Tired of politicians’ flaccid thoughts and prayers–
you let it happen again and again
tired of nonstop carnage-porn on TV
Charlie Rose asking the same questions
with a glint in his eyes — blood lust, excitement?

I saw a policeman this morning
at Port Authority
brandishing a semi-automatic rifle
as commuters flooded out the glass doors
from the gates

He scared me

Three armed National Guardsmen
outside Strawberry

I did not feel safe

knowing it will happen again
and again
and again


ISIS Ducks


(hiromitsu morimoto – Rubber Duck Parade, Osaka 2013)

“The devil…the prowde spirite…cannot endure to be mocked.”
— Thomas More

The devil doesn’t like being mocked, but that’s exactly what 4chan is doing. Mocking ISIS by photo shopping images of ISIS fighters with rubber ducks and holding bathroom paraphernalia aloft instead of weapons.

The activist group Anonymous declared December 11 trolling day on Daesh (aka Isis), asking people to mock members of the terrorist group who had been killed with memes and pictures using the hashtags #Daesh and #Daeshbags.

They are all about not giving in to fear, about standing up to the bullies, which is what they are. Very well-armed bullies. I was very afraid after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, but I am trying to be less afraid. Part of that involves educating myself about the Evil at hand, aka Daesch or ISIS. I am currently reading Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author Joby Warrick. Knowledge is power or at the very least, a key to understanding.

Let’s fight the terrorists any way we can, whether it be by memes, reading, sharing information or learning to be less afraid.




Pray for Paris and Beirut and . . .


(Alex Smithson)

At the request of Mother Nature and in solidarity with Paris, I am posting this sign.

Friday the 13th, 2015. A horrific day for Paris. Having never been, I cannot extol its virtues, or reminisce about places I’ve been. I’ve seen movies about it, read about it, a friend lives there, but that’s as far as it goes.

I wish I could say with confidence there won’t be any more Parises in our future, but that would be naive. This latest attack brings to mind the terror of 9-11, which violated and devastated my home city. It makes me tired and sad. But we must fight the evil that brought about these events.

I’m trying to truly understand, so I’m reading articles, watching news reports on CNN. The most informative piece I’ve read so far is this article in The Atlantic. It shows how little we  know about ISIS, how far off the mark we’ve been.  We must learn, stand together and fight. Prayers are always welcome, but they only go so far.

And for those who don’t know (I just found out), 43 died in Beirut in a double suicide bombing perpetrated by ISIS on November 12. Let us keep the Lebanese in our prayers as well.




Death by Blogging

Bangladeshi blogger Oyasiqur Rhaman, 27 years old, was macheted to death over his comments on extreme Islam. This is the second killing of this kind in five weeks in the capital city, Dhaka.

The other slain blogger was Bangladeshi-American Dr. Avijit Roy who harshly criticized fundamentalist Islam on his website, “Mukto-Mona” or “Free Mind.” He wrote articles on scientific reasoning and religious extremism of all kinds, not just Islam. He and his wife Rafida Ahmed were living in Atlanta, Georgia and went to Dhaka to attend a book fair when he was killed. His wife tried to fend off the machete-wielding assailants and was injured herself, but survived. She has since returned to the U.S.

Avijit Roy

Daily Mail, 2-27-15 (Rafida Ahmed standing over her husband’s body)

The extremists said that Roy was singled out because he was a U.S. citizen, and they sought “revenge” for U.S. attacks on ISIS in Syria.

Monika Ammerman, a friend of Roy’s daughter Trisha wrote a tribute to him, aptly entitled “Words Cannot be Killed.”

It’s hard to put into words my feelings surrounding these brutal killings. I feel privileged, on the one hand, to be living in the U.S. and fairly confident I won’t be murdered for writing inflammatory posts, but at the same time, the War Against Words has begun in the U.S. too. Do any of us feel truly free to speak our minds, pen our thoughts or expose certain truths, truths that might be considered subversive or threatening to the powers-that-be? I would be lying if I said I did.

I honor those who have died and continue to die and be persecuted for what they believe, in words and in deeds.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 & Other Things That Piss Me Off



(1)  The sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, aptly called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2.
I know why it was made, but I don’t like the idea that it was made (to clarify, I haven’t seen it yet). Everything good (or not, sometimes) gets commodified and franchised. Don’t believe me? Watch Black MirrorEverything I know comes from Netflix.

(2)  Bad Chinese astrology.
This is my Chinese horoscope for the day:

In the news: Check for the opening of a great new play. Don’t be surprised if a celebrity you know is having an emotionally difficult time. What the heck, pick up a copy of People magazine while in the supermarket checkout line and catch up on the latest Hollywood gossip.

WTF? Okay, I guess I can do the first thing, but play-going is an expensive venture, especially in NYC. “Celebrities I know”? How many of us actually know celebrities? And I refuse to pick up a copy of People to check out the latest baby “bumps,” what Hugh Jackman eats for brunch or find out when Jennifer Aston will finally marry Justin Theroux and have that baby that we are all PRAYING for! There’s still time, Jen. We’re all rooting for you!

(3)  People who stand too close to you on the bus line at Port Authority.
Do they find it comforting to stand so close—are they cold and need the body heat? Sometimes I feel like the person behind me is my long-lost Siamese twin or wants to ride piggyback. Or do I look like a leaning post to them? I am not a stick of furniture!

(4)  Drivers who honk on Sundays or when totally unnecessary.
One Sunday, my reflexes weren’t fast enough to race ahead after the light changed green, and the person behind me (in New Jersey) blared his horn.  Where the hell is he going on a Sunday afternoon?

(5)  People who text while walking during rush hour in NYC.
Okay, folks, if you need to text, get out of the way! I’ve heard talk of a “texting lane” being established in the U.S., and it can’t come too soon. They already have it in China. They text on the busy streets, walking down and up the subway stairs and on the escalators at Port Authority. Look the hell up! There is a world out there.

(6)  Dust.
It settles and grows, settles and grows and I’m allergic to it and can’t get rid of it, and I hate dusting!

(7)  Governor Christie.
He announced yesterday that he could do a better job thwarting ISIS than President Obama. He went so far as to brag that he would implement the same strategies he’s used to make New Jersey the great state it is today. New Jersey is drowning, Christie! Unemployment and poverty have escalated during your tenure, residents are leaving in droves and the state ranks 49th in terms of private sector job growth.

Whew, I feel so much better now. What pisses you off today?