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Thursday, March 27, 2003

Sometimes, you don't post because there's not much to say.

Sometimes, you don't post because there's too much.

I have a bit of a headache, I've been in my pajamas for a few hours, the window is open enough to remind myself of the outside. Some people bitch about how overrated LA weather can be -- but they clearly aren't outside on days like these.

There wasn't weather today, there was bliss -- clear blue skies, perfect temperature, and this wonderful silky breeze flowing through my hair as I walked, dancing along my skin. There was almost a feel to the air this afternoon. It was almost a caress.

I walked from the library to class around 5:30, every bone in my body begging not to go into the air-conditioned basement they call a media lab. About an hour into class, a lust for jailbreak, rebellion, escape rattled every fiber of my being and I rushed for the door.

It was all material I knew. The class is project-based. It doesn't really matter...

And when I made it outside, the same delicious breeze was still blowing.

Today has been one of the most relaxing days I've known recently. My spring break was fun, certainly, but there was so much happening... from early Saturday to this afternoon, I just couldn't stop moving. So much happening.

Today, I had meetings and appointments and a call, but then this afternoon I laid in the grass, a library book in my lap, some frozen yogurt in a cup. I just read a book and ate frozen yogurt...

Did I mention it was fucking GORGEOUS outside?

There are sandstorms in Iraq, though. Because Iraq needed more problems.

It's the thing we're all talking about right now, and it's one of the reasons I've been unable to post recently. Because I've been reading so many different opinions about the war, been listening to so many voices... And I'm so tired. It's hard for me to think rationally about this war, because I don't want us to be there, and I don't trust the people who put us there -- but it doesn't matter either way. The people who put us there are the people making the decisions right now, and I haven't felt this powerless since... Well, since the fall of 2001. Since the last time things felt so bad.

Men and women are dying thousands of miles away. People are rioting in the streets at home. And Jon Stewart cracks a joke, and I stop balancing my checkbook for a moment to laugh.

Life goes on, and I keep feeling surprised about it. I was pretty young during Gulf War I, which seemed so much simpler -- Iraq invades Kuwait, America defends Kuwait. A fourth grader could understand it, could work with the Girl Scouts to assemble care packages, could nod gravely as events unfolded.

I'm not in the fourth grade anymore, and this isn't that war. It's another war, and it's happening now, and the casualties on both sides grow by the day.

There isn't a lot that's sacred to me, but life most certainly is. And I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that people are already dead. People have died in accidents, they've been killed by the enemy, they've been fragged by subordinates, they've been taken prisoner. On both sides, these things are happening.

Tom Tomorrow refers to war as "a terrible last resort." And yeah. Yeah. That's what it is, and that's what it should be -- but I don't think that this administration agrees.

This is where I stand on the issue -- numbed, dismayed, disillusioned. But I just signed up to be a pen pal with AdoptAPlatoon. I don't think we should be in this war, but I don't blame the people fighting it.

Patriot (noun): One who loves, supports, and defends one's country. -- The American Heritage Dictionary

Recently, the issue most vexing to me is the anti-war movement being slammed as unpatriotic. This, despite the fact that there's a REASON the old white guys wrote the First Amendment the way they did; they wanted the public to have a voice.

Fighting for our country is patriotic. Protesting our elected officials' decisions is patriotic too, and you know why? Because unless I'm seriously mistaken (I'm not so good at reading fine print), none of us sign a slip of paper at the ballot box that says "You're the boss of me forever and ever." I vote for someone to represent my interests and run my country for a period of four years, at which time I'm given the chance to reevaluate my decision and choose again.

No society ever became freer with the silence of opposing voices, especially when those were the precepts our country was founded upon. We the people, in order to form a more perfect union...

As predictable as it is, I still thrill to the words of the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble of the Constitution. I love the words that form the foundation of our nation. I'm willing to defend them with words and actions of my own, in the manner I see fit. And I support this country; I support it with my taxes and my vote and my citizenship. I may not put my life on the line -- but I respect those who do.

I can protest the war and love my country. I can dislike my president and love my country. Even when I feel like the wrong decisions are being made. Even when I don't agree with those making them.

There's more than one way to be a patriot. There's more than one way to be an American.

That's the whole goddamn point.

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