Congratulations Chris & Becky!

Ah, weddings…

I hate them.

Don’t ask me why, I find them tedious and hard to stomach, and I generally go out of my way to avoid them.

(A feat I’ve managed to do personally for 34 years as well! muwahaah! Ahem…. )

However, I’ve been exceptionally lucky to have been to two this year—one for what was technically Jon and Darrell’s one year wedding anniversary (since they’d gotten hitched in SF the year before), and Chris & Becky’s shindig this weekend—which have not only been tolerable, but a lot of fun.

Too much fun, some might say!

Of course, it doesn’t take two folks pledging to sit across from the breakfast table every day for the rest of their lives to get me all excited. In fact, all it really takes is some cheesy ’80s music, some merlot, and a few of my friends.

And Saturday provided the perfect combination, and as I acted out the part of Jennifer Beals in Flashdance as the deejay played “Maniac,” and Darrell and I sang A-ha’s “Take on Me” a wee bit too dramatically (I think we missed our Broadway calling!), I found myself glad they’d decided to not so much take the plunge—they’re perfect for each other, I can’t imagine it any other way—but to invite me.

Because, I’ll be honest, I was feeling pretty low when we arrived at the Powel House for the ceremony, and nearly lost it when the part of the vows mentioned, “These are the hands of your best friend.”

But the ceremony was simple and very unique and very cool. (The only other time I’ve had to stand shoulder to shoulder with a stranger and turn and get all peace/love/happiness was in church, but this was way better minus the fire and brimstone!)

And, unlike the familial nuptial freakshow nightmare I’d dodged the weekend before, I felt really good to see these two say, “I do.”

Because after all, if you can’t gather your friends and family around you in joy as you pledge to stick together come hell or high water ’til death do you part, don’t you think your life raft may already be starting to sink?

The Germans slay me!

I think the Germans are brilliant, especially following a piece in Der Spiegel that I highly recommend:
"It’s all because of Cindy Sheehan — a mother whose son Casey died in the war in Iraq — and her disgruntlement with the ongoing violence there. For weeks, she has been besieging the ranch near Crawford where US President George W. Bush has been spending his astonishingly lengthy vacation. With the unassailable authority of a grieving mother, Sheehan asks the question that the rest of America is also beginning to ask: For what, exactly, are our children dying?"

New Orleans’ skeletons to roam free

So, Katrina’s kicking the south’s ass: water pumps have quit in New Orleans, Mississippi ‘s getting drowned, and soon, according to the Associated Press via the Freep, corpses, chemicals and raw crap should be floating around the French Quarter and beyond.


“When Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans today, it could turn one of America’s most charming cities into a vast cesspool tainted with toxic chemicals, human waste and even coffins released by floodwaters from the city’s legendary cemeteries.”


Referring to the levees that hold the water out of the city as turning the city into a giant bowl of toxic goo, the piece gives the comforting news that, “The nightmare scenario gets worse: sewers could back up, spreading disease like malaria, cholera, tuberculosis, West Nile Virus and dengue fever, all of which pay calls at one of the nation’s biggest and oldest ports. Coffins could pop out of the shallow ground. And toxic chemicals could join the mix if petrochemical plants to the west break up.”




My favorite quote, however, is from One News in New Zealand:


“Artist Matt Rinard, who owns a business in the French Quarter, holed up on the fifth floor of a Canal Street hotel and watched the storm roll in.


He said pieces of sheet metal and plywood, billboards and pieces of palm trees flew down Canal, which borders the Quarter, as huge gusts of wind blew through the city.


‘It’s blustery. You can see the speed of it now, it’s unbelievable," he said. "The power went out about an hour and a half ago and so now I’m just watching the occasional dumbass walking down Canal Street.'”

U.S. planted evidence in Lockerbie

Mags forwarded me an article tonight on a story that is very close to my heart: the Dec. 21, 1988 Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people—259 in the air and 11 on the ground.

Following a lengthy trial, on Jan. 31, 2001, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan, was convicted of murder. He has always maintained his innocence.

A piece in the U.K. Scotsman may back that assertion up:

“A former Scottish police chief has given lawyers a signed statement claiming that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated.

“The retired officer—of assistant chief constable rank or higher—has testified that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people.”

Having spent time in Lockerbie, staying with and interviewing countless residents, the overwhelming feeling regarding the bombing, 17 years on, is that it is a neverending saga, a story that sees news crews descend upon the town whenever any bit of information is learned regarding the bombing.

They have never been allowed to move on.

“An insider told Scotland on Sunday that the retired officer approached them after Megrahi’s appeal—before a bench of five Scottish judges—was dismissed in 2002.

The insider said: ‘He said he believed he had crucial information. A meeting was set up and he gave a statement that supported the long-standing rumours that the key piece of evidence, a fragment of circuit board from a timing device that implicated Libya, had been planted by US agents.’”

“The case is starting to unravel largely because when they wrote the script, they never expected to have to act it out. Nobody expected agreement for a trial to be reached, but it was, and in preparing a manufactured case, mistakes were made.”

And this, I fear, will only make things worse. Not only is our government—surprise, surprise—guilty of fabricating (or, in this case, planting) evidence to serve a political agenda, the truth of what happened, and who’s at fault, is still unknown, tearing open fresh wounds and keeping everyone involved in the tragedy, both in Scotland and the U.S., from moving on and healing.