September 28th, 2001

marble

Written by Me, at Age 18

gROWING uP


mOTHER, fATHER, DO YOU REMEMBER
yOU EXPLAINED

gROWN-UPS GET POWER OVER CHILDREN
aND GET ELECTED PRESIDENT BY ADULTS ALONE
aND PASS LAWS SAYING NOBODY UNDER 35
cAN EVER BE PRESIDENT

bECAUSE GROWN-UPS HAVE BEEN CHILDREN ALREADY
aND LEARNED FROM THE EXPERIENCE,
bUT CHILDREN HAVEN'T EVER
bEEN GROWN-UPS.

wELL, i'VE BEEN STRAIGHT
aND LEARNED FROM THE EXPERIENCE
bUT WHEN WERE YOU EVER
qUEER?

October 1994


Q recently dared me to share some of my bad teenage poetry. The above was written by me seven years ago, at age 18, during my first semester of college. It's certainly no literary masterpiece, but there's still a soft spot in my heart for it, and it came to mind today because in my mother's latest email to me today she called me "naive" for being a pacifist, whereas to me it's she who's being naive, and it's she who lacks the knowledge and experience that I've gained through being queer. And no, I don't suppose I can explain in so many words what the connection is between queerness and pacifism, but in my mind the connection is there nonetheless, and I don't believe it's mere coincidence that my friends and especially the members of my Queerchoice Mailing List have come out so overwhelmingly on the side of pacifism.

Of course, certain people such as Corvo won't be able to relate to my poem. It must be terrible to have a lesbian mother: anytime you want a little sympathy from your queer friends, you just get a load of intense jealousy thrown in your face.

But you can also now find an even older poem of mine, from January 1994 (senior year of high school, age 17), in the comments section of Venus_Flytrap's latest journal entry. That one is a sillier poem but also a better quality one than the poem I posted here in my own journal.
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"If the American Population Had the Slightest Idea of What Is Being Done [to Afghan Civilians] in Their Name, They Would Be Utterly Appalled." - Noam Chomsky

Thanks to Frank Aqueno for this great link:

Noam Chomsky on terrorism - interview conducted September 19, 2001
"The US has already demanded that Pakistan terminate the food and other supplies that are keeping at least some of the starving and suffering people of Afghanistan alive. If that demand is implemented, unknown numbers of people who have not the remotest connection to terrorism will die, possibly millions. Let me repeat: the US has demanded that Pakistan kill possibly millions of people who are themselves victims of the Taliban. This has nothing to do even with revenge. It is at a far lower moral level even than that. The significance is heightened by the fact that this is mentioned in passing, with no comment, and probably will hardly be noticed. We can learn a great deal about the moral level of the reigning intellectual culture of the West by observing the reaction to this demand. I think we can be reasonably confident that if the American population had the slightest idea of what is being done in their name, they would be utterly appalled."
- Noam Chomsky
Please Note: The above comments are already outdated: Pakistan has now indeed obediently withdrawn all such aid. The World Food Program run by the United Nations estimates that 5.5 million people in Afghanistan (which is one quarter of Afghanistan's entire population) will starve to death by the end of this winter unless that humanitarian aid is restored to them.

"Killing Civilians: Behind the Reassuring Words" by Norman Solomon
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