Pizza from Iraq

As if having hundreds of people around the world reading or listening to what you have to share wasn’t enough of an honor. Or the amazing new friends, be they bloggers or readers, that I’ve made. Nevermind the super-kind comments that are left everyday, by so many different people. You’d think that was already overwhelming.. but it has gone beyond that. The tips that have been left in the paypal tip jar couldn’t have come at a better time, to pay the internet publishing bills. The CD from xtx, the letters from my couz, and today… A package from Iraq! I’ll wait while you read that line again…

Chris Missick, a member of the 319th Signal Battalion, stationed in Iraq, send Bicyclemark, a member of the Amsterdam lazy-ex-pat community, a package. Talk about role reversal. As the postalworker handed me the package, I looked at the address and then looked up at him and smiled; “It’s from Iraq,” I said with excitement. “I know” he responded with a look of will you and your plague filled package please leave now. I sniffed the package, which is shaped like a pizza box, for its desert scent; a pizza from Iraq, I kept thinking to myself. The contents of my pizzabox: lots of new music, some music magazines, a copy of a military newspaper (cause Im interested in propaganda), and a still packaged kefeyah.. complete set that would make Yassir Arafat himself envious.

But this stirs up lots of odd feelings. Beyond gratitude. I know Chris because of his blog, a self-described war-blog. Now you may know, I’m a Pacifist with a capital P. I also have a deep distaste for patriotism, nationalism, and all the associated isms. (like Ferris said.. I don’t believe in isms, I prefer to believe in myself)While since my first reading of his blog I realized I don’t agree with most of his political views, especially in terms of Iraq, I did (and still do) admire his passion for writing and describing the world as he sees it. Oh, and we also discovered that we have identical taste in music. (Im so loving these cd’s)And so I ask myself… how ironic is this?

Some of these thoughts stem from my viewing of the first half of the STUperbowl last night. Me and BigJim, both jerseans in exile for the long haul, decided to take in some American football, at an expat pub with 1 million screens and 2 million drunks. But I think it was completely ruined for us the moment it began. It was like a giant military parade. Veterans marched on to the field — WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH FOOTBALL? F-16’s flew overhead. Ex-presidents walked onto the field, pretending to still be important. And then to further scare the shit out of me, they beam images of soldiers in Iraq watching the game. One camp ironically titled “camp victory”. Out of the entire pub crowd, a hand full of Americans stood up all solemn and started singing the national anthem and putting their hands over their hearts and giving the room dirty looks. I gotta be honest, this pacifist wanted to throw cups of beer at them like this was a Detroit Pistons game. Interestingly many in the room gave them blank stares or dirty looks right back. One even raised his arm in nazi salut style.

Extreme you think? I don’t really. Its the same formula in a different era maybe for a different goal. They still push a political agenda using patriotism, nationalism, songs, oaths, ceremonies, symbols, etc etc. And I felt especially angry because this is not the United States, and I had hoped this place would be kept free from that which I considered nonsense. I guess you could say I felt (dillusional as always) that my safe-place had been discovered, and these patriotic Americans were going to somehow hurt me.

Anyway, Chris I know you’re out there, and I do so thank you, and consider you a friend. In fact, it is (has always been) a friendship that reminds me people with differences can still learn from each other and get along.

Today’s Sounds: Pinback (my fav so far, thanks Chris!)