This morning I saw images

This morning I saw images from the war in Iraq that made me so sick I had trouble keeping from throwing up. Was it the charred bodies of Americans being dragged through the streets of Fallujah? No. It was Iraqi prisoners in humiliating, degrading, disgusting situations, all at the hands of our military.

Obviously, it's not just these photos that make my stomach churn; it's what they imply. How can we think this is an isolated incident? How can we go on blindly believing we're the nice guy, the savior of the Iraqi people, when this is going on? How can we continue to believe it's not going on everywhere else we have troops?

If the tables were turned, would the Iraqis be doing this to us? Of course. I'm not that naive. But wasn't it with the notion that we were the world's great, kind democracy that we entered into this war? Wasn't one of Bush's many arguments for invading Iraq that we were going to save our Iraqi brothers and sisters? That "be the bigger person" argument won me over, separating me from the millions of liberals who I mistakenly believed had lost their humanity after 9-11. For the first time in my life, I found myself in the entirely strange position of being sympathetic to the conservatives' cause.

At the request of our commander in chief, I let my bleeding heart start dripping again for the oppressed Iraqis. But then my fellow war supporters starting giving themselves away. "We're getting them back for 9-11," I heard them say. "No," I thought. "This isn't right. We're not supposed to be getting anyone back." This was supposed to be a heartfelt humanitarian mission, and it's boiled down to little more than a bloody pissing match. I realized I would have been better off sticking to blind partisan politics. What kind of lesson is that to learn? That considering all sides will only come back to haunt you? That trusting your president is a fatal mistake?

I've also learned that it's borderline treasonous to say anything negative about our military. I've never quite understood this, but I've kept my mouth shut and spouted what everyone else so eagerly spouts: "They're heroes." "They're doing something I wouldn't be willing to do, so I respect them." "They're risking their lives to protect our rights."

Why can't we accept that not everyone who serves in our military is a hero? If we easily understand ó and even expect ó that in every other "serve and protect" job there are going to be bad apples, why can't we grasp that the military is no exception? Not only is it no exception, but doesn't it take a very special person who is so willing to kill and be killed?

I've never liked the idea that there are people who don't mind killing animals for sport. Why would I trust someone who can live with killing people for an equally inane reason? (Preemptively, I take issue with the argument that soldiers and their families make about their unique contribution. I would be the first ó the first ó to join the military if I felt my civil liberties and freedoms were really being threatened. I would be willing to die for this country based on one little amendment alone.)

While I'm sure there are some soldiers who know exactly what rights and freedoms they are fighting for and wholeheartedly believe they are doing the right, honorable thing, I believe there are many more who joined the military because they don't have career plans, don't have money, don't have direction and think it might be an interesting experience. Perhaps their patrotism is also a driving force. I feel sorry for those people, because they have been tricked the way I have. The difference is that they are dying for this worthless cause.

I don't feel sorry for the ones who think it's acceptable to torture, humiliate and degrade other human beings, and I'm starting to believe there are more of those people than I thought. I wonder if The Lord of the Flies will replace the Bible as this country's book of choice.

Comments are turned off on this one, but please feel free to e-mail me (rachelotto2003athotmaildotcom) if you have any responses.

04-30-2004 10:27 AM - comments (0)

because chris doubts my devotion

hungry, hungry again
hungry, hungry again
when will it start to sway?
when will it start to almost break you?
hungry, hungry again
hungry, hungry again

and i'll miss you
and i wish you luck
well, i forgive you
and i don't wish you away
it'll almost break you
almost take you
almost break you
almost break you up

You know, it's probably the most basic, raw song Corgan ever wrote -- just him and a guitar -- yet one of the most beautiful I've ever heard.

04-26-2004 8:57 PM - comments (0)

So seriously. Am I the

So seriously. Am I the only person who thinks "One" by U2 is about a guy who gave his girlfriend AIDS?

04-26-2004 8:26 PM - comments (0)

Spent the larger part of

Spent the larger part of the weekend with the boy. We decided the green apple martini I had last night at Stir Crazy took on a mind of its own once I consumed it. I named the drunken voice in my head Keiko (that's mildly Asian, right?). Keiko was full of acerbic wit, such as "Cobblestone does more harm than good."

Thursday night, a different drunken voice was responsible for this exchange:

Michael (after explaining a house he might soon be renting was currently occupied by people who were being evicted for not paying their rent): Where will they go now?

Rachel: WHERE DO WE GO? WHERE DO WE GO? OHHHHH OHHH OHHH OH WHERE DO WE GO NOW? WHERE DO WE GO (SWEET CHILD) WHERE DO WE GO NOW? AYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY WHERE DO WE GO NOW? UH AH AH AH? SWEET CHILD OF MINE.

Awkward silence ensues

Rachel: Jamie says she was a lounge singer in a past life. Maybe I was Axl Rose in a past life.

Michael (looks at me for a long time): Yes, I'm...sure you were.

Rachel: There's no way that's possible, huh.

Michael: Yeah, no.

Then on some night in between -- I'm guessing Friday -- the vaguely buzzed voice in my head let out a delighted squeal, for 98.1FM was arbitrarily playing the "Ghostbusters" theme song.

Rachel (a la Jimmy Fallon): BUSTIN' MAKES ME FEEL GOOD! (quietly) I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Of course, Keiko also threw out some real bombs, like the rad sunglasses-wearing mouse from Super Mario Brothers II (which, by the way, cool people still play):

Michael: You drink too much.

Rachel: If I wanted to be judged...um...I'd go see a judge.

Michael: I was waiting to see what you'd pull out on that one.

Rachel: Shut it.

04-25-2004 9:50 PM - comments (10)

I have to give a

I have to give a talk at the company-wide meeting today (I don't care if company-wide isn't supposed to be hyphenated; it looks better if it is). Originally they were going to have me wear a wedding dress. I guess they realized I would be taken more seriously if I weren't.

I am so completely nervous that I don't know what to do. And I've been on radio and TV and yet explaining my product to a bunch of reporters, editors, sales people and everyone else scares me beyond imagination.

As long as I talk slowly and make sure to get phrases such as "local, local, local!", "on-site photo shoots at prominent St. Louis locations", "engagement announcements" and "fresh, clean copy and design", I think I'll be OK.

04-22-2004 6:59 AM - comments (2)

i believe we are lucky

Just an old friend coming over now to visit you
Thatís what Iíve become
I let myself in though I know Iím not supposed to
But I never know when Iím done

And I see you fogging up the mirror
Vapor round your body glistens in the shower
And I want to stay right here and go down on you for an hour
Or stay, and let the day just fade away
In wild dedication, take the moment of hope
And let it run, and never look back at all the damage we have done now
To each other
To each other
To each other

But when I see you itís like Iím staring down the sun
And Iím blinded
Thereís nothing left to do
Still I see you

I never believed that things they happen for a reason
And they never go as planned
I wanted to thank you for a vision that was lost that you returned but
Youíre passed, do you understand?

Now her appetite is blown, little else is known
Except she's a little angry, grabs a towel and looks away
And heat fades with the day
And I fall down on what to say,
Oh something clean, let me be clever
Hey, oh well, whatever
But thatís not what I mean
When where weíve been has left us burned
Still I wonít turn now from a fight you know Iíll never win

--Third Eye Blind

04-21-2004 6:51 PM - comments (0)

I think things might slowly

I think things might slowly be getting back to normal now. I hope they are. And I'm still holding tightly to the thing he gave me for safekeeping three weeks ago.

04-18-2004 6:37 PM - comments (1)

Good news for "Sex and

Good news for "Sex and the City" fans: TBS will begin airing the entire series starting June 15. Wonder how much that little purchase cost them?

04-17-2004 11:37 AM - comments (1)

where is the real ricky gervais?

Weirdest thing ever: I was flipping through the channels when I noticed Steve Carrell (former reporter on "The Daily Show") in a show on Channel 3, a channel normally reserved for hour-long ads for Becky's Carpet. He was doing this Bionic Man impression and I had a sense of deja vu. Then I realized what the show was: an American version of the BBC comedy that David introduced me to (and funniest show ever made): "The Office."

A HORRIBLE, GOD-AWFUL VERSION OF THE SHOW.

The script was the exact same as that of the original, except for parts that might have seemed too British (references to "Punk'd" made it in, as the guy playing the intern is actually one of the guys from that show). The acting was terrible, the delivery was terrible. At the end, the words "The End" popped up, looking like something out of one of Christie's and my high school projects.

I am actually really upset about this. Why would they rip off such a great show? It makes me long for April 23 (or so), when the second season of "The Office" is delivered to me by Amazon.com so I can forget this terrible nightmare.

But as Chris says, "It was at least good enough to show on Channel 3 between infomercials."

04-14-2004 8:09 PM - comments (5)

Stole this from Kristin! A

Stole this from Kristin!

A - Age: 23
B - Band listening to right now: Badly Drawn Boy
C - Career future: It had so better involve writing about soap operas
D - Dad's name: Christopher Henry
E - Easiest person to talk to: Michael. Christie is a close second
F - Favorite song: Tie between "Soma" by the Smashing Pumpkins and "Black" by Pearl Jam
G - Gummy bears or gummy worms: Bears, of course
I - Instruments: Piano and clarinet, in another lifetime. But I have been known to whip out the keyboard for a rousing rendition of "Blue Monday" (the Orgy version, of course)
J - Job: Editor
K - Kids: None, and not for the next few years
L - Longest car ride ever: That would have to be one of the times my family drove to Maine. From Texas. You know, that time when the car broke down and we were stuck in Birmingham with nothing but a Piggly Wiggly and Krystal hamburgers for entertainment
M - Mom's name: Cathleen
N - Number of people you've slept with: Totally taking the fifth here. Isn't this question kind of out of place on a survey that demurely asks if I prefer gummy bears to worms?
P - Phobia[s]: Besides the obvious, spiders
Q - Quote: I'll stick to movies. "This dress exacerbates the genetic betrayal that is my legacy." (Janeane Garofalo in "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion"); "With friends like you, who needs friends?" (Dirk in "Rushmore"); "Why should I change? He's the one who sucks!" (Michael Bolton in "Office Space")
R - Reason to smile: The reasons are all around me
S - Song you sang last: "Denise" by Fountains of Wayne
T - Time you wake up: 7 a.m., sucka
U - Unknown fact about me: I live in Queens but my dad lives in Texas. Oh, and I've got a heart made of gravel. No, really, I'm related to Walt Whitman. Or as a high school English teacher referred to him, "The gayest man in America." (Are there tests available that measure that sort of thing? Were there in the 19th century??)
V - Vegetable you hate: Brussels sprouts. Not happening
W - Worst habit: See letter "N." No, just kidding!
X - X-rays you've had: Teeth; I think that's it
Y - Yummy food: This is kind of a lame category, but OK. Um, strawberry Sour Punch Straws?

UPDATE: Upon further inspection, I have determined this survey is missing the letters "H", "O" and "Z". (For a second there, I thought the missing letters were going to spell something funny. Oh wait, they did!) Here are my suggestions:

H - Happiest memory: Pick any random day from the last three years of my life, and that has to be it.
O - Octopus or Octopi?: Octopi.
Z - Zelda level that is your favorite: In the original Legend of Zelda for NES, I was all about Level II and the snakes. And that boomerang!

04-13-2004 9:10 PM - comments (5)

(no, this doesn't count)

I <3 Shirley Manson.

i'm leaving you behind
a flash in the pan
a storm in a teacup
a needle in a haystack
a prize for the winning
a dead for the raising
a catch for the chasing
a jewel for the choosing
a man for the making in this blistering heat

sweat it all out
sweat it all out
with your bedroom eyes and your baby pout
sweat it all out
in our electric storms and our shifting sands
our candy jars and our sticky hands

sweat it all out sweat it all out sweat it all out sweat it all out

don't forget what I wrote you then
don't forget what I told you then
and don't forget that I meant to win

04-13-2004 8:36 PM - comments (0)

I think the reason the

I think the reason the quality and frequency of my posts have gone down is because, in short, I fear my life has suddenly gone Dilbert. Or at the very least, Cathy. (AACKK! and such. You know, I'm convinced Cathy wouldn't be such a self-absorbed, whiny bitch if she weren't an only child.)

But, as they say, inspiration comes from within, or in my case, from reading my archives and remembering that there was a time I wasn't completely boring. Scratch that. I don't mean boring. I mean decisive. Because it takes a certain amount of decisiveness to figure out which side of myself to show on any given day, and right now my many sides are are battling for center stage.

God, I want to karaoke so badly right now.

04-13-2004 8:27 PM - comments (0)

so sue me

I thought "Jersey Girl" was really good.

04-08-2004 10:01 PM - comments (1)

Most Victoria's Secret commercials are

Most Victoria's Secret commercials are a blend of sexy and lame. I don't think they ever really get creepy, per se, but I guess there's a first for everything. The CREEPIEST THING EVER is their new "Angels in Venice" campaign with Lord Homeless Folk Rat the Mumbly himself, Bob Dylan. Dylan looks on as models prance around in underwear. And when I say "looks on," I mean "looks like a creepy homeless guy in a trenchcoat with nothing on underneath and is really scaring me to the point that I might just stop wearing underwear for fear he is looking at me that way, though that might just make it worse. Yes, on second thought, that would be much worse."

I questioned a Victoria's Secret employee about the ad campaign as I was checking out.

"I gotta say, that probably isn't the sexiest image to go along with the Angels line of lingerie," I mentioned.

"Oh, God, I know," the salesgirl said with a groan. "I don't know why they're doing that. They might as well be using a subway pervert in the ad. If I were running this company, that would never have happened. That commercial was perfectly fine before they added the Dylan visual. And now they keep playing that damn song of his in here, like, every five minutes."

Bob Dylan or no Bob Dylan, I still purchased three pairs of panties, a bra and six bottles of lotions, shower gel and body splash. Guess Victoria's Secret would have to run campaigns with George Bush before I'd stop shopping there. Now that's a dealbreaker.

04-07-2004 8:44 PM - comments (1)

D12's new song, "My Band,"

D12's new song, "My Band," is either pure genius or just completely ridiculous. I haven't decided yet. Any thoughts?

04-06-2004 7:59 PM - comments (2)

I wish I knew what

I wish I knew what to do with myself. I'm resorting to tactics used when I was 16: playing my music way too loudly; looking inward instead of outward; losing sleep.

You'd think that once you get to be 23, things become easier and less, I don't know, dramatic. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong. And then you'd think I'm doing it to myself, and yeah, you'd probably be right.

"I know I'm not all there, but I'm getting, getting, getting there..."

04-05-2004 7:52 PM - comments (0)

In case my fan club

In case my fan club (read: Chase and Jen*) was worried, I am alive and well and just a little sunburned on one arm. Oddly enough, I got the suburn in the airplane. My luck, you know.

I just got back from Jamaica. I didn't even step into the water (well, I went down a water slide at one of the Hedonism resorts we spent time in, but that's another story entirely), so don't be envious. I spent most of my time with the familiarization group Funjet put together so agents know what to recommend. Now I know where to stay if I ever get to go back to Jamaica for a real vacation.

Jamaicans=friendly, interesting, educated and, above all, really, really attractive people. But I got a little sick of hearing "No Woman, No Cry" after three dozen times, even if Bob Marley is considered a god down there. I didn't get sick of Dirty Bananas, which are very good milkshake-like drinks made with rum. And alcohol and food, in whatever quantities we desired, were totally free. (So how did I manage to drop $250 in three days? Long, long story.) I also exchanged e-mail information with one of the many charming island folk I met, a certain Rupert who wears Wings cologne and had only known me for five minutes before telling me we should keep in touch. I like pen pals. And Jamaicans apparently like girls with my particular body shape. (Big surprise that's not, but they went about it a lot more nicely than the men I met in Mexico.)

And now, after three days and nights of resort inspections, tired feet, beach weddings, fried plantains, jerk chicken, Dirty Bananas, dirty jokes, unending glasses of Chardonnay, silly travel agents and naked people playing volleyball, I am back, listening to Radiohead and The Stone Roses (they might know Usher and Neil Diamond in Jamaica, but pretentious Brit rock is not in their repertoire, unfortunately). Coincidentally, I am also feeling quite lonely and letdown, as I tend to do when I return from a trip. I wrote something while on one of our many bus trips; maybe I'll post it later this week.

*Jen, I got you a Jamaican shot glass for your collection. Now get up here so I can give it to you!!

04-04-2004 8:03 PM - comments (7)