Feb 29, 2008

Unwritten essays

Thesis 1: The advent of online suicide -- 1, 2, & 3 -- expresses the tragic human need to be watched, and how the public now fills the pathological place of God.

Thesis 2: The death of William F. Buckley Jr., reveals the really baffling fact that American conservatism began and ended in the second half of the 20th century and was, apparently, just the brief union of a mess of ideas.

Thesis 3: (Reading, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time) What is the connection between our love of and identification with idiot savants like Christopher Boone, Forest Gump, Rain Man, etc. etc., American political and religious ideals, and hysterical realism?

Feb 28, 2008

The remains

The hardest part is not knowing, even when you know.

Alfreda Watson has been missing since Feb. 1. The 40-year-old mother of five was last seen at 7451 Mockingbird Trail, late that night, and the next day the house was engulfed in fire, and burned down to a pile of debris.

And Alfreda Watson has not come home.

A body was found five days later, as insurance investigators were sifting through the remains of the house, but it was too badly burned to be identified. The family is waiting for the results of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's DNA test. They're sure it's Alfreda's body, but still, they're waiting.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Family waits, mourns, as fire investigation continues

Feb 26, 2008

'Vietnam is dangerous, confusing and frustrating.'


Read the full column @ the Clayton News Daily:
Browne's mad memo to the future

Feb 25, 2008

Emmanuel Lewis' laugh

Even if you didn't remember his name, or confused him with that other short, black, TV star of the 80s, Gary Coleman, you would remember Emmanuel Lewis' laugh. His laugh is A-list famous and he laughs all the time, out at Tara Field. Some people have described his laugh as a "chipmunk laugh" and some have said it is "maniacal," but it's not like that. Lewis laughs all of a sudden, and at full volume, like he was already ready and just waiting to let it out. It's full-throated and high-pitched, rocking his body, lighting up his face, and causing those around him to giggle and grin.

TV star 'Webster' is airport bum at Tara Field

Feb 22, 2008

An alleged political nest

Alleging political entanglements, a motion has been filed to disqualify the Clayton County District Attorney's Office from prosecuting a former director of the county maintenance department on charges of theft.

The motion outlines a nest of alleged political alliances and battles.

... Attorney William J. Atkins alleges that Donald Ray Hood is being sacrificed in a deal to form a political alliance.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Attorney alleges political agenda in DA's case

From silhouetted anger to manufactured peace,
Answers of emptiness, voice vacancies,
Till the tombstones of damage read me no questions but, "Please,
What's wrong and what's exactly the matter?"

And so it did happen like it could have been foreseen,
The timeless explosion of fantasy's dream.
At the peak of the night, the king and the queen
Tumbled all down into pieces ...

Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me,
"How good, how good does it feel to be free?"
And I answer them most mysteriously,
"Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?"

                                                -- Bob Dylan, Ballad in Plain D

Feb 21, 2008


A quote I find in my notebook, mysteriously separate from everything else, so it stands there, in my handwriting, without the context of a speaker or a story, apocryphally:

In the end, I hope it will have been enough.

Weeks gone now, since it was said, I find the phrase while flipping through for something else and I pause. The words grab at me, deja vu of a prayer I've prayed, a shout of despair bearing a hope for salvation. In the end, I hope it will have been enough.

Feb 20, 2008

Two airport security agents and a Delta Airlines employee sat sullenly at the table on the 18th floor of the federal court building, listening to the details of bond agreements.

Leslie Adgar, a 42-year-old Delta employee, gave her passport to her attorney. He walked across the room and gave it to the federal prosecutors, slapping it on the wood table and leaning in to ask if that, along with ten percent of a $20,000 bond, would mean Adgar didn't have to spend Tuesday night in jail.

Andre Mays, a 24-year-old Transportation Security Administration officer, had his father sign an agreement saying the United States government could take his house, if he fled prosecution. Jon Patton, a 44-year-old TSA officer, signed a similar agreement and his wife and mother-in-law had to sign it, too. The judge pointed out that Patton has no equity in his new home and the 44-year-old, a diabetic, rolled up his shirt sleeve and gave himself a shot of insulin.

The three were indicted on Tuesday by a United States grand jury on charges they smuggled heroin and cocaine through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and onto flights destined for New York.

Patton, Mays and Adgar allegedly accepted $25,500 to smuggle the drugs, not knowing their client was an informant and they were being followed by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

"Their greed led to their demise," said Rodney G. Benson, special agent in charge of the Atlanta DEA.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Three airport workers charged with smuggling drugs

Feb 19, 2008

My mom never considered a wild goose chase a bad thing. Sure, last time it didn't work out, but this time we might find something really worth the trip.

So, while I, the oldest and the permanent pessimist in the Silliman household, would complain that this was stupid, that this was a waste, that she always said we would find great things, but we never did, my mom would load us all into the car and we'd head off for our latest adventure.

Our cars were always as big as ships, and sort of swayed down the street. We'd all be piled into the latest, extra-long station wagon or clunking and fuming van: Josh, then the baby, strapped into his car seat, Valerie chattering happily up front, David and Michael in the back playing wild games, and me staring gloomily out the window.

I remember saying the phrase, "wild goose chase" a lot. I don't remember it making any difference.

Read the full column @ the Clayton News Daily:
My mom, the undying optimist

Feb 13, 2008

Even though

Demario Jackson had a history of armed robbery, even though he was only 14, and police say it got him killed last weekend. He was shot to death in the parking lot of a Forest Park apartment complex, carrying a shotgun and the keys to a stolen car.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Teen killed by police recruit

Feb 11, 2008

Broken yellow earrings

More than two years after he was charged with abusing and murdering a baby girl, the case against Philanders Lamont Bowie has been dropped.

Documents filed in Clayton County Superior Court say Bowie could not be proven guilty and is, based on the evidence, the least likely suspect.

The 26-year-old College Park man is now free after spending two years in the county jail and more than two years facing allegations he had brutally killed his girlfriend's infant daughter.

In July 2005, Makayla Denise Valley died. Her 1-year-old liver ruptured, according to an autopsy report, draining liquid into her stomach.

When Clayton County Police found her, she was wearing nothing but a pair of broken, yellow earrings and a dirty, bloody diaper.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Charges dropped for man jailed two years in baby's death

Feb 6, 2008

barak obama

Feb 5, 2008

Utopian dreams and Super Tuesday

There's nothing left but a little wooden shack, shadowed by the redwoods.

There's a sign, California State Historic Landmark No. 389, to tell you what you're looking at, but today the shack in Kaweah, Calif., is just a small post office in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Once, though, it was the cornerstone of a new world, the world imagined by a crew of socialist loggers, who trekked up the mountain and bought a timber claim and thought that, with hard work, right thinking and a little seclusion, they could build something ideal.

They camped out along the north fork of the river, in 1886, and they radically re-imagined their own economics, ideas of property and daily life. They tried to name the largest Sequoia after Karl Marx.

They failed, of course.

Read the column @ the Clayton News Daily:
Radically re-imagining the world

Feb 3, 2008

If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now?
        - Cormac McCarthy

You can’t conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.
        - Graham Greene