The Week in Review

Sorry, folks. Been too busy to blog, though there have been lots of things this week that made me want to scream, mutter, laugh or even think. In the screaming category: the bombing of the UN in Baghdad, the same day as another horrific Palestinian bomb in Israel.

The UN bombing really hurt, coming a little closer to me personally than most of the other horrors around the world this week, because I used to work at the UN (as a rep for one of the bigger NGOs) and because I know people who work there still. I see it as another consequence of the Bush team's misguided policy of combatting "terror" with "shock and awe." The true target of the bombers, I presume, was not the UN but the US occupiers.

The suicide bomb in Israel wasn't really news; it followed the israeli assassination of a Hamas leader and was then followed by yet another Israeli assassination of a Hamas leader which no doubt will be followed by another horrific Palestinian bomb attack against Israelis. Same old, same old. Just a couple of years ago, the forces of inertia in Israel were headed in the other direction, toward reconciliation and a peaceful two-state solution. Hotheads on both sides were unhappy, but it was the Israeli hotheads who destroyed the process. It took the assassination of Rabin and then Arik Sharon's provocation on the Temple Mount to set the forces moving in the opposite direction, terror-vs.-terror that benefits nobody but the professionals of violence. Maybe eventually it'll wind down like in Northern Ireland, after so many are killed and so much destroyed that it becomes hard to recruit new killers (on either side), but I know the US government could force a change in direction on at least the Israeli side, and probably on both sides, much sooner. But won't, not this crowd (Bush et al.) that has hijacked our government.

Well, I've covered screaming and muttering, almost. One more mutter: against the hysteria of the Venezuelan opposition, who've raised a cry against the presence of Cuban MDs invited by Chávez to serve poor communities in the wake of disastrous floods. The Venezuelan middle class would rather see their poor compatriots ill or dead than treated by Communists. (See Miami Herald article for an unhysterical report.)

Now the laughs: "The Writer's Mind," 3 one-act plays by Dennis DiClaudio, as part of the Fringe Festival. Ridiculous, hilarious. And yesterday's return of "Wigstock" to Tompkins Square Park. A huge success, thousands and thousands of people out to see the show, some of us (a bare majority) dressed according to our real sex, but the more spectacular ones -- well, the show of make-up, wigs, high-heels and biceps and pecs was almost as amazing in the crowd as it was up on stage. A real hoot.

As for thinking, well, maybe that's too deep for a blog. Or too shallow -- if I reveal my deepest thoughts and you just laugh, I'll feel like one of the Wigstockers still in my finery but after the party's over. (Just kidding; I don't really get embarrassed when people laugh at my ideas, I just think they're weird.) I did make some progress in clearing up the chapter I'm writing for the book on Latin American architecture, so that'll have to pass for this week's thinking.

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