Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm Dead

by Taylor Whitehouse

David Roy McClymonds, a student and freelance writer for local music and skateboard magazines, has died.

The adventuresome, punk rock enthusiast collided with a bus yesterday while skateboarding down a large hill. He was 24 years old.

He was a journalism major at San Francisco State, and did freelance work for Paying and Pain, Low Card and Maximum Rock and Roll. The last of which is well-known to Bay Area punk rockers and musicians.

McClymonds traveled through Europe, and played in punk bands in Spain and Switzerland.
He was once a member of an infamous local band, Dreadknox, which was banned from half of the venues in Sacramento.

He spent a lot of time at rock shows in San Francisco, and moved from Sacramento to the Mission District three years ago.

“I am attracted to the fact that it is a very international city,” McClymonds said in an interview shortly before his death.

When asked why he attended fewer punk rock shows, he spoke of how his interests had shifted with age.

“I don’t have enough angst for punk shows anymore,” he said with a smile. “I expanded and started listening to a lot of other music, and got into other things.”
He also enjoyed cooking, culture and the arts.

His parents, Roy McClymonds and Kimberly Williams, moved to Redlands, Calif. shortly after David’s birth. The family moved to Sacramento when David was three.

McClymonds was born at a hospital in the middle of a corn field in Central Ill. And his grandmother always told him that he was a vegetarian because of this.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Needy Girl"

by Chromeo

Big Brother Gets Stonger

Denise Lavoie, Associated Press
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

As a foreign traveler, Punit Pawar is accustomed to the security when he flies into the United States, so he hardly took notice Tuesday when he was asked to put his 10 fingers on a digital scanner as part of an enhanced security system being rolled out at airports across the country.

"It didn't take much of my time, so it didn't bother me," said Pawar, a citizen of India and a student at Boston's Northeastern University. "I'm OK with it, if this is what they need to do for security."

Since 2004, nonresidents traveling internationally have been required to allow airport personnel to scan their two index fingers at airports as part of a program called United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT). But now, foreign travelers will be asked to scan all 10 fingers, an enhancement the U.S. Department of Homeland Security hopes will help officials more closely monitor watch lists of terrorist suspects, criminals and immigration law violators.

Boston's Logan International Airport, where two of the passenger planes involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks took off, became the third airport to use 10-finger scanners last week. Dulles International Airport, serving Washington, D.C., began using the devices in November; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport began using the new system this month.

Seven other airports are scheduled to start using the new system by the end of February, including Chicago O'Hare, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Detroit, Orlando and New York's Kennedy.

By the end of the year, the devices are expected to be running in all the nation's international airports, as well as seaports and border points.

Robert Mocny, director of the US-VISIT program, said the new device scans fingerprints from travelers and within a matter of seconds matches them against more than 3.2 million fingerprints of people in FBI and Department of Defense databases. Mocny said going from two fingerprints to 10 improves matching accuracy and reduces the number of false matches.

"By having this additional data, the machine will be able to say with more certainty that this is the person, this is a match," Mocny said after officials used the new scanners on international travelers arriving at Logan Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"I Have a Dream"

August 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecutions and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. And this will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning, "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!" And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring -- from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring -- from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring -- from the heightening Alleghenies of

Let freedom ring -- from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring -- from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that.

Let freedom ring -- from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring -- from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring -- from every hill and molehill of Mississippi,
from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual,

"Free at last, free at last.

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fort Miley

I recently acquired Canon Rebel XTi. I'm super stoked, having a lot to learn. Here's a recently-taken photo of Stephen at Fort Mason.

Scenes From a Marriage in Baghdad

Published: January 20, 2008

“I’m sure it was just a mortar,” said a soldier in the front seat.

She hoped he was right; mortars are notoriously inaccurate. But seconds after they climbed out of their vehicles for a 10-mile trek through fields and canals south of Baghdad, the radio crackled, “One K.I.A., three wounded.”

I was with the unit that had been hit, 20 yards or so from the blast. When the cloud of dust cleared, we could see that Sgt. Justin Wisniewski, a brash and funny 22-year-old from Michigan, had stepped on a homemade land mine. From behind dirtied goggles, I could see him lying dead near three bloodied soldiers and a large hole where the bomb had been buried.

A medic and a photographer ran toward them, and I followed, scribbling notes and trying to stay out of the way.

Several soldiers swore and said “I love you” to the wounded. The intensity of it all obscured the risk of another attack. Only after the medevac helicopters began to circle did we realize that the whole field could be mined.

A soldier screamed out a warning. And as we began to walk slowly in each other’s footsteps, leaving a safe distance between us, I started to think about Diana. I needed to contact her, to keep her out of the fields.

Safely on the road, I grabbed a tall soldier with a radio and asked for a favor. “There’s one of our reporters with another squad, and I need to get her out,” I told him.

Sergeant Wisniewski’s unit was heading back to the base, and another squad was preparing to take its place. Humvees and soldiers swirled around us.

“Listen,” I said. “I’m sorry to bother you with this. It’s just that the reporter isn’t just a colleague. She’s also my wife.”

His eyes widened, and he said he’d help. I felt awkward raising the issue. After all, Diana and I had willingly come to Iraq for The New York Times — I’m a reporter, she’s a videographer — and we had agreed to keep our relationship out of our work, especially around soldiers who already had enough to worry about. But I couldn’t help it.

Not that it did any good.

“Sorry,” the soldier said after checking. “They already started walking.”

There are a lot of things Diana and I didn’t know when we came to Iraq at the beginning of last year — that it’s harder to see your spouse at risk than yourself, or that you can grow apart even when you sit 10 feet from each other every day because the work is so consuming.

No one told us either that while the sorrows are deep, the moments of joy are electric. I remember near-narcotic laughter — at a prize-winning reporter reciting songs from “This Is Spinal Tap”; or a photographer cracking ridiculous jokes involving Glocks and cats. It’s a cliché of course, camaraderie in war, but it also rings true, even for husband and wife.

I say “even” because Diana and I went to Iraq unsure of whether this venture would work. We are not, it should be said, the first couple to cover a conflict. Shelley Mydans, a reporter for Life magazine, covered World War II with her husband, the photographer Carl Mydans, and later wrote a novel based on their 21 months in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Even in Iraq, where the foreign press corps is small, a handful of couples have come through.

But by and large, war correspondence is still a job done by the single, the divorced or those with spouses at home. And in Baghdad, the circumstances are, well, a bit odd. Reporters live communally in guarded compounds, eating together, going out for work and not for fun.

I had spent July and August of 2006 in Iraq without Diana — my first time in the Middle East and in war — and I observed a culture that was part barracks, part fraternity and part ivory tower. Being apart during those first two months in Iraq was difficult, but would traveling and working together be even harder?


During our first week in Baghdad, the explosions arrived with rush hour, waking us every morning. Saddam Hussein had just been executed, and we were already dealing with a few minor surprises. The airline had lost our bags, packed with the pictures, mementos and movies meant to keep us from feeling homesick. Our room was freezing at night and one of the 40 cats in the compound had decided to turn our pillows into a litter box.


Another explosion. January and February, we later learned, would be the worst two months for car bombs in Baghdad since the start of the war in 2003. All I knew then was that I felt responsible for dragging Diana to Iraq; I was determined to keep us calm.

“It’s just mortars,” I told her. In fact, I wasn’t sure about the cause, which Diana could immediately see. “Stop trying to protect me,” she snapped. “Just be honest.”

It was a small squabble we would have repeatedly. For us, the stress of war was as much professional as profound, the fear of failing as gripping at times as the fear of getting hurt. But whether we were facing bombs or deadlines, we were repeatedly slammed against the extremes of each other’s personalities. My complaint was that she became too angry, too frustrated with things she couldn’t control, whether a slow Internet connection or a script that didn’t quite work.

Diana complained that I would isolate myself in what she called “the bubble” and then offer her unsolicited, condescending suggestions. Her anger did not signal a request for solutions, she said, but rather support. “Stop trying to fix it,” she said.

Diana quickly learned to ignore me and threw herself into the work, editing video until sunrise, then heading out onto the streets with other reporters and photographers, who always treated us as individuals and professionals. But particularly early on, I worried that our relationship would curdle if something went wrong. After all, wouldn’t I be the obvious one to blame?

The gunfire started at dawn. We were on Haifa Street, one of Baghdad’s most violent neighborhoods, enduring what the military would describe as a very kinetic operation.

It was my first and worst day of urban combat. But sticking close to the squad and Bob Nickelsberg, a photographer who had been covering wars for decades, I felt oddly calm. Moving from building to building, I managed to trust in what I’d heard my colleagues tell themselves: Everything is O.K. until it’s not. In other words, be careful, but don’t worry too much because the future is out of your control.

Just after 9 a.m., a soldier was shot in the head a wall away from me, while searching a kitchen. Staff Sgt. Hector Leija was the 27-year-old squad leader I had planned to profile, a warm and honest Texan who had kept me safe for the first few hours. And there he was, lying on the floor, barely alive, as his men desperately tried to save him.

As medics rushed in and carried him away on a green stretcher, I remember feeling powerful undirected anger — the kind that would never be relieved by kicking a wall.

The photographer, a half-dozen soldiers and I spent the next several hours sitting in the living room of the abandoned apartment where Sergeant Leija was shot. Then just before noon, we were ordered farther back into the building to protect us from a planned American airstrike. No one seemed particularly worried. But I knew that Diana could hear the battle; Haifa Street is only a few miles from the Times compound. So I sent her the simplest of text messages: “I’m O.K.”

Diana, seeing the message, was relieved but concerned. As she told me later, my “bubble” tendencies meant that I would send a message only if I was in danger.

She spent the rest of the day trying to stay busy as I continued through high rises and hovels with Sergeant Leija’s unit. After dark, his heartbroken unit discovered that he had died. When I returned to the house a day later, I greeted everyone in the bureau with smiles, then retreated to our room where I told Diana what had happened. I knew that I had to get it out by bringing Diana in.

We talked about it all, and, as we would again and again, we recovered through work. We wrote and edited the article and the video, crying at times while trying to show what it meant to be a soldier on one day in a long and difficult war.

After that, I would still occasionally feel guilty for persuading Diana to live in Iraq, but I never again questioned our ability to handle it.

A $5 glass of wine in Amman, New York or Bangkok will never taste as good as it does after two months in Iraq. Food with flavor, a massage, a pool, a bikini, a family having fun, bad television, good music and views without blast walls — these are colossal pleasures after time spent in a war zone.

Like most Western reporters in Iraq, we took breaks between 8- to 10-week rotations. The vacations were necessary and sublime. But they were not all easy. It usually took two weeks to stop thinking that slamming doors were explosions. We also had a hard time letting go of our tension and hyper-awareness. Long lines and inefficient service made our tempers flare.

Repeatedly, we found that frustrations with each other, which we ignored in Iraq, would suddenly spill over into arguments while on break. We had our most dramatic fight over the summer in San Sebastián, Spain, about French fries that I had ordered and she did not want. It was a silly example of miscommunication that turned into a two-hour shouting match that spread from the restaurant to the boardwalk and back to our hotel room.

In my mind, Diana didn’t trust my ability to make good decisions without her input. In her mind, I was an inconsiderate boob who never listened.

It took a couple of days, but in a hotel room in Barcelona, over a leathery steak from room service, we laughed at the fight. It was the kind of thing, we agreed, that belonged in a romantic comedy with Meg Ryan or Sandra Bullock. Or “The O.C.,” the television show we watched at 2 a.m. in Baghdad to unwind.

Khalid Hassan was a big lug of a guy, 23, a lover of trench coats and sappy romantic comedies like “The Lake House.” He had worked as a reporter and interpreter for The New York Times since 2003 and he was a lone constant in a compound of frequent change.

Khalid was the one who traveled with Diana to Arbaeen, the Shiite religious festival in the holy city of Karbala. He was the one who rushed to our bedroom late at night, huffing and puffing up the stairs, to tell us about breaking news.

When he was killed, we were crushed. The details were horrific: on July 13, gunmen in a black Mercedes opened fire on Khalid’s car, wounding him. Then they walked to his window and fired again. The killers were never found, the motives remained murky. As a secular Sunni who worked for an American company, Khalid could have been a target for a number of reasons.

Diana and I were in Spain when we heard, a few days from returning to Baghdad. Going back was the last thing we wanted to do, and yet we could not fathom staying away. We had made a commitment to our bosses, but Khalid’s death made clear that our loyalties had expanded. Diana and I were not just a couple anymore. The bureau had become a quasi family, from the Iraqi guards and drivers who guided us safely through the streets, to the domestic staff and administrators who kept the bureau functioning, to our colleagues — photographers, reporters, security advisers and translators in the newsroom.

Our bonds with Iraqis like Khalid, though, had built-in limits. We were visitors with a sophisticated infrastructure to keep us safe. Khalid went home every night to a neighborhood increasingly at war. Diana and I were together. Our Iraqi colleagues often lived alone, their families sent to Syria or Jordan to keep them safe. And Diana and I always had home to look forward to, while many Iraqis longed to be exiles.

Our cook, with characteristic dark humor, once asked if he could fit in our suitcase when we left. Then he came up with a better idea. When you get home, he said, you need to find someone who looks just like me and steal his passport.

Brooklyn. A long-awaited dinner with friends over sushi and beer.

“What’s it like over there?” “Are you O.K.?”

When we returned to New York earlier this month, we received many questions from friends and relatives, but most boiled down to these two. We’re still learning how to respond. Our emotions are still raw, and it may take years to know how the war has affected us.

I often think of the day that Sergeant Wisniewski died. Michael Kamber, a photographer, and I had been set on returning to the base with his unit. But when I found out that Diana had started to march, I knew I had to go. Part of it was an urge to get the rest of the story. But I also knew that if I kept walking with another platoon, I’d see Diana more quickly.

Mike and I walked back out with another squad, a few yards from where Sergeant Wisniewski had died. I stayed toward the back and when I finally met up with Diana, we abandoned all our rules about staying professional and not showing affection. When we reached the base, with the helicopter rotors still blowing behind us, I squeezed her arms. She’d had a tough time as well, at one point running to a house where a soldier had been shot. It felt unbelievably good just to touch her. We hugged. I gave her a kiss. A simple kiss, watched by a bunch of stone-faced soldiers.

I shouted to Diana over the helicopters: “You O.K.?”

She nodded. I saw love in her eyes.

We were together. We were all right.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Life On Mars"

By David Bowie

It's a God awful small affair
To the girl with the mousey hair,
But her mummy is yelling, "No!"
And her daddy has told her to go,
But her friend is no where to be seen.
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seats with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen,
But the film is sadd'ning bore
For she's lived it ten times or more.
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on

Fighting in the dance hall.
Oh man!
Look at those cavemen go.
It's the freakiest show.
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy.
Oh man!
Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show.
Is there life on Mars?

It's on America's tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow.
Now the workers have struck for fame
'Cause Lennon's on sale again.
See the mice in their million hordes
From Ibeza to the Norfolk Broads.
Rule Britannia is out of bounds
To my mother, my dog, and clowns,
But the film is a sadd'ning bore
'Cause I wrote it ten times or more.
It's about to be writ again
As I ask you to focus on

Fighting in the dance hall.
Oh man!
Look at those cavemen go.
It's the freakiest show.
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy.
Oh man!
Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show.
Is there life on Mars?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New York City

Over the Thanksgiving break last November, Stephen and I went to New York City for a quick 3-day vacation. We had a lot of fun in the Big Apple and ran around like two young, wide-eyed tourists strung out on caffeine (oh wait, we were) doing what would take most middle-aged Midwesterners two weeks to do in three days.

In New York, we:

took a Subway tour through Queens, ate a piroshki lunch in Williamsburg, got a tour of Vice magazine/website/records headquarters, checked out KCDC skateshop, felt poor walking down Wall Street, looked for the missing Bible in the Federal Building, saw the New York Stock Exchange, saw the Statue of Liberty during our walk through Battery Park, drank a coffee with pretty girls in Greenwich Village, found the Department of Journalism at New York University, had a nice conversation with the Forbes Magazine front desk security guard, hung out in Union Square, watched the video premiere of “Heima” in Brooklyn while drinking free Pabsts, ate hip vegan pizza, saw Tech N9ne perform at the Knitting Factory, people-watched in Grand Central Station, got a personal tour of the New York Times' new headquarters in Times Square, took the tour of the United Nations headquarters, got lost on the subway, looked up from beside the Empire State Building, visited the New York Public Library, walked through a Jack Kerouac exhibit, listened to skate-punk while skating the infamous Autumn Bowl in Brooklyn, made a nice omelette-breakfast, got a personal Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism tour, strolled through Central Park, watched Kermit the Frog inflate at the unofficial Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade inflation party, wandered among dinosaur skeletons in the American Museum of Natural History, reminisced at the Brooklyn Banks, got lost in the projects, skated through Rockefeller Center, walked through Times Square after dark and ate “real New York pizza” at Ray's.

And a couple photos, compliments of Stephen:

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bringin' back memories with Chris Senn in Jump off a Building

We do not play on Graves

We do not play on Graves—
Because there isn’t Room—
Besides—it isn’t even—it slants
And People come—

And put a Flower on it—
And hang their faces so—
We’re fearing that their Hearts will drop—
And crush our pretty play—

And so we move as far
As Enemies—away—
Just looking round to see how far
It is—Occasionally—

Emily Dickinson
ca. 1862

"mouths of babes"

billy corgan

so here we are
true superstars we're so
real from afar and now
now you're with us now

and the mouths of babes sing revolution
and the mouths of babes scream disillusion
you can't break what's already broken
cause from the mouths of babes comes nothing

the dream was a sham for
saving what you can't and now
they're me but i'm not them
i am you and you are me

it's in the ways i walk thru fire
it's in the ways of my desire
and when i said that you're no good
what i meant was i wish i could
be there
be young
i wish you could
be there

so now i bid farewell
beyond the bounds of hell
and now
you'll swear you knew us well
well you can never tell

and the mouths of babes sing revolution
and the mouths of babes scream disillusion
you can't break what's already broken
cause from the mouths of babes comes nothing

A few Joan Didion quotes

"We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget."

"Was there ever in anyone's life span a point free in time, devoid of memory, a night when choice was any more than the sum of all the choices gone before?"

"The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to their dream."

"Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price."

"I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear."

"Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power."

"A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image."

"Dancing Queen"

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music's high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen

You're a teaser, you turn 'em on
Leave them burning and then you're gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen

A quote from "The Stranger" by Albert Camus

"I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness." Part 1, Chapter 6, pg. 59

'Do you think', said Candide, 'that men have always massacred each other the way they do now? that they've always been liars, cheats, traitors, ingrates, brigands? that they've always been feeble, fickle, envious, gluttonous, drunken, avaricious, ambitious, blood-thirsty, slanderous, debauched, fanatical, hypocritical, and stupid?'

'Do you think', said Martin, 'that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they find them?'

'Yes, no doubt,' said Candide.

'Well, then', said Martin, 'if hawks have always had the same character, why do you expect men to have changed theirs?'

'Oh!' said Candide, 'there's a big difference, because free will...'

Arguing thus the while, they arrived in Bordeaux.

from “Candide,” written by Voltaire