I seem to have beaten my writer's block. I've squeezed out a couple of poems over the last few days, albeit neither of them is quite good enough for public exposure. When they're ready, I'll let you know. Try not to bait your breath too emphatically.
In the meantime, politics.
We live in paranoid times (or do we?) Since those planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and George Bush used it--to quote or paraphrase (depending on how well I've remembered it) William Burroughs--as a pretext for "establishing an international extreme Right Police Authority", everybody with a free bone in his body has been looking over his shoulder.
Myself, I just hate anything that is opposed to free speech. Anything that sets its crossed arms against an individual person's right to make his or her mind up without coercion. Ergo, I loathe Al Qaeda. Ergo, I am fundamentally opposed to Bush and all his accolytes. But if the advice I'm getting from various sources is correct, the fact that I have made public pronouncements against the US and British action in Iraq, and against the spectacular abuse of democratic process that is Guantanamo Bay, means I am very likely under surveillance by some clandestine agency which imagines (bizarrely), that it is working in the service of democracy and I'm not.
Sites with a political content that opposes the present American administration have been shut down without explanation on MySpace. Frank Serpico's site has been interfered with on Blogger. Word is these agencies, whoever they are, monitor blogs for key words and then pressure the site hosts to shut down the ones that don't meet with their approval (though who elected them guardians of democracy I'd like to know). I have no proof that this censorship is happening, but that's the word. The only thing that gives the word an appearance of paranoia is that I haven't been shut down yet. But maybe they just haven't caught up with me.
Yesterday I was even advised, by somebody much more reasonable than I am, and less inclined to paranoia, that I should think twice before attending the pro-Tibetan rally outside the Guildhall in Northampton on March 4th. "I'm always careful of things like that," he said. "Your name will go down on a list, Hodder."
These are frightening times when even the moderates don't trust their leaders anymore.