Sunday, January 20, 2008

the ghost of Ernie Pyle

Your far-flung correspondent logs in, holed up in an internet cafe on Howe Street, Old Town, Edinburgh. It's ugly out there on this quiet Sunday morning, fear and Lothians everywhere. Been trying to work that phrase into a joke for years, guess I'll have to settle with that.

Dealing with this goddamned UK keyboard, where they hide the @ sign and have moved the shift key somewhere. Tempted to just leave all the \\2## bullshit in, give you a sense of my struggle, but that would make this jet-lagged ramble even less intelligible, I fear. Isn't this the kind of thing we should standardize here in the era of Late Capitalism, like which side of the road we drive on and how we pronounce "schedule"?


Woke up about thirty hours ago in a spare bedroom in a ranchhouse outside of Philadelphia after staying up all Friday night with Melanie Stewart, Nan and Mel's husband Tom Fontana, arguing politics of all things. Me, talking politics. It was a first. Long, interesting, lively discussion which I can boil down to:

I was right, everyone else was wrong and I should be running the world or at least the Obama campaign.

Friday night we saw some of the nEW Festival, Melanie's dance thing. Amazing. Seven artists doing about ten minutes of their new stuff. If anyone is nearby, go see this. It plays tonight, Sunday, and then I think its over. Beautiful people moving around the stage doing funny, scary and astounding things. I'm always energized and humbled when I watch new American dance. So much more interesting than 95% of new American theater.

Drove back yesterday to Rat City, unpacked Philly, packed up Edinburgh, out to Newark and the big old jet airliner dropped us down here in Scotland six hours later. Sweet Nan's crashed out at the hotel, didn't sleep on the plane. I got a few hours so I'm getting all caffeinated and pounding this keyboard, alarming the locals.

We're staying in the same neighborhood we lived in last August, so this is my old Internet haunt, completely different people running it. Might walk by the old apartment and spit and curse. Bad days last August.

Meeting someone for lunch, then prepping for the big meetings tomorrow. So nice to be in this town without the pressure of opening a show in nine hours.

So Johnny Mac took South Carolina, which raises mixed feelings for me. Love the guy, don't want him as an opponent, because I think he's the only one in the Republican field who can take the country away from the Democratic nominee. Everyone is also expressing amazement that Clinton is still in it, to which you have to say:

She's been putting this in place for over twenty years. Are you kidding? She's no fluke, no novelty. She's got money and supporters and friends who have sworn blood oaths all over the country. If Barack can keep it close until the Big Day in February, then we'll see what happens. But, come on. She's Hilary Clinton.

All right. That cost me about fifteen pounds right there, working out of the cafe. And that's about eighty bucks American these days.

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