Archive for the ‘War’ category

Beirut notebook

This clip contains one of my earliest media memories of international politics. I remember the hostage crisis in Iran just a few years earlier than this, and I seem to have some vague memory of soldiers kissing the ground on their arrival back from Vietnam, a few years before that. I remember talk, at least, […]

Administrative notice

In digging through some of my old files recently, I came across this: It’s an administrative notice, dated December 13, 1988, that was posted at the U.S. embassy in Moscow. I was living on the embassy compound at the time, but had forgotten completely about this particular notice. Here is the full text: To:  All […]

Very quiet adventures in the very quiet car

Penn Station is a terrible building but it has its small charms: newsstands that carry quite a lot of magazines, an old-fashioned departure board with moving parts, and a few comfortingly familiar folkways. People stand and watch the board, for instance, and then, despite the fact that Amtrak doesn’t oversell trains, the instant the board […]


When will we decide, as a nation, that we’ve had enough? That we won’t let this happen again? Or this? Or this?

Today is Victory Day

It is only in the last few years that, thanks to one of our resident Russophiles, LP, I have come to appreciate a good May 9th party. May 9th, as you may know, is the day that Russia and the other former Soviet republics celebrate as Victory Day, when the Allies finally overcame the Nazis […]

Notes from Downtown

Not too long after those marches we went to in DC that so effectively stopped the war in Iraq, a friend of mine said one of those sentences that got pasted on my brain like a bumper sticker*. “Chanting in unison,” he said, “makes me ambivalent about, oh, just about everything.” I had felt this […]

What is it you want?

After the ball was over, after the break of morn, after the dancers’ leaving, after the stars were gone…it was about forty eight hours before I read my first piece of Internet verbiage about how the goal of marriage is an assimilationist one and how saddened the writer was to have her queerness coöpted. And […]

S prazdnikom!

I hope you all celebrated May 9 yesterday, the day that the Germans finally surrendered in WWII. It’s a huge holiday in Russia – Dyen’ Pobedy, or Victory Day, the day the Great Patriotic War ended. If you missed it yesterday, raise a glass today:   … plus … = Delicious. And culturally appropriate.   […]

Slaughterhouse five

(Text by Swells, photos by ScottyGee) Dresden is known for its beautiful central theater complex, its devastation after the Allies firebombed it in WWII, and of course its central role in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. It’s such a culty novel, at least for American college boys, that I assumed its iconic status would at least […]

Nice Day For A Drive(by)

It’s a rare day that it rains in Los Angeles, and a rarer one that Tim and I spend the afternoon together at home, not running errands or otherwise careening about. The rain had been coming down in sheets for a good part of the morning, and we were cosily tucked at our computers, working […]