This Girl's Voice

Wednesday, May 26, 2004  

Summer Slowdown

Some voxpopgirl readers have probably noticed that it's been a little dormant around here lately; i'm as energized and interested as ever in politics, however, i'm even more energized and interested in what i do for a living and have been focusing on just that for the last month.

What with an important American election this November and an even more important one for me -- a Canadian election recently announced that is just around the corner on June 28 of this year, i will definitely continue blogging -- however, for the next month or so, it cannot be at the expense of writing and producing music - which as many of my T-dot readers know, is what makes me get up in the mornings -- or, should i say -- is what makes me get up in thelate mornings, when the muse taps my shoulder, and all i can do is follow and dust for her my creative fingerprints, no matter the hour.

So, forgive me for what will be my more than occasional blogging absences over the course of this summer, however, please feel free to keep in touch via email, or via my comments' window, here at VPG.

I'll be back to my regular blogging habits again this fall, and hopefully, i won't have lost your patronage by then :-)

In the meantime, check out some of the newly added blogs i've included in the right hand column of this blog, under the header "Blogs From The Front".

I particularly dig e-rocky-confidential; written by an ultra cool military dude named Bryan, stationed in the thick of it in Iraq, at a base next to the airport in Baghdad;

He's a progressive and a hard-working soldier doing his best to make do, considering the circumstances he finds himself in, not to mention being a rather good diarist and observer of the realities and ironies of life in the sandbox known as Iraq:
The scenery varies according to where you are. It's at least as true in the States as it is here, you know? Find yourself in one of nature's gorgeous panoramas: pick a direction and go a few miles, and you'll soon run into a strip mall full of pawn shops, gun stores, junk yards, and topless bars, with trash flying around in the parking lots and snot-nosed shoeless kids running around in front of board-windowed shacks out back. Go another few miles, and there's a meticulously landscaped corporate campus nestled against a golf course.

The fact is that I've seen very little of Baghdad. I've seen the bombed out airport because I'm practically right next to it. I've seen some pieces of highway at high speeds, and it hasn't been much of a surprise: there are trash-strewn ghettos here, magnificent monuments there. Sounds like St. Louis, right?

Every place has its own unique character, but it's also true that there are commonalities. Every city has its gated communities and its slums. American cities all have their American-ness, but you also hear people say, "oh, such-and-such American city has such a European flavor," or that some far-flung place has an American flavor. Most of San Antonio feels like Mexico. Victoria, British Columbia, is said to be more English than any place in England. It's interesting for me to hear people say, "I can't believe what we saw on that convoy-- this country smells like shit!" Hey, guess what: there are places in America that smell like shit. Ever been to a landfill?

Be sure to rummage through Bryan's archives and start from the beginning to get a more complete picture of an American soldier who, when he's not busy being a "rear gunner" on the back of a Humvee or his units' IT guy, spends his spare time listening to Radiohead's "Kid A" CD and reviewing Iraqi bootleg DVD's of "Kill Bill, Vol. 2" and "The Passion of The Christ" -- "Tarantino is a genius, and Gibson is... Tarantino is a film-making genius whereas Gibson is a film-marketing genius, and that's all I've got to say about that."

e-rocky-confidential also has a comments' system which Bryan reads, and he's open to friendly chat as well as the occasional care packages.

And, lest we all forget about Afghanistan, take a visit and read Kandahar Chronicles, and read "the ongoing story of the day-to-day life of an MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) Field Logistician based in Kandahar Afghanistan", written by a Canadian named Carlos who has been there since August 2003.

Read about Carlos' experiences, day-to-day observations and his compassion, frustrations and contributions working together for and with a people who have lost everything and yet continue to never give up. On Feb. 24 of this year, Carlos' nine and a half months of duty were up and he left Kandahar to move on to other parts of the world where he wants to make a contribution.

Don't let that stop you from jumping back into his archives to start at the beginning of his journey together with him as he entered a part of the world which his parting observations describe so poetically and lovingly, and which clearly demonstrate how dearly he cherished Kandahar and her people:
Kandahar is a jewel left in the elements too long. Like the beautiful little girl with the scarred face I met a lifetime ago, enchanting and heart breaking. I thought of her on the drive. Why couldn’t I find her again? Take care little angel, for you life can only get better.

posted by voxpopgirl | 5/26/2004