breathe Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh poetry - hope magic
listen Django Reinhardt, Jimmy Hendrix, Morrison, Joe Higgs, Janice - vacuumer of expensive drink drug - hear angels in the atmosphere
read Bible - word of God - edited by beautiful and befuddled men
admire painting, know constructer - misogynistic, manipulative egomaniac capable of great feats of destruction - great insights, epiphanies - "Art is the lie through which the truth is revealed"
listen Sam Kinison rant about devil, life, women - hear laughter emanating from God's cosmic joke house
Whether bible, book, picture, poem, song, joke, yoga, dance, - trust art not artist
love is the constant, we are the variable
Come lay down on the land and hear my tale. I had a dream last night, my lover came to me and whispered, "here is where my body fell, just here in this grove of baobab trees. Here is where my blood spilled upon this earth, here is where the bullets that were sold by France and Egypt and bought by the Hutu Rwandese government, and stolen by a Tutsi soldier hit my heart.
This is the story of ten thousand years of brother killing brother.
This is the story of Fleming killing Walloon
of Hutu killing Tutsi
of Crip killing Blood
of Saxon killing Celt
of German killing Jew
of Hun killing Goth
of American killing Iraqi
of Iraqi killing Kurd
of Jew killing Arab
of Protestant killing Catholic
of American killing Vietnamese
of Croatian killing Serb
of Tutsi killing Tutsi
of Arab killing Jew
of Taliban killing American
This is the story of ten thousand years of brother killing brother.
I have become cynical. Sometimes I believe in war there are only victims, oppressors, and pawns, but somewhere there must be a voice of truth. Is it the motherless Tutsi child screaming for her mother who has just been ritually tortured by machete? The ears are always left for last, so she may hear, till the last breath, the screams of her child, dying by the same blade. Or a Hutu child, crying for her mother, who has fallen to waterless lava covered earth, dying from famine and cholera in the refugee camps of Goma. In Africa, as on all of earth, a mother symbolizes protection. What do we do when we hear these voices. Do we buy more distractions to insulate us from the pain? How do we respond?
Video heroes. Of the 124 journalists killed in 1994, 85 of them were in Rwanda.
I try to process this, this spiritual statistic. I am a western white woman. I measure everything. My breasts, my nose, my clitoris, my gut, my bank account. My brain processes so fast, my heart so slow. I mourn for all childless mothers and motherless children.
My mind does the math. Exact data or estimated data. 5,000 died in the World Trade Center attack. 1,000,000 died in the genocide of Rwanda. That is equal to 200 World Trade Centers, or 4 World Trade Centers per state in the U.S.A. I need to stop thinking, and start feeling. Start praying. May wisdom and compassion prevail in the universal consciousness, our dreams, and our decisions.
Your only vision is television
Your only art is cuisineart
I do not want to make love to your ghost anymore. You who died in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda, birth place of the Nile, the river of tears, origin of life. You who died in a war no white man knew of because everybody was watching Dan Rather prime time on CBS-TV. He was immaculately dressed in his camouflaged Desert storm battle fatigues, reporting on Sadam, stud missiles, those steel penises ejecting into the sky. Editorializing on oil, that HIV tainted blood of the planet, burning, hardening, forming a scab over the dust, sand, and naked earth.
We'll be back in a minute after these words from our sponsor.
"Stay with us. The Gulf war brought to you by Tastee Freez." (fade in music - theme from "Star Wars" - fade out). "Hot fudge sundaes & cones only 99 cents this week, yum yum ice cream." Camera #3 slow-mo zoom in to chocolate sauce solidifying.
Ready Camera #1. cut to close-up of Dan, cue the 6million dollar a year talking war head.
"I don't care if it's the last supper with the original cast, what's the fucking rating?" screamed the director. Fifty years from now the White house will disclose the Desert Storm tapes. Starring Stormin Norman & George Bush Sr. Ready audio tape #9, roll tape #9:
Norman: Mr. President, now if we just start televising the blood of 100,000 dead Iraqis, you know what will happen - those Animal Rights Activists will just jump species!
President George Bush, Sr.: You're absolutely right, Norman. I completely concur. Showing enemy blood is out of the question. Look at Vietnam. We had 50 million television addicted Americans eating corn flakes with Viet Cong blood for breakfast. This will not stand. For God sake, a good war should be like a good infomercial. I'm the Producer, you're the Director. Norman, have another drink!
Welcome to the Greatest laser show on Earth & CNN.
And with all those stud missiles flying through the air and exploding on Tel Aviv, the hill of Spring, and the smoke of the oil fires billowing into the sky, I can only remember being an emotional couch potato. I never saw one drop of enemy blood spilled upon the earth. Saw lots of army wives, getting free hair-dos to greet their soldiers coming back from the conflict overseas.
1,000,000 dead. What does it take for the words "Rwanda" and "Taliban" to make it into Microsoft spell check and the universal consciousness? I watch the imaginary Kuwait babies pulled from the virtual reality incubators. My television set is a chemical straight jacket, protecting me from the naked truth. I want to pull the plug, but I need the digital opium, as I sit back in my silk upholstered LaZy Boy chair, in the valley of the shadow of the prozac propaganda wilderness.
Did you know Cannibals have a higher sperm count and are never HIV positive and other rumors to spread
We have become so civilized, we slaves on the freeway. No longer do we eat each others flesh, like in the old days deep inside the Virunga mountains. Today we eat each others souls, ideas and dreams. Taste my vision. No need to clench your teeth. Roll your tongue down my fibula. Drink the marrow.
A soul cannibal dines upon the blood of dreams. As the digital predator sits back in the velveteen upholstered lazy boy chair, with the Naugahyde arm rests, computing the exponential growth of the bottleneck on the express escalator straight to hell. Heaven's trap door is dispersing fallen angels like a soda pop machine.
I know somewhere deep down inside the earth there are dead Apaches, dinosaurs, sabretooths, matadors. Layers of souls, buried on top on one another, listening.
I am living in America and I know the lore of the land.
John Hinkley attempted to assassinate President Reagan
Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon
Squeaky Fromme attempted to murder President Gerald Ford
The Rock beat the Face on World Championship Wrestling
I know the names of many assassins, would be, want to be killers
and famous haters. But I am having difficulty recalling the name, or essence, of any great famous living American lover.
Is it just me
or a reflection
of the Land
I am living in?
A phrase in the language of Kiryawanda
Spoken in Rwanda & Burundi, Africa.
Munyonga: subject, verb, object; you decapitate me
Kunshwanyuza: verb, subject, object, adjective, indirect object; You tear me into little pieces.
You decapitate me
You tear me into little pieces?
In Africa man is connected with earth and animals
In America man is connected with automobiles and we name our automobiles after endangered animals
The black man kills the rhino on the savannah of Tsavo
He sends the horn to Hong Kong
To the yellow man
Where it is ground into powder
For a street value of one million four hundred twenty three thousand yen
This money is invested in a company that makes stuffed animal dolls
Which are exported to Wongs Toy Market on 2nd Street in Los Angles
At Christmas time
A white woman buys a stuffed rhino at Wongs Toy Market to send to her foster daughter in Uganda.