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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


lisa lozano, you are here

All day yesterday the news went back and forth, the rebels are taking control, no Khadafi's supporters are taking charge, no, the rebels.... This morning rebels broke into Khadafi's compound and tore it up. No Khadafi. They don't know where he is. He may turn up in Venezuela. Who knows? Who cares? Now, a revolution that started because it started, a popular revolt without leaders that set a momentum going and stayed with it, assisted by Europe's military, and prevailed. Evidently the revolt was spontaneous and no one was seeking power. It will be interesting now to see what comes up as a new governing body there. With the "help" of European and American power telling them what to do. It's a very delicate time there. Circling buzzards in the air, power plays on the ground. I don't know what it is about this Lybia ordeal that makes it feel so internationally important.

Heard some good news yesterday. In Afghanistan a couple of Taliban guys with guns took a man age 60 for a collaborator. He said he was applying for medical attention. The shot and killed him. The man's son and some others beat the Taliban guys to death with rocks. It put me in mind of the movie Legend Of The Fall I saw Sunday after the race. Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. Father and son, another son and 2 ranch hands in Montana had taken all they cared about taking from county law enforcement. They shot them down to the ground, buried them in a secluded place and got away with it. They had good reason, like the guys in Afghanistan had good reason.

In today's mail was a movie from netflix, a documentary of Brazilian artist Vik Muniz working on a project involving the "pickers" at the Rio de Janerio dump, the people who go through the trash picking up recyclables. It's a good paying job. He made portraits of several of the workers using objects found in the dump, like bottle caps, every kind of thing. They made beautiful portraits. He made 4'x6' photographs of them and sold the photographs for $250 thousand, the money went to the pickers in Brazil. Vik Muniz hoped his project would improve the lives of the pickers, giving them a boost. With that and some other money from surprise sources involving the pictures, the boosted self-esteem of the people concerned, they turned the job of picking up recyclables from the trash into something organized and respectable. The film is a tear-jerker from joy.

In Selma's coffee shop today talking with Selma and a few others. Artist Elizabeth Davis came in. I'd never met her, but have known her paintings for several years. I've seen a show by her at the library and several things at the art shop in town, something here, something there. We had a few moments of good conversation. I like her abstractions quite a lot. She largely uses the colors of autumn; browns, yellows, reds. To my eye, her painting has an Eastern European feel about it. At Selma's I have had conversations with people that make it hard for me to believe we're in Sparta. That's what I and the others like about the place. It's a happy, feel-good kind of place. Hard feelings belong outside the door. I find I think in terms of "we" about Selma's coffee shop. We who go there regularly, everyone who stops in there. It's an atmosphere of people together, enjoying conversation and good coffee. And the best part about the place: the right people don't go there. I'd never go there if they did.

Driving home from town I heard about the Virginia earthquake pulling into Food Lion parking lot. When I emerged from the car I saw Liz Dalton and she mentioned it. In the store I heard people talking about it. Driving home, it's all they were talking about on NPR radio until I turned it off. Grew very weary of NPR people talking with the fake excitement of Fox News and the British tabloid press, on and on about something very few people noticed. The ones that did notice were carried away with excitement and drama. It grew so tiresome listening to the exaggerated efforts to make something big of it, something that happened for about half a minute, if it lasted that long. The way they talk about weather now, like 2" of snow is a blizzard everybody will be snowed in indefinitely is part of a new take on the news to tell it with drama. Be afraid, it's telling us, be very afraid. You're so much easier to control when you 're afraid.  


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