October 12, 2006

Running water, running water
What are you running from?



daniel johnston, I Want It All, 2006

* New York Tims. excerpt:

"Sudan’s leaders sent out a letter last week warning governments against volunteering their troops for a United Nations peacekeeping force for Darfur. Khartoum was obviously feeling cocky. But why shouldn’t it? The Security Council — or more to the point, the big powers that run the Security Council — made clear that it won’t send in troops to stop the genocide unless Sudan first agrees.

T"hen there’s Iran, which is still defiantly enriching uranium. And the North Koreans, who blew off the rest of the world when they blew off what they said was a nuclear weapon this week.

"Welcome to the new age of impunity.

"It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The Iraq war and President Bush’s with-us-or-against-us war on terrorism was supposed to frighten the bad guys so much that they wouldn’t dare cross the United States. But the opposite has happened. President Bush has squandered so much of America’s moral authority — not to mention our military resources — that efforts to shame or bully the right behavior from adversaries (and allies) sound hollow.

"There is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to empowering rogue states. The Chinese have been shielding Sudan and North Korea. The Russians have been shielding Iran. Were it not for Iraq and Mr. Bush’s other troubles, there would be ways to shame or bypass those roadblocks. When the Russians blocked U.N. action in Kosovo, President Clinton got NATO to stop the killing.

"Mr. Bush appears to care deeply about Darfur. But the United States is so overstretched in Iraq that no one in this White House is even talking about sending NATO to stop ethnic cleansing that has already left more than 200,000 dead and displaced more than two million.

"Closing our eyes for another two years isn’t an answer. Washington needs to assert its leadership, no matter how tattered, on all these fronts.
...
"In his news conference yesterday, Mr. Bush said that the abuses at Abu Ghraib 'hurt us internationally. It kind of eased us off the moral high ground.' He quickly added that the world had seen the perpetrators held to account.

"We fear it will take a lot more than the trials of a few low-level prison guards to repair the damage, whether from Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, the secret prisons or the whole mismanaged Iraq war. There can be no impunity at home either."

* From an interview of Mark Linkous. excerpt:

Interviewer: Do you enjoy festivals?

ML: No.

Interivewr: (Laughs) Why’s that?

ML: Usually, in the States, it’s just too many drunk people and it’s too loud because, … it shouldn’t be this way at Austin City Limits, but a lot of festivals that I have done in the States…they’re just not very conscious of how loud… like sometimes I’m very quiet and y’know, Marilyn Manson could be playing on the next stage and it just negates Sparklehorse.
...
Interviewer: Is it other musicians that inspire you to create? What is it that inspires you to keep wanting to do this after five years off?

ML: Well, to be honest, lately it’s been so I can live, just so I can pay the rent again. Cause without putting out a record for five years it got to be dire financial throes where I couldn’t live. So that’s my first goal – to pay the rent.

Interviewer: I know it’s been several years since your accident [Linkous mixed Valium and anti-depressants, passed out in a hotel bathroom in London with his legs pinned under him for fourteen hours and required numerous surgeries and time spent in a wheelchair.] Does that experience still have lasting effects on you physically or mentally today?

ML: I don’t know how much mentally it affects me that I’m conscious of. Physically it still affects me because the operations that I had permanently damaged my legs. So I’ll always have to wear braces on my legs.

* If you have yet to watch The Devil and Daniel Johnston, do so soon.

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