LOST WEEKEND: Before I came home from work last night, I stopped by the video store and the supermarket with the plan to not leave the apartment all weekend. So far, so good. I've watched two movies so far (Birth and Team America:World Police - yeah, I know, weird combo. I like my artsy drama balanced with fratboy humor) and I'm plowing through the new John Irving novel, which is excellent. I'm also catching up on writing grants for the upcoming Voices Carry 2 on Sept. 11 at the Carter Center. We have an amazing line up of poets: Eric Nelson, Sharan Strange, Beth Gylys, Jon Goode, Dan Veach, Cecilia Woloch and Kodac Harrison hosting. I'm reading, too, but I bow to those on the bill - great poets all.

In between reading and watching movies, the news filters in. The shocking execution of two young gay men in Iran totally sickens me. Simianbrain has posted a photo of the boys having the nooses put over their heads. Apparently the Middle East has been on a jihad against gays. To me, this is a form of genocide. I doubt America will be sending any troops in to liberate all the homosexuals currently in jail who are either being tortured or waiting for execution. While you're at Simianbrain, scroll down and check out the excellent recap of the Downing Street Memo, which celebrates its three-year anniversary today. This secret memo, which originated in the UK, indicates that Dubya and his cronies were creating evidence to invade Iraq.

Speaking of Dubya, his golden boy for the Supreme Court has been glad-handing more people in Washington than any politician up for re-election. The Dems have been pretty quiet, but I'm sure they are gearing up for an assault during confirmation. The pro-choicers have been out marching already, saying John Roberts appointment will lead to the end of the rights granted by Roe v. Wade.

In London, the overzealous police shot dead an innocent man because they thought he was was one of the terrorists who tried to detonate bombs on the tube and a bus on Thursday. While it's understandable the police might have itchy trigger-fingers after all the horrific bombings, shooting the guy at point blank range while lying on the floor of a tube carriage in full view of passengers does nothing to boost confidence and only causes more fear to a public already on edge. Jean Charles de Menezes was a Brazilian national working as an electrician in London. Why he ran from the police is unknown, since he apparently had never been in any trouble.

Terror wasn't limited to London this weekend either. The bombing of a Red Sea resort in Egypt has also sent shockwaves across the world. These were no little bombs either. One of them totally demolished the front of a hotel in Sharm el-Sheikh, while another went off in a crowded market and a third on a beachfront walkway. Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility along with another group called The Holy Warriors of Egypt. America is next. You can feel it in the air. Something horrible is going to happen in this country soon. It's either going to be suicide bombers or a car bomb or chemicals released.

Frankly, I'm tired of waking up every morning and finding out that some more whackjobs have killed a bunch of innocent people. My fear is that the only way this reign of terror will end is with the use of a big bomb on some Middle Eastern or Asian country and I know Dubya has an itchy-trigger finger. There's a lot of rhetoric on both sides of the political spectrum about the US pulling out of the Middle East and Asia, which is what these extremists are calling for. If we left, would they stop bombing? Spain withdrew its troops from Iraq after the bombings there last year. Yes, it's "cutting and running," but at some point the lives of everyday people who are dying indiscriminately on a weekly basis are going to have to come into the discussion. Is America going to continue being the "world police?"


shamanic said…
Frankly, I'm tired of waking up every morning and finding out that some more whackjobs have killed a bunch of innocent people.

I second that.
nolapoet said…
Collin, I'd like to know more about the genesis of Voices Carry. Who started it? Who chooses the readers? What are the criteria?

Collin said…
Robin, Voices Carry was created by me, Cecilia Woloch and Chante Whitley-Head as part of last year's Atlanta Book Festival. Cecilia and I picked the poets. Although the book festival is now history, the event carries on this year thanks to support from Poetry Atlanta and a grant from the Fulton County Council for the Arts. Cecilia and I once again picked the line-up. We hope to showcase different poets each year. We compiled a list of poets we liked and whittled it down through a series of conversations. We vetoed each other on a number of choices. The line up for Voices Carry 2 is strong and diverse and we are very excited. We hope it will continue every Sept. 11.
nolapoet said…
There was an Atlanta International Book Festival back in the 90s at Georgia State. These things come and go in fits and starts. I'm hoping my new project(s) also bring some new voices to the scene.
Collin said…
The Atlanta Book Festival evolved out of what was called the Atlanta Literary Festival. However, since Chante has been ill, the festival fell apart this year. In 2006, the Decatur Book Festival is shaping up to be a major literary event.

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