end of 2006
Sunday, December 31 2006
I'm unusually squeamish and am not a fan of sites with photos of the dead Kurt Cobain or grisly auto accidents. Still, as part of a violent culture one has to take in a certain amount of awfulness for basic awareness of the grimness of modern times. So I watched a couple of the more infamous Al Qaeda beheading videos as well as the recent incompetently-filmed hanging of Saddam Hussein. What strikes me foremost when comparing and contrasting these two sets of videos is how much more professional the terrorist videos were than the one of the Saddam execution. While the former looked like organized rituals performed dispassionately with reasonable production values, the Saddam execution had the appearance of an ad hoc lynching. While it's true that the cameraman at the Saddam execution was doing his filming informally on a cameraphone, it didn't have even the remote appearance of a judicial execution. It's just another fuck up by a surpassingly incompetent administration, one whose mastermind thought they were clever when they arranged to get Saddam's death sentence to come on the Sunday before an American election. (No, I haven't forgotten that little stunt.)
In the evening our friends Penny and David, who have a weekend place in Marbletown, came over to help us ring in the new year. They brought champagne and ice cream. Gretchen had made a cake and I maintained a hot fire in the woodstove. I love Penny and David, but by this point I was socially exhausted from several straight days of holiday parties. (I never even mentioned the thing we went to last night on Eagle's Nest Road.) For musical entertainment, Gretchen acted as DJ and played nothing but oldie funk until I expressed my displeasure by requesting REO Speedwagon.
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