god(s). What the Pompeiian diaspora and the Jewish Diaspora had in common was a fear of overwhelming and uncontrollable disaster and the very human need to solve the problem by negotiation with a higher power. 
While the Emperor Hadrian could not have been ignorant of the eruption of Vesuvius and the psychological trauma that caused, and he took a personal interest in reshaping the world view of Judea, the challenge to his own world view came with the death of his lover.  On October 24th  130, Antinous' body was found on the bank of the Nile. He had drown.  The recovery of his body coincided with the traditional celebration of Osiris' death. While Hadrian's autobiography has not survived, references to it point to Hadrian's belief that the death was accidental. Whatever the actual cause of death, the impact of Antinous' death on Hadrian caused a grievous psychological trauma as evidenced by the length that the emperor went to to resolve his grief. Antinous became the last pagan god, but a god who lived in Olympus, but still touched the more personal Greek Mystery religions. 
Religions are groups of people who compete for members, for status and to provide their members with proofs of the validity of the group's beliefs. The Christian Saint, Justin Martyr (103–165), writes, "And it is not out of place, we think, to mention here Antinous, who was alive but lately, and whom all were prompt, through fear, to worship as a god, though they knew both who he was and what was his origin."
 Justin would have been twenty-seven when Antinous died and was deified. While the First Apology was written between 150 and 160, Justin would have been an adult during the rise of Antinous' cult.
  Justin's opinion was written years after the Bar Kokhba rebellion, but it is not unreasonable to extrapolate that his opinions formed earlier in his life and reflected opinions of other members of his group, as he came to be a respected and referenced member of his social group.  Roman perception had difficulty distinguishing Christians from those of Jewish faith. As recently as 95 Clemens and Domitilla were condemned for "Jewish ways", but it is unclear if they were practicing Judaism or Christianity. 
  It is without doubt that Christianity had roots in Judaism and that the Bar KoKhba rebellion's leader, Simone Bar Kokhba (132-135 reign), claimed messianic powers. The elements of struggle between Judaism,  Christianity, and other religious options such as the worship of Antinous generated a powerful dynamic.
Hadrian's reign did not include great wars of conquest. He seems to have valued peace and discipline above triumphal processions, building cities above destroying them. When the Bar Kokhba revolt erupted in 132, Antinous had been a god for nearly two years.  Less than a year after his death, a delegation had already approached Hadrian for permission to conduct worship of Antinous in Thessaloniki.
   That the cult of Antinous became deeply important to Hadrian is evidenced by the number of sculptures of Antinous at Hadrian's Tivoli villa, the small temple buildings at the entrance to his villa that were found in 2000, and the inscription on the Pincio obelisk, "The god who is there, he rests in this place, which belongs to the Lord of Prosperity, [the ruler] of Rome". 

The changes in religion and values that would sweep through the Empire stirred in the sentiment directed towards Antinous, both from supporters and detractors. Hadrian's power to create his lost love into a god is a deeply human behavior, drawing the lines of what religion has always done for individual humans, but on a grand scale that invited the participation of all humanity. The terribly violent suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt, possibly with Hadrian actually going to Judea personally, bringing maybe as many as thirteen legions into Judea, could represent an emotional investment on the part of Hadrian to suppress religion and values that competed with the rising cult of his lover. 

Emperors and messiahs are both people attempting to solve problems, either problems on a societal scale or problems on a more intimate level. When cherished solutions conflict with the solutions of other groups violence often results. It would be hard not to argue, even with the Diaspora, that Christianity and Judaism proved to be very enduring solutions for many people through the ages. There is a bust of Hadrian, discovered in 1995, where the traditional image of Medusa on his breast plate has been replaced by a very slightly smiling Antinous. In America, in 2010, the view point of many writers is observational and rational, more like Pliny the Younger than Saint Justin Martyr. It is not possible to know with certainty a great many motivations and or private thoughts of historical figures.  Often an individual will believe what brings them comfort will bring comfort and safety to others. The greatest cruelties can be committed while trying to help the victims that the oppressors are in the process of trying to save. There is nothing in Hadrian's preserved record to indicate that he was not well intended and reasonable.  On July 10, 138 Publius Aelius Hadrianus left the world of mortals, politics, and religious strife. A coin was showing Hadrian being lifted to heaven on the back of a great eagle was minted.
 On his arrival, perhaps he was greeted by Antinous, Sabina, and Trajan. 
Benario, Herbert W.  "De Imperatoribus Romanis." (accessed October 21, 2010).
Berry, Joanne. The Complete Pompeii. London: Thames & Hudson, 2007. 
Birley,  Anthony R.  Hadrian the Restless Emperor. London: Routledge, 1997.
Gilliver, Catherine. Caesar's Gallic Wars, 58-50 BC Essential Histories. New York: Taylor & Francis Routledge, 2003.
Goldsworthy, Adrian. Roman Warfare.  London: Phoenix, 2000.
Johnstone, Ronald L. Religion in Society: A Sociology of Religion 8th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2007.
Kirby, Peter.  "Justin  Martyr - First Apology." Early Christian Writings. http:// (accessed October 22, 2010).
Lendering, Jona. "Historia Augusta." (accessed October 21, 2010).
Marchel Le Glay, Jean-Louis Voisin, Yann Le Bohec, David Cherry, Donald G. Kyle, and Eleni Manokarkai. A History of Rome. West Susex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
Opper, Thorsten.  Hadrian Empire & Conflict. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008.
Ratchnevsky, Paul and Thomas Nivison Haining. Genghis Khan: his life and legacy. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1991.
Wallace-Hadrill, Andrew.  "Pompeii: Portents of Disaster." BBC. (accessed October 21, 2010).
Walsh, P.G., trans. Complete Letters: Pliny the Younger. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dark Rain

Dark Rain
by Nix Winter
copyright 2009
The word carries so much weight, and well, no weight at all these days. In the simplest meaning, a depression is just a slight indent in a surface. So if I have a cake not quite ready to come out of the oven, and I touch it too soon, it could fall just a little.  It could become a depressed cake. Yet, a depressed human is so very much more intense. 
Here I sit at my desk. The sky is gray outside my windows and there are lovely green trees, so many that the sky is almost hidden away by the green reaching life. Raindrops didn't get through my window, but little bits of rain cling to the edges of my eyes anyway. I'm not a cake, but depression is so much more than a slight indentation. Depression is knowing I love the rain. I know I love writing. I love the music that's playing. I love my cat. That love and happiness might as well be the trees outside my window for how much I feel it in this moment. Inside, I drip with a dark and endless promise of rain. 
I've tried medications. I'm not alone in that. There is a rumor or urban legend or maybe it's true, that if you test London's water, after it's been through the treatment plants, it still has detectable levels of a well known antidepressant. It doesn't matter if it's true or not.  What matters is that so many people are willing to believe that it is true. Medications work really well for some people. For some people, like me, they came with some unacceptable side effects. Just so you know, I'm not above medication or some crazy thing. I like my pain killers when I have a headache. I like science. I like chemistry. 
What has worked for me though is something a therapist told me along time ago, with a little bit of modification.  Just while writing this article, the dark hiss of despair has let go of me. It gets easier with practice. I can see the beautiful trees outside my window now and feel happiness in their beauty.  My secret is 'HALT', and strong hold on hope. 'HALT' means that I try not to get to hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.  I really do have control over all those things. Hungry is helped more as I age by making sure I pick healthy food, because, honestly, one can self medicate to unhealthy proportions with this one! Angry has been the hardest for me because anger was so taboo to me. Unexpressed anger turns like a hungry tsunami on me, drawing back like it's going to be all silent and forgiving, then crashing down on me in a wave of sorrow like I'll never see the surface again. Lonely... well, did I mention the cat? I'm kind and friendly to most people. I've learned it's not about what other people do for me – it's about what I do for other people. Tired is also another hard one for me. I've found I have to be firm with myself and the world and demand my safe and private space, my room, where I can respect myself and sleep through the night. Boundaries are another subject I learned about a long time ago and just took too long to put into practice. The last little secret ingredient is hope. When the dispair that used to cripple me grabs hold, I hold onto hope. The promise that the darkness has let me go before, and it always will let go. I will always find the trees beautiful again. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rambling Thoughts on the Iraqi War

My Thoughts on the Iraqi War
by Nix Winter
This is just my thoughts. I've been studying history and I'm aware that a proper historian should use more formal language that I'm about to, use lots of foot notes to support what they're going to say. This is just an opinion piece. The opinion and experience I'm about to talk about is mine. 
You know what war sucks.
During the combat operations in Iraq, I lived in California, Michigan, and Washington. None of those places got hit by missiles. There were deaths by gunshot, but they were, as far as I know, done by Americans on other Americans. In those three states, where I was living, no human being died by having rocks thrown at them because they wanted to control their own sexuality, or were controlled by their own sexuality. Point of that thought is, no one killed anyone else by throwing rocks at them.
I don't think anyone got stoned in Iraq. Maybe fewer people got stoned in Afghanistan because we were there. 
I guess that matters to be me because throwing stones at someone until they die is a really stupid thing to do. 
For what it's worth, I think killing people in any way because of sexual passion and the acts that come from it, as long as they are between consenting adults, is a dumb fucking thing to do. 
War is bad. Sex is good. 
Back to the Iraqi War...
Now, I know this is going to seem unlikely, but when we were in the midst of "Shock and Awe" I was calling bullshit. Saddam Hussein was trying to comply with UN requests. He hauled those questionable missiles out and destroyed them. 
I wonder how it would have been different if we'd gone to him and said, "Look. We'll give you a house in Arizona. The climate is kinda similar. You get to keep your kids. You don't die, we'll give you couple million USD, and you let us have your country?"
Completely flippant and unreasonable speculation.
What we did was roll in a bunch of military, shoot a bunch of people (even if they were shooting at us first), fucked up a lot of infrastructure, created a refugee flood. The Kurds got what they wanted though, and I'm glad about that. I felt really bad for them in the Iran-Iraqi War.  Horrible things were said about what was happing to them during that war, at least in the church I was going to at the time.  That same church also ranted a lot about how the Soviets were oppressing the Christians in Afghanistan. Today... I want to know if there are many Christians in Afghanistan. I'm not very rational about it, but maybe the Tailiban stones them too.... 
If I had a choice between the Taliban and the Soviet Communists... I'll go with the Soviets, thought I'm pretty sure neither one of them would be okay with me.  I just can't see a pink haired, gender confused, intellectual historian and anarchist getting over real well in either system. I'd trust the Soviets to shot me or work me to death, not just throw stones at me.  It's a practical technology thing, I guess.
Obama is speaking on CNN.. I guess he was at Fort Brag today.  Iraq has an opportunity and America is more secure. 
Today is the day that major combat operations is over. 
Legal speak.
I love President Obama's legal speak. He's intelligent and articulate. I actually saw some commentator that he should speak in smaller sentences so people can understand him and his words won't get twisted around. 
Someone should have said that to the people who were writing the bible. 
*claps hands to face* 
I look back over the last decade and I just stand here in this moment in time.. going ... oh my god. 
In that case, god stands in for all that is valuable, sacred, and true. 
So many people have died. Our own country is deeply divided. 
I'm sure there are a lot of very religious people out there who fear people like me.  There are people who seriously believe that hate speech at dead soldier's funerals is an act of worship to their god. 
Shia and Sunni Muslims have killed the hell out of each other. 
A human being ruled by fear and driven  by a belief that they are right is a terrifying creature. 
What have I learned about life from the Iraq war? Where bombs have not fallen in my cities? 
I have learned that bombs have fallen in my cities. 
Bagdad is my city. 
People are my kin. 
Where ever you live in the world, I'm your sibling. 
My sibs, please... don't freaking kill people!
Don't be afraid. We're all in this together.
If we're going to have peace, we have to do it ourselves.