Archive for September, 2007

This week’s posts summing up Cambodian news are at the following links:




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I like the Huff Post and go there a lot to check out the latest, almost never failing to find something that educates or amuses.

Because of where I live, however, I don’t get to take full advantage of the cool features today’s news providers offer like on-demand video. No, I just get the ‘quick read’ version and the headline.

On this occasion, that’s enough. Well, enough for blog fodder. I mean, really!, who can pass up as tempting a news canapé as Iran’s beady-eyed slip of a President announcing “We Don’t Have Homosexuals Like In Your Country”?

Okay, maybe one or three bloggers out of a zillion wouldn’t be tempted, but that wouldn’t be me on a Tuesday in paradise, especially when this pops up right after a read about the little git going on about the Holocaust being iffy and 9/11 deserved.

I will not, however, take issue with his pronouncement. Heck! I’ve never set foot in a Tehran Boy Bootie Bar, so what do I know for Persian Poofs?

He does invite speculation, though, doesn’t he? So, feel free to chime in any time with your own answers to the question Ahmadinejad begs: “What sort of homosexuals DO you have in Iran, then, Mr. President?”

I’m starting off with a guess that theirs are more likely to have facial hair, much like ours did in, say, the ’70’s when everyone wanted Freddy Mercury’s top lip hair. The style’s gone stale here, but they’re big on bristles in the Middle East.

Cross-dressing is probably not as big a turn-on for Iranian gay men, perhaps except for the chubby guys. After all, black IS more slimming than white.

I doubt that ‘outing’ is a big deal, either, since I understand that bum bumping with boys isn’t considered ‘homosexual activity’ — more a right of passage … so to speak. It’s not like repeated dips in the jeans pool is going to have anyone thinking you’re hiding something.

Could be that more Farsi Fags are married, and to more than one woman at a time even, and unlike American wives the gals aren’t likely to be tracking their hubbies down at dinner time and dragging their sorry asses home for their meat and two veg and quality family time with the kids. Hanging out with the boys day and night, night and day, is de rigueur, and what goes on between the buddies is no business of the biddies, so riding both the horse and the cow gets brownie points without the farm making the front page.

And that’s just a bit of speculation from me on the differences between American homosexuals and their counterparts in Iran. As I said, all additions are welcome, and anyone with first-hand information is encouraged to spill.

Hey! The president started this train wreck of thought, so we might as well go along with him.

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Before attending to anything else today, before a word is written on any of my pro blogs, before I work out, shower, dress, before I do a thing other than get my kids off to school, I have to make a confession …

I hate mime.

From my days as a young child, I’ve hated mime. Clowns scare the crap out of me, and street mimes are more annoying than breaking a heel on a manhole cover. In fact, watching a mime is very much like a hasty navigation of busy sidewalks with a dire need to pee, no toilet in sight and one Jimmy Choo four inches shorter than the other.

Why does a well-loved art form (Who are those people?) bug the bejezzus out of me, raise my intolerance levels to just below the slapping point and set me spinning off in the opposite direction, even if that involves some Irish git blowing his lungs into a digerado?

First, we’ve seen it all. How many ‘walking against the wind’ impressions must one view in a lifetime?

Second, what’s with the whiteface? It’s cadaverous and grotesque. It freaks me out. And it looks SO greasy. Yes, I know it’s called GREASEpaint, but knowing the name doesn’t make it any less disgusting. Mouths surrounded by the stuff become revolting caverns of obscene pinkness is comparison, and those half-way-up-the-forehead painted eyebrows, although apparently intended to radiate expression and convey silent emotions, end up looking like a couple of over-enthusiastic punctuation marks in search of a sentence.

Third, as I tell my kids about twenty times a day, “You have a voice, so use it already!”

There are at least as many more reasons as stripes on a mime’s shirt to have the silent silliness of ‘man walking up stairs’ and such grate, but I’ll forego the lot to join the French … the French are big on mimes, well, French mimes, of course … and most likely Robin Williams, in noting the passing of Marcel Marceau who died this week at the age of 84.

Since the guy didn’t talk much, I hadn’t heard that he was big in the French Resistance and that his father died in Auschwitz, but I will admit that I’d never given much thought to where the world’s greatest mime came from.

Reading his obits, however, I have … too late, I know, but what would he care anyway? … come to appreciate much about Monsieur Marceau’s life, if not his art.

Wiseass that I am, however, my first thought on reading of his death was: How can they tell?

My second … wondering if he’s been posed in his coffin with his hands facing away from his chest, his palms forward in that “pushing’ position we all know far too well.

“Man in a box” has been done to death!

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Anyone looking for a hot new vacation destination might want to consider at least passing through the Minneapolis-St Paul International airport.

According to the BBC, the bathroom that was the scene of Senator Larry Craig’s bust for soliciting sex from a cop is now attracting tourists.


“People are taking pictures,” Karen Evans, an information officer at Minneapolis-St Paul international airport, told Associated Press.

I have to admit, if I found myself in the general vicinity of that particular men’s room, I would be sorely tempted to send my husband in with my digital, although I would demand that he wash his hands before and after.

As it is, the BBC is doing it up. This sort of story is right up their alley … a little racy, a bit of poof, and any story that can be made to stretch to cover both wank and Yank gets it’s own headline for sure.

They’re quoting the shoeshine guy with the stand next to the lav saying, “it’s been crazy. People have been going inside, taking pictures of the stall, taking pictures outside the bathroom door.”


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Families with Cambodian connections can check out the week’s wrap of news from the country here and here.

Some of the topics of the week are the shutting down of NCLO, new traffic laws and development plans for Kep City.

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In the Land of Blog, deep in the forest where the growth is so thick that many a visitor has been known to recount the trip in with a rousing rendition of “Forest? What forest? All I saw was a bunch of trees!”, sits a house. To passersby of reasonable proportions, the house appears tiny, but to the occupants it is palatial and commodious.

This difference in perception is due to the fact that the house belongs to Seven Mental Midgets whose perspectives are so circumscribed and miniscule that every mole hill is to them K2, and their collective Borg-like agreement reinforces the K-2-ishness to the exclusion of conflicting POVs.

A person of close to normal stance, one Snow Write, has been trapped in the cottage, imprisoned by her seven dwarfish jailers in the only room in the place that can accommodate her expansive self. To keep her quiet, and possibly dupe her into revealing innermost secrets and dreams that could subsequently be used in torture against her, she’s been provided with a computer and wireless internet access. Through the wonders of the technology she participates in the doings of Blog despite her imprisonment.

With much time to think and ponder, Snow has developed some strong opinions on issues of importance in Blog, and because of uninterrupted online time, she has researched long and hard and amassed a great deal of knowledge.

Since she has little contact with her captors, and none at all that she enjoys, she fills her days with discussions on the diverse and vital topics that surround life in the land of Blog, and the wider world. Over time, her judgment has been deemed by many to be clear and fair, and her observations unclouded and on the money, despite … or possibly because of … her captive status.

However, her captors have more on their minds than simply restricting her freedom.

All seven — Pissy, Bitchy, Simpy, Judgy, Haughty, Snotty and Aggrieved — are determined to keep even Snow Write’s thoughts confined, and her opinions unheard, or at least unappreciated.

Each post Snow publishes and every comment she adds is methodically dissected by the collective mind that allows the seven to function, each being far too weak-brained to do as much as formulate even one original thought on its own; then assigned to the little mind with the highest likelihood of influencing the views of others in Blog.

Haughty, Snotty and Aggrieved are the bulldozers of the bunch and full frontal assaults are what they do best. Between looking down their noses, grabbing all they can find of self-righteous superiority and assuming the position of “only credible POV”, they seek to drown out poor Snow’s voice and bully others out of even thinking of taking up for her.

Judgy takes the end-around and cuts Snow’s legs off by reminding everyone that the girl is a prisoner of their making, so cannot possibly be taken seriously, and insists that she’s not really supposed to be having anything to say, anyway, strongly suggesting that listening to Snow indicates a weak mind, a lack of sense or a well-hewn system of denial.

Pissy and Bitchy are shin-kickers in a hit-and-run sort of way … a slap here, a spit in the eye there … and being experts at this they don’t even need to bother leaving anything of substance behind. Most people don’t know what hit ’em.

Simpy is sneakier than the others. An expert in ‘set-up’, what comes first almost sounds reasonable and in agreement with someone somewhere, often posing as a caring individual startled by a comment, shocked by a post, but always working toward a flourish of the negative and nasty. Never without a proviso, there’s an attempt at escaping the hook by pulling up the end of the train with a “just a thought” or “respectfully” which is shorthand for, “Don’t hold me accountable”.

Swimming against The Seven takes strength and fortitude, and a whole heck of a lot of time, but Snow is strong and brave … and stuck in that damned room with little but her thoughts and her computer.

Lately, she’s been hoping to post evidence of her predicament, but being without a digital camera she’s had to send out film of a few shots of The Seven holding and tormenting her, planning to scan the photos into her posts, but so far they haven’t returned from the lab.

No worries, though, as she’s been heard singing hopefully, “Someday my prints will come”.

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Visual art

I have lived my life in awe of people who possess talents that allow them to produce pieces of art with a physical presence.

The idea that Michelangelo considered his David to have been encased in excess marble that he simply removed, albeit carefully, is astounding and confounding to my little brain that contorts itself uncomfortably when called upon to reproduce even the most basic of forms in ink or pigment or Play-doh.

Van Gogh, da Vinci, Monet, Hocking … even Jackson Pollock and Stan Lee … accomplish what I can’t begin to begin, and the fact that their images not only endure, but endure while adding so much to the world in such a graceful and accessible form occasionally has me tingeing toward the greenish as I admire their work and covet their genius.

Yes, I do my best to sculpt sentences and paragraphs from a palate of letters and spaces and marks meant to add structure and emphasis, but not even a million blog posts, no matter how brilliantly written, could ever prompt the gasps inspired at even a peek at a corner of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or one water lily on Monet’s pond.

As a physical manifestation, words are the pale ghosts of art.

As a writer, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have some of the bonnier of my bon mots literally engraved in stone.

The greatest of writers often have their words transcribed onto impermeable surfaces as testament to their greatness, and as one who pauses to read them when finding such treasures in places where people are meant to gather, to appreciate, to be impressed, I am.

Composers of epitaphs must feel some thrill at knowing their concise summings up of lives and deaths stand for the passing world to see, read and perhaps be touched by even a century after the inspiration for the words has little of their substance left.

Should a time come that someone decides something I’ve written deserves to be posted in a form less ephemeral than cyberspace … less fleeting than a blog, more substantial than an e-book … a form solid and strong and shiny-hard, unlike ink-on-paper, I assume that if I’m in a position to appreciate the effort, I will.

It would be with pride that I would approach such a monument, and I would be overcome by the image of words of my own configuring set in stone for all the passing world to see for generations to come.

Wow. What a moment that would be.

One request, however, way in advance of something that’s not likely to happen in the first place …

please spellcheck before engraving.

(The photos are of a monument in Maurituis. Sigh … )Engraved in Stone

Stone typo

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