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Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,703

Journal Archives

The ice storm and the cherry tree

Scant feet out my office window. It's a goddam flat-footed miracle I ever get anything done around here.

I am a terrible awful not very good person...

...because this just slays me.

The cat is fine by all reports.

And the choreography is just seamless.

It's been three weeks since one of my best friends died.

He was my college roommate, my roommate again in Jamaica Plain, and my roommate again in the South End. When I moved to San Francisco with our friend Kevin, I goaded him endlessly until he moved there, too, and man o man, did we have some times. He was one of the most extraordinary people I've ever known, the kind of man who would not only give you the shirt off his back, but if you needed it, he'd peel off the skin beneath that shirt and hand it over with a smile and a kind word. Our friendship lasted, deepened and expanded over a quarter of a century.

Then, three weeks ago, he was gone. Poof, just like that.

And I have been struggling. Hard. I barely made it through his funeral; in retrospect, I think I had a full-blown anxiety attack. I can't be sure, because I've never had one before. But my body literally gave out halfway through the service. I couldn't breathe, couldn't speak, couldn't see, my left leg basically crapped out completely in a shuddering display of uselessness whenever I tried to put weight on it, and I shook, and shook, and shook. Five hours later, well after I found my way home, I was still trembling.

That was three weeks ago, but it's not over. When it comes, it hits me from blind angles so I never see it coming. It hamstrings me, cuts my throat, runs me down, burns me up. I forget, I forget, I forget, and then remember once more that my friend is gone, and I fall to dust all over again.

I am beginning to understand that there is no real recovery from this. There is only time, and the callus that will eventually grow over the wound.

So I sit in this awful silence and wait.

And wait.

His name was Brian, and I miss him beyond the capacity of language to explain.


On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks sat where she damn pleased.

I am eating my own face.

Poll: 50 percent say GOP majority is bad

I quote DUer belzabubba333: "this makes me want to shoot myself in the face with a bazooka"

GOD DAMN SHIT FUCK BALLS TITS ASS AND SHIT, fucking VOTE, you stupid complacent lazy fuckwits, you ball of lint-riddled uselessness, you appetizer on the plate of those who are EATING YOU, summon the requisite calories from your last pasty feast of whatever it was that isn't food to raise your hand ONCE every TWO YEARS and TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR OWN DESTINY. You can do it. Really, you can. The WHOLE FUCKING SYSTEM was designed to let you, yes you, do EXACTLY AND PRECISELY THAT. When shit goes sideways and everything sucks, it's because you aren't levitating off of your pillow-ass to waddle down to a polling station IN YOUR OWN GODDAM NEIGHBORHOOD - literally, like, a couple of blocks down - to fill in a box with a felt pen in order to have a say about your future. YOUR FUTURE, AND MINE, you fucking baggage.

WHAAAAAAARGARBLE THIS SHIT MAKES ME CRAZY. However you may feel about Bill Clinton, he said this in his first inaugural address, and nailed it: "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America." One thing that is right with America: VOTING. Decisions are made by those who show up, period, end of file.

Ermahgerd, half the country thinks a GOP congressional majority is bad? IF HALF THE GODDAM COUNTRY HAD BOTHERED TO SHOW UP, just half, just a meager fucking 50%, THIS WOULDN'T BE A PROBLEM.


(waiting for the first person to tell me the low turnout was my fault, cuz I need the laugh)

St. Louis Rams Players Enter Field With "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" Pose

St. Louis Rams players recognized this week's Ferguson protests with an emphatic gesture during player introductions when several members of the team's receiving corps entered the field in the "hands up, don't shoot" pose.

Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens, and Kenny Britt came out with their hands up, before being joined by the rest of the team to start the game.

Video: http://deadspin.com/rams-players-enter-field-with-hands-up-dont-shoot-1664860731

Thanksgiving Day and the Powerful Play

(Photo: Lotus Carroll; Lost and Taken; Edited: JR/TO)

Thanksgiving Day and the Powerful Play
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 27 November 2014

Two hours ago, as of this Wednesday night writing, the ground around my back porch was brown and bare and sere. Where only scant weeks ago there was deep color in the New Hampshire woods - an astonishing riot of maple red and oak orange and birch yellow, the likes of which I have never seen before and may never see again, because it was simply that extraordinary - there are now only the skeletal fingers of bare trees holding court over a graveyard of fallen leaves. A few studiously green pines stand the watch, as they always do, but in the main, it is the Autumnal end of things in this particular patch of this particular place.

And then, two hours ago, it began to snow. The East Coast, from the middle of Florida to the middle of Maine, is getting slapped with a good old-fashioned early-winter walloper that is going to perfectly and profoundly screw anyone looking to put the rubber to the road ahead of this Thanksgiving holiday. I feel for them, I really and sincerely do, but the branches of the cherry tree are graced with two inches of latticed snow, the forest beyond is a laden mystery of white, and all I can do is stare out the window and wonder at the exchange of one beautiful for another beautiful as the seasons change right before my eyes.


When we sit at table, there will be no place set for Pop, who has gone from us after Thanksgivings beyond memory. In Woburn, there will be no place set for my beloved friend and roommate and partner in crime, who passed last week. At tables in every city and town and village from one shore to the other, places will not be set for those who cannot sit and eat, or join in a laugh, or share a tale, or simply smile, because they are also gone from us. There will be a hole in many tables and many hearts on this Thanksgiving Day, and that is a truth of this life.


Hold tight to who you have in this world, even if you're down deep in a ditch. I hope someone sets a place at table for you on Thanksgiving, but if not, remember that you're still here, and if you're here, it means matters can change for the better, because you're here. Hold tight to who you have, and tell those who are your heart you love them. Do not let the grass grow under the last conversation you had with one who is a part of who you are. I am here to tell you, from the well of my soul, that it is a savage, brutal shock to lose that chance forever.

We live in a world of shrinking margins, of narrowing visions, a world ruled and ruined by fools. This is the fact of our time, and no one is going to fix it today. Tomorrow, perhaps, but in the meantime, hold close what you hold most dear, and give thanks for the chance of that holding. If you truly appreciate what you have, no matter how mean or meager, you are doing it right. On this day of all days, remember where you came from, contemplate where you are, imagine where you can be, stand stock still a moment, and be thankful that you are here.

"That the powerful play goes on," Mr. Whitman reminds us, "and you may contribute a verse."

Contribute a verse. Because you can. Because you are here.

Happy Thanksgiving.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/27694-thanksgiving-day-and-the-powerful-play

For Brian

Take a deep breath before you open this thread.

A line of roses down the centerline of the street where Michael Brown died.

I have no idea who did it. But it happened.

It happened.

"It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots."

"It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard."

Martin Luther King, Jr., 14 March 1968
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