Monthly Archives: July 2012

Dog Days

As I sit here writing my blog, our new terrier mix, Luna, is sleeping quietly through her first night at home. Our early moments together have been amazing, and her presence has lifted my spirits.

Yet I can’t help feeling sad as I replay the events of today’s adoption process.

My father loved dogs and owned many throughout his life. One morning in May 2006, as he prepared to leave for the hospital (and struggling to breathe), Dad said goodbye to our rambunctious beagle, Betsy. Unaware of the severity of my father’s illness, I thought for sure he’d see her again. He died the next day.

Betsy had her own health issues, and they got worse after Dad was gone. In January 2008, we had to put her down, her suffering too much for us to bear.

It was, of course, a terribly sad event, but it arrived with a competing emotional force. In the midst of dealing with Betsy’s passing, I recalled images of my father tossing her a coveted tennis ball, feeding her forbidden table scraps, and laughing like a child at her endearing “hound dog ways.”

All of this brings me to Luna–right now–and the realization that in joy there are often hints of sorrow; in heartache, traces of love. It all comes back to family, and in our house dogs are family too.

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A Dark Night

Some observations on the Batman movie massacre two days ago:

It’s clear the line between reality and fantasy is quickly disappearing. When the smoke bombs went off and the gunfire started, moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado at first thought the activity in their theater was a publicity stunt related to the show. That it took a moment for reality to sink in is not a surprise. Beyond being unable to comprehend the chaos around them, the spectators (as do all of us in our media-saturated culture) simply couldn’t distinguish between simulation and flesh-and-blood experience. In America today, where the Image has superseded the Real, even death seems staged, except when people are dying all around you.

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Some opportunistic moralists out there might use this event as another example of violent forms of entertainment making people violent. But the potential for violence exists in all of us, regardless of our obedience to civility or the Greater Good. Deft filmmakers like Christopher Nolan (of the latest Batman trilogy) know this, and they market violence-laden movies to a general public that is willing to pay big bucks for the cathartic release of its inner rage. Most of us don’t shoot randomly at innocent people at the local cinema, but for those who carry out such terrible acts, their reasons for pulling the trigger are more complex than being a Dark Knight fanatic.

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How long will it take the mainstream media to accept the everywhere-everyday quality of social media? I found both local and national newscasts running stories about the reporting of the story of the Aurora, Colorado Massacre via the cell phone cameras and Qwerty keyboards of people on the scene. Some stations posted Tweets from the shooting site. We saw videos of victims covered in blood being rushed from the theater to safety and medical attention. But the impact of social media is nothing new in 2012. Either the major networks are excited about Joe Citizen helping them deliver the news or they’re singling out Twitter and Facebook and YouTube, etc. as the dreaded Other of broadcast journalism. Regardless, stories about how stories are coming in to the station are overplayed and often induce a “yeah, so what?” response from experienced “breaking news” viewer-creators.

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Desire: A Poem

LADY FRIEND

she finds me guilty
beyond belief
attachment issues
far from lacking

says she loves herself
more than I care for me
a pointed remark
at the heart of the matter

offers quite a spread
primed for action
suggestive poses
figuratively speaking

feeds me finger foods
and bottomless spirits
delusions of grandeur
loaded with ecstasy

I make her fire
a primal gesture
celestial bodies
rapt in moonlight

c b snoad
7-17-12

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Eye Contact

Last week my optometrist took pictures of my eyes with a fancy camera that looked right through me. Everything was fine, he said, calling me over. “Ever see the inside of an eye?”

There they were, brilliant images beyond my understanding. In a weird meta way, I saw my eyes. Or should I say, my eyes saw my eyes.

They looked like tiny planets afloat in some great abyss. I had no hand in creating them, yet they create my vision(s) every day.

For a moment I stood before these worlds within my body-in-the-world. Technology helped me see my eyes, their structure and parts.

But the essence of sight remains unseen.

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