TRAVEL NOTES

December 6, 2007

Six Days on the Road -- Four nights in Honolulu, two nights in Cancun, all business and rarely a moment to stop to enjoy the beach, but interesting all the same. In Honolulu they call the local paper the Honolulu Advertiser. It seems like thatís a much more honest way to name the modern model of ad-driven journalism than the usual. If the New York Times was called The New York Advertiser, or if Time and Newsweek and CNN were named according to what they actually do, things would be so much clearer.

Many flights and, inevitably, many airport restrooms, which now take on a different atmosphere since the widespread circulation of the videos of Larry Craig tapping his foot in the Minnesota airport bathroom in a language apparently well known to those senators and other lowlifes who solicit sex in airport restrooms. Suddenly restrooms seem to be much more perilous places. Was I tapping my foot? Oh God! I didnít mean that! Was I doing anything that might be interpreted as a sign? Men seem more than ever unwilling to be social or congenial in a restroom setting. They barely want to acknowledge the existence of another human being in their immediate vicinity. All locked into tunnel vision, they grimly look only down and slightly ahead, the bare minimum required to navigate or to wash their hands.

I am reminded of Lenny Bruce talking saying, ďI was always amazed at anyone who could do anything in a restroom but piss and leave.Ē But now dear Senator Larry Craig has left his indelible mark on our silly little civilization and who can go into an airport restroom without thinking of him, the videos of his foot tapping over the line in the next stall, the expensive suit and shoes, the tapes of him evading the questions of the police officer who interrogated him, his absolute refusal to acknowledge what they both knew happened, his adamant public proclamations that he was not gay nor had he ever been. And even this week, as I wandered around airports, I saw his picture flashing on the CNN monitors placed around the airports, denying some new/old allegations about his sexual proclivities. Dear Larry. Crazy crazy Larry. How much taxpayer money did you spend on restroom sex Larry?

The George Bush International Airport, always such a pleasure to be in the building named for the great family that took America down the toilet. The mechanical sounding voice coming repetitively over the loudspeaker in a superficially friendly tone with underlying menace sums up the Bush world, warning that ďany in appropriate remarks about security may result in your arrest.Ē

The Cancun airport Ė looking pretty good for an airport, looking pretty much like the standard airport, complete and intact, not betraying the fact that two years ago it was wiped away by hurricane Wilma. Itís been built up like nothing ever happened. Amazing what people can do when they take it upon themselves to be constructive, rather than destructive, as is typical of the current administration. What if those billions of dollars and countless man-hours and soul energy that is fed into destroying and supposedly controlling the oil of Iraq were put into something constructive. What if there were a leader who presented something like a new New Deal to the people and they bought into it? Imagine what could be done! Imagine that lost world, that possible world that does not exist, cannot exist because the possibilities are being suppressed by reptilian creatures like Bush and Cheney.

After the CIA came out saying Iran had curtailed its nuclear weapons program four years ago, Bush, always looking hot under the collar and perturbed, said that didnít mean he was going to change his mind about his intention to smash Iran. Never one to change his mind about anything just because the facts donít conform to his imagination, the intransigent Bush is still determined to stay the course. It doesnít mean anything, he says, that Iran quit trying to produce nuclear weapons four years ago, they still could. (New York Times) No need to give American service people a break from endless war just because Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program four years ago. What is a war president to do without a new war? The very idea!

Bushís attitude is essentially one of irritation that anyone is trying to thwart his ambition to attack Iran. Iím going to bomb Iran and donít try to stop me. Iran is dangerous because I say itís dangerous and Iím the President and what I say goes so donít think these games you're playing with all this ďintelligenceĒ is going to change my mind one bit.

-- David Cogswell

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