dog and cat diaries

got this really funny email from my friend amra. this post is dedicated to phoebe, our sweet pomeranian…

Dog diary

6:00am – At last! I Go Pee! My favorite thing!
8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!
6:00 pm – They’re home! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
7:45 pm – Quarter to eights – food! My favourite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing”

“Excerts from a Cat’s Diary”

Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with
bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while
the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.
Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless
must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps
me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I
once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their
feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it
clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely
made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was
placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event.
However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my
confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means,
and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my
tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try
this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and
snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and
seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.
The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with
the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have
arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe.
For now…


working class hero

just saw the video by green day – it is arresting. the song is obviously john lennon gold. it’s part of an amnesty international campaign to stop the genocide in darfur. yoko ono donated all royalties from lennon’s song book to support this campaign. the resulting album, instant karma, has 20 john lennon covers by the likes of u2 and rem. you can buy it at amnesty’s website or by calling toll free 1-800-862-0411.

african slavery

last thursday i met some friends for coffee, to discuss an upcoming fundraiser. we talked about everything under the sun including slavery and its implications. at one point someone compared african american slavery with jewish subjugation at the hands of the babylonians and pharoahs. besides the obvious difference in time elapsed since their respective liberation, there seem to be other unique factors inherent in the african american experience. african american slaves were ripped from their land, their culture, their language, their world and brought into an alien land. many africans were terrified by their captors because they had never seen people with white skin – they thought that they were ghosts, non-human, otherworldly.

they did not arrive in america as an exiled “community” but as fragments of tribes and cultures that most of them never came into contact with after their capture. most slaves did not speak the language of other slaves. the horror and loneliness of this fact alone is unimaginable. there was no cohesive community, no common language, no shared traditions, no comforting rituals, no common stories and myths, and no shared religion. there was nothing to tell them who they were and where they came from. no one to validate their sense of self-identity. it is truly nightmarish to be isolated to this point. on the other hand, most jews have a strong sense of community, of where they come from and who they are.

if one thinks about it, it is quite admirable that african americans overcame this by turning their experience of slavery into such a vibrant and strong culture. whether it be worship, music, language (strongly recommend toni morrison to get a feel for the african american experience through the “language” of the slaves), dance, or fashion, african americans have evolved into an incredibly creative community. if more of them were given the right circumstances to bloom and exercise this creativity, god knows how wonderfully explosive it would be.

btw here’s a great short film by kiki davis – it highlights problems of identity that stem from what I have tried to describe above – check it out.