And STILL More From “Money As a Weapons System” (Story # 5 in Phil Klay’s REDEPLOYMENT)

Self dislikes the story’s title. She finds it a little too obvious (It is always best to leave things a little ambiguous in the title. Just self’s humble opinion)

The story itself is layered with irony. In fact, it’s all about how American good intentions are worthless. (“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” a quote from who, self knows not, but you’re welcome)

The narrator is an adviser who gets sent to Iraq as part of the Rebuilding. Shortly after his arrival (via helicopter, a true gift from above!), he has this conversation:

“Cindy’s a true believer . . . “

“What is she working on?”

“She’s our womens initiative adviser,” said Bob. “She used to be on a local school board back in wherever the fuck she’s from. Kansas or Idaho or something. She handles our women’s business association, and she’s starting an agricultural project for widows.”

“She knows about farming?” I said hopefully.

“Nope, but I taught her how to google.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Call for Documentary Submissions: KQED ROUGH CUTS

Deadline: Wednesday, April 26

If you are editing a documentary that is over 40 minutes long and are seeking feedback, we encourage you to submit.

Principal photography should have been completed.

To submit your cut electronically, via Vimeo Plus or an equivalent video-sharing site, please fill out the on-line application.

To submit via mail, please contact Chris Holbrook at chrismholbrook@gmail.com

We will send you an application and an address where you can send your DVDs. (you will need to send three DVD copies, which must arrive by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 26th)

There is a $25 submission fee.

Filmmakers who are selected for Rough Cuts are eligible for Fine Cuts and Assembly.

Stay tuned.

Tyrone Guthrie Art Centre: It IS Easy Being Green 2

JUST CELEBRATE A COLOR: GREEN!

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

Self went walking about the grounds today. Everywhere, there are drifts of yellow daffodils. The Laundry Room/ Greenhouse has a cozy porch.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

What the Writing Desk Looks Like Today, 20 March 2017

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Niall Leavy Brochure from a 2009 Exhibit Called “Inner Light”; copy of self’s book Mayor of the Roses: Stories, Miami University Press

Niall was here last year. Saw his work at Open Studio at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

At the opposite end of the table, self’s book from Miami University Press (There’s another story collection that came after this one: The Lost Language. Self’s Dearest Mum gave copies to all her friends as a Christmas present, but painstakingly tore out all the stories she didn’t like, lol)

You will notice that today the writing table is square. That’s because there are two of them in her unit, and she switches back and forth between them, depending on her need for the scissors, lol

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Pleasure and Guilt: p. 221, THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Pleasure and guilt are synonymous terms in the language of the monks . . .  they had discovered, by experience, that rigid fasts and abstemious diet are the most effectual preservatives against the impure desire of the flesh. The rules of abstinence . . .  were not uniform or perpetual: the cheerful festival of the Pentecost was balanced by the extraordinary mortification of Lent; the fervour of new monasteries was . . .  relaxed, and the voracious appetite of the Gauls could not imitate the patient and temperate virtue of the Egyptians . . . with their daily pittance of twelve ounces of bread . . .  divided into two frugal repasts, of the afternoon and of the evening.

— p. 221, Chapter VII (“The Rise of Monasticism”)

#quote MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell

SCROTUS has been described in many ways: bully, misogynist, racist, incompetent.

But it’s the first time self has heard this word used in describing him: ignorant.

Ignorant

It is really amazing, watching a 70-year-old be as ignorant as he is.

With all his wealth, you’d think he could have made it a point to make himself less ignorant.

He could have shown just a little more curiosity.

But no. And here’s why: laziness

Quote from MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: “Trump is the laziest, most ignorant President in history.”

His cabinet is also ignorant. And they know it. God, they are horrible.

Ignorance is not an excuse. It’s an embarrassment. No, worse than embarrassment. It’s harmful.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More from Story #5 of REDEPLOYMENT: “Money As a Weapons System”

The narrator is introduced to his translator, “a short and pudgy Sunni Muslim everybody referred to as the Professor.”

“Why do they call you the Professor?” I asked him.

“Because I was a professor,” he said, taking off his glasses and rubbing them . . . “before you came and destroyed this country.”

We were getting off to an awkward start. “You know,” I said, “when all this started I opposed the war . . . “

“You have baked Iraq like a cake,” he said . . .

Self really hopes there aren’t too many nasty stories left; it is really hard to read about IEDs and “light’em up” and night patrols, especially when it is in fact night, which will be arriving in less than 12 hours.

After Redeployment, the next two books on self’s reading list are:

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And she will read them in this order: SPQR first, followed by Rubicon.

She ordered Conspirata, by Robert Harris (a novel about Cicero), and it was delivered to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre a few days ago. Unfortunately, the copy was in French. She contacted the bookseller and they told her that in fact the only other copies they had were in Italian. But Mary Clerkin came in and saved the day and put in a request from the local library in Clones.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Story # 5 in REDEPLOYMENT: “Money As a Weapons System”

All the stories are very, very good, and Phil Klay richly deserves his National Book Award.

Story #4 was made up almost entirely of acronyms. Story #5 is from the point of view of some “liberal” do-gooder who arrives in Iraq to assist in the rebuilding of that country. It’s almost entirely conversation, and the characters say “Look” as in “Look, I don’t mean . . . ” a lot. A lot a lot a lot.

Self decided to take the opportunity for a little reflection. About her own use, in RL (Real Life) of the word “Look” in conversation:

“Look, I may seem crazy to you, but I am definitely sane.”

“Look, I don’t mean to be judgmental but . . . ”

“Look, I really want to go home, but I have no friends.”

And then she realized that “Look” is one word she never, ever uses. She doesn’t hear her women friends using it, either.

Does that make “Look” a gender-ed word? (It means: I am so exasperated. For the nth time, let me show you what I mean. Rather than say all that, you could get away with just saying: Look)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“After Action Report”: Story # 3 in REDEPLOYMENT, by Phil Klay

  • We took different routes all the time. Don’t be predictable. It’s up to the convoy commander, and they’re all lieutenants, but most of them are pretty good. There’s one who can’t give an Op Order for shit but tends not to fuck up too bad on the road. And there’s one female lieutenant who’s tiny and real cute but tough as balls and knows her shit cold, so it evens out. Still, there’s only so many routes, and you got to use one.

That’s as true of RL as it is true of a convoy in Fallujah. Thank you, Phil Klay!

Very flat, affect-less voice does not fool us: there’s dread here.

Stay tuned.

Book # 5: Unit # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre

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Since Edward Gibbon devoted so much time to describing monastic life in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, self is exceedingly curious about the cloistered life of nuns (which received almost no attention from Gibbon)

Lo and behold, while self continues her exploration of her unit’s bookshelves, she comes across a book about a nun, Dame Laurentia, who became an Abbess.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Advice for the Soldier Returning From Iraq

Don’t kill yourself. Don’t beat your wife.

— from the title story of Iraq War vet Phil Klay’s collection Redeployment

It IS Easy Being Green! The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 22 March 2017

This week is all about color. For extra challenge, create a gallery.

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

  1. Justin Quinn’s poetry collection was published by Gallery Press (www.gallerypress.com)
  2. The sign was in the front window of Dog-Eared Books, Castro Street, San Francisco.
  3. The box was provided to me by Irish Express Moving Company, San Francisco. I used it to ship books I needed to Annaghmakerrig.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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