Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thank you, V. Kingsley and I will write LHA about your request--you know we have a vast collection of t-shirts as well at the archives--these moments of cloth worn close to our bodies, announcing our agendas, our dreams, our vanities, our certainties, our affiliations, our victories, our desires, our refusals and our yes's literally speak to the future. If you want, write to me from my website with your e-mail address and we can speak at greater length.

And Seth, newly of Riverdale, welcome to my home, dear man. I always carry images of you with me and of your father as well--in suit and liberation tie and so much more. Love to you.

You know, dear friends, syntax is all and should not be rushed as I do so much of the time. When I read over my discussion of the books I had been reading, I realized I had constructed a careless sentence that made it seem as John le Carre was one of those who used an African setting cheaply and that is not what I meant at all. I have just finished reading his "The Mission Song," and discovered that this writer I had thought was a cold war romanticizer, had great anger at and skepticism for the marriage of the profit motive and political-cultural adventurism. This novel has at its heart a hybrid young man of Irish-Congolese background who while offering his services as a translator is educated in the ruthlessness of power, both African and European. I think of all the shrieking fanatics--and here is a writer showing the rich humanity of cultural uncertainties. Like Mankell, Le Carre lets us hear the screams of the tortured and shows us the calculated moral vacuum that employs such a technique to get its answers. Bruno Salvador carries many histories with him, on his tongue, on his skin, as he looses his innocence but holds on to his humanity. Once again, like a bad ghost the voice of O'Reilly from Fox propaganda floats into my head--sometimes I watch because I cannot really believe what I am hearing and even more difficult, that this channel is the most popular "news" media in the United States. Yesterday, he was ranting on how he has saved Christmas from the "dark side," from the evil secularists. In America in 2007--and then in the same day, I read these words, "Tom," Mrs. Comer said she asked, "am I getting fired over evolution?" (NY Times, "Official Leaves Post as Texas Prepares to Debate Science Education Standards") and finally, I hear about a Republican candidate, Huckabee, who is gaining popularity, launching a TV add with the words, "A Christian leader." America in 2007. And I see this country where I was born fading from the world stage--a good thing if it inspires humility and a sense of connection to other world views--but I fear, it will not. When I think why do things seems so much worse this time around, it is the Fox propaganda channel that comes to mind--back in 40s, the radio bigot-"patriots" who spouted hatred for so many were ultimately laughed off the national airwaves and McCarthy was revealed in all his spiteful mad littleness--but now we have a so-called news channel that speaks of the dark side, of the evil ones. And we fear fanatic Muslims? Think they are foreign in their world view?

"Tom," Ms. Comer said she asked him, "am I getting fired over evolution?"

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