Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
This is frightening, absurd, and frankly, un-American.
The movement calls for Americans to "verify that you are an anchor baby" (those are their exact words) and in the case that one is not, say, one of "us," citizens are advised to reapply for citizenship (yes, that's a "re" there), or return to the country of the ancestors' origin. Effectively, this website and its organization is asking people to go back where they came from -- all under the guise that by doing so, they are being real patriots.
Perhaps the best part of this website are its comments. There were those like me, who after stumbling upon this site, assumed (and frankly, hoped) that it was a huge practical joke. This organization believes that the best way to address illegal immigration is to ask citizens to research their family history with the intention of catching "an illegal" (they use that word to refer to a person more than once), and then voluntarily self-deport (I did not know that was a reflexive verb, thanks Mitt Romney) back to their ancestral home. This is all assuming that one's ancestral home will be beckoning them back with open arms, regardless of, say, religious persecution, political exile, um, genocide, or, I don't know, run-of-the-mill immigration regulations. How could this not be a joke?
And then I noticed this: about halfway down its Frequently Asked Questions Page, there is the following exchange:
Luke Owen: "This is batshit insane."
Eric Rife: "It's called SATIRE. Loosen up."
Patriots for Self-Deportation: "We are for real. Why would you think it is satire?"
David: "Because you are ridiculous."
Here are some questions for you, Patriots for Self-Deportation:
1) Who, in their right mind, would rescind their citizenship? Especially if they were born in this country and their parents or grandparents fought tooth and nail to get them a better life? Especially if their family was fleeing a war, a racist regime, etc., etc.?
2) Given the amount of paperwork that goes into applying for citizenship in any country, do you really think that this is the most efficient way to approach illegal immigration in the United States?
3) By the way, where are you from? Your parents? Grandparents? Oh yeah, that's right, it is not supposed to matter, because we live in a country that was founded by people fleeing other countries. A place where people should be treated like people -- not objects that can be made legal or illegal, zipped back and forth over borders because they fail to be "anchor babies."
If you are curious as to what got me so riled up about this, please watch this:
You'll notice some laughter in the background. I think that's our pal Luke Owen.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Lydia Davis: on the off-off-off-off-off chance that you come across this, or perhaps have your name set on Google Alerts, or perhaps have an intern somewhere whose job it is to Google you, please know that your stories are my manna. Granted, you are too interesting, important and busy to read blogs like mine, but I'll let myself dream that perhaps, someday, through the miracle that is the internet, you'll know what I mean.
footage from the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, shot by Penguin Digital
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Burt is a lonely medical student. He spends long hours studying in the library and as many hours at the pub, decoding graffiti on the wall. And then he meets his match: a leggy brunette with fascinating viscera. Her lab report says it was a hit and run. Burt cannot understand who could run from her. They keep her face covered but a single curl escaped below her jaw. He writes her poems on pub walls, leaves notes in biology textbooks. One day he sees a note balled in her fist. Fuck off, it reads. Burt hits her and runs.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Stefan was afraid of money—the leathery, scratchy feel of green in his palms, the metallic smack of coins. He sold artisanal crafts at local flea markets, although he turned away cash-paying customers. His bottle-cap mobiles were a big hit. And then it occurred to him: his cure. He kept his eye on the asphalt for stray dollar bills. He spent weeks weaving bills together, George Washington’s face kissing Abraham Lincoln’s. The result was a patchwork quilt; Stefan’s biggest piece yet. Though a bit unwieldy, the quilt worked: for years it was his bargaining tool. His money never exchanged hands.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Fern was born with a strange ailment. Every word she uttered, she could only speak once. She wished she could say her name, that beautiful way eff curled so easily into ern. Her parents devised a complicated sign language, along with color coordinated flash cards, to get her through each day. Whenever she made up a word her jaw would lock. Then Fern discovered William Shatner. More importantly, she found Esperanto. Because so few people spoke those words, there was enough room in the universe to repeat them. Each night before bed, she whispered dankon, dankon. Thank you. Thank you.
I will be reading my piece, along with a number of other Bay Area writers, at the Booksmith bookstore in San Francisco on March 8. SMITH Mag is hosting promotional book events around the country to highlight writers from various regions.
It's nice, as an obscure writer, to have a moment every now and then.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I swore in church and so my babysitter washed my mouth out with soap. Organic, tea tree sandalwood soap, French milled vegetable soap the color and texture of satin. She didn't realize the soap would alter my vocabulary. After I'd choked back the silky suds, the first words I said were por quoi? Shut yer trap, she said. I tried but my lips bubbled. Voulez-vous dansez? Quit yer fooling, she whispered. She didn’t want to dance. Instead, she took me back to church to exorcise the demons, this time with good old-fashioned industrial strength Dial soap. Il n'a pas travaillé.