Wednesday, February 08, 2006


earlier this week i was driving up the canyon at night, and i smelled that heady smell of jasmine. actually, i think i smelled it before that -- one weekend evening while taking out the recyclables. it is a promise of spring. anyway, it seemed strong for this time of year, but it's been so warm lately.

earlier tonight i was driving away from ucla, following my annual guest speaking at a friend's pr class at ucla extension. i took hilgard to sunset, and traveling north to sunset i smelled that lovely fragrance again, an almost overwhelming power. i had put the top down, so the very air was suffused with perfume. above me was a starfield, diamond-studded obsidian, and the warm yellow light of the half-disc moon. i reveled in how well the beast handled the street's curves, with their sweet steep cants, gliding through that magical stretch of boulevard and on into west hollywood -- where everything stopped dead and i had to take the long way 'round. pre-grammy parties? must be something making the strip that clogged on a tuesday night.

earlier today i was grasping to articulate to 00soul a sensation i'd been having, a feeling of being asked to be compliant with bad orders, bad data, bad intelligence -- just because. because someone of alleged authority said so. yet we are bombarded with messages to protect our privacy and guard against identity theft and other info-stealing scourges -- at the very same time institutions demand information from us and expect us to acquiesce without question. this very afternoon i had been expected to give up personal information for no logical reason, because it's just for security purposes. huh. what does that mean? and assorted related questions. after a fair amount of confusing, shifting attempts to rationalize absurd demand -- leading to more questions from moi -- i was informed that i am the "only one" who questions these sorts of requests -- oooo, for shame. TROUBLEMAKER!!!!

earlier tonight i was watching jon stewart, who interviewed torie clarke, author of a book called lipstick on a pig: winning in the no-spin era by someone who knows the game. she worked for the pentagon earlier in the bush administration; i am not sure of much else. frankly, the interview was a bit surreal. she seemed at one point to be saying that we are living in a no-spin zone, which stewart pounced on at hilarious length. then she seemed to be saying that the spin on nsa spying wasn't spin but was, in fact, fact. or maybe i was just stoned. then she seemed to be saying that everyone in the government should report on everything they do at all times, so we have ultimate transparency and everyone better understands how things work. and truthiness prevails, i suppose. er, anyway. at one point jon stewart said to her something along the lines of, this government wants to be able to get all information out of us, freely and at its leisure, but it insists on providing us less info about its doings than ever. whoa. wuzn't i just sayin'?...

earlier, after i asked those questions, it was determined that the data originally demanded weren't necessary after all. a name would suffice. at last, some sense. but i cannot really explain what it is about night-blooming jasmine borne on a wisp of santa ana that makes me think about whispers of fascism in the wind.

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