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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2001-09-24 ... 3:33 p.m.


I had a huge thing written about feeling all out of sorts, mostly relating to the hijackings and the WTC collapse and the things written on the Glossosaurus site (scroll down a bit to the 9/16 entry: I'm bad at relative links), but I think he's said it better. I have this to add: radical culture cannot replace radical politics. You can be a lifestyle leftist, you can have all the pagan tattoos you want, you can listen to rageful political punk music or buy organic produce or boycott Nike, but it doesn't mean shit unless you do something about it. Understand that I'm not coming from a holier-than-thou position here: I struggle along with the rest of you about how to make my life better reflect the things that I believe.

I've been thinking about labels. Appearances. Signifiers. How meaningless it all is. For instance, yo, check it:

Politically, I'm left of center, and I vote and I believe in direct democracy (more direct than we currently have, in fact). I'm feminist, pro-choice, and disgusted by all the breaks that huge corporations get and the salaries of their CEOs. Culturally, I'm simultaneously interested in and repelled by pop culture, rather overly well-read when it comes to "serious" contemporary literary fiction, and listen to everything from dissonant string quartets to industrial clanging dance music to old New York new-wave to post-punk indie kids. Professionally, I'm an editor and a manager, damn good at it, love what I do, and refuse to apologize for my "real" job (contrary to the popular mythology of a hip young army of gleeful slackers). Stereotypically, I'm married, a property owner, two-incomes-no-kids, frequent traveller, cat owner. Spiritually, I broke with Catholicism as a child (although I still appreciate the Mass for its performance-art aspects: incense! candles! magic happening before your eye! How delightfully goth!) and now this comes closest to summing up my eclectic ideas about god. And if you were to glance over at the next barstool, you'd see a boring-looking dark-haired girl, geeky emo glasses, black sweater and tights, most likely reading some novel, and you'd come to your own knee-jerk conclusions.

And does this all add up to Mimi Smartypants? Can all the facets of a person ever be integrated? For instance, if someone says "Having a career is bullshit. Relationships are bullshit. We need direct political action and we need it now," and then goes and sits in a tree for three years to save the forest, there's a part of me that admires that and another part of me that thinks that's completely fucked. Same thing for someone who focuses on his or her art to the exclusion of all everything else. Or someone who joins a cloistered convent or ashram. Or someone who escapes into TV or shoegazer music or chat rooms or the infighting of their local dirty-hair indie-rock scene. (OK, that last part I think is mostly completely fucked.)

How does all this relate to 9/11? It probably doesn't. I'm just all a-whirl with the Big Thoughts lately. Although I will say that I am equally fed up with personal web pages that merely moan "the horror, the horror" as I am with those that ignore the Event completely and giggle about nothing in particular. And, to a certain extent, with those web sites that Have All The Answers, whose authors sit back and smugly proclaim "War is bad!" or "Those bastard terrorists will pay!" or whatever simplistic platitude is their personal favorite.

Get ready for one more cliche, from me: I don't have any answers. If I write about something funny, it doesn't mean that I'm ignoring the current situation. If I write about the hijackings, it doesn't mean that I'm any more able to wrap my mind around what happened than any one of you. The only thing I know is that I don't know everything.

Oh wait, I do know one thing: I know I don't want any dung-flavored beer.

---mimi smartypants, will you please be quiet please?


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